The question of “can guinea pigs eat beets” is not an easy one to answer. This is precisely because there are a few parts of the beet vegetable that can be eaten by a human.
This means that there are a few parts of the beet that can potentially be eaten by a guinea pig as well. As far as the root of the beet is in question the answer is short and sweet – yes.
Unfortunately for you as a responsible guinea pig parent – there are a ton of sub-questions that need to be answered in order to fully utilize the beet.
In order to find out the answers to these questions, I suggest you get comfy and continue scrolling through the article. Who knows, maybe you will find out how to utilize a part of the beetroot for your use as well as for your pet’s!
Getting To Know The Beet – Introduction
Generally speaking, people either love or hate this vegetable. To some, beet is too sweet, and to others, it’s just perfect.
Don’t be surprised if you see one guinea pig loving it, and the other one hating it. These animals develop a liking towards specific kinds of food and taste as humans do. This is nothing out of the ordinary and you shouldn’t be concerned if you see your pet not even smelling the beet.
Beet is a specific vegetable because it can be served in a million different ways. There are some that your pet can enjoy, but there are some others that are off the menu when it comes to your guinea pig.
To familiarize yourself with this plant, I suggest you take a look at a table depicting its nutritional values:
Nothing that you’ve just read from this table should surprise you. Beets are one of the best options when searching for an addition to your salad menu.
None of these ingredients will harm your guinea pig if everything is fine with their digestive tract, meaning they don’t have any allergies or autoimmune conditions that might be worsened by the presence of any of these.
On the contrary, carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for any human being and will be welcomed by your guinea pig’s digestive tract. And don’t be fooled, these carbohydrates will be well spent by running and climbing all day!
Protein is another great ingredient that will serve your pet well. Especially in this amount, protein is a highly valued nutrient that any guinea pig needs.
The recommended amount of beets is quite small when it comes to your guinea pig’s regular diet. This is because of the sodium and calcium (which beets contain a lot of) and the kidney stones that can develop if your pet ingests an extensive amount.
So be careful when giving your guinea pig some beetroot. Personally, I recommend a teaspoon of chopped and peeled beets once every 10 days.
This shouldn’t be enough to cause any distress to your pet’s kidneys but enough to help them intake as much protein and nutritional ingredients as they need.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Beet Greens (Beet Leaves)?
This is probably the easiest question of them all. It goes the same for the beet greens as for the beetroot itself.
The question of can guinea pigs eat beet leaves should be posed something like this – will guinea pigs eat beet leaves, because you can serve them beet leaves but it’s up to them if they’ll show any interest in them.
You can give your pet beet greens but only in moderation and from time to time to prevent any unwanted side effects. The only thing that can differ in this scenario is that it’s much more likely your pet will develop a liking towards beet greens as they don’t have the same strong sweet taste.
One more thing that’s important for your further research – beet tops are the same things as beet leaves or greens. So, if someone asks you can guinea pigs eat beet tops, the same answer should follow.
Don’t be afraid to give your pet some of this greenish and reddish delight because if they like raw beet, they’ll love the leaves as well!
There are a few things you need to pay attention to when serving this to your guinea pig. The first thing is to thoroughly wash the beetroot leaves. This is important because beets grow directly from the soil and the leaves might have an earthy taste to them if not washed.
Another thing is to chop them up in small enough pieces so your pet can devour them without any difficulties. If you do this, I’m sure your guinea pig will be munching on these unusual-looking leaves in no time!
Potential Negative Side Effects
There’s nothing much to say besides the already said. The biggest thing that can come out of extensive usage of the beetroot in your guinea pig’s daily diet is the kidney stones.
These are not a joke and could seriously damage your pet’s wellbeing in the long term. This condition is relatively easy to treat or can be removed by a semi-simple procedure.
The only thing that is a problem in that scenario is that kidney stones, if not noticed right away, can cause some internal bleeding that can furthermore damage the insides of your beloved pet.
To avoid this I seriously recommend you do not go overboard with beetroot in your guinea pig’s diet so neither you nor your pet have to go through this stressful situation ever.
There is a secondary risk to the story, and it’s based on sugar. As you had a chance to see, beets do contain a portion of sugar, even when eaten raw.
This amount is not to be considered lethal, but you should pay attention to it. Guinea pigs are prone to cardiovascular diseases and a surplus of sugar is not helpful when talking about this.
Almost 7 grams of sugar per every 100 grams of raw beetroots is nothing to be worried about, but just keep it on the down-low with the amount of beet when you do decide to implement it in your pet’s occasional meal.
Once again, I DO NOT recommend giving your guinea pig over a full teaspoon of this delicious vegetable.
How To Serve Beets To Your Guinea Pig?
There are a few simple steps that you need to follow in order to maximize the excitement you’ll see your guinea pig experience when you implement a new food in their life.
Some of these need to be followed regardless of if we’re speaking about beetroot or beet greens:
- Wash them thoroughly – this will ensure that none of the soil or the pesticide will enter your pet’s digestive tract.
- Chop them up – by chopping up beetroot or beet greens you make it easier for your guinea pig to eat them. This makes them eat a lot slower and prevents tummy aches.
- Peel the beet – this goes only for the beet root itself, guinea pigs shouldn’t eat the beet peel as it doesn’t contain a lot of nutritional value and tastes poorly.
- Leave it at room temperature – cold beet is not to be given to your pet. It can damage their digestive tract and cause bloating.
DISCLAIMER: NEVER GIVE YOUR GUINEA PIG PICKLED BEETS
It’s important for me to emphasize this because it can seem like a good idea after reading that your pet can virtually eat the whole beet plant with just the limitation on the mount.
Pickled beets are too acidic for your pet to handle and can cause serious stomach-related problems.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Beets? – Final Thoughts
If it’s still unclear to you can guinea pigs eat beets I think you should consider scrolling to the top and reading through again (or don’t).
Summa summarum – guinea pigs can eat beets, but only in moderation. If you’re keen on implementing this vegetable in your pet’s diet, just remember to keep it inside the teaspoon and not to do it too often.
If you haven’t done this before, I suggest you visit your nearest supermarket, get some beets, and watch your pet go crazy over a new food introduced to him!