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Can Guinea Pigs Eat Beets? Vet Approved Nutrition Facts

Kerry-Ann Kerr Profile Picture

By Kerry-Ann Kerr

Red beets or beetroots

Vet approved

Dr. Chyrle Bonk Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Chyrle Bonk

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Beets, also known as beetroot, garden beet, and table beet, are popular worldwide, but can you give them to your guinea pig? Generally, beets are safe for guinea pigs, but some factors must be considered. Having all the facts about food before giving it to your pet is essential. So, let’s look at the recommended serving size and when you should avoid giving beets to your piggy!

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What Are the Benefits of Eating Beets?

A guinea pig’s diet should consist of all-they-can-eat grass hay, small amounts of commercial pellets, and a variety of fresh vegetables daily. One of those vegetables you can rotate into the mix is beets. There are many benefits to introducing beets to your guinea pig’s diet. But it’s important to note that they should be enjoyed plain—so no added salt or pickled beets, and only serve them occasionally.

The benefits of beets include:
  • Calcium helps with bone growth and maintaining strong bones. It is particularly helpful if your guinea pig is pregnant, young, or elderly since they need a little more calcium.
  • Vitamin C boosts your guinea pig’s immunity and helps prevent scurvy since guinea pigs can’t produce their own vitamin C.1
  • Phosphorus aids in balancing your piggy’s calcium consumption, but it must also be consumed in moderation. Phosphorus and calcium work together in the growth and maintenance of bones.
  • Beets also contain iron, which helps maintain the oxygen-carrying capacity of blood. The antioxidants in beets also protect against free radicals and prevent inflammation, while the high amounts of fiber aid with digestive problems like constipation.
Steam Beets
Photo Credit: Cheng Wei, Shutterstock

Do Guinea Pigs Like Beets?

While they’re healthy, you might also wonder if guinea pigs like the taste of beets. You’ll be happy to learn that most do! Some like them in chunks, while others prefer it to be shredded. So, if your guinea pig isn’t interested, try another form because it might not be the beets they dislike but the way it’s been served.

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Risks of Eating Beets

Beets shouldn’t become a prominent part of your guinea pig’s diet. While most foods can be healthy in moderation, some, like beets, can be harmful if you offer too many to your guinea pig. So, let’s look at why exactly.

Photo Credit: Jumpstory

Too Much Sugar

Beets have more sugar than some other vegetable options. Eating a lot of beets could cause some digestive upset because of this, potentially causing diarrhea. Also, eating a lot of high-sugar foods over time can lead to weight gain. The extra calories brought on by the sugar content can increase a guinea pig’s chances of becoming obese and the other health issues that go along with that.

Digestive Problems

The high fiber in beets can cause digestive issues like diarrhea and bloating if a lot are eaten. This can leave your pet feeling uncomfortable and cause them to skip their main meal, which means they’re missing out on their required nutrients for the day. Keep an eye on your guinea pig, and when introducing beets, start small and check their waste output. This will help you decide if they need fewer beets or shouldn’t have any.

us teddy guinea pig in hay
Photo Credit: PHOTO FUN, Shutterstock

How to Serve Beets to Your Guinea Pig

One or two times a week should be enough for your guinea pig, and a suitable serving is one or two thin slices. How you serve it is entirely up to you and your guinea pig. Just be sure they are served plain, without any additional seasonings. The stalks and greens can also be eaten, but only give them a small amount, especially if they’ve already had the beetroot. A single leaf or an inch from the stalk will do.

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Final Thoughts

Guinea pigs can enjoy beets occasionally. They are a healthy snack packed with vitamins and minerals that are great for your piggy! However, too much of any treat can cause digestive issues. If you’re unsure about serving beets to your guinea pig, run it by your veterinarian, who can advise you based on the ideal cavy diet.

Featured Image Credit: Valentyn Volkov, Shutterstock

Kerry-Ann Kerr Profile Picture

Authored by

Kerry-Ann lives in Scotland and wishes her garden was bigger so she could have her very own Highland cow but thinks her dogs probably wouldn’t like that idea very much. She has a La Chon called Harry who was poorly with a liver shunt when he was a puppy. It wasn't likely he would make it into adulthood, which was difficult to comprehend, but he beat the odds and is a healthy old man now. She also has a Pug called Maddie...Read more

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