Yes, guinea pigs can eat spinach which includes baby spinach and the larger leaves too.
But there is something in spinach that can cause a problem for guinea pigs so you need to be careful with how much spinach they are fed.
Do Guinea Pigs Like Spinach?
Guinea pigs love to eat leafy green vegetables. So, there’s no doubt that under normal circumstances, most guinea pigs will like spinach.
But, some piggies are a little picky.
Just offer them some and see how they take to it. And don’t be afraid to offer it more than once.
Benefits of Feeding Spinach to Guinea Pigs
Spinach is a low-calorie, nutrient-dense veggie. It is very low in sugar, meaning it’s not likely to cause weight gain for your guinea pig. This healthy green is also an excellent source of insoluble fiber, which helps the digestive tract function smoothly.
Spinach contains some Vitamin C, but it is a lower source than foods like kale or sweet bell peppers.
According to the USDA food database, spinach has about 28mg of Vitamin C per 100 grams and 2.81mg per large leaf.
This is a similar amount of Vitamin C as cilantro but higher than some commonly fed foods such as carrots, lettuce, and blueberries.
Comparatively, kale contains 93mg and yellow peppers a whopping 184mg per 100 grams.
Vitamin C is crucial in your guinea pig’s diet to strengthen the immune system and prevent diseases like scurvy.
Spinach is also high in Vitamin A, which is good for vision. It is a good source of Vitamin K1 as well, which helps support healthy blood clotting.
This leafy green is also rich in antioxidants. These compounds target and neutralize excess free radicals in the body, which prevents them from damaging cells and causing oxidative stress.
Spinach also contains high amounts of nitrates, which help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Why Are Leafy Greens Important For Guinea Pigs?
Guinea pigs can eat other leafy greens, and it’s highly recommended they do so due to their vitamin C content and other healthy nutrients. When it comes to green food, guinea pigs can go a bit overboard with it.
Guinea pigs eat a variety of leafy green but letting your guinea pigs consume spinach is a vital part of a guinea pig’s diet as the magnesium in the leaves helps them to break down the calcium in hay and food pellets.
How Often Can Guinea Pigs Eat Spinach?
Guinea pigs can eat one mature spinach leaf or half a dozen baby spinach leaves once or twice a week.
Do not feed spinach to your guinea pig every day due to the high level of oxalates.
Risks of Feeding Your Guinea Pig Spinach
Spinach is incredibly high in oxalic acid. Also known as oxalates, these compounds slow down the absorption of nutrients and contribute to the formation of kidney stones.
Bladder stones are relatively common in guinea pigs, which is why it’s important to be cautious of foods high in calcium or oxalates.
Stones are very painful and usually need to be surgically removed, so it’s best to prevent bladder stones from occurring if at all possible.
Can Baby Guinea Pigs Eat Spinach?
Baby guinea pigs over six weeks old can start eating spinach in tiny amounts.
The calcium content is not a problem for them, and it also contains some Vitamin C.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Spinach Stems?
Yes, it is safe to feed your guinea pig spinach along with the stem.
Most guinea pigs love the texture of the stem, and some are even drawn to that part of the spinach more than the leaves themselves.