Baby guinea pigs are cute and little pets that you can keep in your home. However, like with all babies, you have to be careful with what you feed them. Just because they like a particular food, it doesn’t mean that it’s good for them. Many guinea pig owners wonder, “Can baby guinea pigs eat spinach?” Well, let’s find out.
Yes, baby guinea pigs can eat spinach. However, they can only eat it in moderation. This is because spinach contains high levels of oxalates and calcium, which can cause bladder stones in baby guinea pigs. You can feed spinach to your baby guinea pig once in two weeks, but make sure that the portion size is small.
Continue reading to learn more about exactly how much spinach a baby guinea pig can eat and more.
How Should You Prepare Spinach for Your Baby Guinea Pig?
Now that we’ve established that baby guinea pigs can eat spinach, you must know how to prepare this food.
Avoid feeding your pet frozen or cooked vegetables. Frozen spinach or cold food, in general, can cause diarrhea or other digestive problems with your baby guinea pig.
Cooked food, on the other hand, is bad for your baby guinea pig because the food loses its vitamins and minerals. Also, cooked spinach becomes harder for baby guinea pigs to digest.
Thus, you must always serve raw vegetables to them.
Here’s how you should prepare the raw spinach.
Make sure to get fresh spinach for your baby guinea pig. So, avoid yellow, mushy, and wilted leaves as these can adversely affect your baby guinea pig’s health.
Next, wash all of the leaves thoroughly. You must aim to remove all chemicals or soil that may still linger on the vegetable. After you’ve cleaned them, let the leaves dry completely.
After that, you must cut the stalk of the spinach off. The stalks are harder to eat than the leaves, as they are both stringy and fibrous. So, your baby guinea pig may choke on the stalk. They should only eat the leaves and nothing else.
Once the spinach is clean and sliced up, mix it in the serving bowl with 3 to 4 other raw vegetables. However, make sure that you add the spinach leaves in limited quantity. Too much of spinach can be bad for your baby guinea pig’s health.
One final note— make sure not to serve your guinea pig leftovers. If they don’t finish a meal in one serving, discard that, and serve them a new meal. This applies to all meals. The purpose of this precautionary practice is to avoid bacterial bloom.
How Often Can Baby Guinea Pigs Eat Spinach?
Feeding your baby guinea pig spinach quite often can be extremely bad for their health, even if they like it. So, feed it spinach about once every two weeks.
Usually, baby guinea pigs can eat it more often than adults can, but it’s best to be on the safe side and follow the two-week schedule.
Guinea pigs are prone to developing bladder stones, and the calcium and oxalic acid content in spinach can cause that problem.
Feed your baby guinea spinach as a treat instead of a meal. So, make sure the portion is small, and it’s served along with other vegetables that are low in calcium content.
Spinach: Nutritional Information
The nutritional information for 1 cup (128g) of spinach is as follows
- 0.86g of protein
- 2813 IU of vitamin A
- 0.81g of iron
- 167mg of potassium
- 24mg of magnesium
- 30mg of calcium
- 58mg of folate
Why Should Your Baby Guinea Pig Eat Spinach?
Spinach contains essential nutrients that can help your baby guinea pig grow into a healthy adult. Spinach is a good source of vitamins C and A and minerals such as iron, phosphorus, and potassium.
Guinea pigs tend to develop scurvy due to a lack of vitamin C. Guinea pigs are unable to synthesize or store vitamin C in their body, so they need it frequently in their diets. Therefore, it’s vital that you feed your baby guinea pig foods rich in this vitamin, so that they don’t develop any problems as they grow.
The minerals from spinach also help baby guinea pigs with proper body development, better nutrient absorption, a healthy immune system, and good vision.
In addition to that, spinach is also a good source of dietary fiber. Therefore, this helps with maintaining a healthy digestive system in your baby guinea pig.
With that said, you must still restrict your baby guinea pig’s access to spinach as it will do more bad than good if served frequently.
How Much Spinach Should You Feed Your Guinea Pig?
While baby guinea pigs can eat spinach, you should only feed it a small leaf each time. Anything more than that can be bad for its health.
You could also consider feeing it one leaf. However, baby spinach may have more oxalates and calcium than the regular spinach. Thus, this does not make it a good option for your baby guinea pig.
Below are some additional questions you may want answers to regarding baby guinea pigs’ diet.
What Are Some Healthy Alternatives to Spinach?
If you don’t want to feed spinach to your baby guinea pig, cucumbers, carrots, green or red lettuce, zucchini, grass, coriander, and parsley are good options.
You can feed it basil and celery, not more than twice a week.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Spinach Stems?
No, both baby and adult guinea pigs can’t eat spinach stems because it is stringy and fibrous. Therefore, it’s difficult for these creatures to swallow and digest spinach stems.
Conclusion: Can Baby Guinea Pigs Eat Spinach?
Well, it should be clear now that baby guinea pigs can eat spinach. However, you have to be careful. Remember, moderation is the key.
Don’t feed your baby guinea pig more than one leaf of spinach once every two weeks. This way, your baby guinea pig will be able to make the most of this food’s benefits without putting its life at risk.
What Fruits Are Toxic For Baby Guinea Pigs? Fruits that you should avoid feeding your baby guinea pig include citrus fruits, rhubarb, avocado, fruit cores, seeds, or pits.