Last Modified

March 9, 2023 by Umair Shahid

The guinea pigs are rodents, and their original diet is hay, grasses, and other vegetables found in their natural habitat. However, people on a large scale keep guinea pigs as pets.

The guinea pigs as pets live on commercial diets like pallets and timothy hay. But can guinea pigs eat spinach? The short answer to this discussion is Yes.

According to a survey, the guinea pig food market was worth 11.7 million British pounds in 2018.

Despite having these commercially available foods, guinea pigs still have this urge to eat natural vegetation. But many people think it might not be a safe option to feed leafy vegetables to guinea pigs. I will take you on a detailed overview of this topic.

Do guinea pigs like spinach?

Spinach is a food rich in oxalates and calcium. It is also a great source of fibers. The guinea pigs need fibers to maintain their digestive health. Therefore, it is good to provide spinach to guinea pigs.   

Providing an unlimited supply of fibrous feed can be dangerous for the health of guinea pigs. It can cause renal and bladder stones in guinea pigs. However, small amounts of spinach can be very helpful for them.   

Nutritional benefits of spinach

Spinach is an excellent source of insoluble carbohydrates for guinea pigs. These slowly digestible carbohydrates provide energy to guinea pigs. These fibers also improve the digestive health of guinea pigs.

There are many other vital nutrients in spinach. Following are some health benefits of using spinach for guinea pigs.

Low carbohydrates

Guinea pigs cannot eat any fruits and vegetables in large amounts because of their high carbohydrate content.

These sugars cause obesity and metabolic disease in guinea pigs. However, spinach is not very rich in sugars.

It has a high number of fibers that are slowly digestible sugars. These sugars help in digestion and do not cause any burden on the digestive tract of guinea pigs.

Source of minerals

Spinach is a source of minerals. It is rich in calcium and oxalates. Calcium is necessary to improve bone mass.

The oxalates in spinach are a source of energy for intestinal bacteria. However, in large amounts, even the bacteria cannot use these minerals.

Spinach is a leafy vegetable also rich in magnesium. Magnesium acts as a cofactor for many enzymes in the body. It also boosts exercise performance and anti-inflammatory conditions in the body.    

Source of vitamins

The green leafy vegetables are also rich in vitamins like vitamin A and Vitamin C. It also contains carotenoids. Vitamin A provides good eyesight to guinea pigs.

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It is also an essential component of skin that prevents the breakdown of collagen. This collagen, in return, improves the skin coat and gives shine to hair. It promotes natural moisturizing in the skin.

According to veterinary experience, 100 grams of spinach can provide 28.1 milligrams of vitamin C. Vitamin C has a crucial function in repairing injured tissues and boosting the immune function in the body.

It is necessary for the health of skin, bones, tendons, ligaments, and all connective tissues.

Why can guinea pigs not eat too much spinach?

Despite having several health benefits of spinach in guinea pigs, it is not a good idea to feed excessive spinach leaves to guinea pigs. The spinach has a high content of calcium and oxalates both.

High in calcium

The high calcium is good for bones, but it is not suitable for kidneys. The body is capable to balance the number of ions and minerals. But kidneys cannot wipe out excessively high calcium in urine, and it forms crystals in the bladder and kidneys.  

High in oxalates

According to research, one cup of cooked spinach contains 775mg of oxalates. These oxalates combine with calcium to make calcium oxalates.

People Also Ask

  • How much spinach is safe for guinea pigs?

The guinea pigs can eat only a few leaves of spinach in a week. The excessive feeding of spinach can cause renal stones in guinea pigs. It can block their urinary tract and cause urinary problems.

  • Can I give spinach in dried form?

The dried spinach is equally suitable for guinea pigs. However, excess dry spinach causes the same problems as a wet one.

  • Is spinach a natural food for guinea pigs?

No, guinea pigs are herbivores, but they rarely feed on spinach. Their natural diet is timothy hay and grasses.

Conclusion:

Spinach is food that most veggie-lover loves. But can guinea pigs eat spinach? Yes, you can feed spinach to your guinea pigs. However, spinach is a vegetable having a very high concentration of oxalates.

These oxalates can cause kidney stones in the urinary tract of guinea pigs. Therefore, I will suggest you avoid excess feeding of spinach to guinea pigs. You can feed the with timothy hay and pallets as a staple food.

Author 2

I am a proud veterinarian from Lahore, Pakistan. A passionate animal lover who pursued her passion for animal care as a career.
My eagerness to learn and my love for animals grew stronger even during my teenage days. Having a lovely pet, a German Shepherd, in my home allowed me to bond with animals in the best way.
This bonding with my pet provided me with a firm foundation to research and preach about the best animal care methods.

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