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Can Guinea Pigs Eat Radicchio? Vet-Approved Nutrition Facts & Safety Guide

Ashley Bates

By Ashley Bates


Vet approved

Dr. Karyn Kanowski Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Karyn Kanowski

BVSc MRCVS (Veterinarian)

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

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Radicchio is a member of the Chicory family. It is rather cabbage-like in consistency, and a little spicy and bitter in description. We all know that our guinea pigs absolutely love their veggies! So is radicchio among those they can enjoy?

While radicchio can be acceptable for the occasional snack, it should be consumed in moderation, and we’ll explain why in this article.

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Guinea Pigs Can Eat Radicchio Sparingly

Radicchio is a suitable veggie for guinea pigs. However, because it can cause some gastrointestinal upset, you should always feed your guinea pigs this plant sparingly. You should also gradually introduce it to their diet if they have never had it before.

Cut radicchio and knife on wooden table
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

Radicchio Nutrition Facts

  • Amount per: 1 Cup (40g)
  • Calories: 2 kcal
  • Protein: 57 g
  • Carbohydrates: 8 g
  • Fiber: 36 g
  • Vitamin C:2mg
  • Calcium: 6mg
  • Phosphorous: 16mg

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Radicchio Health Benefits

Radicchio contains plenty of vitamins and minerals. Here are a few and how they help your Guinea pig’s body. 

1. Vitamin C

As you probably know, vitamin C is incredibly important for guinea pigs as they don’t produce their own. Radicchio doesn’t have a high amount of vitamin C, but it can certainly benefit them by boosting immunity.

Woman with ripe radicchios on black background
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

2. Flavonoids

Like most fruits and vegetables that are brightly pigmented, radicchio is high in flavonoid antioxidants that have widespread health benefits, from reducing inflammation and degeneration, to improving neurological function.

Radicchio Drawbacks

Radicchio is not a harmful plant for your guinea pig. It has very few downfalls. So if you give this to your little pals, you can expect them to tolerate it pretty well. But there are a few things we’d like to touch on.

1. Acidity

Radicchio is naturally acidic. While this might not be a big issue for some guinea pigs, it can upset the gastrointestinal flow of something. We recommend feeding this veggie in moderation and introducing it gradually to prevent a lot of general upset.

a cute guinea pig in the enclosure
Image Credit: Dev_Maryna, Shutterstock

2. Bitter Taste

The fact of the matter is that some guinea pigs simply won’t like the taste of radicchio. It does have quite a bitter, pungent flavor. Some guinea pigs will be crazy about it, while others will tend to eat around it, favoring other fruits and vegetables instead.

3. Calcium to Phosphorus Ratio

Ideally, your guinea pig’s food should have around twice as much calcium as phosphorus. This is because phosphorus binds to calcium, making it unavailable for use in the body. There is twice as much phosphorus than calcium in this spicey little vegetable, which is just another reason to limit the amount you offer to your guinea pig.

Fresh ripe radicchios in wicker basket on wooden table
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

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How Often to Feed Guinea Pigs Radicchio

If you are looking to spice up your cavy’s diet with some Radicchio, offer no more than 1 small leaf every couple of weeks. It’s not a food item you should be going out of your way to purchase for your guinea pig, but if you are having some in a salad, there is no harm in sharing a little with them.

Remember that your guinea pig needs a well-rounded diet mainly comprised primarily of grass hay, with some vegetables, fruit, and commercial pellets. Variety is hugely important.

When offering raw and fresh foods, it is essential to properly dice them up and offer a medley to serve different nutrients.

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Final Thoughts

So now you know that your guinea pig can enjoy radicchio. It’s a little bitter and acidic, and some might enjoy the taste, while others will reject it completely. It’s not a food that should be a staple in the diet, but there’s no harm in offering them a leaf every now and then for a touch of variety.

See Also:

Featured Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

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