Can Guinea Pigs Eat Mustard Greens? (Find Out Now)

Are you wondering if it’s safe for guinea pigs to eat mustard greens? Well, here’s what you need to know.

Guinea pigs can eat mustard greens because they’re high in Vitamin C and other essential nutrients. But, make sure you only feed mustard greens in moderation, the calcium content is high. And too much calcium can cause health issues like bladder stones, which would require surgery for your guinea pigs.

a picture of a guinea pig wondering if he can eat mustard greens

In this blog post, you’ll learn everything you need to know about feeding them mustard greens.

You’ll learn some alternatives to mustard greens, too as well as which leafy greens you should avoid. Let’s get started.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Mustard Greens?

Typically, most guinea pigs can eat mustard greens. And it’ll make a great addition to the rotation of vegetables that you feed them. However, because the calcium content is high, guinea pigs should only eat mustard greens in moderation.

Mustard greens contain many vitamins and minerals that help your little friends’ bodies stay healthy. You should try to work mustard greens into your piggies’ diet.

Just make sure that you watch the amount of feeding frequency, and you’ll little friends will be just fine.

7 secret guinea pig hacks

What Nutrients Can Guinea Pigs Get From Mustard Greens?

Mustard greens are packed full of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and other essential nutrients.

Guinea pigs need these vitamins to help fight off infection and keep their skin healthy. The antioxidants in mustard greens can also help protect guinea pigs from disease.

In addition to all of the essential vitamins and minerals, mustard greens are a good source of dietary fiber. This is important for piggies because they need fiber to help keep their digestive system healthy.

Take a look at the nutritional breakdown of mustard greens below. If you look at one cup of uncooked mustard green, it’ll have the following in it:

  • Calories: 15 (gotta love low-calorie veggies)
  • Protein: 2 grams (not bad!)
  • Fat: less than 1 gram (which is perfect for keeping your piggie lean and healthy)
  • Sugar: 1 gram – (shocked that a leafy green has sugar? I was, too. But, it’s such a small amount that it won’t harm your fur babies)
  • Vitamin A: 9% of the Daily Value (DV) (Vitamin A is a great for keeping your guinea pig’s eyes healthy and helps them see in the dark)
  • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine): 6% of the DV for humans (now this vitamin is great for pepping up your piggies’ immune systems)
  • Vitamin C: 44% of the DV for humans (This is loads of Vitamin C, which is important for guinea pigs because it helps keep their immune system strong, which can help ward off infection and scurvy – more on scurvy later)
  • Vitamin E: 8% of the DV for humans – It acts as an antioxidant for your fur babies. Antioxidants help protect guinea pigs from disease and help keep their cells healthy
  • Vitamin K: 120% of the DV for humans – It helps your fur babies bodies make proteins that help with clotting and making their bones stronger
  • Copper: 10% of the DV for humans
  • Calcium: 64 mg (WAAAAY too much to make this a daily treat for your furry friends)
  • Carbs: 3 grams ( a reasonable amount that won’t hurt your little friends)
  • Fiber: 2 grams (excellent for keeping guinea pigs’ digestive system healthy)

Let’s look at a few main nutritional highlights for your little friends if you feed them (and they eat) mustard greens.

1. Prevents Scurvy

Unfortunately, guinea pigs can’t make their own Vitamin C. So guinea pigs must eat foods that are high in Vitamin C, like mustard greens.

If you don’t give them foods that contain Vitamin C in their diet, then they’re at serious risk of getting scurvy.

Scurvy is a disease that guinea pigs can get when they don’t have enough Vitamin C in their diet. It causes weakness, swollen joints, and bleeding gums.

If your piggie gets scurvy, then a trip to the vet might be necessary.

Fortunately, if you make sure your furry friends are getting a steady diet of Vitamin C-rich foods, like mustard greens, then they’ll be less likely to get the disease.

2. Protects Skin And Eyes From Disease

Your furry burritos’ skin and eyes are very sensitive, so they need to eat foods that will protect them from disease.

Mustard greens have loads of Vitamin A in it – which is great for helping your fur babies’ skin stay healthy and preventing diseases like skin

3. Strengthens Their Immune System

When piggies are bouncing back from an illness, it’s usually recommended to increase their Vitamin C intake.

Vitamin C helps beef up your their immune system, which helps them fight off the disease.

Make sure your fuzz spuds get an adequate amount of Vitamin C in their diet to help keep their immune system healthy and strong.

Vitamin A (also included in mustard greens) helps keep their eyes healthy and their skin smooth.

4. Good For Their Digestive System

PIggies need a lot of fiber, so they need to have an intestinal tract that can process it. The dietary fiber in mustard greens helps move things along your guineas’ intestines – which is important because guineas are prone to blockages.

5. Keeps Their Heart Healthy

Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant. It helps guinea pigs fight off infection, which can help keep their cardiovascular system healthy.

Mustard greens contain zero cholesterol and are very low in fat.

So, risks for high blood pressure or cardiovascular diseases are pretty slim. This little perk makes mustard greens a very healthy choice and should help your piggies avoid heart-related problems.

With so much good stuff packed into mustard greens, you might be asking yourself…

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Green Mustard Greens Everyday Day?

You shouldn’t feed your guinea pigs mustard greens everyday.  Doing that will almost certainly cause problems for your piggies. Even though mustard greens have tons of good nutrients like Vitamin C, E, and K, it’s also high in calcium.

And now you may be thinking: “What’s the big deal about too much calcium?”

Well, guinea pigs that eat a diet high in calcium can develop bladder stones. Bladder stones are little rocks that form in your guinea pig’s bladder due to all of the extra calcium.

If left untreated, bladder stones can cause serious health issues for your furry friends.

I’m talking surgery to get the stones removed and certain death to your piggie if they’re not.  The symptoms of bladder stones (also called kidney stones) include:

  • loss of appetite
  • painful urination (squeaking or crying when they pee – poor babies)
  • less urination over time
  • weight loss
  • bloody urination

Now, that sounds truly awful…

But, don’t let that scare you from feeding your piggies mustard greens.

Just follow the feeding frequency recommendations below:

  • Baby Guinea Pig (6 months or younger) – a leaf once or twice a week, because they can handle more calcium that adult guinea pigs
  • Average Healthy Guinea Pigs – a leaf once or twice a month (some pet parents feed it once a week, but that’s a bit much in my opinion for the amount of calcium in it)
  • Guinea pig with a history of stones of calcium sensitivity – avoid altogether (the safest option) or just give 1/2 a leaf once a month as a rare treat

Do Guinea Pigs Like Mustard Greens?

Some guinea pigs like mustard greens. They have a peppery flavor, which is an acquired taste (#notforeveryone). But, some pet parents say their piggie really enjoys the mustard leaves.

However, guineas aren’t always crazy about bitter flavors (and are notoriously picky eaters), which is why some guineas may not go for the mustard green taste.

Don’t be surprised if you offer your furry friend a piece of this leafy green and they turn their nose up at it.

How To Feed Your Guinea Pig Mustard Greens

The best way to feed your guinea pig mustard greens or any leafy green (especially those that are high in calcium) is by mixing them with other vegetables.

It’s recommended that the average adult piggie be offered about a cup of vegetables a day.

But, you don’t want to just feed your fuzz spud a cup of mustard greens and you don’t want to just shove a leafy green in their mouth.

Make sure that you pay attention to the following tips below:

  • When feeding mustard greens, mix them with other low-calcium leafy greens and vegetables. For example, you might serve your piggies a leaf a mustard greens with some radicchio, a chunk of cucumber or celery, and some wheatgrass. It’s all about balance.
  • Try to stick to organic greens as much as you can (farmer’s markets often have affordable options for seasonal greens).
  • And make sure that you wash them carefully before feeding them to your piggies. You don’t have to dice the greens into bite-sized pieces. Your piggie’s teeth will make short work of them.

How To Introduce Mustard Greens To Guinea Pigs For the First Time

When you feed mustard greens to your guinea pigs for the first time, make sure that feed it to them with other vegetables.

If you just give them a leaf of mustard greens, they might not like the taste and could refuse to eat it.

(Guinea pigs can be so darn persnickety. …yes, I just used the word persnickety).

The best way to introduce them to this leafy green is by chopping it up and mixing it with other vegetables that they’re already familiar with like celery, cucumber, or romaine lettuce.

But if you mix it with some other vegetables that they’re already familiar with (like cucumber, celery, or carrots) then there’s a better chance that they’ll try it out.

Follow the additional steps below to increase your odds of a successful experience getting your piggies to try mustard greens:

  • If your piggie has never had mustard greens below, slowly start with feeding a quarter of a leaf to your piggies.
  • Just like you would with any other food, observe your guinea pig after feeding them mustard greens to see if they have an bad reaction (diarrhea, stomach pain, excessive peeing, etc).
  • If everything goes well and they love the taste of mustard greens, feel free to add this leafy green to the list of vegetables that your rotate into your fur babies’ regular diet. But, gradually work up to the recommended frequency depending on your piggie’s age, health status, and history of bladder stones.
7 secret guinea pig hacks

Are Mustard Greens Safe To Give To Guinea Pigs?

Mustard greens are perfectly safe to give to healthy guinea pigs as long as you don’t feed them too many of the leaves. The calcium content is too high to be fed on a daily basis. Guinea pigs with a history of bladder stones or a calcium sensitivity, then you need to be even more careful and probably avoid mustard greens (and other high calcium vegetables) completely.

Which Leafy Greens Can Guinea Pigs Now Eat?

Iceberg lettuce is a leafy green that guinea pigs shouldn’t eat. It’s not toxic to guinea pigs. But, it holds so little nutritional value that it’s pretty much useless. It should be avoided because there’s much better options for guinea pigs to eat.

Leek greens is another leafy green that you should avoid giving to your guinea pig. Leeks come from the onion family, which is generally toxic to guinea pigs.

I have heard about some pet parents giving a TINY bit of the green, leafy part to their piggies once every blue moon as a special treat.

Full disclosure: That amount would make me nervous as a piggie parent.

I’d say avoid leeks completely unless you want to play piggie Russian roulette with their bladder health.

What Kinds Of Leafy Greens Can Guinea Pigs Eat?

There’s so many tasty leafy greens that guinea pigs can eat and enjoy. You just need to figure out the feeding frequency and amount that’s right for your guinea pigs based on their size, age, and health status.

There are many great healthy alternatives to mustard greens. Take a look at the leafy greens that guinea pigs can eat below:

  • endive
  • chard
  • radicchio
  • cabbage
  • spring mix
  • romaine lettuce
  • bok choy
  • red leaf lettuce
  • dandelion greens
  • watercress
  • spinach
  • kale
  • microgreens
  • arugula
  • carrot tops
  • collard greens

When it comes down to it, there’s a mega variety of vegetables that guinea pigs can eat.

You just have to work on finding a balance of the different types of vegetables that they enjoy and are good for them.

Can You Overfeed Guinea Pigs?

Yes, you can overfeed guinea pigs.

But, it looks a little different than what you’d think.

Most overfeeding takes place when pet parents provide junk in the way of muesli mixes or pellet mixes with seeds, grains and other stuff that aren’t really healthy for piggies OR when pet parents just give them piles of sugar-filled fruit.

Over time, piggies start selective feeding.

Selective feeding is when guinea pigs eat only the tasty seeds and grains (because they’re junk food and therefore very yummy) and starve themselves of their healthy pellets (which is what they should be eating).

#they’lleatwhattheywant

Overfeeding piggies looks like selective feeding over time.

You’ll notice your fuzz spuds start to become pickier about which veggiess that they’ll try out, too. (And they definitely don’t need any encouragement in that area, because they’re as picky as all get out as it is).

So it’s important to keep your furry burritos on a healthy diet by providing them a variety of different types of vegetables that they can eat.

What Can Guinea Pigs Eat Daily?

Guinea pigs can eat the following items daily:

  • hay
  • bell peppers
  • grass
  • corn silks and husks (when they’re in season)

Every other vegetable should be rotated in and out of their diet throughout the week, so that they’re not getting the same veggies multiple days in a row.

And remember that including mustard greens in your guinea pigs diet is perfectly fine, as long as you’re mindful of how much calcium they’re getting and don’t overdo it.

Just make sure to mix up their leafy green choices so that they’re getting all the different nutrients their little bodies.

So What’s The Verdict?

So, there you have it.

Everything you need to know about your piggies and mustard greens.

As long as you’re mindful of the calcium content, feeding your guineas this leafy green is a great way for them to enjoy the tons of health benefits that mustard greeens have.

Remember that too much calcium can cause bladder stones and other health problems.

It’s also a good idea to rotate vegetables in order to give guinea pigs a variety of nutrients. Also, be sure to introduce them(shoot, any leafy green) slowly to guinea pigs, so that their digestive system has time to get used to it.

You don’t want piggies with stomach pain on your hands.

Happy feeding! 🙂

7 secret guinea pig hacks

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Difference between collard Greens and mustard Greens. (2020, June 10). Foods Guy. https://foodsguy.com/collard-greens-and-mustard-greens/

DVM, S. L. (2015). The Guinea pig handbook. Barron’s Educational Series.

Lowering blood calcium. (n.d.). House Rabbit Society | Buy a Bunny a Little Time. https://rabbit.org/journal/3-5/calcium.html

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.

Sizer, A. (2009, November 22). List of foods without calcium | Livestrong.com. LIVESTRONG.COM. https://www.livestrong.com/article/38733-list-foods-calcium/

Whitbread, D. (2021, July 28). Top 20 vegetables highest in calcium. myfooddata. https://www.myfooddata.com/articles/high-calcium-vegetables.php

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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