People and guinea pigs really get along very well. However, guinea pigs are very sensitive pets regarding their diet. We should never randomly feed guinea pigs with whatever we are eating at the moment. Their digestive system is not as permissive as ours.
If you plan on getting a guinea pig, you need to read a lot about their needs. If you already own a guinea pig, I’m sure you already know the basics, but in this article, I will talk about herbs in guinea pig’s diet.
Can guinea pigs eat herbs? Yes, guinea pigs can eat herbs. You should know by now that the favorite food of a guinea pig is hay, which is a type of herb. However, there are thousands of herbs out there. You can grow hundreds of herbs in your garden without knowing their name and if they are toxic or not.
This is the reason I am going to advise you to always talk to your vet before introducing new food in their diet or you can also do the research on your own. Herbs are usually safe for guinea pigs. But some of them may be toxic, or there might be no information at all about them, so don’t risk anything. There are a lot of possibilities for a balanced diet.
What herbs are guinea pigs allowed to eat?
I won’t give you a 10-feet list of herbs, but I will name a few and offer you more details about them. The most common herbs to give to your guinea pigs are:
They all have amazing properties and benefits.
Health Benefits of Guinea Pigs Eating Certain Herbs
Herbs generally contain vitamin A, C, and K, along with good amounts of iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and sometimes potassium.
Guinea pigs need and they really love variety in their diets. I know it might sound a little weird, but guinea pigs have personalities and tastes. If you give them the same foods every single day, they will get bored and depressed.
You don’t have to feed them incredibly expensive pellets or a lot of foods: just make sure they can a try a little bit of something different every time.
Good source of vitamin C
All of the herbs I have already recommended contain significant amounts of vitamin C. If you don’t already know by now, I will talk more about vitamin C in the nutritional facts section of this article. But basically, vitamin C is essential for the health of guinea pigs. Their bodies cannot produce and store vitamin C, so they need good amounts of vitamin C from their foods.
Good for the teeth
The teeth of a guinea pig grow continuously, just like the teeth of a rabbit. This is why it is very important for them to eat a lot of hay because herbs erode their teeth and sharpen them. Other herbs besides hay can do that, too, so this is a very beneficial things herbs do for the guinea pigs.
Overall good for guinea pigs
These are the good ingredients herbs usually contain: they contain vitamins A, C, and K, along with minerals like calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.
Nutrition Facts of Certain Herbs
I cannot stress enough how important vitamin C is for these little creatures. They need around 10 to 30 mg of vitamin C daily, even more, if they are babies or pregnant sows. Vitamin C helps calcium to fix in their bones. If they have a deficit of vitamin C they will develop scurvy: a disease caused by vitamin C deficiency.
The symptoms of this disease are lack of energy and appetite, difficulty walking, internal bleeding, loss of weight, rough hairs, diarrhea, and even sudden death. There are rare cases in which the guinea pigs don’t present any symptom of scurvy, but they suddenly die it. However, the majority of cases will present themselves thru symptoms, so try to implement more vitamin C in their diet and pay a visit to the vet.
However, too much vitamin C is not a problem – because guinea pigs, just like humans, absorb the amount of vitamin C they need and eliminate the rest through urine, because they cannot store it.
However, it is not the same with calcium. Besides the endless number of benefits calcium has over guinea pigs (such as bone and teeth health), if you give them more calcium than they actually need, they can develop bladder and kidney stones – a condition that humans usually develop, too.
Chlorophyll is a green pigment found in plants, it is named “the blood of plants”. This substance has a lot of benefits for the human body, such as good skin, faster wound healing, prevention of cancer, detox and it also has blood building properties. But is it this good for guinea pigs, too?
Actually, the study that proved chlorophyll provides a faster wound healing was conducted on guinea pigs. Chlorophyll also minimizes the production and reproduction of bacteria, so it is logical that it helps to speed up healing. Out of the herbs I listed for you, parsley contains the highest amount of chlorophyll.
How often should I give herbs to my guinea pigs?
You can feed them a couple of times a week (except hay), but in small quantities, just to make sure you are not overfeeding them.
What are guinea pigs not allowed to eat?
To keep it short, they are not allowed to eat processed food. By ‘processed’ I mean in any way: boiled, cooked, or bought. Their digestive system is too sensitive to digest these foods.
How does a healthy diet look like for a guinea pig?
It is actually a lot easier than it may seem. They always need to have on hand a lot of fresh water. Water helps to flush out the toxins out of the organism. Also, hay needs to always be available for guinea pigs. it has a lot of benefits: it erodes their teeth, it is a good source of vitamin C and calcium. Pellets are also needed: around an eighth of a cup daily – they provide a lot of nutrients. However, raw and fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs are an interesting part of their diets. They also need them to add variety and other benefits.
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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