Can guinea pigs eat radishes? Yes, but most don’t like the radish “fruit” and prefer the tender, green leaves. Serving your piggy 2 to 3 radish tops, 2 to 3 times a week, is a great way to boost its Vitamin C consumption.
Radishes pack a lot of Vitamin C into every bite, but don’t forget that they’re also a great source of Vitamin B6, potassium, and fiber.
Some cavy parents worry that radishes also contain calcium–which is true–but the dose is relatively low, and radishes are also extremely low in oxalates. As a result, we wouldn’t worry about them encouraging the formation of bladder or kidney stones.
There’s even evidence that they may help rid the body of excess calcium oxalate!
The bottom line: radishes are a great addition to your guinea pig’s diet, but they should still be offered in moderation.
For those that are interested, we’ll take a closer look at why and how guinea pigs can eat radishes and consider the pros and cons.
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Read more: Full List of Food for Guinea Pigs
Are Radishes Good For Guinea Pigs?
While radishes can’t compete with the likes of spinach or kale as a “superfood,” they contain healthy doses of Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, potassium, and fiber. And from supporting overall health to improving digestion, there are plenty of good reasons to consider adding radishes to your guinea pig’s diet.
All guinea pigs should be offered unlimited Timothy hay and fortified pellets, but vets recommend a cup of fresh veggies every day to round out their diet. Radishes can be a great addition to this vegetable medley, helping to ensure that cavies get the nutrients they need.
Unfortunately for piggies, many of the most nutritious veggies also deliver high levels of calcium. In combination with oxalates, natural compounds found in many plants, calcium forms tiny crystals that can develop into bladder and kidney stones, raising the risk of these dangerous conditions.
Radishes do contain calcium–but it’s just .025 grams per 100g of radish, which is practically nothing, especially when compared to most leafy greens.
And they’re also low in oxalates. This is often misreported, so it’s worth repeating: radishes are low-oxalate veggies!
And with emerging evidence that radishes may help rid the body of excess calcium oxalate, we wouldn’t give a second thought to feeding our guinea pigs this great-tasting veggie.
Keep in mind, though, that most cavies don’t like the taste of the peppery flesh and vastly prefer the tender greens.
Are Radishes Bad For Guinea Pigs?
We can’t find any evidence that radishes contain the high levels of oxalates that are often reported in the cavy world.
And there’s no questioning their relatively low calcium content, or the nutrition (especially Vitamin C) they offer to round-out a guinea pig’s diet.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Radish Leaves?
Most guinea pigs don’t like the white flesh of the radish, and many won’t eat it at all.
But virtually every piggy loves the fresh green tops.
Don’t throw the greens away!
There’s nothing dangerous about radish greens, and the next time you’re preparing radishes for yourself, don’t forget to save the tops for your furry friends!
How Should You Prepare Radishes For Your Guinea Pigs?
The radishes you buy in the store are often contaminated with pesticide residue.
So unless you grow your own radishes at home, we recommend that you wash them thoroughly in a vinegar and water solution.
Here’s how we do it.
Simply fill a large bowl with one part white vinegar to four parts water. Submerge the radishes in this mixture and let them soak for 20 minutes.
Later, rinse each one in fresh water and pat dry with a clean cloth or paper towel.
Rather than offering the radish fruit, we recommend providing your piggy with the trimmed tops. Chances are, they’ll gobble-up those radish greens and squeak for more!
How Many Radishes Should a Guinea Pig Eat?
Radish tops are a great source of vitamins and minerals, and it can help ensure that your guinea pig gets the dietary nutrients it needs. Radishes also help add variety to your cavy’s daily salad.
That said, they shouldn’t be the mainstay of your cavy’s diet, and we recommend offering them in moderation.
A good rule of thumb is 2 to 3 radish tops, no more than 2 to 3 times a week.
Radish greens provide a great boost in Vitamin C, helping to keep your piggy healthy. They make a great addition to your fur buddy’s daily dose of fresh veggies, provided that you keep the following in mind:
- Radishes are a great source of Vitamin C, and they also provide healthy doses of Vitamin B6, potassium, and fiber.
- They’re low in calcium and oxalates and shouldn’t increase the risk of bladder or kidney stones.
- There’s emerging evidence that suggests radishes may even help the body to eliminate excess calcium oxalate!
- Most guinea pigs prefer the green tops to the peppery fruit.
- We recommend washing radishes in a vinegar and water solution.
- It’s perfectly safe to offer your guinea pig 2 to 3 radish tops, 2 to 3 times a week.
If you stick to these guidelines, radishes are a great way to ensure that your cavy gets the vitamins and minerals needed to stay healthy.