No vegetable is as healthy as kale. Kale is popularly used in salads because this green vegetable is fresh and has a distinct flavor to it. Kale is super good for humans because it is packed with minerals and vitamins that are essential for a healthy immune system and overall health. Kale is also known to have certain medicinal properties. But, how safe is it for Guinea pigs? Can Guinea pigs safely consume kale without any complications?
Yes! Your Guinea pig can safely eat kale and can benefit a lot from this vegetable. Guinea pigs need vegetables in their daily meals because just eating hay or pellets won’t provide all the essential vitamins and minerals. Incorporating kale in their diet will supply them with all the necessary nutrients their body needs. Kale is rich in antioxidants, vitamin A and vitamin C, which are all required by Guinea pigs.
However, make sure that the serving size is moderate because kale has high amounts of potassium and calcium, which can negatively affect your pet’s health. These compounds in excess can lead to increased thirst and bladder stone formations in Guinea pigs.
Nutritional value of kale
Kale is a powerful source of antioxidants and has an abundance of vitamin K, vitamin C, and vitamin A. These vitamins are a must in keeping your Guinea pig healthy and fit. The vitamin A present in kale helps in the healthy functioning of the kidney, liver, and other main organs of the body.
Vitamin C helps in keeping your Guinea pig free from several diseases and in maintaining strong immunity.
Vitamin K helps in blood clotting and reduces excessive bleeding in case of injuries or wounds. It aids in proper digestion and helps in preventing any kind of inflammation in the body.
Other necessary nutrients present in kale are potassium, calcium, magnesium, and iron. These nutrients are required to keep the cholesterol levels balanced, lower blood pressure, the healthy formation of tissues and bones, and the healthy functioning of other vital organs in the body.
Health benefits of consuming kale in Guinea pigs
Healthy blood vessels
Kale is low on fat, and this helps in maintaining healthy blood vessels. It keeps the cardiovascular system of Guinea pigs healthy,
Kale is very low in fat and does not cause obesity or weight gain in Guinea pigs. It is light, and there is no danger of excess fattening, even if consumed in large amounts.
The sodium content in kale will make sure that your Guinea pig feels thirsty and drinks his daily recommended quantity of water. This is good in case your pet is not fond of drinking water.
Since kale has a high amount of carbs and protein, eating even a little of it will keep your pet highly energetic for the whole day.
Strong immune system
Kale is rich in antioxidants such as beta-carotene, polyphenols, flavonoids, and other vitamins. These complaints help in keeping a robust immune system in Guinea pigs.
The presence of vitamin A and other antioxidants in kale makes it a good choice to eliminate free radicals in the body. These free radicals cause early aging and other diseases in Guinea pigs.
Kale is also a good source of iron. Iron in the blood helps in keeping the blood healthy and supply energy to the body.
Aids in healthy digestion
Kale has excess diners which makes it a great choice to improve the gut health of your Guinea pig. If your pet’s diet has a deficit of fibers, she may become constipated or even diarrhea.
Lack of vitamin C in Guinea pigs can lead to scurvy. Adding kale to their diet will help in preventing this serious disease.
The presence of vitamin B6 helps in keeping your Guinea pig free from stress. It also helps in keeping all the organs healthy. You will notice your Guinea pig sleeping much better after eating kale.
Health risks associated with kale in Guinea pigs
Bad digestion due to sugar
Guinea pigs have a fragile digestive system, and they cannot digest sugars very well. Too much kale can give them cramps or aches.
Because of the sodium in kale, if you feed your Guinea pig too much kale, she may end up feeling thirsty all the time and urinating often. This won’t cause any serious problem as such, but it best to feed moderately.
Since kale has calcium, eating too much can cause kidney or bladder stones in Guinea pigs. There can be other problems too such as painful urination, urinary tract infections, blood in urine, etc.
Rough skin and bone pain
Though vitamin A has its benefits, excess of vitamin A can make your Guinea pig’s skin rough and also cause pain in the bones. Too much kale can cause vitamin A toxicity and cause such complications.
How often should Guinea pigs eat kale?
Kale can be fed every day to your Guinea pigs. Kale is low in sugar and is a rich source of vitamin C and fiber. Since it is not high in natural sugar, it is a much better choice than other vegetables such as carrots or beets.
A handful of fresh and through-washed kale will provide the needed vitamin C and minerals to your Guinea pig every day.
Can Guinea pigs eat kale stems?
Yes! Kale stems or stalks are totally safe to be fed to Guinea pigs. The adequate amount of fiber present in stems will help in keeping the digestive system healthy in guinea pigs. Since the stems are hard and rough in texture, chewing on them will remove any dirt or plaques from your guinea pigs’ teeth.
Among all vegetables, kale is the most nutritious that can be fed every day to your guinea pigs. The low amount of sugar and high amounts of vitamins and minerals make it a superfood for your Guinea pigs. However, like with any other vegetable, the quantity fed at a time should be moderate and avoid any form of overfeeding.