Guinea pigs are herbivores and love to munch on crunchy raw vegetables. So naturally, the question then is can guinea pigs have Brussels sprouts?
Consuming Brussels sprouts is perfectly fine. Although grass and hay are their primary food, veggies like Brussels sprouts have crucial vitamins which are important. But you should give it to them in moderation.
Guinea pigs can have very sensitive digestive systems. There are reports of pet piggies getting diarrhea after having Brussels sprouts. So, if it is safe, then what gives? Let’s get into the details.
Should You Give Your Pet Guinea Pig Brussel Sprouts?
You can give your pet guinea pigs Brussels sprouts without any worry. It is very nutritious for them and helps them lead healthier lives. However, as the popular saying goes, too much of a good thing is bad.
Similarly, you should never feed too many Brussels sprouts meals to your piggies. Brussels sprouts have phosphorus and oxalic acid in them. Ingesting these in large amounts can cause health problems for your pet.
Excess amounts of oxalic acid can cause digestive tract issues in guinea pigs. Moreover, they can also get bloated and suffer from gastric. Therefore, it is up to you to prepare a proper diet plan for them.
Never overfeed any single type of food, even if it is good for them – and the same goes for Brussels sprouts.
Another thing to keep in mind is only to feed your piggies fresh Brussels sprouts. You should never feed your guinea pigs rotten or old Brussels sprouts.
What Parts of Brussel Sprouts Can Pet Guinea Pigs Eat?
A guinea pig can eat every part of a Brussels sprout. First, however, you need to remember to wash it thoroughly. If the food you give them has any kind of dirt or debris on it, your piggie might get sick.
Brussels Sprout Leaves
Brussels sprout leaves can sometimes have dirt on them. So, can you give guinea pigs Brussels sprout leaves?
Brussels sprouts leaves are completely fine for piggies. You need to remember to wash it, though.
But even though Brussels sprout leaves are fine, do not overfeed them to your pet guinea pig.
Brussels Sprout Stalks
Stalks are great for your guinea pigs. Piggies love to munch on them when they are hungry. I would imagine the crunchiness is very satisfying for them.
However, only feed guinea pigs green stalks that are completely fresh. Otherwise, your pet will not get the nutrients it needs from the vegetables.
Brussel Sprout Top
Brussels sprout tops are completely fine for pet guinea pigs to eat. But overfeeding them can cause severe problems. Unfortunately, as you can see, this overfeeding is sort of a common theme.
Guinea pigs will eat almost every part of a Brussels sprout. Therefore, it is your job to ensure to serve it properly and give it in moderation.
What are the Health Benefits of Giving Guinea Pigs Brussel Sprouts?
Even though feeding your piggies excess Brussels sprouts is never good, you should still include it in their diet in moderation.
They are full of nutrients and are beneficial for your pet’s health. Here are some benefits of feeding Brussels sprouts.
Loaded With Vitamins and Nutrients
There are vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, potassium, and manganese in Brussels sprouts. These help guinea pigs develop healthy bones.
These vitamins will also help your piggie fight against bone-related diseases. It also helps improve eyesight and blood health.
Source of Antioxidants
Brussels sprouts have antioxidants, for example, Kaempferol. As a result, it can boost their immune system and prevent various diseases.
Helps Maintain Sugar Levels
High sugar levels will increase your piggie’s weight and blood insulin levels. I am sure you do not need me telling you why that is terrible for your piggies. Giving guinea pigs Brussels sprouts helps keep their sugar levels in check.
Improves Gut Health
Since Brussels sprouts have high fiber content, they can help improve the gut health of your pet guinea pigs. Moreover, Brussels sprouts do not have many calories either.
But as I mentioned before, you should avoid giving too much. Otherwise, get ready to deal with your piggy bloating and gastric-related issues.
Potential Concerns to Keep in Mind When Feeding Brussel Sprouts to Your Guinea Pigs
If you have never given your pet piggies Brussels sprouts before, introduce them to it gradually. When doing it this way, you can see how they react.
Although most Guinea pigs love Brussels sprouts, others are not that fond of them. So they might not eat it that much, at best. At worst, brussels sprouts could give them a heavily upset stomach or even diarrhea.
I will give you a complete guide on how to plan your piggie’s diet properly in a bit. But first, consider some concerns about giving pet guinea pigs too many Brussels sprouts.
Besides the potential issues, eating many Brussels sprouts too regularly will make them bloated. As a result, they will have low energy.
If your guinea pig is typically very peppy, but it suddenly became very docile, this might be a reason. Moreover, excess amounts of oxalate acid are very bad for their digestive tract.
Your pet guinea pigs might even die if they suffer from severe bloating and stomach issues. All this might sound grim. But there is no reason to worry if you give them Brussels sprouts. On the contrary, they are very healthy for them if given in moderation.
That is why you should prepare a proper dietary plan for them. Also, if you notice your pet’s health is not good, or they are suffering from bloating and have low energy, contact a doctor immediately.
Are Brussels Sprout Okay to Feed Your Baby Guinea Pigs
Usually, when owners ask whether guinea pigs can have Brussels sprouts or not, they are mostly talking about adult piggies. But what about the babies? Dealing with baby guinea pigs’ diets can be tricky.
Baby piggies should only eat Brussels sprouts only after four weeks. After that, you might feel like they enjoy eating everything. But that does not mean you should give them whatever they want to eat.
Even though there should not be any major concerns about giving babies Brussels sprouts, I do not recommend including them in their diets before four weeks.
As your pet gets older, you can slowly increase the serving. When your piggies are between 8 to 12 weeks old, they can eat adult portions more frequently.
If you want to give very young piggies Brussels sprouts, do not give them more than a few tiny bites. That is more than enough for them. Their cute little faces might make it hard not to give them what they want, but it is for their own good.
Is It Okay to Feed Guinea Pigs Cooked Brussel Sprouts?
You should never feed guinea pigs cooked Brussels sprouts. Feeding guinea pigs cooked Brussels sprouts could cause stomach problems. Remember that they are herbivores.
In the wild, they would eat vegetables raw. So, whenever you give Brussels sprouts, always present them raw. The only issue is dirt. Raw Brussels sprouts may have dirt and debris on them. Therefore, make sure to wash it properly.
Moreover, cooking Brussels sprouts might void them of nutrients. For example, it might lose out on vitamin C. These nutrients are good for your piggie. So, raw Brussels sprouts will always be the way to go.
The Ideal Diet for Pet Guinea Pigs
Just like most animals (and humans), guinea pigs have variety in their diet. Therefore, you should not just give them Brussels sprouts to eat. Not only will that be incredibly boring for them, but eating too much of it is unhealthy.
Therefore, crafting a varied and rich dietary plan for your pet is the best way. After you create a plan, you do not have to wonder what to feed them when mealtime comes around. So, what does a healthy guinea pig diet look like?
Grass and Hay
Guinea pigs love hay and grass. Therefore, this should be their primary food. If you have a pet guinea pig, always keep hay and grass around them so they can eat it whenever they want.
Guinea pigs are grazers. In nature, they would casually graze on grass, plants, and herbs all day long. If you keep hay and grass always available, you will give them a very natural setting. Timothy Hay is a great option for piggies.
Fresh Vegetables and Fruits
Different types of fruits and veggies are very healthy for your guinea pigs. But, again, the idea here is to add variety. You can feed them kale, carrots, lettuce, cilantro, and more.
The best way to do it is to alternate the menu each day. And adult guinea pigs should not have more than one cup of fruits or vegetables daily. Fresh fruits and vegetables are one of the best vitamin C sources for your piggies. Here is a list of common foods your piggie can eat.
- Fresh grass
- Brussels sprouts
- Bok choy
- Green beans
- Pears in pod
- Sweet potato
- Blackberries and more
Pellets are great to give guinea pigs since they can contain specific nutrients. Your piggies might need to make up for the lack of vitamins through pellets. Think of pellets as supplements for piggies.
Some guinea pigs may suffer from Vitamin C deficiency. In that case, pellets are the perfect way to ensure your pet guinea gets enough vitamins in its diet.
Brussels sprouts will not be a problem for your piggies. As long as you give your pet piggies, Brussels sprouts in moderation, and there is nothing to worry about.
Do not overfeed them. Otherwise, they might face digestive problems and also bloating. However, hay and grass should be their primary food. But vegetables are also a great source of nutrients and vitamins that should be included in your guinea pig’s diet.
Austin completed his studies at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine of Tufts University. He holds a high amount of empathy and kindness towards people, nature and most importantly animals. Expressing his feelings in powerful words is one of his best qualities.
Like all of us, he is also an animal lover. He owns and adopted half a dozen of cats in his home. Adopting animals instead of buying them is always heavily encouraged by him.
Austin is also an animal activist. We are really happy to incorporate his ideas with our Author team and he’s also happy to join us and help with the things he knows so well.