Can Guinea Pigs Eat Herbs? (Benefits, Risks, Serving Size & More)

There are countless varieties of herb that you can cultivate in your yard. When you feed herbs to guinea pigs, be aware that not all of them are good choice for your guinea pig.

Herbs that are safe for humans are generally safe for guinea pigs. These include basil, dandelion, dill, parsley, endive, coriander, fennel and even mint. They all possess incredible features and advantages. You should already be aware that hay, a type of herb, is a guinea pig’s favorite food.

Are Herbs Good for Guinea Pigs? | Health Benefits

Are Herbs Good for Guinea Pigs

Herbs generally contain vitamins A, C, and K, along with good amounts of iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.

Herbs contain significant amounts of vitamin C. It 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.

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.

Can Herbs Be Bad for Guinea Pigs? | Possible Risks

Can Herbs Be Bad for Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs need around 10 to 30 mg of vitamin C daily, even more, if they are babies or pregnant sows. It helps calcium to fix in their bones. If guinea pigs 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 hair, diarrhea, and even sudden death. There are rare cases in which the guinea pigs don’t present any symptoms of scurvy, but they suddenly die from it. However, the majority of cases will present themselves through symptoms, so in those cases try to add more vitamin C in their diet and pay a visit to the vet.  

Herbs do also have calcium. If you give them more herbs than they actually need, they can develop bladder and kidney stones because of lots of calcium.

More Information About Herbs and Guinea Pigs

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Arugula?

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Arugula

Guinea pigs can eat arugula, sometimes referred to as rocket salad. The distinct flavor of this leafy herb appeals to many piggies. High calcium content can be found in arugula.

Additionally, the significant source of vitamin C that guinea pigs require in their daily meal is not present in rocket salad. Therefore, it shouldn’t be a regular in your pet’s diet. If your guinea pig enjoys eating leaves, you can give them a few once or twice per week.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Basil?

Guinea pigs can be given basil without concern. All of the herb’s parts, including the stems, can be fed to guinea pigs. Basil should not make up a significant portion of your pet’s diet because it contains very little vitamin C and a lot of calcium. However, like most other herbs, basil can be given to your piggies in moderation.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Chives?

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Chives

Guinea pigs shouldn’t eat chives. They might even pose a serious threat to them. Disulfides are present in this herb, which is a sulfur-containing compound that can harm the red blood cells of your pet. The harm that chives and related herbs can do can be slow to manifest. Due to this, a lot of pet owners are unable to determine what killed their pet.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Cilantro?

You can treat guinea pigs with cilantro, known as Italian parsley or coriander. However, be careful not to overfeed them due to its high calcium and oxalic acid content. It’s advisable to simply feed a few stems at a time.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Mint?

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Mint

Guinea pigs can safely consume mint. You shouldn’t offer this herb to your pet very frequently, though, as it is high in calcium and has little to no vitamin C. The maximum should be a few tiny leaves once or twice a week. Give only a few leaves at once, and mix it in with a variety of low-calcium veggies.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Oregano?

Although oregano is healthy for guinea pigs, it can only be given in extremely small quantities due to its extraordinarily high calcium content. Excessive calcium can cause kidney and bladder stones.

Furthermore, oregano doesn’t seem to be particularly appealing to guinea pigs, so your pet might not enjoy it anyway. Offer just a few tiny leaves of the herb to your pet each week if you decide to do so.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Parsley?

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Parsley

An excellent herb to give your guinea pig occasionally is parsley as it tastes well to most guinea pigs. It has a lot of vitamin C and is a better option than many other herbs. Because of high calcium and oxalic acid content, parsley can cause kidney and bladder stones. Be cautious, you should only feed this green herb a few times a week and give just a few stems at once.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Rosemary?

Rosemary can be offered to guinea pigs in tiny quantities and is not poisonous to them. Vitamins A and C are present in significant quantities. However, it is important to minimize this herb in your guinea pig’s diet because it is highly aromatic and high in calcium.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Thyme?

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Thyme

It is acceptable for guinea pigs to consume thyme, a herb that is extremely nutritious. However, this tough herb has a very high calcium content. Thus, it’s best to severely limit the feeding of this herb. Every few weeks, use no more than one small stem at most.

How Does a Healthy Diet Look Like for a Guinea Pig?

Guinea pigs need water, hay, pellets, vegetables and herbs. Its as simple as that!

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 always to be available for guinea pigs. It has a lot of benefits, as it erodes their teeth, and is a good source of vitamin C and calcium.

Pellets are also needed, around an eighth of a cup daily. 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.

Which Herbs Are Dangerous for Guinea Pigs?

Although many herbs are healthy for guinea pigs, there are several that you should entirely avoid. Others are heavy in calcium, oxalic acid, or other substances that may cause long-term health issues. Some of those are the following:

  • Chives
  • Sage
  • Marjoram
  • Chamomile
  • Tarragon
List of Sources

A Care Guide for Your Guinea Pig (Cavia Porcellus)

Care of Guinea Pigs

How to Care For Your Pet Guinea Pig

The Effects of Diet on Anatomy, Physiology and Health in the Guinea Pig