Can guinea pigs eat pea shoots? Indeed, guinea pigs are as soft as their diets, it’s comprised of fruits and veggies – but it’s okay for them to eat pea shoots. So, the short and simple answer is yes, and here’s why:
We’ve gathered the necessary data about pea shoots to provide you a scope of these factors for the benefit of our well-loved guinea pigs. In this article, we’ll focus specifically on the benefits and risks of pea shoots for guinea pigs.
Without a doubt, these are great vegetables, and as herbivores, it’s good to include these in their diet. Just read on to know more about the risks and benefits of feeding them pea shoots.
What Are Pea Shoots?
Pea shoots came from the typical pea plant. It is commonly known as dou miao and takes around 2 to 4 weeks to be harvested, mostly found in Asian markets.
What is more amazing about this is that it is packed with a good variety of vitamins and minerals, it’s an excellent veggie for humans and guinea pigs. Vitamins from A, B, C, E, K, and minerals like carbohydrate, protein, calcium, iron, magnesium, and so much more can be found in this food.
Since it is easy to find and grow too, pea shoots are great for anyone wanting a healthy diet for their cavies. It’s important to know what we’re feeding them before we give it to them.
Is it safe, or if it contains nutrients necessary for their growth and nourishment? Out of the hundreds of fruits and vegetables available for your guinea pig, only a select number are compatible for them. (please read here when do Guinea pig stop growing)
Ensuring that we give our guinea pigs food that they’ll enjoy, these foods must also benefit their well-being. Pea shoots are one of them, but we must also weigh out a food’s pros and cons.
Benefits Of Pea Pods To Your Guinea Pig
Can guinea pigs eat pea shoots? As previously mentioned, pea shoots are packed in vitamins and minerals. Thus, the health benefits of feeding your cavies some of these shoots are immense, and we’ll be discussing a few of them here:
Promotes healthy weight
Pea shoots are great because they contain very little fat, so eating them won’t lead to unhealthy weight gain. (please read here how much do Guinea pig weigh)
Since it contains very low fat and cholesterol, you can be sure that this won’t add to the possible risk of any cardiovascular ailment such as hypertension or even heart attack.
High in vitamin C
This vitamin is necessary for guinea pigs to have adequate and strong immunity against the threat of disease.
High fiber content
Fiber is what helps with digestion, making your guinea pigs nutrient intake and bowel movement better.
Good source of vitamin K
Vitamin K promotes healthy blood clotting, which is great to prevent excessive blood loss if they get wounded.
Vitamin A for added immunity
Vitamin A is an antioxidant and what it does is remove free radicals that could cause early aging and many other diseases.
Pea shoots are a good source of iron, necessary to give them strong and healthy blood. Having healthy blood means there is less risk for fatigue.
Good for the eyes
Pea shoots contain carotenoids, a nutrient that improves eyesight and promotes eye health. One important note to remember is that guinea pigs are prone to scurvy – a medical condition that occurred to pirates when they didn’t have access to fresh fruits and vegetables like raw pumpkin(can Guinea pigs eat raw pumpkin)
This can manifest in diarrhea, rough coat, joint swelling, weight loss, and more. A long list of minerals all works together to ensure that your guinea pig can have a happy and healthy life. Minerals such as mentioned above all contribute to promoting better health for your pet.
Risks That Might Occur
Along with its long list of benefits, it also has its cons. There is not one without risks, so it’s also necessary to know what to avoid when feeding your guinea pigs pea shoots.
Has high water content
This means that if you feed them too much of this food, they may be at risk of getting diarrhea. (please read here why does my Guinea pig drink so much water)
Since it contains a high amount of phosphorus, it may cause health problems if they eat too much of this food.
Sugar can cause stomach problems
Guinea pigs are fragile animals. Digesting sugar can easily hurt their stomach, so it’s encouraged to feed them pea shoots in moderation. Too much may lead to digestion problems and cause bloating.
Calcium can pose a risk
Calcium is present in pea pods, and too much consumption of this may lead to urinary problems as calcium can cause a build-up of kidney and bladder stones. Frequent and severe urinary problems can be fatal for guinea pigs.
Things To Consider When Feeding Pea Shoots To Guinea Pigs
Here are just some of the things that you have to bear in mind when feeding pea shoots to guinea pigs:
1. Frozen pea shoots are a no, no
As herbivores, their food must not only be served raw but also unprocessed and not frozen. This may cause stomach problems or can be too hard to chew. It is best to serve them fresh.
2. Look out for strings
These can become choking hazards for your guinea, so always make sure to clean out the pods before giving them to your pets. The number of strings in a pod can vary, but it is best to watch out for them.
3. Avoid overfeeding
Feeding too much pea shoots to guinea pigs can pose risks to their health. Pea shoots are great vegetables, and as with any healthy diet, it must be adequately proportioned. As eating too little and too much has its problems, this is important to always take note of.
4. Do a taste test
Another important reminder, if you’re feeding them with pea shoots for the first time, always do a taste test. This will ensure that your cavies find this food palatable and enjoyable. Eating food they enjoy can improve their happiness with you as their human.
5. Consider their needs and preferences
With our beloved cavies, we can never be too careful. Aside from providing them with a warm and loving home, good food is the next best thing. In providing their nourishment, we must consider their preferences and their needs as well.
Can guinea pigs eat pea shoots? It is perfectly okay to feed your guinea pigs with pea shoots. You shouldn’t feed them with pea shoots more than three times a week to avoid stomach trouble.
Pea shoots are good for consumption, factoring in its health benefits especially. Like other fruits or veggies, make sure to cleanse the pea shoots thoroughly before serving them to your guinea pigs.