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Can Guinea Pigs Eat Eggplant? Vet Approved Facts & Nutrition Guide

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By Nicole Cosgrove

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Vet approved

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lauren Demos

DVM (Veterinarian)

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

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Guinea Pigs need a high-fiber, low-sugar diet. This means that their diet generally consists of hay or grass with some greens and vegetables making up the rest of their daily intake. Eggplant, although not toxic to Guinea Pigs, is not considered a beneficial addition to a Guinea Pig’s diet because it is low in fiber and has average levels of sugar, which is the opposite of a Cavie’s requirements. As such, it is okay to feed a small amount of eggplant to your Guinea Pig, occasionally, as a treat, but don’t overdo it in terms of the amount you feed or how often.

Read on for more details on feeding eggplant to Guinea Pigs, including its health benefits, how to feed it, and some alternatives that you can give.

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Guinea Pig Diet

Guinea Pigs need a diet that is high in fiber and low in sugar. Approximately 85% of their diet should be made up of good-quality grass or hay. This provides the fiber your Cavie needs and it is also essential for good dental hygiene. Guinea Pig teeth continue to grow throughout their lives and this needs managing. The constant grinding and chewing of the hay helps wear teeth down.

You can also give a spoonful of hay pellets, which are usually fortified with vitamins and minerals, each day, and the remainder of a Cavie’s diet will consist of vegetables, typically greens. You can give a very small amount of treats, generally consisting of fruit and vegetables.

cute guinea pig eating hay
Image Credit: Thiago Janoni, Shutterstock

Eggplant For Guinea Pigs

Eggplant is one vegetable that can be given as a treat food to Guinea Pigs. It is low in fiber and has moderate sugar content, which means that it cannot be given as a daily food source, however.

How And When To Feed Eggplant

Aubergine should not be fed every day and should only be given as an occasional treat. Eggplant is a member of the nightshade family and it can be toxic if it is not fully ripened when fed. Similarly, the stems and leaves can also be toxic so do not feed these to your Cavies. However, a lot of Guinea Pigs do like the flavor of eggplant so it can prove an enjoyable treat.

You don’t have to cook the eggplant and can feed up to a small slice. Your Cavie might prefer that it be diced before being fed. Chop the eggplant up and serve it with bell peppers, spinach, and other healthy vegetables as a treat.

Eggplant in a basket
Image Credit: Srattigan, Pixabay

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Top 3 Foods That Are Suitable for Guinea Pigs

Although the vast majority of a Guinea Pig’s diet consists of hay or grass, it should also include some fresh veggies. It is a good idea to provide a variety of vegetables and to offer different vegetables each time because this helps ensure that your Cavie is getting a good combination of the required vitamins and minerals. Below are some healthy veggies you can add to your Guinea Pig’s diet.

1. Bell Peppers

several slices of red bell pepper
Image Credit: Oleksandr Berh, Shutterstock

All bell peppers can be fed to Guinea Pigs, but while green and yellow bell peppers can be served as daily vegetables because they are quite low in sugar, orange and red bell peppers have higher levels of sugar and should only be fed as a treat. Yellow bell peppers are an especially good source of vitamin C and contain a good amount of fiber, too. You can feed approximately 1/8th of a bell pepper in a single serving, but you may want to start with a smaller amount and build up to this gradually. This will help avoid stomach upsets.


2. Kale

Close up of green curly kale plant
Image Credit: BlueSky_31, Shutterstock

Kale is considered one of the healthiest vegetables for people, and it is quite healthy for Guinea Pigs. It certainly contains good levels of vitamins A and C as well as antioxidants, but it is quite high in calcium and potassium. High levels of calcium in a Guinea Pig’s diet can lead to kidney stones. Start with half a small leaf and if there is no sign of it disagreeing with your Guinea Pig’s digestion, you can gradually increase the amount until you are feeding one or two small leaves per sitting. Don’t give kale every day, but you can feed it once or twice a week.


3. Spinach

Spinach
Image Credit: ThiloBecker, Pixabay

Spinach is another leafy green that provides good levels of vitamin C. However, it does contain oxalates and calcium. As mentioned, calcium can cause kidney stones, and oxalates can have the same negative effect, so you do need to pay attention to how much spinach you feed. You can give a small leaf of spinach once a week, which doesn’t sound much, but your Guinea Pig will appreciate it and this amount should not cause problems with kidney stones.

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Conclusion

Guinea Pigs need a strict diet that consists primarily of hay or grass. They can also be given a small amount of hay pellets each day, and this should be supplemented with leafy greens and vegetables. Some vegetables can be fed daily, although it is a good idea to change the vegetables you feed to give variety to the diet and ensure a well-rounded menu of vitamins and minerals.

Eggplant does not provide a lot of nutritional benefit to Guinea Pigs but many do love the taste, and it can be fed once a week, ideally accompanied by other vegetables.


Featured Image Credit: Oleksandr Zaiats, Shutterstock

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