Guinea pigs are very adventurous eaters which makes mealtime and snack time fun for both them and their owners. Navigating what you can and cannot feed your guinea pig can be rather daunting though, and when it comes to items like snow peas, can guinea pigs eat them?
Guinea pigs can eat snow peas in moderation as they are high in vitamin K, vitamin C, low in calories, high in water content, and offer them a crunchy snack to help appease their constant need to chew. For proper consumption, snow peas should be served clean and raw.
Snow peas are a popular snack not only for humans, but for guinea pigs as well. They are crunchy, sweet, and chock-full of great vitamins and minerals that will leave your pet feeling satisfied and energized. However, just because your guinea pig loves this crunchy treat, does it automatically mean that they can and should be eating it? Continue reading to see what the benefits of snow peas are for guinea pigs and how they can consume them safely.
What are the Benefits of Snow Peas for Guinea Pigs?
Snow peas are a vibrate green vegetable that, when eaten raw, are incredibly crunchy, sweet, and shockingly satisfying. For people, this type of pea along with sugar snap peas have become a very popular choice for snacking when trying to avoid other common unhealthy options like chips. Although snow peas are adored by many humans, can they be consumed by guinea pigs? Even more, what are the benefits of snow peas for guinea pigs?
Snow Peas Are High in Vitamin C
Along with a balanced diet that includes commercial guinea pig pellets as well as fruits and vegetables, your guinea pig also needs plenty of fresh vegetables. When it comes to giving your guinea pig snow peas, one of the greatest advantages is that they are very high in vitamin C. Guinea pigs are unable to naturally store vitamin C on their own, therefore, they need to be supplemented to help support bone health, the healing of wounds, and maintain blood vessels.
Snow Peas Are High in Vitamin K
Vitamin C is essential to your guinea pig’s diet, but vitamin K is more than welcome when it comes to maintaining their overall health. With snow peas, they host a good amount of vitamin K which helps to support the bone health of your guinea pig as well as their ability to clot blood well. By consuming snow peas, your guinea pig is able to enjoy a crunchy snack, but also support their skeletal health and blood health as well.
Snow Peas Are Low in Calories
Unfortunately for guinea pigs, they are incredibly inclined to obesity which is controlled by a good amount of exercise as well as a healthy diet. Therefore, when it comes to helping your guinea pig manage its weight, you can feed them snow peas as they are very low in calories. This is possible for snow peas as they are largely made of water, which gives them the advantage of having a good amount of vitamins without an exorbitant amount of calories.
Snow Peas Are Not High in Sugar
Speaking of guinea pigs’ proclivity to obesity, in order to avoid this reality for your pet, you will also need to avoid any snacks that are high in sugar. Many fruits have to be watched when giving them to your guinea pig, as they can be very high in sugar and should be portioned accordingly. Snow peas are not high in sugar, but they also are not incredibly low either. Because of this, you can give your guinea pig this snack, but be sure not to overindulge them.
Snow Peas Contain Antioxidants
Antioxidants work to protect the wellness of people and just as they protect the human body, they also work to protect the body of your guinea pig. Snow peas contain a relatively high amount of antioxidants which work to protect your guinea pig’s body from various degenerative diseases. This happens through the protection antioxidants give by warding off the damage free radicals can cause to your guinea pig’s body.
How Should Snow Peas be Fed to Guinea Pigs?
When it comes to giving your guinea pig food, you always want to ensure that it is not only the right portion size, but prepared in a way that makes it easy for them to consume, but safe as well. Snow peas, unlike commercial guinea pig food, are a natural food product that will help to fill in the gaps of your guinea pig’s diet that commercial foods simply cannot. Knowing this, how should snow peas be fed to guinea pigs?
Snow peas should be bought fresh, rather than frozen, as fresh snow peas will contain a higher amount of nutrients than those that are frozen and unthawed. Once you have your fresh snow peas, you may be thinking that they might be a bit too crunchy for your guinea pig to consume, which could lead you to cook the snow peas. Never cook any item that you feed to your guinea pig, as their digestive tract is designed in a way that can only handle raw foods.
Once you have your fresh snow peas that are left raw, you will then need to make sure that they have been thoroughly washed. Just as you would with your own food, be sure to remove any contaminants that may reside on the surface of your snow peas to avoid giving your guinea pig anything that they should not be ingesting. Once the snow peas have been washed, simply dry them and they are ready to be fed to your guinea pig.
How Often Should You Feed a Guinea Pig Snow Peas?
You know that snow peas are a healthy snack choice for your guinea pig, but does this mean that you can give them to your pet as often as you like? It was previously discussed that snow peas boast many different advantages when it comes to the health benefits they give guinea pigs, but it was also noted that they are moderately high in sugar. Therefore, how often is just enough to give your guinea pig a snow peat treat?
When feeding your guinea pig snow peas, they should be given this snack anywhere from once to twice a week. Although they are a healthy snack that is easily consumed and disgested by guinea pigs, their sugar content can pose a bit of a problem if eaten too often, To avoid giving your guinea pig more sugar than it needs (which can lead to obesity and other health problems), be sure to regulate how often they are fed snow peas.
Most guinea pigs love the taste and crunch that comes along with the consumption of snow peas, making it hard for owners to really regulate their consumption due to their desire to give their pets exactly what they want. However, to give your guinea pig this treat without overindulging them, use snow peas as a way to either treat your guinea pig at the end of the week, or as motivation when in the midst of training.
What is an Appropriate Portion of Snow Peas for Guinea Pigs
Being that guinea pigs love the taste of snow peas, it can be very easy to give them a bit more than they should have, even when you are controlling their intake to once or twice a week. For some owners, when they see that their guinea pig absolutely loves something, it can be incredibly easy to give them as much of that particular item as they want. However, as someone who cares for their pet, it is your job to control how often and how much food they are given.
When feeding your guinea pig snow peas one to two times a week, they should only be given one or two pods per feeding. This portion size should be determined by the size of your guinea pig. Therefore, if you have a guinea pig that is a smaller size, it should only receive one pod with each feeding. However, if you have a guinea pig that is a larger size, it is appropriate to feed it two pods at a time.
Once your guinea pig has hold of either its one or two snow pea pods, there is nothing more you need to do. Some owners worry about the changing texture of the snow pea pods as the peas within them are denser than the actual pod itself. However, through the use of their incredibly sharp teeth and quick chomping motion, your guinea pig should have no problem taking the snow pea and eating it without any issue.