Zucchinis, also called courgette or marrow in some parts of the world, are a wonderful vegetable that is full of vitamins and minerals. Not to mention all the ways you can serve up zucchinis, including frying, grilling, sautéing, and even putting them into a pie! Zucchinis are fast growers, so if you grow them in your garden you won’t run out!
If you’re in the mood for planing some zucchinis this summer and wondering about what to do with excess stock, your little guinea pigs may just love them. But, can guinea pigs eat zucchini? Guinea pig owners are always looking for new and exciting foods that their little friends can enjoy, but at the same time are safe to eat.
To help all guinea pig owners, and zucchini growers, out there, we’re going to explore this question can guinea pigs eat zucchini, and if so how should it be fed and how should it be prepared, along with other questions. Including questions that you may not have thought of. After all, it’s important to provide a balanced and safe diet for your guinea pigs.
So, Can Guinea Pigs Eat Zucchini?
Yes. Out of the many fruits and vegetables guinea pigs can and cannot eat, guinea pigs like zucchini and best of all zucchinis are healthy for them! So healthy, in fact, that it can be offered every day! But, like all fruits and vegetables offered, only small pieces.
We’ll take more in detail about the benefits of zucchini, but before that let’s address the important question.
Is Zucchini Good For Guinea Pigs?
As we mentioned, there are plenty of health benefits by incorporating zucchini into the die of guinea pigs. According to the USDA 100 grams of zucchini will contain 1.21 grams of protein, 1 gram of fiber, 94.79 grams of water, 16mg of calcium, and a variety of vitamins and minerals including a fair amount of vitamin C.
Vitamin C and calcium are crucial parts of your guinea pigs diet, and are needed to be provided daily to ensure healthy bone development and protection against diseases later in life. So if you’re looking for some guinea pigs food that’s new, exciting, and healthy, look not further than zucchinis!
Can Zucchini Be Bad For Guinea Pigs?
Well, yes. Guinea pigs have sensitive stomachs and so if they eat too many zucchini they can have digestive issues. Normally this will be diarrhea or vomiting, and while not fatal, your guinea pig isn’t going to be happy at all. There are reports that the calcium content in zucchini can develop painful bladder stones, which are painful to pass.
So just remember to provide zucchini in moderation, which we’ll explore more in-depth below.
What Benefits Will Zucchini Have For Guinea Pigs?
So, we mentioned above about some nutrition benefits of making zucchini food for guinea pigs, such has the vitamin C and calcium which zucchini is rich in. What about other positive benefits of zucchini for a guinea pig? Well the content of vitamin-K, vitamin-A, and vitamin B-6 is certainly nothing to scarf at.
These vitamins are important for the heart health, eye health, and of course overall health of your guinea pig. Zucchini supplies just enough of these vitamins to keep your little guinea pig going without accidentally poisoning them with vitamins either.
It’s also mentioned that zucchini is great at ensuring your guinea pig won’t develop bladder stones due to its diluting abilities, but this can go both ways. The high calcium content in zucchini could also help develop bladder stones if there is too much calcium in a guinea pigs’ diet. So be sure to not have too much calcium in their diet!
What Parts Of The Zucchini Can Guinea Pigs Eat?
Practically the entire zucchini is edible! We say practically, because the seeds are too small for your guinea pig and could potentially get caught in their throat. It is best to remove them when preparing a zucchini for your guinea pigs. Besides the seeds, your guinea pigs will chow down on the leaves, skin, and the body!
You Said Zucchini Leaves, Are Those Good for Guinea Pigs?
They certainly won’t hurt your guinea pig if that’s what you’re asking. When asking yourself what do guinea pigs eat, remember that they love leafy greens due to their ancestors being forgers. Leafy greens were chocked full of nutrients that any ancient guinea pig wouldn’t pass it up.
If you’re wondering can guinea pigs eat zucchini leaves, yes they can. Will it have the same benefits as the rest of the zucchini? Likely not. Some guinea pigs, however, prefer the leaves to the rest of the zucchini.
How Much Zucchini Should Guinea Pigs Eat?
As a rule of thumb, 100 grams of zucchini is more than enough for a guinea pig. Guinea pigs can eat much more zucchini, but as explained before, too much isn’t very good for them. When preparing zucchini as guinea pig food, you should take the time to wash it down to remove any unwanted pesticides and then chop it thin.
Take the time to remove the seeds, as previously mentioned, and your zucchini should be ready. Zucchini can be incorporated into daily into your guinea pigs’ diet. You can use fresh or dried zucchini, but never offer any canned zucchini if you see it. Canned vegetables are usually loaded with preservatives that.
Now that you know how much zucchini to give your guinea pigs, you can answer for yourself if guinea pigs eat zucchini or not for yourself!
How Should I Introduce Zucchini To My Guinea Pigs?
Guinea pigs are, of course, rather finicky with anything new. Chances are, if your guinea pig is really young, they may not have ever seen zucchini before. So it’s fine to expect them to possibly get nervous around a food they’ve never seen or eaten before.
As previously said, when introducing zucchini to your guinea pigs, make sure that you chop the zucchini into small pieces and you don’t give more than 100 grams of zucchini per guinea pig. This being said, if you have a guinea pig that’s a bit of a pig and tries to steal zucchini from the others, it should be fine with some more zucchini in its diet.
Now, we mentioned that you can answer if guinea pigs eat zucchini or not in the previous section and this is because while guinea pigs can eat zucchini, not all of them will. Some guinea pigs simply don’t like zucchini, while others will avoid eating the skins. In truth, you can’t tell if your guinea pig will like zucchinis or not until you let them try some.
Is It OK To Cook Zucchini for Guinea Pigs?
No. Like all fruits and vegetables you can serve to your guinea pig, you should never cook them. Cooked foods can cause digestive issues or release potentially fatal toxins in the food that while safe for us are a death sentence to a guinea pig.
That being said, cooked zucchini won’t hurt your guinea pig, but will give them an upset stomach. Guinea pigs also love the crunch of zucchini, and by cooking it you remove that crunch. So all in all, you shouldn’t let guinea pigs eat zucchini that has been cooked.
What Else Can Guinea Pigs Eat Which Is Like Zucchini?
While we explored the question can guinea pigs eat zucchini, what about other squashes? Like the yellow squash? Other squashes are perfectly fine for your guinea pig, but they have different nutritional values. For example the yellow squash has a higher sugar content than zucchini, and too much sugar isn’t good for your guinea pig.
Most other squashes can be offered in small amounts or as treats if your guinea pigs really love them. Only zucchini should be offered daily. We have a guide on pumpkins if you want to know if your guinea pigs can eat pumpkins or not.
Is There Anything Else I Should Know?
Like all other fresh foods you give to your guinea pigs, anything that is left over should be removed. If not, it’ll begin to rot and this can invite a whole host of unpleasant insects, molds, and bacteria into your guinea pigs’ home. So don’t wait to remove the uneaten zucchini until it’s cleaning day, remove it as soon as your guinea pigs are done eating.
You might wonder can guinea pigs eat zucchini as part of their regular diet? As we said before, yes, they can. Provided it’s a small amount each day. While zucchinis do have plenty of fiber, they shouldn’t replace hay or any other foods in your guinea pigs diet either. A well-balanced diet goes a long way for the health of your guinea pig.
So as we addressed in this article, if you’re wondering can guinea pigs eat zucchini the answer is yes! Zucchini is a healthy addition to any guinea pigs’ diet, and they’re sure to love the crunchy texture. Unless of course they don’t, but guinea pigs can be picky like that.