Preparing a suitable, safe and balanced diet for your guinea pigs is vital for the health and well-being. Often guinea pig owners feed them fruits, vegetables and even herbs.
So, Can guinea pigs eat rosemary? Technically, yes! Portioning is important, however.
Rosemary is quite high in calcium, and for guinea pigs, too much of this can pose a risk. Introducing your guinea pig to rosemary too quickly can also make them sick. In the correct portions, though, rosemary can be an OK source of nutrients, like vitamin C and vitamin A. A few leave 1-times a week is fine.
When properly done, you may treat your guinea pig to a few leaves of rosemary 1-2 times a week. Many are fond of the unique fragrance and flavor.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Rosemary? How Much?
Most guinea pigs may safely ingest rosemary once to a maximum of two times a week. They may have a few leaves at once, but no more!
Benefits of Rosemary
- Vitamin C. Rosemary contains a noteworthy amount of vitamin C. For guinea pigs, ingesting this nutrient is especially essential. Why? Because guinea pigs do not create vitamin C on their own. They depend on outer sources, like fortified pellets, and fresh produce -like rosemary!
- Vitamin A. Rosemary also has vitamin A. This is a powerful antioxidant, and you can strengthen your guinea pig’s immune system with vitamin A.
- Niacin or B3. Niacin AKA B3 helps prevent heart disease, and can also provide arthritic pain relief.
- Pantothenic acid AKA B5. Pantothenic acid AKA B5 is responsible for creating new blood cells, and for converting food into energy, as well.
- Riboflavin AKA B2. Riboflavin AKA B2 also helps with converting food into energy, and aids in healthy bloodflow.
- Thiamin AKA B1. Thiamin AKA B1 prevents diseases of the brain, nerves, muscles, stomach, intestines, and heart. Also contributes to healthy electrolyte-flow.
- Vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 produces serotonin, for feelings of wellbeing, along with better sleep, better appetite, etc.
How to Serve Guinea Pigs Rosemary
When feeding your guinea pig any kind of produce, washing it off is more important than ever! This is because store-bought produce is typically coated in a small layer of pesticide, which can make guinea pigs sick.
The rosemary should also be nice and fresh, as mold or rot can also make your guinea pig ill. Freshly-bought rosemary is ideal. You can also pick pesticide-free rosemary straight from your garden, to reduce any risk!
Introduce Your Guinea Pig to Rosemary Gradually
Guinea pigs have sensitive stomachs, and delicate digestive systems, in general. In the wild, these little critters are accustomed to a diet made up of almost entirely grass and hay. Rosemary is something new.
This plant is technically non-toxic, but guinea pigs’ bodies must still get used to it -and the process can be slow.
If your pet reacts positively to a couple of leaves, you may gradually work up to a full guinea pig-sized portion (which is still tiny!).
Risks of Rosemary
Rosemary Contains Loads of Calcium
Say your guinea pig is perfectly used to rosemary by now. Is it okay to feed them more, perhaps even a little bit every day? The answer is no! Rosemary is actually extremely rich in calcium, a nutrient that guinea pigs do not require very much of.
In fact, a diet with high amounts of calcium causes guinea pigs to develop urinary tract problems, kidney stones, etc.
How Can You Tell Rosemary Has Made Your Guinea Pig Sick?
After introducing your guinea pig to rosemary, you will need to keep an eye out for any signs that it has made them sick. The most common sign is bloating, followed by diahrhea, lethargy, lack of appetite, and more.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Dry Rosemary?
No, feeding guinea pigs dry rosemary is not particularly beneficial. You see, rosemary contains a great deal of oil. This sticks around in the herb even when it’s been fully-dried, and it takes more dried rosemary than fresh to make a mouthful. This ‘larger’ portion will consequently have more oil.
Fats are unnatural for grass and hay-eating guinea pigs, so it can be hard for them to digest too much rosemary oil. Drying out herbs gets rid of some of their nutrients, and eliminates their hydrating nature, as well.
So, for guinea pigs, fresh rosemary is simply healthier!
So, for those of you wondering, ‘can guinea pigs eat rosemary?’ there’s your answer! Most guinea pigs may safely enjoy a few leaves up to two times a week.