Keeping a guinea pig as a pet is adorable and more important, lots of fun! These cute animals are most famous for their eating habits. Every meal time with guinea pigs is a leisure activity because they are so cute to feed.
There’s nothing cuter in the world than a guinea pig munching on some food! Now, let’s have a look at the dandelion as food for guinea pigs.
Can guinea pigs eat dandelions? Guinea pigs can safely eat dandelions, but in moderation, because it contains high amounts of calcium. It contains high amounts of vitamins, such as vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, minerals, antioxidants, and fibers that are good for guinea pigs’ health.
This plant is one of the favorites of guinea pigs! It is even very simple to find dandelions. It’s not expensive and your guinea pig will love it.
In the following section, you can read more about can a guinea pig eat dandelions, nutrition facts of dandelions, and much more. Let’s begin!
Are Dandelions Good for Guinea Pigs? | Health Benefits
If you get dandelions from a clean and unpolluted place, they are perfectly fine for guinea pigs.
The root of the dandelion is very healthy. If consumed in moderation, it can cure appetite loss, an upset belly, gallstones, and more.
But, this applies only to small or minimal serving sizes, because guinea pigs have a different metabolism than humans. Guinea pigs can benefit from dandelions if consumed in moderate doses.
Dandelion promotes more appetite because it increases the bile flow and gastric functions. It contains antioxidants that prevent illnesses and create a stronger immune system and protect from free radical damage (which causes illnesses). Also, it reduces blood sugar.
This plant also heals and refreshes the liver from various toxins. When served in moderation, dandelion improves digestion and removes constipation. Be careful, too much of this plant and a counter effect will appear, such as loose stool and bad digestion).
Most importantly, it has vitamin C. Guinea pigs don’t produce their own vitamin C, so they need it from other sources. Also, they cannot store this vitamin in their bodies, so it is crucial for them to constantly get enough of this vitamin.
Without vitamin C, guinea pigs can get scurvy. This disease makes their whole organism weaker, symptoms are fatigue, teeth and mouth problems, loss of appetite, and a rough coat.
Overall, the dandelion is very good for guinea pigs and it is also tasty. However, it contains calcium and has a laxative/diuretic effect, so give it sparingly.
Nutrition Facts of Dandelions for Guinea Pigs
For 100 g of dandelion greens (around 3.5 oz of dandelion greens):
- Energy – 45 kcal
- Protein – 2.7 g
- Total lipid (fat) – 0.7 g
- Carbs – 9.2 g
- Dietary Fiber – 3.5 g
- Sugars – 0.71 g
- Calcium – 187 mg
- Iron – 3.1 mg
- Magnesium – 36 mg
- Phosphorus – 66 mg
- Potassium – 397 mg
- Sodium – 76 mg
- Vitamin C – 35 mg
- Vitamin B-6 – 0.251 mg
- Vitamin A – 508 µg
- Vitamin E – 3.44 mg
- Carotene, beta – 5850 µg
- Folate – 27 µg
Are Dandelions Poisonous to Guinea Pigs? | Risks
One of the risks of eating a lot of dandelion is the laxative and diuretic effects. If your guinea pig eats too many dandelions, it might get an upset stomach or urinate too much.
Don’t get fooled by the cute guinea pig’s face. You must not give it too much of this plant. If eaten in excess, the dandelion may cause problems with the gastrointestinal tract of guinea pigs.
The side effects are bad digestion, stomach pains, vomiting, bloating, gasses or diarrhea, and loose stools.
Another thing is that dry herbs and plants, like the dandelion, have lots of calcium. Calcium is not good for the guinea pigs because it builds up in the organism and makes bladder or kidney stones.
A minor risk is also the change of their urine color. You might notice that after they eat dandelions, the urine of the guinea pig will look orange or even reddish. No need to panic, this is just the body processing the pigments of the plant.
This plant grows commonly in many places, but try to avoid polluted parts like the roadside or areas with agricultural spraying of chemicals and pesticides.
Also, avoid common areas where owners walk their dogs or where there is a risk of feces and pollution. Basically, dandelions grow almost everywhere.
Serving Size and Frequency of Dandelions for Guinea Pigs
How Much Dandelion Can a Guinea Pig Eat?
If this plant is new to the guinea pig, introduce it slowly. Give it a few leaves or flowers only once or twice weekly.
After some time, you can increase the serving size or frequency. Before the dandelion is served to the guinea pig, you should really wash it well with water.
Also, if you have dandelions in the backyard, don’t pluck the whole plant. Instead, get the leaves and flowers and leave the root so it can grow again.
If you have more of these plants, you can pluck some of them with their roots fully and give them to your guinea pig. Your pet prefers flowers, leaves, and stems, but roots are also good.
How Often Can a Guinea Pig Eat Dandelion?
During the dandelion season, you can give them a few dandelions as a serving size. Remember to reduce other calcium foods from the guinea pig’s diet when feeding them dandelions. This will create balanced nutrition during the season of dandelions.
Give them dandelions only 3-4 times per week during the peak season of summer and spring when dandelions grow. Good advice is to mix dandelions with some hay to enhance the natural flavors and aromas.
More Information About Dandelions and Guinea Pigs
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Dandelion Greens/Leaves?
Guinea pigs can eat dandelion greens. They are good for them, especially because it has vitamin C which is very important for guinea pigs’ nutrition and health.
But, you need to be careful when feeding guinea pigs with dandelion leaves. Dandelion leaves also contain a high amount of calcium and oxalate, which aren’t good for guinea pigs’ health because they can cause kidney stones. It’s important to give them dandelion leaves in smaller quantities.
Related: Can Guinea Pigs Eat Dandelion Leaves?
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Dandelion Flowers?
Dandelion flowers aren’t poisonous for guinea pigs and they can definitely eat them. Your guinea pig will love to eat dandelion flowers and it’s very important because dandelion flowers have a lot of benefits for them.
It is good for guinea pig’s immune system, blood sugar control, reducing inflammation, reducing cholesterol, and much more.
Related: Can Guinea Pigs Eat Dandelion Flowers?
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Dandelion Stems?
Guinea pigs can eat dandelion stems. They’re delicious for guinea pigs because of the milky sap inside the dandelion stalk. It can also help the digestion system, and they contain a lot of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, and many other nutrients, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.
Your guinea pig will love it because of the taste. You will be satisfied as well because your guinea pig will get all these health benefits.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Dandelion Roots?
Guinea pigs can eat dandelion roots. But even if the root has powerful cleansing properties, it’s very important to pick the root from clean areas without pesticides or other chemical pollutants.
Also, wash the dandelion root very well before giving it to the guinea pigs.
Dandelion roots also have a lot of health benefits for guinea pigs. They are rich in minerals, antioxidants, and many other nutrients. Some studies have found that dandelion root helps with lower cholesterol in animals and can slow down the growth of cancer cells.
Quick Facts on Dandelions and Guinea Pigs
The following are some facts about dandelion and guinea pigs:
- Dandelion must be picked up from an unpolluted place and without any chemicals/pesticides.
- Guinea pigs can eat the flower, stem, leaves, and even roots of dandelions. They love everything about this plant.
- It promotes appetite and works up stomach fluids.
- Dandelion contains antioxidants that can prevent many illnesses.
- It refreshes the liver. Animal studies proved it.
- Too much dandelion causes stomach problems.
- Dandelion has a laxative/diuretic effect.
- It has calcium which is bad for the guinea pigs (bladder/kidney stones).
- Also, it has vitamin C which is essential for the guinea pigs.
- Normal serving size: almost a handful, a few times per week.
- Too much dandelion can change the urine color of the guinea pig.
We have also made a full list of foods that guinea pigs can and can’t eat (150+ Types of Foods). Be sure to also check our recommended products page for everything you will ever need to assure a happy life for your guinea pigs. Hope this information was helpful and you have found the answer you were looking for.
List of Sources
The Effect of Taraxacum Officinale on Gastric Emptying and Smooth Muscle Motility in Rodents
Dandelion Leaf Extract Protects Against Liver Injury Induced by Methionine- And Choline-Deficient Diet in Mice
The in Vitro Effect of Dandelions Antioxidants on Microsomal Lipid Peroxidation
Antioxidant, Prooxidant, and Cytotoxic Activities of Solvent-Fractionated Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale) Flower Extracts in Vitro