Can guinea pigs eat pea pods? Of course, they can. They’re healthy to eat. You will find out more benefits as you read the article further. Anyway, peapods, or sometimes called snow peas, are a variety of edible peas even when it is still unripe.
Peapods have many benefits for humans, and to answer the question, yes, peapods have health benefits for guinea pigs. Though these legumes are healthy, guinea pigs can only eat them in very small amounts due to its high acidic nature.
You should be careful not to feed an entire pod to your cavies, or else they may suffer from painful health conditions. There’s more to know, so delve deeper!
Health Benefits Of Peapods For Your Guinea Pigs
Can guinea pigs eat pea pods? Peapods have a high content of phosphorus, water, and acidic components. Among all the vitamins and minerals peapods contain, these three are most abundant.
It is common knowledge to every guinea pig owner that food with high acidic content is not suitable for them. But, this acidity can be limited as long as you feed your guinea pigs with peapods occasionally and not regularly.
Peapods are great to be served together with other guinea pig safe vegetables like asparagus (can Guinea pigs eat asparagus). It adds more flavor and texture to their meals. Your guinea pig will surely enjoy the new experience. Here are just some of the benefits pea pods can provide:
Helps in digestion
There is a high fiber content in peapods. This is good for the digestion of your guinea pigs as it helps them have a better bowel movement. Moreover, it helps maintain the good digestion of your cavies. The little piggies won’t experience bloating and indigestion.
What’s great about having well-maintained digestive health is that it keeps the digestive track clean. It destroys the risk of stomach aches and other complications. Guinea pigs are known for having a sensitive digestive tract, so you must pay extra attention to their diets as an owner.
Carotenoid Pigment Lutein, a mineral present in peapods, is responsible for giving improved eyesight to guinea pigs. Apart from having a sensitive stomach, guinea pigs also have bad eyesight. The older they get, the worse their vision becomes.
That is why it is in their every meal, a food source that has high levels of vitamin A or Carotenoid Pigment Lutein should be incorporated. You don’t want your piggies to go blind at an early age.
Great source of iron
Food that is rich in Iron is those that help in giving strength and combat figures. This mineral keeps the blood healthy. With good blood circulation, your guinea pig will be active and strong.
The vitamin that best boosts your guinea pig’s immune system is vitamin C. Lucky for you; peapods have high levels of vitamin C to fight off diseases and increase immunity.
Other than a boosted immune system, vitamin C prevents Scurvy from attacking your guinea pigs. This disease holds so many painful symptoms like having a rough coat, swollen and painful limbs and joints, discharge from the nose and eyes, fatigue, and internal bleeding.
You never want your guinea pig to go through such a painful experience; therefore, look for food that contains Vitamin C.
Risks Of Feeding Peapods To Your Guinea Pigs
Take note that these risks will happen if you feed too many peapods to your guinea pigs. Also, risks can occur when you don’t properly introduce a new food item into their diet. As we have emphasized, guinea pigs have a very sensitive digestive system, so one wrong move, and they can develop many complications.
A mineral that causes urinary complications to your guinea pig is calcium. The older your guinea pig gets, the lesser calcium it needs in its body. The adverse effect calcium brings to a guinea pig urinary tract is kidney or bladder stones.
If kidney or bladder stones form in your guinea pigs’ urinary tract, they will have a hard time urinating. This alone is already a very painful experience for your guinea pigs, but it isn’t the worse one.
The most serious condition a kidney/bladder stone formation can lead to is renal failure. This is very serious because it can be fatal to your cavies.
Other than being acidic, peapods also have high levels of sugar. Don’t get us wrong, sugar is good for your guinea pig’s health, but too much sugar will be a problem.
One digestive complication sugar brings bloating. This is not fatal compared to other conditions, but it makes your guinea pig feel uneasy, which leads to stress.
Stress is not good for your cavy because the more complications arise when it is stressed. They respond to just like how humans would when we are stressed. So, you can imagine how difficult their situation is just because of bloating.
High blood sugar
This is still due to the high sugar content in peapods. If your guinea pig’s sugar level increases, this leads to high blood pressure, which can lead to heart attacks.
Moderation in feeding peapods to your guinea pigs will solve this problem. You can feed them these legumes up to four times a week or even less.
Introducing Peapods To Your Guinea Pigs
We have stated above how properly introducing a new food item to your guinea pig is critical to their diet. These animals are one of the pickiest eaters out there. When their body does not like the food, they will immediately vomit it back out, or complications may arise.
If this will be the first time you are feeding peapods to your guinea pigs, start feeding them in small chopped up pieces. When you see that they are already eating the peapods, wait, and observe them after. Check to see if there is bloating or has your guinea pig becomes inactive.
When such symptoms arise, this means that your guinea pig does not like peapods, and you should rather opt for other vegetables instead. In other cases wherein your guinea pig can happily accept the legume, then you may feed it a little bit more. (please read here how to introduce Guinea pig)
Can guinea pigs eat pea pods? Guinea pigs can eat peapods, but remember that they should only be in small amounts. Peapods hold many health benefits for your cavies, like helping in digestion, boosting their immunity, and improving their eyesight.
At the same time, overfeeding guinea pigs with peapods entail health risks. Fatal complications such as bladder stones that lead to renal failure, and having painful digestions are just some of the common ones.
Overall, peapods are healthy for your guinea pigs just as long as you feed them the right amount of peapods.