Guinea pigs are popular pets, but many people don’t know what they can and cannot eat. Arugula is a peppery leafy green that is often used in salads. You may have a few leaves leftover and be wondering can guinea pigs eat it arugula too? Dr Elly answers.
Can guinea pigs eat arugula?
The answer is YES! Guinea pigs can eat arugula, but only in moderation. Arugula is a leafy green vegetable that is packed with nutrients, including Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and magnesium. It also contains high levels of antioxidants to help fight free radicals.
So why only give it in moderation then? While arugula is safe for guinea pigs to eat, it should only be given to them in small amounts. That’s because arugula contains a fair amount of calcium, which can cause kidney stones if it builds up in your guinea pig’s body.
Do guinea pigs like arugula?
So, do guinea pigs actually like arugula? I have found that many guinea pigs do like eating the peppery leaf, while some despise it and won’t even give it a nibble.
If they like it arugula is a great way to add some variety to your guinea pig’s diet and it’s a good source of essential nutrients.
Health Benefits Of Arugula
Arugula, also known as salad rocket, offers many benefits. This leafy vegetable is low in calories but high in vitamins and minerals, making it an excellent addition to any guinea pig diet.
Did you know that arugula is also a good source of fiber? Fiber is really important in a guinea pig’s diet and can help to promote digestive health. This edible weed is also packed with antioxidants, which can help protect against cell damage and chronic diseases. What’s more, arugula may even help to boost cognitive performance and memory! Now hands up who wants a smarter guinea pig?
Risks of Feeding Arugula: Is Arugula Safe For Guinea Pigs?
Arugula is perfectly safe to feed to guinea pigs and is a great source of essential nutrients as long as it is fed in moderation. This is because arugula contains calcium, which may lead to issues such as kidney stones and other health problems
It is recommended to only feed your guinea pig arugula 1-3 times a week. Baby guinea pigs should not have it at all.
Serving Size and Frequency of Arugula for Guinea Pigs
- You likely won’t be surprised by my answer. Since guinea pigs need a lot of variety in their diet, they shouldn’t eat too much of a single vegetable and that includes the arugula leaves.
- The recommended amount is a few leaves two to three times per week. Start with a single small leaf to see if your guinea pig likes it.
- It’s also important to make sure that the leaves are washed thoroughly before giving them to your guinea pig. This will help remove any harmful bacteria or contaminants that could make your guinea pig sick.
It’s super easy to feed arugula to your guinea pig! Simply wash the leaves and mix them in with other guinea pig-safe veggies such as romaine, basil, mint, cucumber, and carrots. Guinea pigs like variety.
You should stick to a balanced diet that closely resembles what they would naturally eat. According to the authors of “biology of the Guinea Pig” your guinea pig’s diet should include:
- 90% of your guinea pig’s diet should be made up of grass hay such as timothy hay or alfalfa hay and quality guinea pig pellets.
- 1/2 cup of fresh leafy vegetables as part of their daily diet. Guinea pig owners should try to buy dark green leafy greens which are naturally high in Vitamin C and dietary fiber.
- 1/4 cup of fresh fruits 2-3 times per week as a treat cut into small pieces. Fruit generally has a high sugar content and should not be given every day.
- Fresh water should be available at all times. Preferably given from a pet-specific sipper bottle.
- No human processed food of any kind.
- It’s always a good idea to introduce new foods slowly as they have sensitive digestive systems.
How often can guinea pigs eat arugula
No more than 2-3 times per week.
Can Guinea Pigs Have Arugula Every Day?
No, they shouldn’t as this could lead to them consuming too much calcium which can put them at risk for developing kidney and bladder stones.
Arugula Nutritional Value
Below are some of the nutritional stats on Arugula per 100grams
- Calories per cup: 25
- Carbohydrates: 3.65g
- Fiber: 1.6g
- Protein: 2.58g
- Fat: 0.66grams
- High water content at 91.7% water
Some of the key essential vitamins and minerals per 100 grams:
- Vitamin C: 15 mg
- Vitamin A: 2370 IU
- Vitamin K: 109 micrograms
- Calcium: 160 mg
- Phosphorous: 52 mg
- Magnesium: 47mg
- Potassium: 369 mg
- Folate: 97micrograms
Is Arugula a Good Source of Vitamins for Guinea Pigs?
Arugula is a nutrient-rich vegetable that is high in vitamins A, C, and K. It also contains folic acid, calcium, and iron.
The one big issue with arugula is its high calcium content which can cause kidney stones if fed in high amounts.
Vitamin A: This vitamin is essential for the body as it helps in a variety of functions, including fighting off cell damage and improving vision. Vitamin A is also crucial for the proper functioning of the immune system, so getting enough of this nutrient is important for staying healthy. Fortunately, arugula is a great source of Vitamin A
Vitamin K: Arugula is also high in Vitamin K, which is another essential vitamin for the body. It aids in the clotting of blood and accelerated healing of wounds, both of which can be beneficial.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C is an essential Vitamin for guinea pigs as they don’t synthesize their own – unlike other rodents such as rats and mice who can synthesize Vitamin C. Deficiencies lead to scurvy which causes weak and brittle bones and teeth and sudden bleeding.
Vitamin C is necessary for guinea pigs at a dosage of 10 mg per day (20 mg if pregnant).
Folate: Folate is a B-Vitamin with multiple functions in the body. Arugula is a rich source of folate that is used by the body for the synthesis and repair of DNA. This means that it is important for the growth and development of cells, making it essential for pregnant guinea pigs as their bodies are going through a lot of cell division.
Calcium: While calcium is important for strong bones and teeth – too much can cause problems. Kidney and bladder stones are a common occurrence in guinea pigs and the main cause is too much calcium.
What Are The Alternatives To Arugula?
If you like the idea of feeding arugula to your little friend but don’t have any at home, there are a few arugula alternatives that you can give them.
Some other safe fresh vegetables for guinea pigs include:
- Carrots and carrot tops
- Green beans
- Green leaf lettuce and spring mix
- Bell peppers
- Sweet Potato
- Dandelion leaves
- Romaine lettuce
- Kale (also high in calcium; feed sparingly)
- Mustard greens
Can baby guinea pigs eat arugula?
No baby guinea pigs can’t eat arugula. Arugula is only recommended for adult guinea pigs as baby guinea pig’s digestive tracts are not developed enough.
Can guinea pigs eat spinach and arugula mix?
Yes, they can but should only be fed 2-3 times per week as these leaves contain high amounts of calcium and oxalates.
Arugula is a nutrient-rich vegetable that is safe for adult guinea pigs to eat in moderation. It is high in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as a decent amount of calcium and iron. However, its high calcium content can cause kidney stones if fed in high amounts, so it should only be given to guinea pigs 3 times per week.
Dr. Elly has always loved animals, and she knew from a young age that she wanted to be a veterinarian. After studying hard in veterinary school, she practiced in several different countries before moving to North Carolina with her husband and young family. She currently works part time as a veterinarian while caring for her 4 busy children and writing this blog. Dr. Elly genuinely cares about the welfare of her patients. She currently has three dogs, two cats, 5 chickens and 2 rabbits (yes a bit of a zoo!)