Having a guinea pig as a pet is a really adorable thing to experience. Their munching habits melt our hearts! No matter what they eat, they chew it in a cute way. The cavies love everything organic and all that grows from the earth. They eat plenty of veggies, fruits, roots, herbs, even flowers. Some of these can be toxic – so good research is needed when it comes to food for guinea pigs. Of course, there is some interesting or specific fresh produce that even humans don’t like too much. Or maybe some of us never even heard of them. For example, today we will discuss a very unique veggie – the bok choy. The cabbage-like veggie that looks like a big garlic bulb with big spinach leaves. This is the veggie that looks like a big green onion. But, is it ok for guinea pigs?
Can guinea pigs eat bok choy? Yes, guinea pigs can eat bok choy, but in moderation. This veggie is generally safe and good for the guinea pigs but in normal servings. The bok choy has calcium, and if the cavy eats too much of it, health problems can occur. Possible side effects of too much bok choy are bladder stones or kidney stones. Cavies like the taste of this veggie, but in excess, it can make flatulence, bloating, change in feces or even gasses. On the other hand, some cavies dislike the taste, so introducing this veggie to the cavy is a hit or miss.
As we mentioned, the bok choy veggie looks like some sort of green onion with big green cabbage leaves. This veggie is a Chinese cabbage, and exactly this makes it tricky as cavy food. All veggies in the cabbage family have a similar effect on the digestive system of guinea pigs – upset stomach and digestion-related issues, painful digestion and gasses. But, this veggie also has some good benefits, like vitamins and minerals. Let’s have a detailed look.
Health Benefits of Guinea Pigs Eating Bok Choy
The bok choy, as other cruciferous veggies has good benefits when it comes to cancer prevention, protection of serious illnesses, or keeping the immunity in perfect health.
For example, there is the protection from cancer. The nutrients in this veggie prevent from cancer on prostate, lungs, and colon, but on other organs too. This means bok choy has antioxidants that fight free radicals – and free radicals damage the health, cause premature aging and can cause many fatal illnesses.
Also, the bok choy contains some folate; a vitamin that repairs DNA cells before they mutate, so that a healthy offspring can be born. This is one benefit for the pregnant cavies.
Best of all is that bok choy has vitamin C. This vitamin is the crucial, essential vitamin for cavies. The guinea pigs don’t make this vitamin naturally, and cannot store it properly. So if the guinea pig has a deficit of vitamin C, it is prone to many problems like the scurvy. With moderate amounts of bok choy, scurvy can be avoided. Otherwise, the cavy would have a rough coat, no appetite, fatigue, weakness, skipping, weight loss, stiff joints, and even discharge. The vitamin C also helps in making collagen. The collagen is needed for good formation of connective tissues, ligaments, tendons, and similar tissues.
Every mineral in this vegetable contributes to healthy blood pressure and healthy blood vessels. Since there is no cholesterol, you’ll know the cavy will have good cardiovascular health.
Nutrition Facts of Bok Choy
For 2 oz of bok choy, the nutritional chart goes like this:
- Total 9 calories
- 0.5 g protein (a small amount for low release of energy)
- 53 g carbs (for fast release of instant energy)
- 7 g fiber (for good digestion)
- 0 g cholesterol (this is good since cholesterol clogs up blood vessels and damages the heart, there is no cholesterol in this veggie)
- 7% calcium (the mineral which is bad for the cavy’s urinary system)
- 1% iron (for healthy blood)
- 1 % magnesium (for healthy muscles, heart, healthy bones, prevention of diabetes)
- 26 mg phosphorus (this binds with the calcium to create healthy bones and teeth; but in excess, with the calcium, it causes health problems)
- 176 mg potassium (electrolyte balance, good metabolism)
- 46 mg sodium
- 13 mg zinc (for good immunity, healthy metabolism of proteins)
- 35% vitamin C (the essential vitamin for the overall health of the cavy)
- 17% vitamin A (a great antioxidant for removing free radical damage, for healthy skin, kidneys, lungs, heart, and good immunity)
- 5% vitamin K (faster healing of wounds)
Give bok choy to your cavy 1-2 times per week, not all the time. Also, a good serving would be a small piece or two – or a small handful. Maybe at first, the taste could be unpleasant, so mix it with other veggies scheduled for that day or week. If the cavy still doesn’t like bok choy just don’t give it to them. Don’t force them to eat stuff they don’t like.
If the cavies like it, you will see it immediately! They will devour the leaves like it’s the best treat ever.
Risks to Consider When Feeding Bok Choy to Guinea Pigs
Everything from the cabbage-family of veggies has the same digestive effect as this Chinese cabbage bok choy. The cavy will be bloated, unable to pass gas, it will have flatulence and heavy digestion. Don’t take this lightly, sometimes too frequent digestive problems can be fatal for guinea pigs. So, anything cabbage-like must be fed in moderation and in small amounts.
Experts and researchers even proved that guinea pigs are prone to thyroid problems just as humans (hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism). The Chinese cabbage bok choy can sometimes interfere with the thyroid gland and the use of iodine. So, this vegetable is not the healthiest for those with thyroid issues, including guinea pigs too.
Quick Facts on Bok Choy and Guinea Pigs
- Bok choy is good for cavies in moderation.
- Cavies either love bok choy or dislike the taste completely.
- If consumed in excess, this veggie causes flatulence, bloating, diarrhea, gasses, and similar problems.
- The Bok Choy is also called the Chinese Cabbage.
- This veggie resembles a big green onion with cabbage-like leaves.
- One of the benefits is protection from cancer.
- Bok choy detoxifies and repairs DNA cells.
- It is rich in the essential vitamin C – crucial vitamin for cavies.
- Bok choy is not good if the cavy has thyroid problems.
Before I let you go, one final thought on food. With food, you can’t ever be too careful which is why I get all guinea pig food from a reliable source such as Amazon. If you are not sure what to order but believe your little piggies deserve some great treats please check our Helpful Guide to the Best Guinea Pig Treats to get some ideas. We have also made a full list of foods that guinea pigs can and can’t eat (150+ Types of Foods). Be sure to also check our recommended products page for everything you will ever need to assure a happy life for your Guinea Pigs. Hope this information was helpful and you have found the answer you were looking for.
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