Beets, also called beetroot or table beet, are an excellent source of nutrients for the body. But how good are beets for our guinea pigs? Is beetroot safe for our guinea pigs? As a curious guinea pig owner, I did some research, and here is what I found out.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Beets? Yes, guinea pigs can eat beetroot for sure. Beets are an excellent source of Fiber, Potassium, Vitamins, and Folate that is needed by our guinea pigs. However, it also contains a decent amount of calcium and phosphorus that can be bad if fed in excess. Thus, moderate serving is recommended.
Beets are among one of the healthiest vegetables you can feed to your guinea pigs. But there are some nutrients in the beet that is not good for our guinea pigs. However, feeding it on an occasional basis can do more good than harm.
So, now that you know our guinea pigs can eat beets, let us move ahead and learn about nutrition in beets; what are the hazards to look out for, and what part of the beets can our guinea pigs eat. So, let’s begin!
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Nutrition in beets?
Source: USDA National Nutrient database
|Vitamin C||4.9 mg/ 100 g||30 mg/ 100 g|
|Vitamin K||0.2 µg/100 g||400 µg/100 g|
|Vitamin A||2 µg/ 100 g||316 µg/ 100 g|
|Folate||109 µg/ 100 g||15 µg/ 100 g|
|Calcium||16 mg/ 100 g||117 mg/ 100 g|
|Phosphorous||40 mg/ 100 g||41 mg/ 100 g|
|Potassium||325 mg/ 100 g||762 mg/ 100 g|
|Fiber||2.8 g/ 100 g||3.7 g/ 100 g|
|Sugar||6.76 g/ 100 g||0.5 g/ 100 g|
|Protein||1.61 g/ 100 g||2.2 g/ 100 g|
|Carbs||9.56 g/ 100 g||4.33 g/ 100 g|
|Calories||43 Kcal||22 Kcal|
|Fat||0.17 g/ 100 g||0.13 g/ 100 g|
|Water||87.58 g/ 100 g||91.02 g/ 100 g|
Beetroot and Beet greens are rich in Vitamins and minerals, including vitamin c, Vitamin A & Vitamin K that is needed by our guinea pigs.
These vitamins are essential for the proper functioning of the body, fighting against diseases, and much more.
As you can see from the chart above, Beet greens are more abundant in vitamins than beetroots; thus, you should feed more greens rather than the actual vegetable to them.
Folate is a B-vitamin needed by our body for a variety of functions. The primary purpose of this vitamin includes the formation of Red blood cells, converting carbohydrates into energy & more.
Studies claim that the guinea pigs need folate for the proper functioning of the body.
They need more folate during pregnancy and infant stage rather than the later stage. Beetroots are a more abundant source of folate than the beet greens.
Potassium is yet another essential nutrient present in beets and beet greens.
It is vital for lowering blood pressure, preserving bone mineral density, and reducing the chances of formation of kidney stones.
Beet greens contain way more potassium than the actual beetroots.
Beets and Beets greens are rich in a group of antioxidants called Betalains. These antioxidants provide a beet with the bright red color it has.
It also has been proven to hold various health benefits for our guinea pigs.
This particular group of antioxidants is linked to lower the risk of cancer and suppress inflammation in the body.
Are beets safe for guinea pigs?
Yes, beets and beet greens are entirely safe for our guinea pigs if fed in moderation. Anything in excess is bad, and the same goes for beets as well.
If we supply it in excess, the high calcium and phosphorus content in beets can have some negative impact on our guinea pig’s health.
Some of the common health issues that can be caused by overfeeding beet to our guinea pigs are:
Bladder stone: Beetroots and Beet greens contain a decent amount of calcium in it. If we feed beet regularly or feed excess quantity of the same to our guinea pigs, then it can lead to various health issues like bladder stones and sludge in them.
Diarrhea: Guinea pigs have a sensitive digestive system and introducing a new food or feeding an excess of any particular vegetable can lead to severe diarrhea in guinea pigs. Sometimes diarrhea can be fatal for our guinea pig’s life; thus, make sure you feed the vegetables like beetroots and beet greens in the right quantity to avoid such health issues.
Benefits of feeding beets to our guinea pigs?
Beets are one of the healthiest salad or vegetables present in the world. It possesses a lot of benefits for our guinea pigs; thus, you can add some into their diet.
If served in the right quantity, beets can be really beneficial for our guinea pigs.
Some of the most common benefits of serving beets to your guinea pigs are:
Source Of Vitamins: Beets and beet greens are an excellent source of some rare vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, B6, Vitamin C, and much more. These vitamins are essential for the healthy living of our guinea pigs.
Prevents Diseases: The Antioxidants and Vitamins present in beets and beet leaves can help prevent various diseases in guinea pigs. It can prevent urinary infection, cancer, and some other major diseases in guinea pigs.
Anti-cancer properties: The group of antioxidants called Betalains has been proved to have Anti-cancer properties in it. Although cancer is not a common illness diagnosed in guinea pigs, they can still develop tumors that can develop into cancer at a later stage if left unchecked. Thus, adding some food like these can help prevent any such circumstances in the future.
Proper Functioning of the Body: Guinea pigs need a variety of nutrients added to their diet for the appropriate functioning of their body. Beet is rich in a wide range of nutrients that are required by our guinea pigs, thus adding some beet into their diet can help in providing them with the nutrients they need.
How often can guinea pigs eat beets?
Guinea pigs can eat beets once a week. Beets are rich in vitamins and minerals but are not the ideal choice for daily feeding.
Thus, make sure you feed beets once a week only to your guinea pigs.
Regular feeding of beets can induce some health problems in guinea pigs, including diarrhea and bladder stone; thus, it is best to feed beet sparsely.
How much beet can guinea pigs eat?
You can feed one small slice of beet to your guinea pigs at once. Never go beyond one slice as overfeeding beets is not ideal for our guinea pigs.
You need to mix at least 4-5 healthy vegetables to ensure your guinea pigs get a well-balanced diet.
It is ideal to mix two leafy vegetables like lettuce, cabbage, kale, spinach, watercress, cilantro, parsley with other vegetables like tomatoes, green beans, cauliflower, bell peppers, carrots, etc. to create a well-balanced diet for our guinea pigs.
Apart from these, there are many other fruits and vegetables that you can feed to your guinea pigs. To learn more about it, you can read our articles below:
- 70+ vegetable for your guinea pigs
- 70+ fruits that guinea pigs can eat
- 11 must feed leafy green for your guinea pigs.
Can guinea pigs eat beet greens or Beet tops?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat beet greens in moderation. Beet greens, also called beet tops, are more abundant sources of vitamins and minerals than the vegetable themselves.
However, it contains a decent chunk of calcium and phosphorous in it that can lead to the formation of bladder stones and other health issues in guinea pigs.
Thus, it is recommended to feed it in small quantities. It would be best if you only fed a couple of leaves to your guinea pigs once or twice a month at maximum.
Never exceed the feeding as the high calcium content in the greens are not the ideal choice for our guinea pigs.
Can guinea pigs eat beet stems?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat beet stems but only as an occasional treat.
You can throw some beet greens along with the stems once a month or so. Never feed it regularly as it contains high calcium and oxalate in it.
Can guinea pigs eat cooked beets?
No, guinea pigs cannot eat cooked beets at all. Cooking beet kills a lot of nutrients that the beet holds, which are needed by our guinea pigs.
Also, cooked foods are terrible for the digestive system of our guinea pigs and should be avoided at all costs.
Can guinea pigs eat pickled beetroot?
No, guinea pigs cannot eat pickled beetroot at all. Pickled beets contain a lot of other ingredients that are harmful to our guinea pigs.
Thus, it would help if you did not serve pickled beet to your guinea pigs.
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Can guinea pigs eat canned beets?
No, guinea pigs cannot eat canned beets. Canning beets often requires adding preservatives and chemicals to increase the shelf life of the food.
Adding such chemicals into your guinea pig’s diet is not an ideal choice to make. Thus, don’t serve canned beets to your guinea pigs at all.
How To Prepare beets For Your Cavies?
Preparing beets for your guinea pigs is easy and straightforward. Here are the simple steps you can follow:
- Choose a fresh and organic beet for your guinea pigs. Make sure the beet is not decaying from any part.
- The next step is to wash the beet properly and peel the skin off.
- Now you can use a grater to grate the beet and mix it with other vegetables of your guinea pigs.
- Lastly, you need to remove any uneaten fruits or vegetables from the cage to avoid fly and rats infestation in the cage.
- Do guinea pigs attract rats? (Causes and how to get rid of them)
- Do guinea pigs attract flies? (Causes and how to get rid of them)
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.
Also, make sure to 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.
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.
Conclusion: Guinea pigs and Beets
- Beets are an excellent source of Fiber, Potassium, Vitamins, and Folate that is needed by our guinea pigs.
- Can guinea pigs eat beets, Beet greens, and beet stalks? Yes, guinea pigs can eat beetroot, beet greens, & beet stalks but only in moderation.
- Make sure you only serve beetroots once a week and bet greens and stalks once or twice a month to avoid health issues.
- Serve no more than a small slice of beetroot or 1-2 beet greens at a time.
- Excessive feeding of beet & beet greens can lead to various health issues in guinea pigs, including bladder stone, sludge, and diarrhea.
- Guinea pigs should be fed a balanced diet with a variety of vegetables daily.
- 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.
- Hay for your guinea pigs(What type, How much and more)
- Guinea pig diet: A complete A-Z of what guinea pigs can eat!
- What can I do if my guinea pigs are not eating their veggies?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat silverbeets.
Yes, guinea pigs can eat silverbeet stalks but only in moderation.
Yes, guinea pigs can eat silverbeet leaves but only in moderation.
Yes, guinea pigs can eat a small slice of red beets occasionally.
Yes, guinea pigs can eat sugar beets but just as a treat. Sugar beets contain a high concentration of sucrose that can lead to obesity and diabetes in guinea pigs. Thus, small feeding is recommended.
Yes, guinea pigs can eat sugar beet leaves but only in small quantities.
Sources: Nutrition Facts, Health Benefits of Beets, 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.