Green beans are the only type of bean that guinea pigs can eat. Do not feed your guinea pig any other bean, including pinto, black, kidney, and chickpeas. Green beans are the only bean that does not contain phytohaemagglutinin, which causes vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration in guinea pigs.
Guinea pigs can eat green beans, but it’s important not to overdo it. Green beans are packed with vitamin C and fiber, but too much of a good thing can be harmful. Green beans can cause kidney stones and digestive problems in guinea pigs if consumed in excess.
Guinea pigs are wonderful, family-friendly pets that thrive on a well-balanced diet. They love to eat many fruits and vegetables, but some are better for them than others.
A few foods should be avoided, as they are very detrimental to your guinea pig’s health. Examples include chocolate, crackers, cereal, bread, pasta, cookies, and yogurt drops.
These are all considered unsafe and will have various negative effects on your pet. You should always monitor what you feed them, as you want your guinea pig to be healthy and happy.
But what about beans? Since there are so many types of beans out there, it can be confusing to determine which one’s guinea pigs can eat. As a rule of thumb, guinea pigs should only eat one type of bean – green beans. Do not feed your guinea pig black beans, pinto beans, or kidney beans.
Health Benefits of Green Beans
Packed With Vitamin C
Green beans are a good vegetable to feed your pet—within reasonable amounts. They have a large concentration of vitamin C, an essential element of a guinea pig’s diet.
Since guinea pigs cannot synthesize their own vitamin C, they need to obtain it in their meals. This is especially true in growing guinea pigs. Young guinea pigs require even more vitamin C than their adult counterparts!
This means they will be more susceptible to a deficit as well. Keep a close eye on your growing guinea pig to ensure it has all the nutrients it needs.
Good For Guinea Pigs On a Diet
Green beans are an especially good option for guinea pigs on a diet or to prevent your guinea pig from becoming obese.
They are a low-calorie, low fat, and low carb option that will provide nutrients without initiating weight gain. Weight gain can lead to other health-related issues for your guinea pig, so it’s wise to take preventative measures early on.
Hay isn’t the only fiber-packed option for a guinea pig! Green beans also contain lots of fiber, a great promoter of digestion.
While green beans provide similar benefits to hay, they are not a substitute. Hay should still make up about 80% of a guinea pig’s diet. Green beans are just an infrequent supplement.
When a guinea pig does not have enough vitamin C in its diet, it experiences a deficit. If it remains in this deficit for too long, it can develop scurvy—a condition common in guinea pigs.
Scurvy is a vitamin C deficiency that causes disruptions to collagen production, blood clotting, and sudden weight loss. Delays in collagen production can create skin and joint problems, significantly worsening your pig’s health.
Vitamin C intake is incredibly important because it can help prevent scurvy. This is why it is a tremendous bonus that green beans contain so much of such a crucial vitamin.
If your guinea pig is young, it is even more important to provide a steady supply of food rich in vitamin C. While adult guinea pigs still need the nutrients, growing guinea pigs need higher quantities. Young guinea pigs are more susceptible to developing scurvy and can even obtain it as quickly as two weeks after a period of vitamin C deficiency begins.
What Are The Drawbacks Of Green Beans?
While green beans provide a plethora of benefits, there are also negative side effects if your guinea pig consumes too many green beans in a short period of time.
Green beans have a high concentration of calcium and phosphorus, which can create a lot of issues when experienced in higher quantities.
To prevent the negative effects of overconsumption, make sure to only feed your guinea pig green beans 1-3 times per week. You should only provide your pet one or two green beans at a time.
Your pet will reap the benefits while avoiding the drawbacks at this regulated amount, as it is only dangerous in excess.
The combination of calcium and phosphorus is one that their kidneys will suffer from the most. Too much calcium can cause kidney stones, which will be very painful for your pet to pass. The interaction between calcium and phosphorus can also cause urinary infections and even renal failure in severe cases. Keep your guinea pig’s kidneys healthy by not exceeding the recommended amount of green beans!
Issues With Digestion
Though this side effect directly contrasts our earlier claim that green beans help with digestion, the reverse is also true!
The fiber in the beans helps with digestion in small amounts, but in excess, the small amount of sugars found in green beans will add up and result in issues with your guinea pig’s digestion.
Sugars are not easily digestible and can quickly lead to gas, bloating, and irritation of the bowels. If you notice these symptoms, cut back on the amount of sugars provided to your pet, such as those attained through green beans or fruits.
Raw Green Beans—Not Cooked!
Guinea pigs cannot consume cooked green beans. This goes for any vegetable—all veggies should be fresh.
In the case of green beans, you can even provide them if they have been flash frozen, provided they are given ample thawing time. Green beans that have been frozen solid will be hard for your guinea pig to eat.
Importance Of A Well-Balanced Diet
While we have uncovered the specifics of guinea pigs’ ability to eat green beans, it is important to note that they must have a well-rounded diet to live happily and healthily.
Vitamin C is only one of many vitamins and nutrients your pet needs. These nutrients will come from several food sources, such as pelleted food, hay, vegetables, and fruits. Maintain your pet’s diverse palate, and you will have a very happy and healthy companion.