Fennel is a herb that has both fans and haters all over the world. It is a flowering plant that comes from the carrot family. Fennel has a really strong aroma that some people just don’t like but what about our cute little guinea pigs?
Can guinea pigs eat fennel? Absolutely yes, guinea pigs can eat fennel. This herb is an excellent choice for guinea pig’s food menu. Fennel also has a wide range of nutrients (rich in vitamin C) that are appropriate for guinea pigs.
The good thing is that the fennel lacks sugars which are harmful to guinea pigs. Also, fennel has moderate amounts of fat, oxalates and phosphorous, they can affect the well-being of your guinea pig. For these reasons, you need to regulate the intake of this herb to your pet guinea pig.
Now, let’s take a look at the reasons why you should feed your guinea pig with fennel and any possible risks that may arise due to the feeding process.
Health Benefits of Guinea Pigs Eating Fennel
Vegetables usually have so many benefits, and that is why they are considered to be a healthier option for guinea pigs than fruits. Fennel isn’t any different from the other herbs and veggies. It has a vast number of benefits:
- It helps to lower the blood pressure levels – having a diet that has a low intake of sodium is healthy for your guinea pig. This will help lower the blood pressure which at high levels can affect its health. Fennel is known to aid in blood pressure control due to the minerals present in it (magnesium, potassium, and calcium which naturally bring down blood pressure).
- Fennel helps with bone growth – this plant has mineral and vitamin content that will ensure the guinea pig will develop healthy bones. For instance, minerals like calcium aid in bone health, manganese aids in bone matrix formation while zinc and iron are useful for the production of collagen.
- It improves heart health – the nutrients that are present in fennel help in supporting heart health in your guinea pig.
- Good for digestion – fennel is rich in dietary fiber. This helps to ease digestion processes and even promote natural bowel movement.
- The fennel boosts immunity – guinea pigs naturally don’t have sturdy immunities and that is why boosting their immunity will contribute positively to their overall health. Fennel contains selenium that helps fight diseases and infections.
- Fennel helps to reduce inflammation – swelling (inflammation) is caused by different diseases and it can be reduced by feeding fennel to your guinea pig. Choline, readily found in fennel, aids in the reduction and prevention of inflammation.
- Boosts metabolism – fennel is a good source of vitamin B-6 which is crucial for the process of metabolism.
- Fennel is an ideal weight control option – dietary fiber is a useful agent for bulking and satiety. When you feed your guinea pig sufficient amounts of the fennel, your guinea pig will feel full most of the times, and this will limit the amount of food that it can take in. This can be an ideal weight loss option for your guinea pig.
- It helps to increase iron absorption – one of the most deficient minerals in animals and even human beings is the iron. Fennel helps in the absorption of the iron.
- Fennel helps with relieving muscle spasms.
Nutrition Facts of Fennel
Fennel is a potent nutrient plant and is rich in various nutrients. Per 100 g these are the nutrition facts:
- Calories – 31
- Dietary fiber – 3.1 g
- Vitamin C – 20%
- Calcium – 4%
- Vitamin A – 2%
- Magnesium – 4%
- Sodium – 52 mg
- Potassium – 414 mg
Risks to Consider When Feeding Fennel to Guinea Pigs
There are some risks associated with fennel. Most of them are controllable, and all you need to do is to regulate the intake of fennel in guinea pig’s diet.
- Allergic reactions – there is a possibility of your guinea pig suffering from allergy due to the fennel. In case you notice any form of allergy (maybe a change in behavior of the guinea pig) you should stop feeding it right away. As first aid, you can offer plenty of water and wait. If worse turns to worst, you can always visit a vet med for further assistance.
- Avoid feeding your guinea pig fennel if it is under medication. It can interfere with the drugs and cause a problem to its health.
- Too much calcium can lead to kidney stones in guinea pigs. This is why you need to regulate the amount of fennel that you give your guinea pig. For starters, 3-5 times in a week isn’t a bad option.
What Part of the Fennel Can I Feed to My Guinea Pig?
Can I feed my guinea pig fennel seeds?
No, you can’t. Unfortunately, guinea pigs do not eat seeds, and this can be a potential choking hazard to them. That is why you are not supposed to feed the guinea pig with fennel seeds. Just because it is excellent for digestion does not mean you should give it to guinea pigs.
Is fennel bulb appropriate for my cavy?
Yes, it is. Guinea pigs can feed on fennel bulbs without any problem. It is a good option for their health and it can boost their immunity significantly. The best way to feed them this part is to cut it into small pieces.
Quick Facts on Fennel
In case you know all the above details about fennel, you may probably lack knowledge on the following fascinating facts:
- In the whole world, India tops in the production of fennel.
- The plant is perennial and can last more than two years.
- A sugar-coated seed of fennel plant is chewed in India and Pakistan to eliminate bad breath and ease digestion.
- The leaves of the fennel plant have a stronger taste than the bulb.
- The plant propagates through seeds.
- Fennel plant tastes sweet and has a strong flavor.
Before I let you go, one final thought on food. With food, you can’t ever be too careful which is why I get all guinea pig food from a reliable source such as Amazon. If you are not sure what to order but believe your little piggies deserve some great treats please check our Helpful Guide to the Best Guinea Pig Treats to get some ideas. 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.
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