Can Guinea Pigs Eat Spinach?

Guinea pigs are curious little creatures that love to explore their surroundings. When it comes to food, they are not as picky as some other animals – in fact, they will eat just about anything! But can guinea pigs eat spinach? Dr Elly answers.

Can guinea pigs eat spinach?

Yes! Guinea Pigs can eat spinach but in moderation. Guinea pigs are vegetarians and their diet should consist mostly of hay, fresh raw vegetables, and a small amount of guinea pig pellets. Spinach is a great vegetable to feed your piggie as it’s packed with nutrients like vitamin C, antioxidants, iron, and fiber which are important for their overall health.

Feed your guinea pig spinach in moderation as it’s high in oxalates which can cause health problems if consumed in large quantities. When feeding spinach to your guinea pig, make sure to wash it thoroughly first to remove any dirt or chemical residues.

Do guinea pigs like spinach?

It’s no secret that guinea pigs love greens. In fact, a diet rich in fresh leafy vegetables is essential for keeping these furry little creatures healthy and happy. But what about spinach? While many guinea pigs enjoy eating leafy greens including spinach, some may be hesitant to try it.

If your guinea pig has never had spinach before, it’s best to introduce it slowly. Start by offering them a few leaves of spinach and see how they react. If they seem to enjoy it, you can gradually increase the amount.

However, if they turn their nose up at spinach, it’s probably best to stick with other greens that they like. Ultimately, the best way to find out if your guinea pig likes spinach is to let them try it for themselves!

Health Benefits Of Spinach

There are many health benefits of spinach. This leafy green vegetable is packed with vitamins and minerals, including iron, magnesium, folate, and Vitamins A, C, and K. It is also a fabulous source of fiber and protein.

In addition to its nutritional content, spinach also contains a number of antioxidants that can protect against cell damage and improve overall health and immunity!

Spinach has been linked to a reduced risk of cancer, heart disease, and eye problems in humans so hopefully some of these benefits transfer to piggies.

Risks of Feeding Spinach: Is Spinach Safe For Guinea Pigs?

There are some risks associated with feeding spinach to guinea pigs in high amounts. Too much spinach can cause digestive issues because it contains oxalates, which can bind to calcium in the gut and prevent absorption.

This can lead to kidney stones that, much like for humans, are extremely painful for guinea pigs and very dangerous. However, spinach served in smaller quantities should not cause health problems.

Additionally, spinach leaves contain nitrates, which can be converted into nitrites that can be harmful in high concentrations. But don’t worry too much – as long as you feed your guinea pig spinach in moderation, they’ll be just fine!

english spinach

Serving Size and Frequency of Spinach 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 spinach.
  • The recommended amount is 1/4 cup twice per week
  • It is 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 spinach to your guinea pig! Simply wash the leaves and mix them in with other guinea pig-safe veggies such as romaine, bok choi, zucchini, cucumber, and carrots. Guinea pigs loooove variety! 

You should stick to a 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.
guinea pig eating hay

How often can guinea pigs eat Spinach

No more than twice per week.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Spinach Every Day?

No, they shouldn’t as this could lead to them consuming too much oxalates which can put them at risk for gastrointestinal upsets and developing kidney and bladder stones.

Spinach Nutritional Facts

Below are some of the nutritional stats on fresh spinach per 100grams

  • Calories per cup: 23
  • Carbohydrates: 3.63g
  • Protein: 2.86g
  • Fiber: 2.2g
  • Fat: 0.39grams
  • High water content at 91.4% water

Some of the key essential vitamins and minerals per 100 grams:

  • Vitamin C: 28.1 mg
  • Vitamin A: 9380 IU
  • Vitamin K: 483 micrograms
  • Calcium: 99 mg
  • Magnesium: 79mg
  • Phosphorous: 49 mg
  • Potassium: 558 mg
  • Folate: 194 micrograms

Is Spinach a Good Source of Vitamins for Guinea Pigs?

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, regular spinach is a great source of Vitamin A

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 is guinea pigs and the main cause is too much calcium.

What Are The Alternatives To Spinach? 

If you like the idea of feeding raw spinach to your little friend but don’t have any at home, there are a few alternatives that you can give them.

Some other safe fresh vegetables for guinea pigs include:

  • Carrots
  • Zucchini
  • Spinach
  • Green beans
  • Parsley
  • Peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Bok Choi
  • Sweet Potato
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Eggplant
  • Kale (high in calcium; feed sparingly)
  • Arugula (high in calcium; feed sparingly)
  • Mustard greens
  • Cucumber

Can baby guinea pigs eat spinach?

No baby guinea pigs can’t eat spinach. Spinach is only recommended for adult guinea pigs as baby guinea pig’s digestive tracts are not developed enough.


Can Guinea Pig Eat Frozen Spinach?

As long as the spinach is thawed thoroughly to room temperature it should be fine if fed in small amounts. However, it is unlikely your guinea pig will appreciate the soggy texture!

What Types of Spinach are Safe for Guinea Pigs?

All types are safe as long as they are fed in moderation. These include baby spinach (the one with the small leaves), english spinach, savoy spinach and flat-leaf spinach.

Can guinea pigs eat spinach and spring mix?

Yes you can feed your guinea pig spinach and spring mix as long as you wash it.

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.

Can guinea pigs eat spinach and kale mix?

Yes, they can but should only be fed 2-3 times per week as these leaves contain high amounts of calcium and oxalates.

Dr Elly

References: Wagner, JE. Manning, PJ. The Biology of the Guinea Pig 2014

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