can guinea pigs eat beets

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Beets?

Written by: Annemarie Dutton

If you are wondering whether or not it is suitable for guinea pigs to eat beets, you should read this article. Guinea pigs are herbivores, meaning vegetables are good sources of nutrients for them. Since guinea pigs can eat vegetables, can they also eat beets? Let’s find out.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Beets?

Of course, guinea pigs can eat beets, but you should feed them this vegetable only occasionally and in moderation. This is because some nutrients in this vegetable can be harmful to guinea pigs if not balanced.

Typically, beets are root vegetables, also known as red beet, table beet, garden beets, or beetroot. Traditionally, beets have purple flesh, green leaf, and their inside is purple. 

Everything about the beet plant is very nutritious and edible, including its leaves and roots. It can be cooked or served raw either way, you get a delicious taste. 

Beets contain plenty of vitamins, fiber, folate, and potassium that guinea pigs need to grow healthy. They also contain calcium, sugar, and phosphorus, which are good stuff but can become harmful to our pets if fed in excess.

Guinea pigs shouldn’t be fed cooked beets. That’s because cooking beets can kill a lot of their nutrients.

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Benefits Of Beets To Guinea Pigs

As already mentioned, beets are nutritious plants that are safe for guinea pigs’ consumption. Let’s what these nutrients are and how they are beneficial to your guinea pigs’ health. 

Vitamin C: Beets are excellent sources of vitamin c that help combat diseases and boost immunity. It is also helpful for fighting vitamin C deficiency. When you feed a guinea pig a slice of beet occasionally, it prevents scurvy and builds resistance against fungal and respiratory infections.

Folate: Folate, a branch of Vitamin B, is the nutrient guinea pigs need to form red blood cells and convert carbohydrates into energy.

Antioxidants: If you plan to feed your guinea pig beet, do well to include the green leafy part in the diet. Beets and beet green are rich in antioxidants called Betalains. This type of antioxidant helps to curb the risk of certain cancers and relieves inflammation.

Potassium: Potassium helps in lowering blood pressure, reducing the chances of kidney stone formation, and preserving bone mineral density. The potassium found in beets is mainly found in their green leaves.
Calcium and phosphorus: Beets also contain calcium and phosphorus. They work hand in hand to grow healthy bones and teeth in guinea pigs of all ages.

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Can Beets Be Bad For Guinea Pigs

With all the benefits beets serve, they can still be bad for your guinea pigs. Here is how.

Giving beets to your guinea pigs is safe, but giving them in excess can be hazardous. Excessive calcium and phosphorous intake in guinea pigs can negatively impact their health. 

Also, due to the high calcium content of beets, guinea pigs can suffer from bladder stones if given beets regularly and in large portions.

Diarrhea is another common drawback of feeding beets regularly and in large portions. Guinea pigs have a sensitive digestive system, so feeding them sweet beets in large quantities can lead to severe diarrhea. 

Therefore, to avoid these health problems for your guinea pigs, you should feed them beets in small quantities.

How Many Beets Can Guinea Pigs Eat?

Guinea pigs should be fed only a slice of beets per serving. Together with this slice, you can add small slices of three more vegetables to make it balanced. Specifically, you can add lettuce, green beans, watercress, tomatoes, parsley, cabbage, etc.

Conclusion 

Beets are good treats for guinea pigs. They serve as excellent sources of vitamins and other beneficial nutrients for guinea pigs’ health. Both beets and their leaves are highly nutritious and suitable for consumption.

However, some of the beet’s nutrients can become very problematic if taken in excess, for example calcium and phosphorus. As a result, beets and their leaves should be given in moderation.

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