The beetroot, beets, or table beet are commonly found as a side dish or in salads every day. This vegetable is considered to be super nutritious for the human body. But, what about guinea pigs? Are beets as nutritious for guinea pigs as they are for humans? If you have these questions in mind, then you have come to the right place! Read on to find out if your guinea pig can safely consume beets.
Can Guinea pigs eat beets?
Yes, definitely!!! Beets are in fact an excellent source of essential nutrients for your guinea pigs. Beets contain good amounts of potassium, fiber, vitamins, and folate, which is crucial for the overall health of your guinea pig. However, the downside to this vegetable is the excess amount of phosphorus and calcium found in it. Therefore, make sure that the amount fed is kept in moderation and does not exceed the limit.
Beets are a healthy choice for your Guinea pigs, but along with the good stuff, some compounds are not good for your pet. Nevertheless, feeding beets occasionally to your pet will not harm you.
Benefits of feeding beets to Guinea pigs
Considered one of the healthiest vegetables in the world, incorporating beets in your guinea pig’s diet will benefit her immensely. With the right amount of serving your pet is all set to gain a lot of benefits from it.
Some of the common health benefits associated with eating beets are:
Beets and beet leaves are a rich source of vitamins and antioxidants. These compounds help in keeping diseases far away from your pet. From cancer to urinary tract infections and other major illnesses, beets will keep your pet safe from these problems.
Great source of vitamins
Both beet leaves and beets are an excellent source of essential and rare vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamin B1, B2, B3, B4, and B6. These vitamins aid in keeping your guinea pig healthy and boost their metabolism. The abundance of vitamin C in beets is its biggest advantage. Since Guinea pigs cannot make their own vitamin C, incorporating a vitamin C-rich diet is more important. An adequate amount of vitamin C in the body will prevent your Guinea pigs from diseases such as scurvy or other vitamin-related deficiencies.
Healthy functioning of the body
Guinea pigs are sensitive animals with a more sensitive digestive system and other organs. Their diet must contain food items that will help in the healthy functioning of their bodies. Beets work great in such cases. The appropriate mix of nutrients and vitamins in beets makes it a healthy choice.
Beets contain betalains which are a group of antioxidants known for their anti-cancer properties. Though cancer is not a common disease seen in Guinea pigs, one cannot rule out the chances of tumor formations that can develop into cancer later on. Therefore, adding such vegetables can help in preventing any severe future health problems in guinea pigs.
Health risks associated with feeding beets to Guinea pigs
Beets are nutritious vegetables, but even in cases when fed moderately, it is known to cause certain discomforts like indigestion or other digestive issues. Some nutritive parts of the beet can lead to such problems. And in cases when beets are fed in large amounts, severe problems such as diarrhea and vomiting are seen. You have to be very careful when it comes to the serving size and the feeding frequency of your pet.
The leaves of beets are considered to be toxic and can make your Guinea pig seriously ill if consumed. The greens of beets are considered to be dangerous like the many veggie greens that are toxic to rodents such as guinea pigs. They are listed as similar to other veggies such as turnip, onion, potato, etc. in terms of toxicity for guinea pigs. It can cause problems such as vomiting and diarrhea.
There is a high amount of calcium and phosphorus in beets. The presence of such compounds can cause the formation of kidney or bladder stones in guinea pigs.
It is normal for the urine and stool of your guinea pig to appear reddish in color after eating beets. You don’t have to worry if you notice such color changes.
Can Guinea pigs eat the beet tips or beet greens?
Eating the beet tips or beet greens won’t cause any immediate harm as such to guinea pigs. But the number of greens should be very minimal. In fact, it is known that the beet greens and tops have more sources of minerals and vitamins as compared to the bulb itself. The only issue is the higher content of phosphorus and calcium present in it. Such high content will lead to stone formations and can cause severe pain and health complications in guinea pigs. It is best to avoid giving these parts, but if you are very keen on feeding them or your guinea pig just loves eating it, then you can give a maximum of a leaf or two once or twice a month.
Don’t make the mistake of exceeding this limit as it may be detrimental to their health.
Can Guinea pigs eat the stems of beets?
Yes, beet stems are safe to be consumed by guinea pigs but should be given occasionally like a treat. While giving beet greens, you can also give small sizes of beet stems and let your guinea pig enjoy the new taste. Beet stems contain high amounts of calcium and hence should be kept to a minimum in their diet.
How often should Guinea pigs eat beets?
Even though beets are nutritious and healthy for your guinea pigs, regularly feeding beets is not a good idea. Ideally, beets should be fed once a week just to let your guinea pig’s taste buds be refreshed. Regular feeding can lead to diarrhea, bloating, and vomiting in guinea pigs, so why take the risk?
Beets are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and should definitely be added to your guinea pig’s diet. They contain potassium, folate, and other minerals that are most needed by your pet. From beet greens to stalks, your guinea pig can consume all, but the quantity should be kept to a minimum. The feeding frequency of beets should be just once a week, while the stalks and beet greens should be given once or maximum twice a month. The quantity of beet should not exceed a slice per serving. Excess amounts can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, kidney stones, and other health complications.