The Truth About Bean Sprouts (Can Guinea Pigs Eat Them?)

You’ve come home to find a bag of bean sprouts that you’d purchased earlier. Your guinea pigs are hungry and the sprouts might wilt soon, so, “Can guinea pigs eat bean sprouts?” is the first thing that comes to mind.

Guinea pigs can eat bean sprouts. It’s a low-calorie, high-nutrient food that provides adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals to keep guinea pigs healthy. Plus, the calcium level is low, which makes it a good option for your guinea pig’s diet. Restrict bean sprout feeding to no more than two to three times a week.

a guinea pig in yellow flowers wondering if eating bean sprouts will kill him

Guinea pigs can eat bean sprouts, but there are a few things to consider before allowing them on your piggie’s menu. Continue reading to learn how to feed your furry companion bean sprouts safely.

But, before we dive into that, let’s talk a little bit more about…

What Are Bean Sprouts, Anyway?

can guinea pigs eat bean sprouts? - a bowl of bean sprouts with a reminder message that they can enjoy bean sprouts in moderation

Bean sprouts are a healthy food consisting of the sprouted seeds of legumes. They are very nutritious and provide vitamin (like Vitamin C), minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.

They’re usually found in Asian cuisine, but you’ll also find them served in salads or sandwiches.

Bean sprouts may be eaten raw (by piggies and you) or cooked (only by you – more on that later).

Many vegetable varieties can produce bean sprouts including alfalfa, mung bean, soybean, and clover.

Bean sprouts are most commonly associated with Asian food.

They’re what you’ll find in: Thai stir fry, Vietnamese pho, Chinese vegetable stir fry, and Japanese noodle dishes.

(Basically lots of stuff that you should NEVER consider feeding to your piggies. #totallybadforpiggies)

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Bean Sprouts?

Bean sprouts are a wonderful diet for guinea pigs as long as they are consumed in moderation. Bean sprouts are healthy and safe for guinea pigs to eat. All you have to do is make sure that you’re careful about how much you give them and give your guinea pig other fruits and vegetables to munch on, too.

Let’s talk about why:

Guinea pigs are allowed a cup of vegetables each day. (Now, this doesn’t meant that they’ll eat the entire cup. You just need to make

A wide variety of veggies have to be rotated throughout the week to ensure that your guinea pig is getting a good mix of nutrients from different veggies.

Most of the veggies need to be leafy, green vegetables. Unfortunately, bean sprouts don’t fit that description. So, bean sprouts should only be a small portion of your cavies’ diet.

Are Bean Sprouts Good For Guinea Pigs?

There’s lots of health benefits for your piggies if you incorporate bean sprouts into their diet.

Bean sprouts are a good, healthy food for guinea pigs to have in small quantities. 

Sprouts can provide your piggies with many of the nutrients, as long as you’re feeding them in the correct way (watch for frequency and quantity) and your piggies are eating bean sprouts.

7 secret guinea pig hacks

Here are some of the benefits that your guinea pig will enjoy when you feed it bean sprouts:

1. Weight Control

Bean sprouts are a wonderful, low-calorie food for slimming down your chunky little pal (without sacrificing his or her health).

Making sure that your guinea pig is maintaining the proper weight for its body type will reduce health risks and give you a longer-living, happier pet.

At 4.13g of sugar for each 100 grams of bean sprouts, they’re relatively low in sugar. That’ll help keep your furry friends’ weight under control. To be honest, I’d be happier if bean sprouts had 0 grams of sugar, but it’s still not high.

2.  Protection From Diseases

Bean sprouts have plenty of antioxidants, which help to protect your piggie from sicknesses like cancer and heart disease.

Antioxidants are important for guinea pigs because they prevent the long-term effects of oxidative stress on their bodies.

How?

They do this by cleaning your piggies’ body from free radicals. This helps to keep them healthy and prevents diseases that are caused by oxidative stress over time.

Oxidative stress is when you have too many free radicals, but not enough antioxidants. This is bad for your body because it hurts your cells. Researchers think that this happens to people with diabetes. Free radicals are even involved in the development of cancer.

Antioxidants are molecules that protect us and also help us stay healthy. They prevent diseases and slows down the aging process.

Guinea pigs can fight against free radicals with antioxidants. Free radicals can damage their cells and cause cancer (long story short, it’s bad news).

Bean sprouts are a healthy food that you can serve them in moderation for your guinea pig to stay healthy.

3.  More Energy

Bean sprouts are the right kind of carbohydrate energy source for your guinea pigs.

That’s because they contain both simple and complex carbohydrates.

These carbs also have a low glycemic index, which means that your piggies won’t experience a crazy high spike of energy followed by a crash.

This will help them stay active, playful, and healthy (and we all want that).

4. Improved Digestion

Want your piggies to stay regular? Bean sprouts will help.

Bean sprouts are a source of insoluble fiber.

Insoluble fiber helps your piggies by moving quickly through their digestive system.

It takes along waste products as it goes and helps to *ahem* clean them out. Insoluble fiber is important for preventing constipation.

Piggies get most of their fiber from the tons of hay you give them, but every little bit helps.

5. Blocks Scurvy

It’s also a good method to keep your young animals from getting scurvy, which can lead to a slew of health issues.

Vitamin C is present in bean sprouts at 13.2 mg per 100 grams; it’s an excellent way to safeguard your piggies against scurvy – which can wreak havoc on your little buddies’ health.

A lack of Vitamin C in guinea pigs diets often results in scurvy, which has the following symptoms:

  • their coat looks worn and shaggy
  • doesn’t have an appetite for food
  • stiff joints become sore and inflamed (hurts your cavies when you try to pick them up)
  • sluggish and doesn’t have any energy
  • is losing weight, because of the loss of appetite
  • soft, loose stools (ex. diarrhea)

If you see any of your friends with these symptoms, they might need more Vitamin C. Sprouts are a way to slide some extra Vitamin C into their diets.

Nutrition Facts of Bean Sprouts

Bean sprouts are simply beans in the early stages of growth. And like I said before, since sprouts as a food type are high in fibers and have no fats; they’re also beneficial to guinea pigs’ general health.

So, let’s take a closer look at what actually makes up these sprouts, shall we?

For 100 grams of bean sprouts your piggie’s can receive the following nutritional values:

  • Water – 90.4g (piggies have to stay hydrated, right?)
  • Calories – 30 cal (this’ll help your little buddies stay nice and slim; well, slim for a guinea pig, that is)
  • Protein – 3.04g (helps with a slow energy release to keep your piggies going throughout the day)
  • Fat – 0.18g (almost zero fat. Awesome.)
  • Carbs – 5.94g (definitely an important nutrient for guinea pigs, especially when it comes to their digestive system)
  • Fiber – 1.8g (but it’s insoluble which totally rocks; helps keep your fur babies regular and healthy)
  • Sugars – 4.13g (the sugar content is a bit more than I’d like, but A LOT lower than other foods – like for example, pumpkin or beets)
  • Calcium – 13mg (let’s hear it for low calcium foods and *knock on wood* avoiding bladder stones)
  • Iron – .91mg (a nice amount helps boost energy levels)
  • Magnesium – 21mg (keeps those muscles in working order)
  • Phosphorus – 54mg (this is a bit higher than I’d like; it’s great for healthier bones, but large amounts will mess up your piggies’ health…just like calcium)
  • Vitamin C – 13.2mg (it’s a decent amount that’ll boost your furry friends’ immune system and keep them healthy_

Check it out, friend.

You don’t have to look much further if you want a high nutrient food source that your piggies will absolutely love.

As you can see, bean sprouts are a great food for providing them with the roughage and fiber they need for healthy digestion, as well as keeping things regular so their bodies can function at their best.

Risks Of Feeding Guinea Pigs Too Many Bean Sprouts

Keep in mind that this can be avoided as long as you don’t overfeed the bean sprouts.

There’s a few things you need to be aware of when it comes to feeding your piggies sprouts. Don’t let the list scare you, okay?

You won’t need to really work about the issues below as long as you’re making sure to feed your cavies bean sprouts the right amount and the right frequency.

Plus, I want to make sure that you’re well informed. (It’s what I do best ;-))

1. Hurt Their Digestive System.

Too much of a new veggie can be bad for your cavy if they’re not used to it; like when you first start feeding them bean sprouts (and overdo it in the portions) or they just get carried away and eat too many in one sitting, etc. 

It’s almost like they’re suffering from food poisoning.  

If that happens, make sure that you stop feeding the bean sprouts as well as all other veggies and in a day or so, their poop should return to normal.

2. Bladder Stones and Brittle Bones

Bean sprouts can definitely cause bladder stones in guinea pigs if you feed them too many. This is true if the guinea pig has a history of getting them or even if they are healthy.  Urinary tract infections are also a possibility if you overfeed bean sprouts.

Beans sprouts are high in phosphorus (I told you it was a tad high). But that’s not the only reason to be cautious when feeding your piggies sprouts.

When paired with other foods containing calcium, there’s a chance of developing bladder stones.

Too much phosphorus (without a proper balance of calcium) might cause your cavies’ bodies to leech calcium/magnesium from their bones, which can lead to problems with their bones and teeth.

3. Foodborne illnesses

If you give your piggie unwashed bean sprouts, he or she could become sick from foodborne illnesses like E. coli or salmonella. This is a danger to almost every type of veggie that you offer your fuzzy, little friends.

But, sprouts germinate in warm, damp environments, so they’re more likely to carry these foodborne illnesses and then transfer them to your furry friends.

So, make sure to always wash your veggies before you give them to guinea pigs.

4. Diarrhea

If you feed them bean sprouts more than what they can eat, then your guinea pigs might suffer from diarrhea. Diarrhea is something that you don’t want to happen since it can cause dehydration and other serious health problems for your piggies.

Make sure you cut down on the amount of bean sprouts (hey, any vegetables) you’re offering to your guinea pig if he or she is having diarrhea. In fact, I recommend that you cease feeding veggies altogether.

In most cases, the diarrhea should correct itself in 1 or 2 days if you stop feeding all veggies during that time. If it doesn’t, then I suggest you get your fur baby to the vet…like , right now.

5. Gas and Bloat

Bean sprouts are from the legume family. It, too, can cause gas and bloating in guinea pigs if eaten excessively or if you have a guinea pig who is hypersensitive to it.

The fiber in the hay will keep your piggies’ digestive systems active over time. (actually, that’s the whole point of hay and a mega reason why piggies need a lot of it all.the.time.)

If your piggie is suffering from gas and bloating, then cut down on the amount of sprouts you’re feeding them.  In addition to this, make sure they have enough access to hay at all times.

So, your little friends shouldn’t have any issues with gas or bloat (just keep feeding hay; pile it on like it’s about to go out of style).

However, if you’re concerned about gas or bloat don’t serve them any veggies from the cruciferous family (cabbages, Brussel sprouts, etc) and only offer them bean sprouts once or twice a week to see how they do.

7 secret guinea pig hacks

Me: Now, there’s no need to freak out.

You: Give me a break. You just offloaded a bunch of doom and gloom about bean sprouts.

I’m not done, friend!

I just want to make sure that you’re aware of all the risks so you can avoid them.

So, in a nut shell… Bean sprouts are nutritious and can be delicious for your guinea pigs if they’re given the right amount in the right frequency.

Also, it’s important to wash them before giving them to your cavy friend. Make sure not to feed your guinea pig too many or they might suffer from some of the problems I listed above.

Can Bean Sprouts Give My Guinea Pig Bloat? 

Bean sprouts can definitely give your guinea pigs bloat if you overfeed them. Bloat is when a dangerous amount of gas builds up in your guinea pigs’ stomach or intestines.

The build up can kill your guinea pigs. So, make sure that you don’t feed bean spouts to your guinea pigs more than once or twice a week and only in small amounts.

Can Guinea Pigs Have An Allergic Reaction To Bean Sprouts?

Typically, guinea pigs aren’t allergic to bean sprouts. But, the only way that you’ll really know if YOUR guinea pig is allergic to bean sprouts is if he or she has a negative reaction to it.  

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Frozen Bean Sprouts?

Guinea pigs shouldn’t eat frozen bean sprouts. Frozen bean sprouts, like other frozen vegetables, should be avoided. The digestive systems of guinea pigs are prone to being shocked by the cold, causing bloat and stomach pain.

Some frozen vegetables are not as healthy because they were blanched before they were frozen. It sucks the nutritional value out of them.

Only feed your guinea pig vegetables that are fresh – which is what they would eat if they were living in the wild and what’s best for the gut and digestive system.

Plus, your piggies will enjoy the fresh bean sprouts MUCH, MUCH more than the frozen ones.

If you’re thinking “Maybe I can feed defrosted bean sprouts to my piggies…,” think again.

Previously frozen veggies are just as dangerous when they’ve been defrosted and given to your piggies.

Bacteria (yep, the bad ones are awful) begin to develop as the veggies defrost. If your fur babies eat veggies that have been defrosted, they might get sick from the germs (and you’re not trying to have that on your conscience).

So, please leave the frozen stuff for your dinner and give your guinea pigs fresh vegetables instead.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Cooked Bean Sprouts?

Guinea pigs should never eat cooked bean sprouts (or other cooked veggies, for that matter). Guinea pigs’ digestive systems are built to extract nutrients from raw fruits and vegetables, hay and grasses, therefore they can only fully digest food in its natural, fresh condition.

If guinea pigs ate cooked foods (vegetables or fruits), their bodies would extract fewer nutrients since the heat has damaged some of those critical vitamins and minerals that guinea pigs require to live.

Bottom line?

If you cook the greens for your guinea pig, it can be hard for them to digest (much too hard – which’ll make them sick). Instead of cooking their dinner, feed them fresh, RAW bean sprouts.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Sprouted Seeds?

Typically, guinea pigs should not eat bean sprout seeds. Many seeds can cause a choking hazard or an intestinal blockage. Please don’t feed them to your guinea pigs, even if the package says they’re “safe for piggies.”

Can Baby Guinea Pigs Have Bean Sprouts?

Baby guinea pigs can eat bean sprouts starting from when they are about 2 weeks old. Then they can eat all the same foods that adult guinea pigs eat.

If you have a guinea pig, its babies will start wanting to eat solids when the mother stops nursing them. She will refuse to nurse them and they’ll want to eat more veggies, fruits, and pellets.

Make sure to take the same precautions with your baby pigs as you would with adult pigs. Give them bean sprouts that are clean and start them off with small amounts to make sure they don’t have a bad reaction.

When they start to eat more solid foods, make sure their diet is well balanced with plenty of hay and other piggie-friendly veggies.

Can Pregnant Guinea Pigs Have Bean Sprouts?

Guinea pigs can enjoy bean sprouts while they are pregnant. They’re a great vegetable to give guinea pigs when they’re growing piggie babies, since they’re so nutritious.

Simply make sure you wash bean sprouts carefully before giving them to any piggies, regardless of their age.

Can I Feed Bean Sprouts To My Guinea Pigs Everyday?

Don’t feed bean sprouts to your guinea pigs everyday. It’s not meant to be a staple food for guinea pigs like hay or bell peppers.  If you gave large amounts of bean sprouts (or even small amounts) to your guinea pigs every day, that would lead to a bunch of health issues for your guinea pigs like gas, bloat, and a bunch of other issues. 

How Many Bean Sprouts Can Guinea Pigs Eat? And How Often?

Guinea pigs can eat about half a handful of bean sprouts. Once or twice a week, offer them that little amount. The sprouts are not intended to be a “primary dish” for guinea pigs. It’s more like an additional side dish or a special occasion treat.

Do Guinea Pigs Like Bean Sprouts?

Bean sprouts are popular among guinea pigs. Most guinea pigs, on the other hand, are creatures of habit and tend to avoid new foods. So don’t be disappointed if your guinea pig doesn’t like bean sprouts at first. Just keep offering them to your piggies and eventually they’ll try them.

If you haven’t already realized it, you’ll soon see that getting your furry friends to try new foods is often just a matter of how persistent YOU’RE willing to be in offering these foods to them.

What Happens If Your Guinea Pig Eats Too Many Bean Sprouts?

If your guinea pig eats too many bean sprouts, he or she could have an upset stomach. It’s also possible that eating too many sprouts will cause diarrhea.

Bladder stones can develop as a result of feeding your guinea pigs too much bean sprouts for an extended period of time, too.

If your guinea pig has a bad reaction to eating bean sprouts (like getting diarrhea), stop feeding them the spouts immediately.

(Honestly, if you’re plopping down piles of bean sprouts on your guinea pig’s dinner platter and they’re just shoveling them in and loving every bite every day, then you’re asking for trouble. Go easy on the bean sprouts, folks.)

Should You Give Bean Sprouts To Your Guinea Pigs?

If your guinea pig doesn’t have any health problems or allergies (such as bladder stones or an allergic reaction) that would make it dangerous for them to eat bean sprouts, then you can feed bean sprouts with confidence.

When in doubt, don’t offer them anything at all or pick up the phone and call your vet to get some advice on what you should feed your fur babies.

Where Can You Get Bean Sprouts For Your Guinea Pigs?

Fresh bean sprouts (if your grocery store has them) can be found in a produce section near the herbs and greens

You can also get dried and canned bean sprouts (which you definitely SHOULD NOT feed to your piggies) in the Asian or international foods section of your grocery store.

If you do come across bean sprouts that are fresh, be cautious. Never give your fur babies slimy bean sprouts or sprouts that have a strange smell.

How To Prepare Bean Sprouts For Your Guinea Pig

The main thing that you need to do to prepare bean sprouts for your guinea pigs is to wash them in cool (or cold water). Be thorough because even the tiniest bit of dirt or debris can upset your guinea pigs.

How To Introduce Bean Sprouts To Your Pet

There are many different ways to introduce guinea pigs to bean sprouts and other vegetables.

My recommendation is that you do one of the following

  • mix a tiny amount of bean sprouts in with other vegetables that they’re eating
  • cut them up finely and sprinkle them over their pellets

Chopping up the sprout mixing it with other vegetables that your children are already familiar with, such as celery, cucumber, or romaine lettuce, is the most effective approach to get them used to it.

Follow the additional measures listed below to improve your chances of getting your piggies to try bean sprouts:

  • If your piggies have never eaten bean sprouts, start with a little bit. Don’t put too much in their food bowl at first.
  • For guinea pigs, it is important to watch them for at least 24 hours after they eat the new food you give them. If they have a bad reaction (like diarrhea or stomach pain) then stop feeding that food to them.
  • If your pet likes bean sprouts, you can slowly start adding more of them to their diet. But make sure that you don’ give too many at once. You should slowly work up to this amount of bean sprouts depending on the age of the animal, how healthy they are, and if they have had bladder stones before.

How To Store The Bean Sprouts For Your Pet

You can easily go broke feeding your fur babies if you’re not careful. And who want to kick out money for sprouts only to have them go to waste?

Here are a few tips for storing bean sprouts so that your guinea pig can enjoy them for days to come:

  • To remove any debris or soft parts from the bean sprouts, rinse them under cool water. Please do a thorough job (you recall that section on foodborne illnesses, don’t you?).
  • Remove the sprouts from their soaking water and place on a paper towel to dry. In your fridge, wet bean sprouts will go bad quickly.
  • Place a few bean sprouts in a plastic storage bag. Don’t stuff it too full.
  • Put your bags of bean sprouts in the fridge. (Hint: The crisper is the best spot). Eat them within four days.

What Other Kind Of Sprouts Can Guinea Pigs Eat?

Guinea pigs can eat several different types of sprouts. The sprouts they can eat include barley sprouts, Brussel sprouts, pea sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, and radish sprouts – to name a few. 

Just make sure that you feed each type of sprout in the appropriate amounts. And always keep an eye on your piggies to see if they have any reactions to these foods.

What Are Vegetables That Guinea Pigs Can Eat Daily?

Guinea pigs can eat some things every day. You should mix up what they eat because this’ll keep them healthy. Here is a list of things they can eat:

The veggies that you can feed your piggies daily include:

  • high quality grass hay
  • 1/8 of a bell pepper (for a daily dose of Vitamin C)
  • grass that’s free of pesticides and hasn’t been mowed
  • if it’s in season (corn husks and silks)

All other vegetables and greens should be switched out of piggies’ diets every few days or so – this means they are fed a new type of diet on alternate days. You’ll expose them to different nutrients that way. 

What Foods Are Poisonous To Guinea Pigs? Which Foods Are Bad For Them?

You should consider which meals you’re offering your piggies. Even organic produce can have a negative influence on your piggies if they aren’t prepared correctly.

It doesn’t matter whether the food is organic or not; it can still cause them health issues if it’s not of food they’re supposed to eat.

You can make it easier for yourself and your piggies by avoiding the following foods:

  • raisins
  • avocado skin and pit
  • meat
  • iceberg lettuce
  • dairy products: Ice cream, milk, and other dairy items
  • candies and chocolates
  • potatoes
  • seeds
  • human foods (unprocessed and processed like peanut butter)
  • nuts
  • onion (including leeks and chives)
  • grains and wheats 

Let’s Wrap Up

So, can guinea pigs eat bean sprouts?

For sure! It’s a great food for guinea pigs.

They’re fantastic for providing your tiny buddies with extra nutrients like Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin K.  Basically the nutritional content of bean sprouts can’t be beat – hich is especially beneficial for keeping them healthy and strong.

Your little friends can enjoy the health benefits of bean sprouts…if you’re on top of  your game with understanding how much (and how often), they can be fed the sprouts based on its calcium content, Vitamin C content, and other factors.

All you have to do is give them with a little with caution. You have to keep the size of the meal in mind, as well as how often you feed your pigs sprouts each week.  

That way you can help your piggies avoid the negative affects of bean sprouts like: urinary infections, kidney stones, diarrhea, and bloat.

And with these tips about food safety and storage, you’ll have peace of mind knowing they’re only getting the best from those tasty sprouts. (Let’s keep foodborne illness WAAAAAY out the picture, okay?)

I hope that this article has been helpful. Please consider sharing it with your friends who have guinea pigs – they’ll appreciate it!

7 secret guinea pig hacks

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Mung Bean Sprouts (raw); FoodData central. (n.d.). FoodData Central. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169957/nutrients

Mustard Greens, Raw, FoodData central. (n.d.). FoodData Central. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169256/nutrients

Nutrient requirements of the Guinea pig – Nutrient requirements of laboratory animals – NCBI bookshelf. (n.d.). National Center for Biotechnology Information. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK231932/

Oxbow Animal Health. (2019, March 15). What Are the Best Vegetables and Leafy Greens for Guinea Pigs?: Oxbow animal healthhttps://www.oxbowanimalhealth.com/blog/what-are-the-best-vegetables-and-leafy-greens-for-guinea-pigs/

Potential of alfalfa as a source of calcium for calcium deficient horses. (1990, April). PubMed.

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Wondering which Guinea pig veggies are best? | Small pet select. (2019, December 10). Small Pet Select Blogs. https://smallpetselect.com/best-veggies-for-guinea-pigs/

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