Can Guinea Pigs Eat Arugula?

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When you think of having a green salad with exotic flavor, the first veggie that pops in your head is arugula. Not only is the vegetable zesty to taste, but also high in nutrition.

Since guinea pigs enjoy veggies, you might like to share this exotic vegetable with your pet. But is it safe to offer arugula to your guinea pig? Can guinea pigs eat arugula?

Yes. Guinea pigs can eat arugula in small quantities. Arugula is a healthy source of minerals and vitamins in guinea pigs. However, you should not feed arugula too frequently to your cavies. Though guinea pigs enjoy the unique flavor of arugula or rocket leaves, the high calcium content of the vegetable affects the urinary system of guinea pigs. 


Therefore, moderation is the key in feeding arugula to your cavies.

Now that you understand that guinea pigs can eat arugula safely, you may be wondering – does that mean you can feed your cavies all parts of the arugula?

Let’s discuss this below!

Can Guinea Pigs Eat All Parts of Arugula?

two guinea pigs eating arugula or rocket leaves

Arugula, a natural source of high Vitamin C, is good for cavies in moderation. The arugula leaves are the most preferred parts of the plant that we feed to our pet guinea pigs for nutrition.

But the question remains if they can eat all parts of the plant.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Arugula Seeds?

No. Any form of seeds is not healthy for guinea pigs, especially the seeds obtained from arugula, sunflower, pumpkin seeds, or birdseed mix. These seeds may not be life-threatening for your cavy but might lead to different stomach or digestive problems.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Arugula Stems?

Yes. You can feed arugula stems to your guinea pigs in moderation. Experts recommend feeding the stems along with the leaves about two times a week. However, it has been observed that cavies are not particularly fond of the peppy flavor of the arugula stems.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Arugula Stalks?

Yes. Guinea pigs can consume arugula stalks without any health problems. You can easily mix the stalks with the arugula leaves while you prepare a green salad for your cavies.

However, you must limit arugula feeding to twice a week to prevent diarrhea or similar stomach issues.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Arugula Vines?

Yes. Like other arugula parts, consumption of arugula vines is not harmful to guinea pigs as long as they are mixed in small quantities with other green leafy vegetables. I always recommend mixing 4-5 varieties of veggies along with arugula to balance your guinea pig’s diet properly.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Arugula Roots?

Yes. Both roots and green stalks of the arugula or rocket plant are safe for guinea pigs. As long as your cavy doesn’t eat any kind of seeds or over-eat arugula, it is perfectly healthy and nutritious for them.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Arugula Flowers?

a black guinea pig eating yellow flowers

Yes. Cavies can consume arugula flowers without any trouble as long as you provide these flowers in small amounts to your pet. It is best to mix shreds of the arugula flower with your pigs’ salad diet to enhance the nutritious value of their diet. 

The arugula flowers are rich in different enzymes and calcium. Though it is healthy, it eventually affects your pet’s health when you feed them with arugula flowers in excess.

Nutritional Value of Arugula

Similar to every green leafy vegetable, arugula provides nutrition to animals. It is not a calorie-rich food, but the nutritious content of the vegetable is surprising.

Here is the vitamin and mineral content of arugula.

NutrientsAmount per 100g of Arugula
Vitamin A119 µg
Vitamin B-673 µg
Vitamin C15 mg
Vitamin E430 µg
Vitamin K108.6 µg
Thiamin44 µg
Riboflavin86 µg
Zeaxanthin + Lutein3555 µg
Niacin305 µg
Calcium160 mg
Potassium369 mg
Beta Carotene1424 µg
Phosphorus56 mg
Iron1.46 mg
Folate7 µg
Magnesium47 mg
Sodium27 mg
Zinc470 µg
Copper76 µg
Selenium0.3 µg
Fiber1.6 g
Carbs3.65 g
Sugar2.05 g
Fat66 mg
Protein2.58 g
Water91.71 g
Calories25 Kcal

Health Benefits of Arugula

Arugula is rich in minerals and vitamins. Let’s discuss the health benefits of arugula, keeping the nutritional content in mind.

Improved Digestion:

The high fiber content of the vegetable makes it a good source of digestion, aiding food in both guinea pigs and humans.

When you provide your cavies with arugula leaves, you supply them with a healthy and natural digestion booster. The digestion process further improves with arugula consumption as the plant has low sugar content.

Antioxidant:

The Vitamin A present in arugula works as antioxidants in cavies and protects them from severe illness and complete health damage. Feeding arugula twice a week to your guinea pig improves their immunity.

The antioxidants present in their diet will improve their health by minimizing inflammation and improving their vision, kidney and heart condition, skin, etc.

Healthy Muscles and Bones:

The Vitamin K in arugula provides guinea pigs with healthy muscles and bones. Here, Vitamin K plays an important role as an alternative to Calcium and calcium supplements since cavies can’t tolerate excess calcium consumption. Vitamin K works as a protector of the bones and aids in healing injuries faster in guinea pigs.

Your cavy’s bones are not only protected by Vitamin K because of arugula consumption. The vegetable is rich in other minerals like Magnesium that improve bone and muscle health in guinea pigs, especially the heart’s muscles. Magnesium is also effective in stopping tremors and pains.

Finally, the proteins present in arugula also aid in bone development in guinea pigs.

Prevention of Scurvy:

The high content of Vitamin C in arugula meets the Vitamin C requirement in a guinea pig’s body only in small quantity consumption. It is essential for guinea pigs to have an optimal health condition. Proper consumption of Vitamin C prevents Scurvy in guinea pigs. 

If your cavy lacks Vitamin C, it is likely to develop symptoms like loss of appetite, rough coat, weight loss, stiffness in joints, oral issues, etc.

Improved Cardiovascular Health:

One of the biggest benefits of eating arugula is the presence of low-fat levels in the vegetable. The low fat and calorie content of the plant prevents problems with the cardiovascular system of the guinea pigs. Furthermore, minerals like potassium and iron aid in cardiovascular health. 

While potassium is essential in guinea pigs to maintain their blood pressure, iron prevents anemia. Vitamin K improves clotting in the blood.

All the minerals and Vitamins present in arugula work together in improving the cardiovascular health of guinea pigs.

Weight Management:

Arugula provides balanced nutrition to guinea pigs as it contains a healthy amount of carbs, fats, and proteins along with Vitamins and minerals. The presence of carbs in arugula aids in fast energy release in cavies throughout the day. Also, since the plant contains a low concentration of fat and sugar and no trace of cholesterol, it prevents obesity in guinea pigs.

So, all the content of arugula aids the health of your pet guinea pigs in a combined manner.

How to Prepare Arugula for Your Guinea Pigs?

If you are planning to feed arugula to your guinea pigs, it is worth remembering that they don’t like the strong peppery flavor of arugula much.

But since the veggie is rich in nutritional properties, you are likely to provide your pet some quantity of this veggie as a part of their regular diet.

Learn how to prepare arugula for your guinea pig through the following steps.

Step 1: Soak & Clean Arugula Leaves Thoroughly

If you want to feed arugula to your guinea pig, go to the market to collect fresh and organic rocket leaves. The rocket leaves are likely to have grit and dirt trapped in the leaves. Ensure the grit gets washed out before serving before you add arugula to your guinea pig’s diet.

Take the arugula leaves and soak them in cold water. You can either dry it with a Salad Spinner or simply by using a kitchen towel.

Step 2: Stem and Stalk Removal from Arugula Leaves

In the second step, you need to remove the stalks and stems of the arugula plant by cutting. However, it is an optional step for you when you prepare a salad for your guinea pigs.

Step 3: Vegetable Salad Preparation with Cut-up Arugula Leaves

Mix the cut-up arugula leaves with other vegetables to make a bowl full of vegetable salad for your guinea pigs.

Step 4: Cage Cleaning by Removing Uneaten Veggies

The final step of arugula preparation involves the removal of uneaten veggies from your cavy’s cage. Leaving uneaten veggies in the cage attracts bacteria and fungus. Hence it is better to be removed. 

What Type of Arugula Can Guinea Pigs Eat?

You can feed different types of arugula to your guinea pigs, like the arugula sprouts, salads, etc.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Baby Arugula?

Yes. Guinea pigs can eat baby arugula and even enjoy it more than the matured leaves. Baby arugula is nothing more than an early harvest of arugula. While matured arugulas taste peppery and zesty, baby arugulas are milder with delicate leaves. 

The matured arugula leaves taste tangy and bitter with a spicy aroma. But the baby arugula leaves taste better.

Even though guinea pigs don’t crave exotic tastes, they find baby arugula leaves better. Furthermore, the young plants are vitamin and mineral-rich. Hence, even if you are feeding baby arugulas to guinea pigs, you need to feed them in moderation.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Arugula Microgreens?

Leaves of Arugula Microgreens

Yes. Guinea pigs can eat moderate quantities of arugula microgreens. Arugula microgreens are nothing but arugula sprouts. These sprouts are small-sized sprouts with bright green colored, heart-shaped leaves with light green colored flexible and small stems. 

Unlike the matured arugula leaves and stems, the microgreens taste milder. They are considered a better alternative to matured arugula leaves as they are rich in Vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

PRO TIP: If you want to provide your pet guinea pig with 100% organic arugula sprouts, you can try to grow them in a pot.

Sowing and harvesting microgreens at home ensure that your pet always gets a supply of fresh arugula sprouts. Always harvest your microgreens 14-25 days after you sow the arugula seeds.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Arugula with Black Spots?

No. Consuming arugula with black spots can be harmful to your cavies. A black spot on the arugula or rocket leaves is likely to be a bacterial disease in the plant.

It is also known as a bacterial spot. If you find any such spot on the arugula leaves you bought from the market, you should throw out the grocery item or think of an exchange. 

How Often Can Guinea Pigs Eat Arugula?

The high calcium content of arugula needs you to ensure that you feed your pet guinea pigs with moderate quality of arugula or rocket leaves.

Rare feeding of arugula, up to a maximum of 1-2 times in a week is, however, a safer choice. When you feed arugula to your cavies in moderation, it protects them from stomach diseases and other physical ailments from arugula.

If you guinea pigs enjoy eating arugula leaves, don’t overfeed them. Overfeeding arugula to cavies has several health issues. Hence, we recommend spacing out your feeding time. 

For example, if I feed my guinea pig with arugula salad on a Monday, I will feed my pets with arugula on Thursday or Friday again. It will not only increase the gap between two arugula-rich meals but also prevent the calcium buildup in their body.

How Often Can Guinea Pigs Eat Arugula Seeds?

Though arugula seeds are edible, they are not suitable for guinea pigs. Even if they don’t pose any life threat to our cavy friends, they cause severe diarrhea, indigestion, and similar gastrointestinal disorders. Therefore, it is better to avoid feeding arugula seeds to your pet guinea pig, even in moderation.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Processed Arugula?

No. Arugula, when cooked or processed, loses all its nutritional value and becomes unhealthy for guinea pigs. You should never feed their cavies with processed arugula. Arugula is best when they are served fresh in salads for your cavies.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Arugula Salad?

Yes. When provided to guinea pigs in their salad, fresh and raw arugula becomes a healthy delicacy for the animals. Guinea pigs, however, don’t seem to enjoy the peppery butter flavor of the leaves if you try to feed them arugula salad. 

When you prepare a veggie salad for your pet, we recommend mixing small leaves of arugula or rocket along with other veggies and fruits.

You must remember to feed arugula in moderation for the perfect health of your cavy. You can add tender arugula leaves to their salad up to a maximum of three times a week.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Arugula Bread?

No. Bread is a harmful food for guinea pigs as it contains sugar. Cavies tend to develop gastric problems when fed with bread crumbs.  So, you should never feed your cavies arugula bread.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Arugula Pesto?

No. Though basil pesto is a healthy option, arugula pesto is not suitable for guinea pigs. Arugula pesto typically consists of cheese and it is harmful to your cavies. 

Arugula Alternatives

Are you looking for arugula alternative vegetable options for your pet guinea pigs? Here is a table with the names of all the veggies you can use to prepare a salad for your cavy.

Brussel SproutsCeleryAsparagusBasil
CucumberCarrotsLettuce (except iceberg lettuce)Tomatoes
KaleCauliflowerGreen BeansSpinach
DandelionsBroccoliZucchiniRed and Green Bell Peppers
CornArtichokesPeasBeetroot (occasionally)

Final Thoughts on Can Guinea Pigs Eat Arugula

Today we learned that guinea pigs could eat arugula in moderation. The plant is rich in nutrients and is good for their health. However, excess consumption of arugula can lead to different digestive disorders. You can feed arugula leaves to your cavies twice or thrice a week in small bits. 

Though guinea pigs can eat the stems, stalks, or flowers of arugula, fresh leaves serve as the best food option for your pigs. It is best to shred small pieces of arugula leaves and mix them with other fruits and veggies while preparing a green salad for your pig’s meal.

Being pet owners like you, we like to provide our guinea pigs with a healthy diet. If you find the information in this article interesting, share it with your cavy-lover friends.


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