Being a cavy parent requires you to know which veggies are good and bad for your pet. In case you’re wondering, are raw eggplants safe for guinea pigs to eat?
The answer is a big YES. Eggplant or aubergine contains low calories and high fibers, making it an ideal vegetable option for our cavy friends.
The spongy taste of the eggplants makes it a guinea-pig favorite. But unlike other fruits and veggies, eggplant is not rich in Vitamin C or has too many health benefits.
Therefore, it is recommended to feed eggplants in sufficient quantities to your cavies.
It is now clear that cavies can eat raw eggplants. While you prepare their food, you must be wondering what parts of eggplant guinea pigs can eat?
Read further to find out more about a healthy diet with eggplant for your guinea pigs.
What Parts of Eggplant Can Guinea Pigs Eat?
Before you add aubergine to their diet, it is important to know which parts of the vegetable are safe and edible.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Eggplant Skin?
Absolutely. You can give eggplant skin to your cavies as it doesn’t pose any health hazard for your pets. Eggplant skin is soft, squishy, and edible.
Unlike the eggplant leaves, there is no toxic compound in the skin.
You need to be careful while you make a veggie salad for your cavy with eggplants. You can give them the skin, but ensure it is cut into small pieces.
As guinea pigs chew the soft skin easily, there is no chance of choking on food when they eat the skin.
Furthermore, the lack of toxicity in the eggplant skin makes it a hazard-free part of the vegetable for guinea pigs.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Eggplant Leaves?
No. Eggplant leaves are poisonous for your cavies and must be avoided at all times.
Like the leaves of any other vegetables, Eggplant leaves have high solanine concentration. Solanine is a naturally occurring toxin that is poisonous to guinea pigs.
The solanine concentration differs from one eggplant to another. Eggplants with more ripped leaves have a higher concentration of toxins in their leaves.
Hence, you must serve eggplants without the leaves when preparing a veggie salad for your guinea pigs. It prevents food poisoning in guinea pigs.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Eggplant Seeds?
Yes. It is safe for guinea pigs to eat eggplant seeds. Unlike the hard seeds of oranges, aubergine seeds are edible and soft. Hence, there is no possibility of choking while eating.
You may be wondering if you can remove the seeds from eggplant while preparing your cavy’s food as you do with many other fruits and vegetables?
Just like you can’t separate the seeds from tomato or guava, it is difficult to remove the soft squishy seeds of eggplant while making the veggie salad for your guinea pig.
How Often Can Guinea Pigs Eat Eggplant?
You can give small slices of eggplant to your cavies once or twice a week, but not more than that.
Eggplant is not rich in nutrients that are beneficial for your cavies. There is a low content of Vitamin C with poor calcium to potassium ratio.
Clearly, it is not going to improve your cavy’s health. Hence, it is best to feed eggplant in moderation.
While making a veggie salad for your cavy friend, it is best to add eggplants in small portions. Like other veggies, make sure the eggplant content is never more than 10% in their daily diet.
Green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, and hay should form the main part of their diet.
Read Also: Can Guinea Pigs Eat Mushroom?
Nutritional Value of Eggplant
As mentioned earlier, eggplant is not very high in nutrients. Though the eggplant skin contains the antioxidant Nasunin, the concentration is not that high.
Here’s the nutritional content of 100g of eggplant.
|Nutrients||Amount per 100g of eggplant|
|Vitamin C||2.2 mg|
|Lutein + Zeaxanthin||36 µg|
|Vitamin K||3.5 µg|
|Vitamin A||1 µg|
Though the nutritional benefit of eggplant is not that high for guinea pigs, there is no harm in feeding the vegetable in moderation to your cavies.
It is a fat-free veggie with antioxidant properties. Thus, it helps your cavies fight several diseases.
In fact, the high content of dietary fibers in eggplant makes it good for your cavy’s digestion.
Though eggplant has poor nutritional value, it remains one of the favorite veggies for cavies for its spongy texture and sweetness. You can always serve it as a treat for guinea pigs.
Health Benefits of Eggplant
Eggplant is famous among guinea pig owners as a junk snack item for cavies. It is low in nutrients yet tasty and a favorite of our cavies.
There are certain health benefits of the veggie when you feed it in moderation to your cavy.
1. Helps in Digestion:
Eggplants improve digestion in our cavies, being high in fiber content.
However, the sugar content of the veggie can trouble digestion when you feed too much eggplant to guinea pigs. Make sure you are serving small bites of eggplant once or twice a week for the dietary fibers to ease digestion.
2. Weight Management:
The dietary fibers and water content of eggplant are not only good for digestion but also for healthy weight management.
The presence of fibers improves digestion and helps in the reduction of obesity in guinea pigs. Reduction in obesity also helps in getting rid of related health problems in cavies.
3. Strong Bones:
Eggplant is rich in Manganese. Manganese has several health benefits in cavies, and developing healthy bones is one such benefit.
The presence of Manganese helps in dissolving nutrients like Vitamin D and Calcium in the bloodstream and boost bone health in cavies.
4. Improves Vision and Eyesight:
Eggplant is rich in antioxidants like Zeaxanthin and Lutein. These are antioxidants that improve vision and eyesight in guinea pigs. These antioxidants also help in curing different complications and eye diseases in our cavy friends.
Even the eggplant skin has antioxidants like Nasunin that boost brain functions by protecting the fatty acids, thus improving eyesight.
5. Reduces Cholesterol and Improves Heart Condition:
You might not be aware, but the dietary fiber present in eggplants does more than just improve digestion. They help in cholesterol level reduction in a guinea pig.
Naturally, low cholesterol reduces the chances of cardiac failure and other heart diseases.
Other nutrients in eggplant, like Vitamin C, antioxidants, potassium, and Vitamin B-6 also prevent heart diseases.
The nutrients in eggplant, together with the dietary fibers help in improving the heart condition of your cavies.
6. Enhances Brain Health:
We already discussed that the antioxidant Nasunin increases brain functions. But this Phytonutrient does more than that.
Nasunin is an important phytonutrient that prevents guinea pigs’ brains from getting damaged and ensures all brain functions are in order. Therefore, ultimately improving the brain health in cavies.
7. Lowers Cancer Probability:
The antioxidants and polyphenols present in eggplant slow down the growth of all probable diseases that cause cancer.
It controls the growth of tumors and cancer cells spreading through a guinea pig’s body.
Though eggplant provides so many health benefits, experts don’t consider it a beneficial vegetable for cavies. The sole reason for this is the lack of essential nutrients in eggplant.
How to Serve Eggplants for Guinea Pigs?
We already know that you should serve eggplants in moderation to a guinea pig.
Though they love to eat eggplant, you need to know the perfect way to serve it to them as a cavy parent.
Step 1: Choose the Right Quality of Eggplants
The basic step of serving eggplant to guinea pigs is selecting the right type of eggplant for them. Choose a firm eggplant of significant size, consisting of glossy smooth skin with extreme purple color.
When shopping for eggplants for your cavies, avoid the ones that are small, thin, discolored, and light-weighted.
Step 2: Thoroughly Clean the Eggplant
Before chopping the eggplant for veggie salad, thoroughly wash it under running water. Remove all dirt from the surface and clean it properly.
Once your eggplant is clean from dirt, remove the toxic leaves and stem. These are the only parts of the vegetable that are poisonous to your cavies.
Step 3: Remove the stalks
Removing the eggplant stalks is very important while preparing them for your cavies. These stalks are toxic and can lead to choking when your pet eats them.
Furthermore, stalk removal will make it easier for you to cut the eggplant into small strips and slices for the veggie salad for your cavies.
Step 4: Cut the eggplant and Prepare a Salad
The fourth step is cutting the eggplant into small slices or pieces for the veggie salad so that your guinea pigs don’t choke on them.
You can serve mixed cut-up vegetables to your cavies. Mix the eggplant pieces with small pieces of other vegetables that have a higher content of Vitamin C.
It helps in providing necessary nutrients to guinea pigs along with the dietary fibers of eggplant.
Pro Tip: When you cut the eggplant to prepare a veggie salad for your cavies, never use a carbon steel knife.
Carbon steel knives have a photochemical reaction with the eggplant and turn them black after chopping.
Always use a stainless steel knife to cut eggplants if you want clean-looking eggplant dice in your salad.
Step 5: Serve the Salad
Serving the eggplant and veggie salad is the final step. In this step, you take a bowl and serve controlled quantities of eggplant mixed with other vegetables.
Warning: After your guinea pig has finished its food, you need to ensure that you remove all leftover veggies from its cage. Uneaten raw food attracts flies, bacteria, and even rats! Clearly, it is unhealthy for your cavies.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Baby Eggplant?
Yes. Guinea pigs can eat baby eggplants. However, you must always remember to serve it in moderation or in a small amount.
The nutrients present in baby eggplants are almost similar to what we get in regular-sized eggplants. So, if you want to feed baby eggplants to your cavies, it is an ideal option as a snack for them.
What Other Vegetables Can Guinea Pigs Eat Besides Eggplant?
If you are looking for an alternative vegetable to eggplant for guinea pigs, you should consider giving them veggies with more nutritional values.
Timothy Hay and grass form the main part of a guinea pig’s daily diet. Other vegetables alternative to eggplant that goes with the basic diet are-
In this article, we covered that guinea pigs can eat eggplants and they love them. The spongy and soft texture of the vegetable makes it highly edible and prevents choking hazards.
However, not all parts of the vegetable are safe for guinea pigs. You need to avoid the stem and leaves of aubergine while feeding your guinea pigs.
Cavies can easily eat the seeds, but the leaves of vegetables under the nightshade family are poisonous to them.
Though there are several health benefits to eating eggplants, the lack of Vitamin C and other important nutrients in the vegetable makes it a “junk snack” for the cavies.
We have covered all the basic information pet owners need to know about feeding eggplant to cavies.
If you found this article helpful, don’t forget to share it with your cavy lover friends.