Brussel sprouts aren’t usually a fan favorite for humans, but we do know that they are healthy for us. This vegetable is actually part of the cabbage family and they are similar to kale and cauliflower.
Brussel sprouts are packed with nutrients like fiber, protein, vitamin K, and vitamin C. You may cook up some Brussel sprouts for a healthy side dish, but can you share them with your guinea pigs?
Are Brussel sprouts safe for guinea pigs?
Yes, guinea pigs can safely eat Brussel sprouts. They are quite healthy for them, just like they are for humans. Brussel sprouts are a variety of wild cabbage, so it would be possible for guinea pigs to find them in their natural environment.
It is always best to feed them fruits and vegetables that they would eat on their own naturally.
Brussel sprouts are in season from September to February, making this the best time to pick up the vegetable for you and your cavy.
They need about two to three servings of vegetables per day, and it is always best to provide a variety of veggies for them to eat. You can safely add Brussel sprouts to their diet as a source of vegetables from time to time.
You can also safely feed them Brussel sprout stalks in small amounts. Only provide the stalks to your piggy when they are green and fresh, otherwise, they are not as nutritious.
While humans may prefer cooked or roasted Brussel sprouts, you should never give cooked sprouts to your pet.
Are there health benefits of Brussel sprouts for guinea pigs?
Brussel sprouts aren’t just healthy vegetables for people. They are great for your guinea pig too! There are a lot of health benefits that can come from feeding them the right amount of Brussel sprouts each week.
Brussel sprouts have very many benefits:
- Brussel sprouts contain a high level of antioxidants. Antioxidants are great for their immune systems and can help them fight off a number of illnesses.
- There is a significant amount of dietary fiber in this vegetable. This makes it great for cavies and their digestive system. Fiber helps their bodies properly digest and pass the other foods they eat.
- Growing guinea pigs can get a boost from Brussel sprouts thanks to vitamin K. There is enough vitamin K in the veggie to promote healthy bone growth for them.
- Brussel sprouts are not high in sugar. In fact, they can help cavies regulate the amount of sugar in their bodies. If they eat too much sugar, they can quickly become overweight. Brussel sprouts can bring their sugar levels back down to normal.
- The vitamins and minerals can help repair their tissue. Injured guinea pigs can benefit from eating Brussels sprouts because they promote the growth of healthy tissue to help them recover faster.
All in all, the benefits of Brussel sprouts are numerous. It is one of the better options when it comes to feeding your cavy vegetables. This cabbage is also 86% water, which helps keep them hydrated throughout the day. Check out my guide It’s full of beautiful photos and lots of good information.
Can Brussel sprouts harm guinea pigs?
Too much of anything is not good. If you overfeed your guinea pig with Brussel sprouts, they can suffer from a number of health issues.
Start by providing them with a small amount of food and see how they react to it. After a while, you can give them more veggies if it has not upset their stomach or changed their regular behavior patterns.
Some risks associated with feeding Brussel sprouts to your guinea pig include:
- Phosphorous is present in Brussel sprouts and is not a great thing for them to ingest.
- Oxalate acid in Brussel sprouts can do damage to your piggy’s digestive tract and stomach if they consume high volumes of it.
- Too many Brussel sprouts in one week can cause bloating and diarrhea. This will make your pet sluggish and cause them to have low energy.
- Brussel sprout stalks are only healthy when they are fresh. If they have been out for too long, they can make your cavy sick.
- Cooking Brussel sprouts remove their nutritional value for guinea pigs. They do not receive any health benefits from cooked veggies.
- If they eat too many Brussel sprouts, they can suffer from gastric bloat and die.
How many Brussel sprouts can guinea pigs eat?
You can safely feed your guinea pig Brussel sprouts about three times per week. Space out the days you give them this veggie to prevent bloating and gas caused by the phosphorous and acid.
A moderate amount of Brussels sprouts throughout the week is enough to provide vitamin C and other nutrients they need to stay healthy. They can get all of the benefits of Brussel sprouts without the health risks if you pay attention to how much they eat during the week.
Tips for feeding guinea pigs Brussel sprouts
Brussel sprouts are great because they are easy to integrate into your guinea pig’s existing diet. They are naturally drawn to cabbage and other leafy greens, so they will most likely enjoy this type of vegetable.
Of course, if your pet does not seem to care for Brussel sprouts, that is okay too. They may not prefer this vegetable. Here are some additional tips for feeding your cavy Brussel sprouts.
- They may like the leafy stalks more than the vegetable itself. Try feeding them a little of both to see which one they prefer.
- Create a schedule for their diet. This will help you remember which days you fed them Brussel sprouts. It is also a great way to track everything they eat, so you can pinpoint a problem if they fall ill.
- Remove any uneaten Brussel sprouts from their cage after an hour or so. This vegetable will rot quickly if it is left out. They can get seriously sick from eating rotten vegetables that are left in their crate for too long. I write also an article about collard greens.
Brussel sprouts should be a part of your guinea pig’s diet each week. If they like the vegetable and eat it whenever you give it to them, you can safely feed them Brussel sprouts every couple of days.
As with all foods, monitor their intake and keep an eye out for any negative side effects. Chances are, your piggy will like Brussel sprouts more than most humans!
Lydia King is a huge animal lover and has always been fascinated with learning about the animal kingdom. She enjoys writing about anything animal related from scientific information about rare species to animal references in pop culture.