Can Guinea Pigs Eat Spinach?

Guinea Pigs May 12, 2022
Written by | Updated Jul 5, 2024
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Can Guinea Pigs Eat Spinach?

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Can Guinea Pigs Eat Spinach?

Spinach is great for you, but is it good for your guinea pig?

A quick search reveals mixed results, with some stating that spinach is an awesome superfood that guinea pigs should eat often, and others mentioning that spinach should be avoided completely since it can contribute to the formation of bladder and kidney stones.

The truth is somewhere between these two extremes: Yes, guinea pigs can eat spinach, but no, they can’t have unlimited amounts.

Our complete guide to spinach for guinea pigs has all the answers you’ve been looking for, so keep on reading!

Spinach Nutrition Stats

Spinach is called a superfood for a very good reason: Like many other leafy greens, it is an excellent source of antioxidants, and it also happens to be full of vitamins and minerals.

A one-cup serving of raw spinach gives you about:

  • 7 calories
  • 1 g carbohydrates
  • 7 g fiber
  • .9 g protein
  • .1 g fat

Spinach Nutritional Facts

Even though your guinea pig can’t eat unlimited amounts of spinach, you might want to put it on your own menu a little more often!

That same one-cup serving of raw spinach gives you approximately:

  • 4 mg vitamin C
  • 2813 iu vitamin A
  • 167 mg potassium
  • 7 mg calcium
  • 7 mg magnesium
  • .8 mg iron
  • 145 mcg vitamin K
  • 2 mcg folate
  • 7 mg phosphorus

Can Guinea Pigs Have Spinach?

Yes, but spinach contains a combination of oxalates and calcium that can bind together and contribute to painful kidney stones and bladder stones. Don’t give your guinea pig more than the recommended amount of spinach.

Just like other fruits and vegetables, spinach needs to be washed very well before being offered to your guinea pig. It’s important to remove any pesticide or herbicide that might be clinging to those leaves!

Is Spinach Good For Guinea Pigs?

Sure, in limited amounts, spinach is an excellent source of iron, vitamin A, and other nutrients. Still, this is one of those foods where the phrase “too much of a good thing” definitely applies. It’s a mistake to feed too much spinach to your cavy.

Do Guinea Pigs Like Spinach?

Yes, most guinea pigs enjoy nibbling on spinach. The best way to see if your cavy likes spinach is to offer a tiny bit – just a little piece of one leaf – and see how your pet responds.

How Much Spinach Can A Guinea Pig Eat?

Not much! Spinach needs to be enjoyed in small quantities on an occasional basis.

Here’s how much spinach a to feed your guinea pig:

Age Amount
Baby guinea pig None
Adult guinea pig 1 or 2 small spinach leaves

Since spinach is nutritious it’s technically good for your guinea pig – but you don’t want to increase their risk of developing bladder or kidney stones.

Give your guinea pig just one or two of the smallest spinach leaves in the bunch and enjoy the rest yourself!

As you should when introducing all new foods, you’ll want to carefully observe your guinea pig for about 12 hours after they’ve eaten spinach, just to make sure that there are no signs of gastric distress or diarrhea.

With such a small serving size, trouble isn’t likely – but it’s best to be on the safe side!

How Often Can A Guinea Pig Eat Spinach?

If you’ve ever looked into how often people should eat spinach, you know that this is a veggie we shouldn’t eat every single day – for the same reason guinea pigs must have a limited intake!

Only give your guinea pig spinach once or twice per week.

The Correct Diet is Important

A guinea pig’s natural diet is not all that exciting – one more reason you can feel OK about not feeding unlimited amounts of spinach! Wild guinea pigs eat lots of low-lying vegetation including grasses and tender plants. You can bet that they’d happily nibble on spinach if they encountered it but that’s not likely!

Here’s what to feed your guinea pig each day:

  • Fresh hay: Natural hay has long fibers that keep your guinea pig’s digestive tract running smoothly, and it gives them something fun to nibble between meals.
  • Fortified guinea pig pellets: Guinea pigs can’t make their own vitamin C. Just like us, they get it from their food. Be sure to purchase guinea pig food, not food for a different species. Check the package for the correct serving size.
  • One cup of veggies: Mix leafy greens and crunchy vegetables into a daily salad for your guinea pig. Divide the salad in two or more portions to be offered at different times throughout the day.
  • Fresh, clean water: Fresh water is an important part of every diet. Rinse and refill your guinea pig’s drinking bottle at least once each day.

Here’s a fun fact that some new guinea pig parents are surprised to learn: Guinea pigs’ teeth grow constantly and need to be worn down by chewing.

Nibbling on Timothy hay helps a bit but your guinea pig also needs tough items to chew. We recommend apple wood sticks and hay cubes, along with safe guinea pig toys to enrich your pet’s habitat. Your guinea pig should always have something to chew on.

What Are Other Healthy Alternatives To Spinach In A Guinea Pig’s Diet?

Since guinea pigs can’t have spinach by the bushel, what can they have instead? As it so happens, there are lots of yummy veggies for guinea pigs to try.

Here are some favorites:

  • asparagus
  • artichoke
  • swiss chard
  • carrot
  • carrot tops
  • basil
  • cilantro
  • mint
  • parsley
  • romaine
  • beets
  • beet tops
  • arugula
  • endive
  • escarole
  • cabbage
  • bibb lettuce
  • butter lettuce
  • buttercrunch lettuce
  • cucumber
  • zucchini
  • pumpkin
  • bell pepper
  • summer squash
  • parsnip
  • sweet potato
  • tomato
  • broccoli
  • broccolini
  • rocket
  • green beans
  • cauliflower
  • brussels sprouts
  • watercress
  • bok choy
  • yu choy

These are just some of the many vegetables your guinea pig might like. There are many others, along with plenty of fruits that are safe in small quantities.

Giving your guinea pig spinach (in tiny amounts!) is a nice way to offer a quick nutritional boost while adding variety to their diet. Just keep our recommendations in mind!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is spinach safe for guinea pigs?

Yes, in small quantities. So long as you wash the leaves well, it’s OK to give spinach to a guinea pig.

Can spinach make my guinea pig sick?

Since spinach can contribute to the formation of bladder and kidney stones in guinea pigs, it’s really important not to offer too much too often. If you provide just a leaf or two once or twice per week, you’ll be on the right track.

Can guinea pigs eat baby spinach?

Yes, guinea pigs can eat baby spinach. Stick to the recommended serving size and remember to wash the leaves well!

Can guinea pigs have cooked spinach?

No. Don’t offer cooked food to your guinea pig. This includes canned spinach – it isn’t good for your pet, either.

Can guinea pigs eat frozen spinach?

No. Frozen spinach isn’t safe for guinea pigs. Only offer your pet fresh spinach.

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Anne is a wellness writer with a lifelong love of animals large and small. As a former veterinary technician, she has a passion for your pet’s well-being. Anne rescues and rehabilitates animals in need. She shares her farm with lots of critters including horses, sheep, dogs, cats, rabbits, and chickens.
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