can guinea pigs eat parsnips

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Parsnips?

Written by: Annemarie Dutton

Parsnips are one of the root vegetables that are common in some kitchens. This nutritious and tasty vegetable is mainly consumed in soups and chicken broths and can be prepared in other ways. 

As a guinea pig owner, you may want to know if your guinea pigs can also eat parsnips. So, keep reading to find out.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Parsnips?

Of course, parsnips are safe, and guinea pigs can eat them. But, as you know, too much of everything is bad, so knowing the correct quantity and the appropriate time to feed them is vital.

Parsnips are root vegetables mimicking the shape of a carrot but broader at the base. These vegetables are smooth and hard with creamy yellow-beige skin and interior. 

This root vegetable has significant nutritional benefits for guinea pigs as it does for humans. The vitamins and minerals from parsnips help to combat infections while boosting the immunity of your guinea pigs.

Nutritional Fact Of Parsnips

At every right serving of parsnips, your guinea pigs stand to get:

  • Energy – 75 kcal
  • Protein – 1.2 g
  • Fat – 0.3 g
  • Carbs – 18 g
  • Fiber – 4.9 g
  • Sugars – 4.8 Calcium – 36 mg
  • Iron – 0.59 mg
  • Magnesium – 29 mg
  • Phosphorus – 71 mg
  • Potassium – 375 mg
  • Sodium – 10 mg
  • Zinc – 0.59 mg
  • Copper – 0.12 mg
  • Selenium – 1.8 µg
  • Vitamin C – 17 mg
  • Vitamin B6 – 0.09 mg
  • Vitamin E – 1.49 mg
  • Vitamin K – 22.5 µg
  • Riboflavin – 0.05 mg
  • Niacin – 0.7 mg
  • Folates – 67 µg

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Health Benefit Of Parsnips For Guinea Pigs

Judging by the list of the nutritional content of parsnips, these vegetables will make your guinea pigs a lot healthier when you add a slice to their diet. Let’s see some nutritional benefits of parsnips to guinea pigs.

Serves as anti-scurvy 

Scurvy is a common disease in guinea pigs that causes them to lose weight, become weak, lose appetite, have diarrhea, and get wounds that hardly heal. If you notice any of these symptoms in your guinea pig, a good boost of Vitamin C can help improve its state.

Since guinea pigs cannot fulfill their need for vitamin C by themselves, their diet should be able to do that for them. That’s why parsnips are a good option because they are rich in vitamin C.

It serves as an antioxidant

Another benefit your guinea pigs can get from parsnips is their anti-inflammatory property. Parsnips are antioxidants that fight against inflammatory disease as they combat free radicals. They also lower the risk of cancer in guinea pigs.

It serves as an excellent source of energy

Parsnips are rich in carbohydrates and protein and, as such, supply guinea pigs with enough energy needed to be active.

Help develop healthy bones

Calcium is another nutrient in parsnips that is beneficial for healthy bone formation, especially in young guinea pigs. While it is ideal for younger ones, calcium intake in adult cavies should be monitored because it can negatively impact their health. 

Supports cardiovascular health

The presence of potassium, copper, vitamin K, and iron in parsnips supports the healthy functioning of your guinea pig’s heart and blood.

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Side Effects Of Feeding Guinea Pigs Parsnips 

Like most fruits and vegetables, parsnips are safe for guinea pigs’ consumption. However, there are some dangers associated with feeding your cavies this vegetable excessively. These dangers include.

Diabetes: Sugar is one of the nutrients contained in parsnips. When consumed in small amounts, sugar can be very healthy for guinea pigs. But if it’s taken in excess, it can result in diabetes and weight gain, especially in adult guinea pigs.

Bladder Stones: Parsnips are good sources of calcium which is great for healthy bones. However, excess calcium can lead to the formation of kidney stones in adult guinea pigs.

Stomach Upset: Guinea pigs have sensitive digestive systems. Parsnips are packed with essential minerals that guinea pigs need. But, if you dish too many parsnips to your guinea pigs, it might make their stomach ache.

How To Serve Parsnips To Your Guinea Pigs

Cooking parsnips kills most of their essential nutrients. Hence, you should not feed your guinea pigs cooked parsnips. Instead, feed your guinea pigs raw ones. Meanwhile, parsnips should be served in tiny portions at least 2 to 3 times a week. They can also be combined with other vegetables for a more balanced diet.

Conclusion

Parsnips are a good source of vitamins, and minerals guinea pigs need to stay healthy, but they should be served in moderation. Due to their carbs and sugar content, they should not be served more than three times weekly. Otherwise, they can cause severe health problems. Meanwhile, you should avoid serving your guinea pigs cooked parsnips. Instead, serve it to them raw.

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