Basil plants seem to have a lot of desire to grow. Often, you end up with more of these fragrant, succulent leaves than you can use yourself. This may lead you to wonder if you can share some of the profusion with your guinea pig as a snack.
As a matter of fact, you can!
Basil contains some essential nutrients perfect for your guinea pigs, such as vitamin C and vitamin A. Ensure you wash it before serving to remove any mold or pesticides. Start introducing it slowly one leaf at a time to check for bad reactions. If all is good, chop finely and add to their diet 1-2 a week.
You should know that basil is fairly high in calcium, however. As guinea pigs do not require much calcium, and excess can do them harm, you will need to carefully portion out their basil.
How to Serve Guinea Pigs Basil
When serving your guinea pig any fresh produce, it’s very important to make sure of a couple of things. First, that it’s fresh; and second, that you’ve washed it yourself.
As with humans, mold can make guinea pigs rather ill. Bruised produce is fine, but what you offer should always be relatively fresh and new.
Your guinea pig could easily become sick from the pesticides on store-bought basil. Wash any basil that you will be offering your guinea pig thoroughly, to eliminate this risk. Organic basil is an excellent choice, as well.
When serving it to your guinea pig, don’t cook basil. This will kill a fair bit of the nutrients and savor. Instead, treat your guinea pig to basil that’s fresh-off-the-stalk raw!
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Basil? How Much?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat basil. This includes Thai and lemon basil. You may treat your guinea pig to a few small basil leaves about twice a week.
Benefits of Basil
- Vitamin C. The biggest benefit that basil has to offer your guinea pig is vitamin C. These little guys do not produce this essential vitamin on their own! Instead, guinea pigs must obtain vitamin C from their food, in the form of fortified pellets and produce -like basil.
- Vitamin A. Vitamin A is an antioxidant that will strengthen your guinea pig’s immune system. Guinea pigs have also been shown to be bigger and more robust on diets with plenty of vitamin A.
- Folate. As with vitamin C, guinea pigs are prone to folate deficiency. This means that they can potentially benefit from the small amounts of folate found in basil.
- Vitamin K.
Gradually Introduce Your Guinea Pig to Basil
So, you’ve decided to offer your guinea pig some basil. Here’s a tip: make sure to do it gradually. Start your guinea pig off with just one basil leaf. Then, observe. Are they the same as ever? Do they seem sick or uncomfortable at all?
If all goes well, you can give your guinea pig some more, later! Try to limit their intake to only a few leaves, a couple of times a week.
Risks of Basil
What Does Too Much Calcium In Guinea Pigs Look Like?
There is a relatively high calcium percentage in basil. This means that guinea pigs should limit their intake. Too much calcium will otherwise result in urinary tract infections and UTI problems in general. Potentially life-threatening and painful kidney stones often follow.
How Can You Tell Basil Has Made Your Guinea Pig Sick?
Bloating is the first symptom you are likely to notice if basil has indeed made your guinea pig sick. So, after feeding your guinea pig basil, give their tummy an occasional, light squeeze check.
Guinea pigs can also experience diahrrea, constipation, and other digestive trouble, in general.
What kinds of herbs can guinea pigs eat?
Guinea pigs can eat all kinds of herbs including basil, dill, mint, parsley, rosemary, and cilantro.
Can guinea pigs eat dried herbs?
You shouldn’t give your guinea pig dried herbs. Dried herbs don’t have any water content, and they often have preservatives that aren’t good for your guinea pig.
Are any herbs bad for guinea pigs?
Any plants that grow from a bulb are poisonous to guinea pigs. This means that chives are poisonous and they shouldn’t be given to your guinea pig.
How much basil can I give my guinea pig?
Before giving your guinea pig full leaves of basil, let them have a small taste to check for any reactions. If your guinea pig handles basil well, you can give them 1-2 leaves at a time a couple times a week.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Dry Basil?
Dry basil is simply not as nutritious as fresh basil. Guinea pigs also find it to have considerably less appeal. Instead, pick your guinea pig a few leaves from your own plant of bushy basil.
They will consider these much tastier, and they are also considerably more beneficial, overall.
Can guinea pigs eat basil? As you can see, guinea pigs can eat properly-portioned basil. More than that, this herb can even be somewhat beneficial, offering vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, and more! Guinea pigs also tend to enjoy the tender leaves and are sure to thank you for the snack.