Exploring your pet’s diet, specifically guinea pigs’, can make you start thinking about various food options. Have you ever thought about feeding your pet guinea pig bean sprouts?
I know that bean sprouts are probably not on your priority list of guinea pig food, but you must have seen people feeding this to their pets. It surely makes you wonder, can guinea pigs bean sprouts?
What you saw was true. Guinea pigs can consume bean sprouts, but only if you serve them right.
If you’ve decided to feed your guinea pig some bean sprouts, but you are not entirely sure about all the details, scroll down to find out!
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Bean Sprouts?
Yes, guinea pigs are allowed to consume bean sprouts. Bean sprouts come from Asia, and their noodle appearance seems to be appealing to many animals. This is the reason why a large number of guinea pigs absolutely love to munch on this vegetable.
However, some guinea pigs might not like the smell or taste of this. It’s not that they’re allergic to it. You will notice this the first time you serve them this food.
Bean sprouts are not your guinea pig’s regular food, and you should never get used to giving it to them daily.
What’s the appropriate amount of bean sprouts for your guinea pig?
Well, you should rely on less than 100gr and maybe add it to their main meal or as a treat afterward. Bean sprouts are too strong to be served solely. You should not include this veggie more than 2 times a week.
And remember – baby guinea pigs can’t have this!
People usually make a mistake and feed their guinea pigs leftovers of cooked bean sprouts. This is a huge mistake. Why? Simply because guinea pigs and many other pets are not allowed to eat cooked food at all, you should only feed your guinea pig raw bean sprouts.
What’s more, once the bean sprouts are cooked, they lose most of their nutritional value. Like that, they are no good for your pet. But this is not the only disadvantage. Cooked bean sprouts are dangerous to your guinea pig’s stomach. Consuming them can easily lead to severe stomach aches and diarrhea, but we’ll say more about this in a minute.
On the other hand, many people freeze their bean sprouts. The good news is that guinea pigs can eat frozen bean sprouts. They are not compromised in any way.
If you’re feeding your guinea pig frozen bean sprouts, don’t give them the ones straight from the freezer. Make sure you leave them to cool down a bit at room temperature.
The last thing that should be clarified is the way you serve bean sprouts.
- Pick the fresh bean sprouts.
- Wash them thoroughly, and make sure that you remove all the dirt and possible toxins.
- Chop them into smaller pieces. (feeding long bean sprouts to your guinea pig can cause choking)
- Sprinkle the bean sprouts on your guinea pig’s main meal and watch them enjoy it.
- After your guinea pig has finished eating, remove all of the leftovers from its cage.
For those guinea pigs that have been eating this for a long time now, it’s okay to leave them to enjoy it on their own. However, if this is the first time feeding your guinea pig bean sprouts, you should definitely supervise.
Why Are Bean Sprouts Good For Guinea Pigs?
Bean sprouts are certainly good for your guinea pig, but only if you give it to them in reasonable amounts. Before I proceed with listing the benefits, let’s take a quick look at what one cup of fresh bean sprouts contains:
Bean sprouts also contain:
|Vitamin C||6 g|
|Vitamin B6||6 g|
|Vitamin K||7 g|
Now, listing the benefits:
- Improves metabolism: Because bean sprouts contain vitamin B, they are good for improving your guinea pig’s metabolism. The metabolic rate will increase after a couple of times consuming it.
- Improves bone density: The minerals (zinc and magnesium) maintain bone density. Regular consuming bean sprouts can make your guinea pig’s bone stronger and lower the chance of breakage.
- Promotes regular digestion: If you stick to the right amount of bean sprouts, your guinea pig will have regular and undisturbed digestion. Also, if your pet is having some tummy issues, this is a reasonable solution.
- Helps lose weight: This is a healthy green that can help your guinea pig lose unnecessary weight. If your guinea pigs had too many treats, try substituting them with this veggie. You will see positive results very soon.
- Boosts the immune system: You should definitely ramp up the intake of bean sprouts because they can help boost your guinea pig’s immune system, especially during the winter.
- Improves skin and coat: This source of vitamins and minerals is great for the coat and skin of your guinea pig. It will prevent any possible itching, rashes, or inflammation.
Giving your guinea pig too much bean sprouts can result in health problems like:
- Kidney and bladder stones
The smallest problem that can result from excessive intake of bean sprouts is bloating. If this is the case, it is still not too late to take measures such as temporarily removing this veggie from your guinea pig’s diet.
If it happens that your guinea pig has overdosed with this veggie, it can lead to indigestion. In this case, give as much water as possible to your pet and hope for improvement.
Too much of any food can lead to diarrhea. In this case, it would be best to consult your local veterinarian.
And finally, the most severe form of health problems are kidney and bladder stones. This can be dangerous if not taken care of in time.
Storing Bean Sprouts At Home
There are two ways in which you can safely store bean sprouts at your home.
Here’s the first option: using water and lemon
- First, make sure that you bought bean sprouts that are in good condition. After you’ve brought them home, remove the beans from the package.
- Look for a bowl that can fit both the bean sprouts and the water. It would be best to use a glass bowl.
- Fill the bowl with water and slice the lemon. The combination of lemon and water will help your bean sprouts last longer.
- Put the bowl in the fridge. Make sure that this bowl is separated from other food so that it doesn’t mix with it.
The second option includes absorbent paper or fabric.
- After you’ve washed your bean sprouts, choose an airtight container bag. It can also be a freezer bag (it’s your choice).
- Make sure that you seal the bag so that air can’t come in.
- Put the bag in the fridge or in the freezer.
Bean sprouts can last in the fridge for 7 days maximum. In the freezer, they can last a couple of days longer, but that’s about it. Everything over a week is too much, so try to use the amount you bought.
So, how to tell if they are bad?
First, you should take a good look at your bean sprouts. If they appear flabby and drained, they are probably dried out from too long storage, and it’s time for them to be thrown away.
The smell can also tell a lot. If they have an unpleasant smell, they are most likely bad.
Just as you wouldn’t allow yourself to eat that, you shouldn’t give your guinea pig expired bean sprouts.
This can cause many stomach problems. In some cases, it can even result in food poisoning. If this happens, your guinea pig is threatened by a lengthy and challenging recovery, and in the worst case, a fatal outcome.
Also, if you decide to buy bean sprouts at your local market, ask the seller and take a good look before you take them home.
See Also: Can Guinea Pigs Eat Sprouts?
Going Green: Spring Mix
Incorporating greens is definitely a good choice for your guinea pig, given that it is a herbivore.
This type of food should include more than 50% of your pet’s diet. However, regardless of health benefits, it is essential to consume greens in moderation and regularly.
One of the healthy choices is the spring mix. This is a salad that contains the following ingredients:
- Different types of lettuce
- Red and green chard
- Baby spinach
Spring mix is rich in vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin B6, and Iron. Although this might look like an ideal food choice, you should still be careful because it contains amounts of folic acid.
For more information on how to feed this to your guinea pig, check out: Can Guinea Pigs Eat Spring Mix?