Last Updated on December 3, 2020 by Woody Pet
Can guinea pigs eat kale?
Kale is known as one of the healthiest vegetables out there. That’s why we try to incorporate it in as much meals as we can. Salads, pasta and smoothies are just some of the most popular. Just as we need vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants, our tiny pets need them to. But guinea pig owners should know that even though guinea pigs like to eat vegetables – not all of them are safe for them. Their small size makes them especially susceptible to some toxins that can be found in vegetables that do not affect us humans.
So before you feed them anything, even something as healthy as vegetables, we suggest firing up your laptop and reading something about it. So today’s topic is kale. Can guinea pigs eat kale? Can guinea pigs eat kale stems? Is kale nutritious to guinea pigs? Keep reading and find out!
1. Is kale good for guinea pigs?
Yes, kale is an excellent treat for guinea pigs. It’s full of anti-oxidants and vitamins A and C which are crucial for the growth and development of a guinea pig. They are responsible for controlling the work of each and every organ in a guinea pig’s body. On the other hand, kale also contains a lot calcium and potassium which can cause a very common problem in guinea pigs – urinary stones. However, this can happen only if there is an excess of calcium and potassium. If ingested in normal amounts, combined with the iron and magnesium found in kale they are great for the guinea pig’s body. They help in strengthening bones and tissues, lowering blood pressure etc.
Kale is also packed with vitamin K which helps with digestion and stops inflammation. So in conclusion, even though it can be a healthy snack for them, serving it every day is not recommended. So can guinea pigs eat kale and is kale good for guinea pigs? Yes it is. But what can happen if we feed our guinea pigs too much kale? First and foremost as we mentioned above, it can lead to urinary and kidney stones. If you plan on giving your pet some kale, we recommend mixing it with another vegetable which is low on calcium. The large amount of vitamin A in kale can also cause problems. When served in moderation, vitamin A has amazing effects but served in excess it can lead to bone pain in guinea pigs. A large amount of potassium can also result in unusual muscle contractions and make it difficult for them to move.
All in all you should remember that guinea pigs should eat a cup of vegetables each day. But don’t give them only one thing. That can lead to stomach cramps and diarrhea. Mix five or more vegetables while also keeping in mind their nutritional value and you guinea pig will be in perfect health.
2. Can guinea pigs eat kale stems?
Yes, absolutely. Kale stems have a lot of fiber which help them with digestion. They are also pretty tough and crunchy on the outside which is excellent for guinea pig’s teeth. They like to chew on them and wear their teeth down which are constantly growing. However, don’t mistake this as a green light to give them frozen food because it’s good to chew on. Any kind of frozen food is a big no for guinea pigs. This also goes for cooked food. Cooking vegetables often leads to them losing all the vitamin C which is the most important nutrient for guinea pigs.
Also, because their stomachs are naturally engineered to digest only raw food, cooked food can lead to stomach pain, bloating and diarrhea. So when deciding what to give your guinea pig for lunch – stick to raw food or in this case raw kale. However this doesn’t mean just throwing kale in their cage. You still need to prepare it. Most importantly, you need to wash the kale so you can be sure that there are no chemicals or pesticides left. You should also cut it into smaller pieces and make it easier for your piggy to eat. All in all can guinea pigs eat kale? Yes. Can guinea pigs eat kale stems? Yes again. Guinea pigs can eat every part of kale as long as it’s in moderation.
3. How often should guinea pigs eat kale?
So now that we answered can guinea pigs eat kale positively, you probably want to know how often should guinea pigs eat kale? Our recommendation is giving your piggy only one or two leaves up to three times a week. This will lead to a perfectly balanced diet. The guinea pig will get the amount of vitamin C it needs from the kale but it won’t overdose on the amount of calcium and potassium found in it. Mixed with some other low calcium vegetables – it makes the perfect salad for a guinea pig. But be careful, serving sizes of every vegetable and among them even kale depend on the age and diet of the guinea pig. For example baby guinea pigs or guinea pigs on low-calcium diets have a very specific meal plan.
In conclusion, green vegetables including kale are very important for a guinea pig’s diet. Guinea pigs get all of their vitamins and minerals from the salad portions you serve them so make an effort to include as many nutritious vegetables as you can. However, don’t go overboard. Too much vitamins and minerals can also cause damage. For example can guinea pigs eat kale? – Yes, but too much kale can give them kidney stones, muscle cramps and tummy issues. So if you are new or still haven’t introduced your guinea pig to kale but you want – make sure you do this carefully. Give it only a leaf at a time because coming in contact with new foods isn’t always a pleasant experience with guinea pigs. If it doesn’t cause them any problems like bloating or diarrhea, you are good to go!