Guinea pigs love munching everything they can reach, but not everything is safe for them and we should be very careful with what they eat. Some herbs and flowers can provide a healthy amount of nutrients, vitamins, and have a great taste for our guinea pigs. What about chamomile? Can guinea pigs eat chamomile?
Yes! Chamomile is a great addition to your little buddy’s diet! In fact, it helps to sustain digestive health and can stimulate their appetite. Chamomile is also a great fiber source, so it is an excellent natural snack for your guinea pig!
Not many people know, but piggies love a wide range of flowers and herbs, and some can come with important health benefits, such as supporting their digestive system, and helps them to deal with intestinal parasites and worms. Guinea pigs are lovely gourmands, but keep in mind that some plants can be toxic.
Continue reading to find out more about what other herbs and flowers can be safely added to their diet! and what not…
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Which Herbs Can Guinea Pigs Eat?
Herbs are defined in several ways but, for guinea pig owners, only the less broad definition is relevant. A plant is considered an herb if it has any savory, medicinal, or aromatic properties. Fortunately, guinea pigs enjoy a wide range of herbs, but keep in mind that everything is good in moderation and as part of a well-balanced diet that includes pellets, hay, veggies, and fruits.
Also, not all guinea pigs are the same. Spend some time with your little buddy and see what they like, as their taste is varied, just like ours. Parsley, for instance, is a good choice due to its high content of vitamin C, but if our guinea pigs seem not to like it, kale is also a great option that also includes vitamin-C. Remember that guinea pigs must have vitamin-C in their daily diet as they can’t produce it by themselves. If it’s a new cavy, I recommend taking him to the vet for an initial diet format. Other herbs that are safe for your little one, but in moderate amounts, are cilantro and thyme. Both are rich in calcium, so they must be limited for baby guinea pigs or pregnant ones. Other safe options are mint, basil, oregano, arugula, endives, and dill. As mentioned earlier, the amount should be limited. What about chamomile? Can our guinea pigs eat chamomile safely? Yes, they surely can. It will also help to sustain their digestive system.
Forbidden herbs are chives, along with garlic and onions, sage, tarragon, and marjoram.
If you want to further understand why vitamin-C is so important to your cavy, please go ahead and read this article. I have a section there about guinea pig’s nutrition requirements, so you will find there more detailed information about your pet preferred diet.
What Flowers Can Guinea Pigs Eat?
Guinea pigs can eat flowers, but not all of them are safe. Similar to herbs, these should be added occasionally to their diet, up to 3 times per week.
Flowers That Are Toxic To Guinea Pigs
While guinea pigs can eat certain types of flowers, keep in mind that your little buddy can get intoxicated. Some flowers might even kill your pet. Examples of deadly flowers are amaranth, caladium, anemone, buttercup, oleander, cyclamen, but there are many more. Even simple contact can lead to intoxication. So when you take your cavy to a little ride in the park, make sure he is not chewing any of this by mistake.
There are certain symptoms that you should look for, and the severity depends on the amount ingested compared to their weight. These flowers can cause excessive drooling, diarrhea, and vomiting. The severe symptoms are tremors, loss of appetite, lethargy, and even anorexia.
Here is a summary list of flowers that your guinea must not eat as they are toxic!
- Deadly nightshade
- Scarlet Pimpernel
- Flowers of leaves from bulbs, such as tulips
- Lily of the valley
Which Flowers are Safe to Feed Your Guinea Pig?
Guinea pigs can actually enjoy eating some flowers and even flower parts. For instance, dandelion leaves and flowers are highly appreciated, along with chickweed, and nasturtium. White clover should only be offered in small quantities, otherwise, it leads to bloating. Guinea pigs can also safely eat marigolds, alfalfa, daisy, and mallow, among others.
Here is a summary list describing the flowers which are safe for your guinea pig:
- Green clover
- Sweet Peas
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Lavender?
Lavender is a safe food choice for guinea pigs. In fact, lavender is also safe for humans, dogs, and many other animals. It comes with a delicious, unique flavor and scent, and it has a calming effect. Lavender is an excellent choice if your little buddy goes through a period of change, or has any stress factors.
Make sure you feed them only in small amounts to avoid overwhelming their digestive function. Once they adapt to it, you can increase the amount. It is recommended to feed lavender once per week, along with other fresh foods, such as leeks and lemongrass as they are stronger.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Rosemary?
Rosemary is one of the herbs that are safe for your guinea pig, but serving size is extremely important. Since it is high in calcium, too much rosemary can lead to health problems.
Usually, high calcium is needed for baby guinea pigs in their grown-up period, and for pregnant guinea pigs. Adults do not need much calcium.
A few leaves once per week can provide them with necessary vitamins, such as vitamin A and C. Most buddies get quite fond of the flavor and smell of rosemary, so they will end up loving it. Other important nutrients found in rosemary include B1, B2, B3, B5, and B6 vitamins, supporting the pet’s overall good health.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Marigold?
Guinea pigs can eat the marigold flowers up to twice per week, but not more than this as it can become harmful. When consumed responsibly, marigold supports digestive health and can help to deal with worms and parasites. Also, if your little piggie has any external injuries, you can use marigold as an ointment to help them heal quicker.
Your guinea pig might love munching on everything they find, and some flowers and herbs are great for them but not all are safe. Make sure you are well-informed before offering them any treat. Chamomile can be a great addition to their diet, but limit it as for other herbs and flowers to 2-3 times per week only. Most times guinea pigs have their inner instincts to avoid toxic food but we can’t take the risk. We should always well understand what ingredients we give them.
The rest of the meals should include fresh veggies and fruits, pellets, and hay, providing a variety, healthy range of nutrients and vitamins. Choosing high-quality pelleted food is ideal, as this should be the basis of their nutrition.