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Can Guinea Pigs Eat Sugar Snap Peas? Vet-Reviewed Facts & FAQ

Gregory Iacono

By Gregory Iacono

guinea-pig-sugar-snap-peas

Vet approved

Dr. Lorna Whittemore Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lorna Whittemore

MRCVS (Veterinarian)

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

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Guinea Pigs are charming little animals that are fun to care for and make great pets for children and adults. These docile creatures eat mostly hay and pellet food but can be given various fruits and vegetables as occasional snacks. Can Guinea Pigs eat sugar snap peas? You’ll be pleased to know they can and that sugar snap peas make a relatively healthy snack choice for your little piggy. We’ll discuss how much to serve, when to feed sugar snap peas to your Guinea Pig, and if any parts of the plant are toxic.

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Are Sugar Snap Peas Healthy for Your Guinea Pig?

One of the best reasons to give sugar snap peas to your Guinea Pig, besides being filled with nutrients, is they have far less starch and thus are lower in carbohydrates than other vegetables. As for the other nutrients, they include the following:

  • Calcium: Good for your Guinea Pig’s bones and teeth
  • Fiber: For your piggy’s digestion
  • Magnesium- For nerves and muscles
  • Manganese: For blood, bone, metabolism
  • Phosphorus: For healthy bones and teeth
  • Potassium: For nerve function
  • Protein: For making energy, building cells
  • Vitamin A: For their eyes and immunity
  • Vitamin C: An antioxidant and cancer fighter
  • Vitamin K: For healthy bones and blood

Sugar snap peas are loaded with water, and eating them will help keep your Guinea Pig hydrated. It’s also noteworthy that, unlike cats and other animals that can make their own Vitamin C, Guinea Pigs can’t, so the vitamin C in sugar snap peas can benefit their health and wellness.

organic sugar snap peas
Image Credit: DronG, Shutterstock

Are There Any Drawbacks to Giving Your Guinea Pig Sugar Snap Peas as a Snack?

As long as you feed sugar snap peas to your Guinea Pig as an occasional snack, there’s nothing wrong with the vegetable. However, sugar snap peas contain, not surprisingly, a high amount of natural sugar in the form of fructose. Too much sugar can lead to obesity issues in Guinea Pigs, which is why sugar snap peas should be given in moderation.

Another small drawback of sugar snap peas is that they contain a high amount of oxalic acid and a poor ratio of calcium to phosphorus. This can lead to urinary tract issues and kidney stones, which can be painful or even deadly for your little piggy. However, they would need to eat a massive amount of sugar snap peas for this to occur.

How Often Can You Give Your Guinea Pig Sugar Snap Peas?

Like all snacks, you should feed your Guinea Pig sugar snap peas in moderation. Veterinarians recommend giving your pet no more than two or three sugar snap pea pods per week.

You can also use the 90/10 rule of pet snacks, which states that 90% of the food you feed your pet should be their regular, daily food while the other 10% can be snacks. However, this rule is tricky to follow since determining how much food (in weight) an individual Guinea Pig eats is often difficult. Guinea pigs should have around 1 cup of mixed vegetables per day and sugar snaps can form part of this salad.

feeding a skinny guinea pig with grass
Image Credit: Olena Kurashova, Shutterstock

How To Prepare Sugar Snap Peas for Your Piggy

Preparing sugar snap peas for your Guinea Pig is (if you’ll pardon the pun) a snap! Below is a step-by-step guide to cleaning and preparing sugar snap peas so that they’re ready to be gobbled up by your Guinea Pig!

  • Wash the sugar snap peas well in warm water
  • Cut off the tips of the peas
  • Do not use any type of condiment, like salt, pepper, sugar, oil, etc.
  • Serve one or two sugar snap peas to your piggy

It’s important to note that you shouldn’t cook sugar snap peas before feeding them to your pet.

Can a Guinea Pig Eat Frozen Sugar Snap Peas?

Yes, you can give frozen sugar snap peas to your Guinea Pig as long as they haven’t been prepared with any other ingredients. It is necessary, however, to let the peas thaw completely, as eating frozen or partially frozen vegetables can be problematic for your Guinea Pig’s digestion and give them an upset tummy.

Can a Guinea Pig Eat Canned Sugar Snap Peas?

Veterinarians and pet experts recommend against giving canned sugar snap peas to your Guinea Pig for one reason: salt. Most canned vegetables have large quantities of sodium, which can harm your Guinea Pig. Also, many canned vegetables are made with other ingredients and chemical stabilizers your pet doesn’t need.

Brown guinea pig being examined by contemporary professional veterinary doctor in clinic
Image Credit: Pressmaster, Shutterstock

What Is the Main Food Guinea Pigs Eat?

The primary food source for a Guinea Pig is Timothy hay, which they need in abundance every day. Timothy hay is necessary for your pet’s digestion, and they need to eat it constantly throughout the day to ensure their digestive system stays healthy. Also, chewing hay keeps your Guinea Pig’s teeth from overgrowing. The recommendation is that hay forms 85% of your piggies diet.

Since Guinea Pigs can’t produce vitamin C, they also need fruits and vegetables high in the vitamin to stay healthy and fight off scurvy. Yes, most Guinea Pig food is enriched with Vitamin C, but it degrades quickly, making fresh veggies and occasional fruits a must.

Which Other Vegetables Can You Feed Your Guinea Pig?

Besides sugar snap peas, you can give your Guinea Pig many other vegetables to ensure they get their Vitamin C and other nutrients. Most are green, leafy vegetables, along with several other types, including the following:

  • Romaine lettuce
  • Collard Greens
  • Cilantro
  • Parsley
  • Red and green peppers
  • Broccoli (occasionally)
  • Carrots
  • Zucchini
Guinea Pig eating a carrot
Image Credit: enchanted_fairy, Shutterstock

Are Store-Bought Treats Necessary for Guinea Pigs?

While you want to give your Guinea Pig healthy snacks, you’ve probably noticed many snacks available at your local pet store made for Guinea Pigs. Veterinarians, however, recommend not feeding your pets store-bought Guinea Pig treats.

The reason is simple; they’re often packed with fillers, sugar, corn syrup, and other “junk” food with very little nutritional value. Feeding fresh veggies to your pet is much healthier and will likely be cheaper.

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Final Thoughts

Sugar snap peas are a great occasional snack for your Guinea Pig. It is loaded with vitamins and other nutrients, especially Vitamin C, which Guinea Pigs can’t make on their own.

The only things to watch for with sugar snap peas are their high sugar content, the moderate amount of oxalic acid they contain.. Therefore, they should only be served once or twice a week to your piggy, and a maximum of two sugar snap peas should be fed at a time. We hope the information provided in this article has answered your questions about feeding nutritious and delicious sugar snap peas to your Guinea Pig!


Featured Image Credit: Brent Hofacker, Shutterstock

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