Last Updated on December 3, 2020 by Woody Pet
Can guinea pigs eat cauliflower?
Cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals for us humans. We like to add it in our salads, smoothies, chicken, pasta and other recipes. Some people like it others don’t. It depends on your personal taste buds. But can guinea pigs eat cauliflower? Do they like eating it? They mostly eat hay but they should also eat a portion on vegetables and fruits a day because they need the vitamins.
So there were probably times when you wanted to make them a salad in addition to the hay and you came across some fresh cauliflower in your fridge. You might have wanted to give it to them but you didn’t know if they are allowed to eat it. Don’t worry you came to the right place. We will explain everything you need to know about guinea pigs and their relationship with cauliflower.
Is cauliflower good for guinea pigs?
Can guinea pigs eat cauliflower? Yes, the can but is cauliflower good for guinea pigs? The answer is also yes. As it is as source of nutrients for us, it is also a source of nutrients for them. Cauliflower has a lot of vitamin C which is crucial in a guinea pig’s diet. Vitamin C is what strengthens their immune system and keeps them healthy. If you want your guinea pig to grow up healthy then feed it foods rich with vitamin C. But vitamin C is not the only nutrient found in cauliflower. There are others. Vitamin E, vitamin K, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Sodium, Potassium, Iron, Manganese among the others.
Cauliflowers also contain a lot of water which will keep your guinea pig hydrated throughout the day. Phosphorus prevents the formation of kidney stones and the other antioxidants help with fighting bacteria and other viruses. Like every coin has a flip side, the same goes for all the food as well. Although rich in Vitamin C and other minerals cauliflower is great for guinea pigs health, it does have some side effects as well.
On the other hand, there are also a few drawbacks of giving cauliflower to your guinea pig. First of all, cauliflower contains a fair amount of calcium. Calcium is the number one cause of bladder stones in guinea pigs. A normal amount of calcium is still needed for the healthy development of the bones and teeth but anything more than that can cause problems for guinea pigs. Cauliflower also contains some sulfur. Excess sulfur can cause gas, bloating and diarrhea in guinea pigs.
For this reason, it’s not recommended for pregnant guinea pigs. So all in all, you can give some cauliflower to your guinea pig, but not every day. Stick to once or twice a week and the calcium level will stay normal. If you want to mix the cauliflower with some other vegetable, make sure that it’s something that has little to no calcium in it. The amount of calcium in cauliflower mixed with another high calcium vegetable can be a harmful combination for your guinea pig.
Parts of a cauliflower
Can guinea pigs eat cauliflower? Yes they can, but there are many parts of a cauliflower. Are all of them safe for guinea pigs to eat? First of all let’s talk about cauliflower florets. Actually, when we talk about cauliflowers we are actually addressing the florets of a cauliflower. They are the most nutritious part of a cauliflower. Before you serve them to your guinea pig, make sure you wash them thoroughly and cut them into smaller pieces. Not that your guinea pig won’t be able to eat it if you don’t cut it, but this way you will make it a hundred times easier for him.
Cauliflower florets have a lot of fiber and are very nutritious, however there is also a chance that your guinea pig won’t like them. Yes, guinea pigs are very picky about their meals, so if yours doesn’t want to eat the florets, try your luck with the other parts of a cauliflower. For example, try giving it some cauliflower leaves. Guinea pig certainly love those.
The only problem is that the leaves are not as healthy as the florets. But still, they do contain some nutrients. Before you give them cauliflower leaves, wash them properly because if you don’t, any chemicals stuck on them will be ingested by your guinea pig. Later that can cause some serious health issues. Cauliflower stalks are eatable, but we don’t recommend them for your guinea pig’s diet. The main reason is that the stalks of a cauliflower are very tough and hard to chew and swallow. Your guinea pig might choke on them.
How to prepare cauliflower for guinea pigs?
Now that we answered can guinea pigs eat cauliflower positively the only thing left to explain is how to prepare cauliflower for guinea pigs? IF you can, we recommend buying organic cauliflower. Start off by washing every part of the cauliflower. The florets, the stalks, the leaves – everything. You don’t want any chemicals in your guinea pig’s organism. Next remove all bruised and decaying parts.
The nutrients that were once there are all gone. Also these parts can cause allergic reaction in guinea pigs so we think you shouldn’t risk it. Next, chop every part of the cauliflower into smaller pieces. Your guinea pig can eat it anyway, but why not make life easier for him? If you want to, and we recommend that you do, mix it with other low calcium vegetables and let your guinea pig enjoy its meal.
All of us want to keep our pets healthy and strong. That’s why we go out of our ways to give them healthy food. For guinea pigs, a healthy diet is especially important. They are very small and can easily gain weight or upset their little stomachs. But can cauliflower upset their stomach? Can guinea pigs eat cauliflower? Don’t worry, just stick to the recommended dosage and your guinea pig will be as healthy as ever.