Can Guinea Pigs Eat Endive?

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Endive

It is veggies meal time! This doesn’t make most of us happy, of course, unless you are a great fan of veggies. Not many people love veggies, this is a fact. But, guinea pigs love veggies! They are herbivores and vegetarians so they like anything fresh, from the ground, from nature. For them, veggies are as tasty as pizza is for humans! But, of course, even in nature, there are some fruits and veggies that are not good for the cavy, or maybe even toxic. Today we will see if the endive veggie is on the ‘good’ or ‘bad’ veggies list for the lovely cavies.

Can guinea pigs eat endive (escarole)? The short and definite answer is: yes. In fact, this is one of those perfect veggies for guinea pigs because of its nutrients and the lack of harmful contents. There is always something bad in any food, but endive is one of those foods that is just good. Feed the cavy endive freely, even often. There are no dangerous precautions for this veggie and guinea pigs.

Endive is a green leafy vegetable with bitter-like taste. Other veggies that belong in this group are the radicchio, Belgian endive, frisee, and puntarelle. In some places, very similar to endive is the chicory. It can be eaten raw or cooked because it’s super healthy and super-versatile! However, what is the right serving of endive for cavies? Or how often? What nutrients guinea pigs are getting? Well, let’s find out!

Health Benefits of Guinea Pigs Eating Endive

In endive, there is almost no fat and zero cholesterol. This is great because the cavy will get the needed fat from other foods during the day, and no cholesterol means no damage to blood vessels. It will have a healthy cardiovascular system!

In endive, there are also sources of carbs, proteins, and fibers. The main 3 factors for energy and good digestion. Since this veggie is low in sugar, the cavy won’t suffer from damaged gut flora – sugars are not healthy for guinea pigs, ever!

There are vitamins like A, B6, and K, and manganese too – so there is antioxidant protection from diseases and healthy growth.

Most importantly, there is vitamin C. This vitamin protects cavies from scurvy (rough coat, internal bleeding, oral problems, no appetite, swollen joints). Magnesium for healthy muscles, iron for healthy blood, and zinc for a healthy DNA too. So far, a great veggie for the cavy!

Nutrition Facts of Endive

In a serving of 3 oz (100 g) endive, there is:

  • Total of 17 calories
  • 2 g fat (a normal and low amount of needed fat for all daily needs)
  • 0% cholesterol (no cholesterol means no damage to blood vessels or cardiovascular system)
  • 22 mg sodium (normal amount of salt for a veggie)
  • 4 g carbs (source of fast energy)
  • 1 g fiber (for good digestion)
  • 3 g sugar (low amount of sugar which is great for cavies – they mustn’t consume sugar)
  • 3 g protein (source of slow release energy)
  • 43% vitamin A (a strong antioxidant that prevents illnesses. Also, keeps skin, heart, kidneys, brain, lungs healthy, as well as eyesight)
  • 11% vitamin C (the holy grail of vitamins for guinea pigs!)
  • 5% calcium (for strong bones)
  • 5% iron (strong blood)
  • 1% vitamin B6 (for healthy development and growth, also for relaxation and balance of the good mood hormone – serotonin)
  • 1% vitamin E (slower aging, prevention of heart problems, fewer inflammations, less risk of cancer)
  • 289% vitamin K
  • 5% copper
  • 4% magnesium
  • 21% manganese (strongest antioxidant to fight all free radicals that cause diseases)
  • 3% phosphorus
  • 5% zinc

Endive is a bit pricey, but can we put a price on the health and happiness of our guinea pigs? No! The endive is not just healthy for them, but guinea pigs absolutely go crazy for the taste. They devour endive like it’s the last food on earth.

It is safe to feed endive every day, but for the sake of variety, try every other day. Also, the serving is a few leaves or even whole endive (the smaller ones weigh less than 3 oz).

Also, you can and should combine this veggie with another veggie and make the best salad ever. Your guinea pig would be extremely happy!

Risks to Consider When Feeding Endive to Guinea Pigs

The only risk with endive is that it contains some calcium and phosphorus. However, the amount is not that significant. Otherwise, these nutrients can cause bladder and kidney stones, or even failure of the urinary system. In general, this veggie is not dangerous for guinea pigs.

Still, it’s best to give endive to the cavy every other day (instead of every day) as the best option.

Quick Facts on Endive

  • Endive is both healthy and tasty for cavies
  • Endive has a slightly bitter taste and it is a leafy-green veggie
  • There is no fat and cholesterol, and almost no sugar (which is good for cavies)
  • Endive contains good nutrients for health (protein, fiber, carb, antioxidants, minerals)
  • You can feed the cavy endive almost every day, several leaves or a whole endive

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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Clarissa Moolbrock

Clarissa Moolbrock is one of the founders and editor at Guinea Pig Tube. She is also an author of "Complete Guinea Pig Care Guide: The Essential, Practical Guide To All Aspects of Caring for Your Guinea Pigs" (available on Amazon). Being a veterinary technician helping animals and sharing her experience and knowledge with other guinea pig owners is her passion. Her life goal is to popularise guinea pigs as pets and that is why she has started Guinea Pig Tube website.