Arugula is a peppery flavor green that has a unique taste and texture. Also known as Rucola, Salad rocket, and Italian cress, it is used in a variety of cuisines across the United States and the United Kingdom. But how good is it for our guinea pigs? Can our guinea pigs eat arugula as well? If Yes, How much? Let’s find out!
Can guinea pigs eat arugula? Yes, guinea pigs can eat arugula in moderation. Arugula is rich in a wide range of nutrients needed by our guinea pigs. However, it also contains a decent amount of calcium in it; thus, we cannot feed arugula regularly. Also, most guinea pigs don’t enjoy arugula much due to its distinct peppery flavor.
You should avoid serving arugula if your guinea pig has a medical history of bladder sludge or stones. The high calcium content can further increase the problems in such guinea pigs.
Another major thing to keep in mind is you must never serve arugula as the only vegetable to your guinea pigs. A balanced diet for guinea pigs includes one cup of fresh veggies with at least 5-6 different varieties of veggies at all times.
The mix must include 2-3 leafy vegetables, including lettuce, cabbage, spinach, coriander, kale, celery, etc. followed by other vegetables like tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini, bell peppers, carrots, etc.
You can try this fantastic vegetable slicer (from amazon) to slice vegetables in different shapes and sizes for your guinea pigs. I love to serve the veggies in different shapes and sizes to keep things spiced up for them.
So, with that out of the way, let us move ahead and learn more about the nutrients in arugula, its hazards and benefits for our guinea pigs.
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Nutrition in arugula?
Source: USDA National Nutrient database
|Vitamin C||15 mg/ 100 g|
|Vitamin K||108.6 µg/100 g|
|Vitamin A||119 µg/ 100 g|
|Carotene||1424 µg/ 100 g|
|Calcium||160 mg/ 100 g|
|Phosphorous||52 mg/ 100 g|
|Potassium||369 mg/ 100 g|
|Fiber||1.6 g/ 100 g|
|Sugar||2.05 g/ 100 g|
|Protein||2.58 g/ 100 g|
|Carbs||3.65 g/ 100 g|
|Fat||0.66 g/ 100 g|
|Water||91.71 g/ 100 g|
Arugula contains a wide range of nutrients in it. Here are some common nutrients that it contains:
Vitamin A: Arugula contains a decent amount of Vitamin A in it. This vitamin is essential for the body as it helps in a variety of functions, including fighting off cell damage and improving vision and other crucial functions of the body.
Vitamin K: Arugula is also rich in Vitamin K, which is yet another essential vitamin for the body. It helps in the clotting of blood and quicker healing of wounds, which can be crucial.
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 converting Carbohydrates into energy and the formation of Red Blood Cells, etc.
vitamin c: Arugula also contains a trace amount of Vitamin C in it. Vitamin C is an essential vitamin for the body as it helps in maintaining a robust immune system, fighting various diseases, and also for the formation of blood vessels & collagen in the body.
Is arugula safe for guinea pigs?
Yes, arugula is entirely safe for our guinea pigs if fed in moderation. However, excessive feeding can lead to some significant health issues among them.
It is well said that anything in excess is bad for health, and the same applies to guinea pig’s diet as well.
If we maintain the right serving size, the food is beneficial for them; however, excess feeding of the same can be fatal for their health.
Some of the most common problems of excessive feeding of arugula include:
A bladder stone is one of the most commonly diagnosed illnesses in guinea pigs. It is mostly caused by excessive calcium and oxalic acid in their diet, which binds together to cause the issue.
Arugula contains a decent chunk of calcium in it, which can lead to the formation of these stones when fed in excess.
Thus, make sure you limit the serving of high calcium food like Arugula, Kale, Celery, etc. in your guinea pig’s diet.
Guinea pigs also have a sensitive digestive system that can get off-balanced pretty easily.
Adding new food quickly or serving too much of particular food are some significant diarrhea triggers in guinea pigs.
Although diarrhea is not fatal every time; however, sometimes it can lead to some severe condition as well.
Is arugula healthy for guinea pigs?
Yes, arugula is definitely a healthy leafy green for our guinea pigs if we can keep the serving in check. Here are some benefits of serving arugula to our guinea pigs:
Being rich in Vitamin A and Beta carotene arugula is an excellent supplement for vision and other vital organs of the body.
Guinea pigs have degenerating eyesight that gets poor as they age up. Adding a food rich in these vitamins can help aid the vision and slow down the degeneration process for our guinea pigs.
Having food rich in Vitamin A is something you must consider in your guinea pig’s diet.
Helps in quick recovery
Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and other essential nutrients present in arugula can help fight back diseases and helps in speedy recovery of our guinea pigs.
Guinea pigs are prone to various health issues, and adding some food that can aid their recovery process is something you should take note of.
Vitamin C also helps in the prevention of scurvy, which is one of the most commonly diagnosed problems among guinea pigs.
Arugula also contains a ton of antioxidants and other nutrients that can help in preventing a wide variety of conditions among guinea pigs.
How often can guinea pigs eat arugula?
Guinea pigs can eat arugula sparsely due to its high calcium content. It is best to limit the serving size to 1-2 times a week only.
A sparse feeding can help prevent various health issues that can be caused by overfeeding arugula to our guinea pigs.
It is recommended to space out the feeding. What I usually do is If I fed them Arugula on Tuesday, then I shall feed them again only on Friday or Saturday.
This way, there is a gap between the serving that can help control the calcium buildup in the body of our guinea pigs.
How much arugula can guinea pigs eat?
It is recommended to feed only a small leaf to your guinea pig at a time. Feeding in small quantities can help control the amount of calcium that goes into their diet as a high calcium diet is terrible for our guinea pigs.
You can make a healthy mix of vegetables and serve it in a bowl. You can also check out this fantastic vegetable bowl for your guinea pigs. I love it as it doesn’t flip over, and it is of the perfect size for our guinea pigs.
Can guinea pigs eat arugula flower?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat arugula flower; however, make sure to feed it in small quantities.
The flowers also contain a decent amount of calcium and other enzymes that can be bad when fed in excess.
Can guinea pigs eat arugula stalks?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat arugula stalks with no issues at all. Arugula leaves, along with the stem, can be served to your guinea pigs. Do make sure you limit the serving though.
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Can guinea pigs eat baby arugula?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat baby arugula. Baby arugula also contains an equal amount of calcium in it when compared to its older counterpart.
Basically, it is the same leaves plucked at an early stage for its softer leaves and mild flavor.
Can guinea pigs eat cooked arugula?
No, guinea pigs cannot eat cooked arugula. Cooked food often loses most of the essential nutrients that our guinea pigs need. Thus, it is best to serve only fresh raw food to our guinea pigs.
Cooking also needs the addition of other ingredients into the food that are not suitable for our guinea pigs digestive system.
Cooked food can lead to bloating and severe diarrhea in guinea pigs; thus, it is recommended to avoid it altogether.
How to prepare arugula for guinea pigs?
Arugula is a vegetable that has a lot of benefits if served right. Here is a simple and straightforward method of preparing arugula for your guinea pigs.
- Get fresh organic arugula for your guinea pigs. Arugula leaves often trap lots of dirt and grit that needs to be washed away properly. Soak the arugula in cold water and let the dust settle down before moving ahead. Once done, you can use a salad spinner(Amazon) to dry it off or let them dry in a kitchen towel while you prepare other veggies.
- The second step is optional. You can either remove the stems by cutting those away or let them be if you want to.
- The third step would be to mix it with other veggies and prepare a complete vegetable bowl for your guinea pigs.
- Remember to remove any uneaten vegetables from the cage. Uneaten fruits and vegetables are often the hotspots for bacterial bloom. It also attracts flies and rats towards your guinea pigs.
Pro tip: You can also prepare the vegetable for a few days or a few serving at a time and use proper quality vegetable storage contains for keeping the same fresh and ready.
It works like a charm, especially if you have a busy schedule. I personally use these fantastic Rubbermaid Freshworks storage containers that I got from amazon, and they work like a charm for me.
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Conclusion: Arugula and Guinea pigs
- Arugula is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, and other essential nutrients needed by our guinea pigs.
- Can guinea pigs eat arugula? Yes, guinea pigs can eat arugula in moderation. Overfeeding arugula can be bad for our guinea pig’s health.
- Limit the serving size to 1-2 servings per week to avoid health issues. Also, make sure you even out the serving throughout the week and not serve it back to back.
- Serve no more than a small leaf of arugula at a time to your guinea pigs.
- Excessive feeding of arugula can lead to some health issues, including bladder stone, sludge, and diarrhea in guinea pigs.
- Guinea pigs can eat all parts of arugula, including its leaves, stems, flowers, and seed.
- Always remember that the staple part of your guinea pig’s diet is hay. Vegetables are just supplements for nutrients that guinea pigs need in addition to whatever they get from foraging hay.
- Under no circumstances, vegetables should be served as a replacement of hay in your guinea pig’s diet.
- Hay for your guinea pigs(What type, How much and more)
- Guinea pig diet: A complete A-Z of what guinea pigs can eat!
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Sources: Everything you need to know about arugula, Nutrition in arugula, Diet Composition and Mineral Balance in Guinea Pigs, Dietary Vitamin C, and Vitamin E on Guinea Pig Immune Responses to Mitogens, Vitamin C requirements of the guinea-pig, Is Your Guinea Pig’s Diet Providing the Right Nutrients? Care of Guinea Pigs.