Butternut squash is a kind of pumpkin known in Australia and New Zealand as Butternut Pumpkin. It has a pumpkin-like taste and texture. It’s orange in color. And even though it’s sold as a vegetable, it tastes a lot like fruit. The riper the butternut squash, the sweeter and juicier its taste will be. So it butternut squash the ideal food for your guinea pig? Can Guinea Pigs Eat Squash?
Let’s find out!
Can My Guinea Pig Eat Squash?
It’s absolutely okay for your pet pig to eat squash. But you need to carefully monitor how much you feed and how often.
Squash contains proteins and carbohydrates that are energy-boosting nutrients for a guinea pig. It also contains fiber which is good for digestion, lowering cholesterol, and high blood pressure.
But squash contains oxalic acid so overfeeding is out of the question.
Butternut squash is an enjoyable treat for guinea pigs. They’ll love the texture and softness of the flesh. And it’s easier to serve squash to guinea pigs who are picky eaters. As long as it’s done in moderation, you can feed your guinea pig squash as healthy and delicious treats.
What Does My Guinea Pig Need?
The nutritional value of squash consists of proteins, carbs, fiber, and some vitamins. It has enough vitamins and minerals to boost overall growth. It aids digestion, immunity, skin, and bone health. So there are plenty of nutrients in squash that will benefit your guinea pig.
What stood out is manganese and vitamin A. Both nutrients protect a guinea pig’s body from serious infections and diseases. Iron, which is also found in butternut squash, keeps the blood pumping and heart healthy.
Meanwhile, other nutrients like vitamin A boost offer anti-oxidative immunity.
Your guinea pig needs such a balanced diet to stay healthy and happy.
You can feed butternut squash to your guinea pig only very occasionally. It’s a good alternative to packaged pet foods or treats that mostly contain preservatives in them.
The vitamins, minerals, and fiber in guinea pig regulate proper bowel movement. While protein and carbs provide slow energy for them to be physically active.
After taking all these factors into consideration. The ideal amount you should be feeding squash to your guinea pig is this – 100g butternut squash per serving x 2-3 times per week
Here is the nutritional value of 100g squash…
16 calories, 3.3g carbs, 1.2g proteins, 1.1g fiber, 1.7g sugar, and 0.2g fats. It also contains vitamin A, vitamin C, riboflavin, iron, magnesium, and other essential nutrients.
On the plus side, your guinea pig is getting 21.0mg per 100g of vitamin C.
For those of you who don’t know vitamin C is an essential nutrient for guinea pigs. Since a guinea pig’s body doesn’t produce vitamin C on its own, they are unable to store it either. So foods rich in vitamin C can prevent diseases and infections.
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Top 3 Benefits of Feeding Squash
There are three benefits of squash for a guinea pig…
#1. Weight Management
Squash contains protein, carbs, and fiber. And it’s extremely low in fats. The proteins and carbohydrates give your guinea pig the energy to stay active. It slowly burns calories as your guinea pig plays around.
And the fiber regulates proper bowel movements and appetite. It keeps the tummy full for longer so your pet pig won’t get hungry. And since it’s low in calories and fat, feeding a tiny amount occasionally won’t contribute to weight gain.
#2. Vitamin C Deficiency
The scurvy disease is vitamin C deficiency. Foods that are rich in vitamin C, like butternut squash, can prevent this disease from spreading. Guinea pigs do not reproduce or store vitamin C in their bodies.
So a consistent and balanced diet of vitamin C-rich foods is necessary.
Symptoms of a vitamin C deficiency include loose stools, diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue, swelling, and loss of hair and/or appetite.
The many minerals and vitamins in butternut squash act as antioxidants. To curb free radical damage and boost immunity. These antioxidants will keep your guinea pig healthier for longer. So your pet pig is less likely to fall sick or suffer from serious infections.
Health Risks of Feeding Too Much Squash
It’s important to keep in mind that butternut squash contains oxalic acid and natural sugar. An excess of both can cause urinary problems, indigestion, and perhaps even diabetes.
Too much oxalic acid can be fatal for a guinea pig. It can cause bladder stones and other urinary problems. Based on the serving, your guinea pig shouldn’t consume more than 50mg oxalic acid daily.
High calcium and oxalic acid in the body is the number-one cause of bladder stones.
Monitoring your pet pig’s sugar intake is also important. Feeding them sugary treats, even though they are in the form of fresh fruits and veggies, can cause digestive distress. Foods that are high in sugar can cause bloating, gas, and fatigue.
So stay away from feeding your guinea pig excess sugar throughout the day. Monitor the basic nutritional value of the foods you’re feeding your pig on a daily basis. If something feels excessive, skip those foods to maintain a balanced diet.
Final Thoughts – Can Guinea Pigs Eat Squash!
Guinea pigs love squash. So I don’t see why your pet pig won’t love it either. It’s sweet and soft – and it has a deliciously juicy texture that guinea pigs love. Compared to acorn squash, butternut squash is a popular treat among guinea pigs.
It is low in calories, fats, and has sufficient fiber and proteins. With minerals and vitamins, squash can replenish your guinea pig’s diet. All you have to do is make sure the vegetable is cleaned and served raw.
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