Can Guinea Pigs Eat Fennel?

fennel

Fennel is something you may never have thought of feeding to your guinea pig. In fact although most bulbs are not safe for guinea pigs to eat, the fennel bulb is safe and can be given as part of your guinea pigs veggie portion.

What is fennel

Fennel has a similar texture to celery and you may be surprised to know that it’s a member of the carrot family despite the fact that it looks nothing like a carrot and tastes completely different to a carrot. In fact, it has an aniseed flavour which some guinea pigs may love and others may not.

guinea pig fruit and veg sheets pdf
Safe Fruit & Veg Guide – Available to buy, download and print in blue or pink

How much fibre is in fennel?

Fennel has just over 3g of fibre per 100g. This is more than lettuce, celery and peppers which is great as this is a very important element of a guinea pigs diet. Fibre is essential to keep their gut and digestive tract healthy.

Is there much vitamin C in fennel?

With 12mg per 100g, fennel has a reasonable amount of vitamin C so it’s richer in this vitamin than lettuce, carrots and apples. But vegetables like peppers, parsley and kale have a lot more than fennel.

Is fennel high in calcium?

Fennel has 49mg of calcium per 100g which isn’t excessive. You can compare this with kale which has 254mg and sweet bell peppers that have just 11mg. 

Although many guinea pig owners look to low calcium diets to avoid bladder stones, your guinea pig does need this mineral and the most important thing is to give your pets a good variety of veggies so they get a good balance of vitamins and minerals and don’t become deficient.

Is fennel high in sugar?

Fennel has a little less sugar than carrots and sweet peppers with 3.9mg per 100g. But it does have a lot more than celery, cucumber and kale.

Sugary foods should be fed sparingly as these foods can cause diarrhoea if fed too often or in large quantities.

Summary

On balance, fennel is a good food to give your guinea pigs but is best fed occasionally or in small quantities.

When choosing what foods to give your guinea pigs daily, it’s good to consider how much sugar, fibre and vitamin C are in the various components. So if one veggie is high in sugar, make sure the others aren’t. 

And always make sure there is plenty of fibre and veggies that have good amounts of vitamin C in their food bowl too.

Nutritional information for fennel

Below is the nutritional value per 100g of fennel

  • Vitamin C: 12 mg
  • Calcium: 49 mg
  • Phosphorous: 50 mg
  • Fibre: 3.1 g
  • Sugar: 3.9 g