Yellow squash is a super-tasty veggie and is used in many recipes. This type of squash is also known as summer squash because it is mostly harvested during the summer months. And as summer approaches, we can prepare our mouthwatering recipes based on fresh yellow squash. Now, you are probably wondering if our cute little guinea pigs can consume yellow squash. Well, let’s find out!
Can guinea pigs eat yellow squash? Yes, guinea pigs can eat yellow squash and this veggie is very beneficial for the guinea pigs because it has lots of vitamin C and vitamin A. Same as with any other food, no matter how good yellow squash is, you should give it to your guinea pig in moderation, in order to create a balanced diet for your cute little pet.
The summer squash taste is delicious, mildly sweet and even a bit nutty. It is amazing that the guinea pigs can eat this veggie too. But, what are the exact benefits of yellow squash for the guinea pig? Are there any risks? Which nutrients are found in yellow squash? Keep on reading the following sections to find out.
Health Benefits of Guinea Pigs Eating Yellow Squash
- Healthy weight – your guinea pig will not gain additional weight with this delicious yellow squash. It is low in calories, also low in carbs and proteins, and fat too. All of these things combined make this vegetable safe for consuming without causing rapid weight gain.
- Antioxidants – vitamin A in the yellow squash is an amazing antioxidant that fights the free radicals and the damage they cause. It will boost the immune system and will make your guinea pig healthier overall.
- Scurvy prevention – the vitamin C in the yellow squash will prevent the dangerous scurvy diseases that guinea pigs are prone to. This disease starts with symptoms like a rough coat, no appetite, bleedings and strange discharges, loose stool, and fatigue. And, since our poor little cavies cannot make or store this vitamin, we give them foods with vitamin C to prevent this disease.
Nutrition Facts of Yellow Squash
Here are the nutrition facts for a 100 g (3 oz) of yellow squash:
- Low in calories – 16 calories. With this low amount of calories, your guinea pig will surely stay fit!
- Low in carbs and protein – 3.3 g carbs and 1.2 g proteins. This is enough coming from a diet-friendly veggie.
- Fiber – 1.1g. Fibers are needed on a daily basis for a healthy gut; good digestion and regular bowel emptying.
- Sugar – 1.7g. This amount of sugar is still relatively low and not so dangerous. But, if the guinea pigs consume lots of sugar, they will have painful digestion with other stomach problems too. Guinea pigs don’t digest sugars very well.
- Low in fat – 0.2 g. Again, this veggie will not affect the healthy weight of your guinea pig, and we have to say it again, it is diet-friendly!
- Vitamin A – 4%. This vitamin has the role of an antioxidant. It keeps the skin, heart, lungs, kidneys, vision and brain healthy. And, it boosts the immunity too.
- Vitamin C – 28%. The vitamin C is the most important one for the guinea pigs. They do not produce it naturally, and can’t store it either. So, any food with vitamin C is welcome for them, because it keeps the cavies safe from disease scurvy.
- Riboflavin – 8%. Riboflavin is the B2 vitamin; it promotes good oxygen flow in the organism, and it converts foods into energy.
- Vitamin B6 – 11%. B6 helps with producing more of the happiness hormone (serotonin), but it also improves the quality of sleep, and it reduces stress.
- Calcium – 15 mg. A mineral for strong bones, but very harmful for guinea pigs because in excess it can cause many urinary problems.
- Iron – 2%. This mineral keeps the blood healthy and safe from anemia. It boosts immunity and overall health.
- Magnesium – 4%. A mineral that prevents heart problems, diabetes, and it also keeps the muscle tissues strong and healthy.
- Potassium – 7%. Potassium lowers high blood pressure, reduces the risk of heart diseases, and it also reduces the risk of kidney stone formations.
- Zinc – 2%. Zinc boosts the immunity, helps to recover fast during cold and flu, and it reduces the risk of chronic illnesses.
- Copper – 3%. Copper works together with the iron in the blood. This nutrient forms the red blood cells.
As for the serving size of yellow squash for our guinea pigs, one cup or a handful in enough. You can give them yellow squash three times per week.
Risks to Consider When Feeding Yellow Squash to Guinea Pigs
- Urinary problems – the calcium in yellow squash is a health risk for the guinea pigs. This mineral in large amounts will damage the urinary tract. There is a great risk of bladder and kidney stones, blood in the urine, infections in those organs, or painful urination. The guinea pig’s kidneys can stop working if this is not treated on time.
- Problems with digestion – if yellow squash is eaten in large amounts by the guinea pig, there could be some minor digestion problems. This veggie has sugar and also fibers, and if both of them are consumed in excess, the following symptoms could appear: painful digestion, gasses and flatulence, cramps, and loose stool.
Quick Facts on Yellow Squash
- The yellow squash has thin skin which can be consumed as well.
- The squash is related to the melons and watermelons.
- It is thought that squashes were first domesticated in 5000 BC, in Mexico, Peru, and the Eastern part of the USA.
- Christopher Columbus brought the squashes to the New World, in 1492
- The word ‘squash’ comes from the word ‘askutasquash’ meaning ‘green thing that is eaten raw’
- Squashes get their names also from the season of harvesting; winter squash is harvested in winter, and yellow (summer squash) in the summer.
- The yellow squash is harvested immature and not ripe while the rind is still edible and tender
- The yellow squash varieties are straightneck, crookneck, zucchini, aehobak, zucchetta, tromboncino, pattypan, and cousa.
- The heaviest squash in the world weighed 2.118 lbs (960.7 kg).
- When dried up, squashes can be used as containers.
- The presidents Jefferson and Washington grew squashes in their home gardens.
- In Latin America, squashes are also used for making candles.
- The following states produce the most squashes: Florida, California, North Carolina, and New York.
- The Sioux Native Americans used to cut the squashes and dry them, then they would weave them to make mats for sleeping.
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.
If you found this post useful, would you mind helping out by sharing it? Just click one of the handy social media sharing buttons below so others can also learn about guinea pig food and diet!