A lot of people own pets and different pets have different diets. Whilst cats and dogs eat almost anything a human would, there are a lot of sensitive pets that require extensive research on their diet.
Guinea pigs undoubtedly fall in this category and their diet is not very strict, but you should look it up before feeding random foods to your little friend. In summary, they are not allowed to eat cooked food, they can eat only raw fruits, and vegetables paired with hay and pellets. However, don’t give them too much fruit because they are high in sugar. In this article, we are going to talk about courgette in guinea pigs diet.
First of all, if you are not familiar with this vegetable/fruit it is the British name for zucchini.
Can guinea pigs eat courgette? Yes, guinea pigs can eat courgette because this vegetable is high in vitamin C. Guinea pigs really love the taste of courgette. It is recommended to mix courgette in with other vegetables and you can give them courgette almost daily.
Something that guinea pigs might not like about courgette is the skin. Some guinea pigs hate the taste of the skin, but there should be no worries about that. Wash the courgette really good before feeding them. Don’t peel them and observe if your guinea pig is eating around the skin. If he is, then they probably hate the skin, so peel it the next time.
If your guinea pig doesn’t like courgette altogether, don’t think he is out of the ordinary. Guinea pigs have different tastes, just like humans, so it is just a personal preference.
Health Benefits of Guinea Pigs Eating Courgette
Courgette is a very good source of vitamin C. Just like humans, guinea pigs need vitamin C in their diets because their organisms cannot produce it by themselves. This is why it has to be taken from food (fruits, vegetables or supplements). I recommend getting it directly from food.
- Vitamin C – prevents a very dangerous condition called scurvy. The symptoms are lacking energy, weight loss, losing appetite, not being able to heal as fast as normal and digestive problems.
- Dietary fiber – also, the fiber they contain (especially the skin) is very good for overall good digestion. It has other benefits (like preventing heart disease) but this is the most outstanding one.
Nutrition Facts of Courgette
This plant is amazing. It contains a lot of minerals and vitamin C along with fiber.
I have already talked about the benefits of vitamin C for both humans and guinea pigs. However, I just want to add that there is about 18 mg of vitamin C in 100 g of courgette. This is not a huge amount but a moderate one.
Guinea pigs need around 30 to 50 mg of vitamin C. pregnant sows will require more. Almost every fruit and vegetable they are allowed to eat contain vitamin C. the amount of vitamin C courgette contains is very convenient because the portions you feed your guinea pig should weight 100 grams, so they are getting 18 mg just from the courgette. Guinea pigs can eat courgette daily, but it is recommended that the daily portion should not be more than 100 grams.
Calcium is a very important mineral for the overall health of their bodies. When you think of calcium, you should instantly have in mind healthy teeth and bones. It also helps to maintain the balance between phosphorus and magnesium. Another good thing it does is helping with vitamin absorption.
However, be careful. White residue in their urine can be excess calcium, too much calcium can also cause bladder stones, a condition that humans can have, too. Anytime you feel like your little friend could use some medical advice, don’t be afraid or shy to pay a visit to a vet.
Potassium, along with calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, is one of the most important minerals for both humans and guinea pigs. Courgette actually contains more potassium than a banana (the fruit that comes in mind when speaking about potassium). When talking about guinea pigs, these minerals balance each other out. So, there are specific ratios of intake. If the ratios are not respected, the excess will be eliminated through urine.
This specific mineral, potassium helps in lowering the blood pressure and the risk of developing heart disease.
It is found in the skin of courgette and it has benefits I have already mentioned.
Risks to Consider When Feeding Courgette to Guinea Pigs
First of all, you need to wash it before serving. You need to do this because it could have been exposed to pesticides. You can get organic courgette in order to be sure that you are avoiding pesticides. I am 100% sure that you do not want to risk poisoning your little pet just because you are lazy.
Another aspect is that you should slice the courgette in small pieces before serving. This way, the risk of choking with food is minimized by a lot.
Quick Facts on Courgette
Are courgettes fruits or vegetables?
This confusion is happening because courgettes are used as vegetables. They can be cooked and most fruits cannot be.
However, this is completely wrong. Courgettes are, botanically speaking, fruits, just like cucumbers. Shocking, right?
Courgettes develop from the courgette flower, and this is the reason they are technically berries. A vegetable is, by scientific definition, an edible part of a plant (root, leaves). Since courgettes are the next stage after the flowers, they are considered fruits.
The smaller, the better
A medium or small courgette has much more nutrients. Also, a darker skin means it hides a lot more benefits.
Guinea pigs can eat the leaves of courgette just like any other leafy green. Just don’t overfeed them: guinea pigs need a rich diet, this is why no food (except for hay) should be given continuously.
How much courgette should I give to my guinea pig?
As I have already said, the normal portion is about 100 milligrams. You can feed them by themselves or mixed in a salad. Courgettes are allowed to be given to guinea pigs daily, but I recommend rotating the vegetables from a day to another.
What can happen if I give my guinea pig too much courgette?
All of those minerals are fine even in excess for a short period of time, they will be eliminated at some point. The only dangerous one of them is the calcium, but courgettes contain way too little calcium to represent a danger.
Too much courgette will probably upset the tummy. This means nothing but diarrhea and, at the very worst, vomiting.
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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