Lavender is an herb that can be used for culinary, medicinal, and aromatherapy. While this herb is great for cooking and safe for humans to consume, can guinea pigs eat lavender too?
Can guinea pigs eat lavender? Yes, guinea pigs can eat lavender, but in moderation. Lavender is packed with antioxidants and other nutrients. This herb can be given to guinea pigs to help prevent stress and keep them calm. Due to the herb containing calcium, it should be given to them in moderation to prevent any health issues.
Is It Safe For Guinea Pigs To Eat Lavender?
Lavender is a safe plant to feed guinea pigs. The only thing that could be a problem with lavender is the calcium content that it has. Too much calcium intake poses a health risk to the urinary tract.
While guinea pigs need calcium to stay healthy, too much calcium could lead to health issues.
Lavender contains calcium of about 1% per 1 teaspoon. Calcium is needed for strong bones, teeth, and hair.
When guinea pigs are young, they need plenty of calcium, but as they get older, they don’t need much of it.
If there is excess calcium in the guinea pig’s urinary tract, it will build up and lead to painful urination and kidney stones.
Health Benefits of Guinea Pigs Eat Lavender
Lavender is an herb that can benefit the guinea pigs in many ways. It can be eaten by the cavies to help fight off infection and prevent digestive issues. Externally, lavender can be used to heal cuts, injuries, and burns.
Below are some of the health benefits the guinea pigs will get from eating lavender:
Prevention From Scurvy
Lavender contains a good amount of vitamin C. For guinea pigs, this vitamin is crucial for their overall health. These creatures are not able to produce this vitamin naturally and can’t store it either. They need a constant supply of vitamin C each to stay healthy.
Without vitamin C, guinea pigs get scurvy which can lead to problems such as diarrhea, swollen joints, internal bleeding, and fatigue.
One thing that lavender is popular for is its calming effect. The herb is mostly found in tea, balms, lotion, and essential oil. Besides that, lavender also has a calming effect even when it’s eaten. As the guinea pigs start to eat lavender, they would smell the scent of it. This will calm them down while they have a tasty treat.
Lavender is a good source of iron. This nutrient is vital to the health of the guinea pigs because it fights anemia and keeps the blood healthy. When there’s not enough iron in the blood, the guinea pigs will become ill and suffer from other health issues. If it’s left untreated for a long time, death can occur.
Can Baby Guinea Pigs Eat Lavender?
Yes, baby guinea pigs can eat lavender, but it’s recommended you wait until they are at least 3 weeks old. Before then, their digestive system hasn’t developed properly yet and unable to process lavender completely.
From the time of birth until they are 3 weeks, baby guinea pigs should be nursing and eating plenty of hay. Sometimes, the mother guinea pig may try to show them how to feed on solid foods. If you place a piece of lavender, she may try to feed her babies with it. If not, don’t try to force them to eat it.
Once they are 3 weeks old, you can start to feed them lavender. Place a small piece of lavender next to them. Giving them a small piece first will let you test them if they have any negative reaction to the herb. If they start to show signs such as diarrhea or vomiting, you should stop feeding them lavender.
On the other hand, if the baby guinea pigs don’t show any negative reaction, you can continue to feed them with it. Be sure to only feed a small piece of lavender once a week for the next 3 months. Afterward, you can gradually increase the amount of lavender to feed them, but only once or twice per week.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Lavender Stems?
Yes, guinea pigs can lavender stems. The stems will be tough for them to eat so they’ll mostly just nibble on them. Avoid giving them an entire stem as it will be too much for them. Cavies should be given just a small amount of it.
If you’re planning to feed them the stem, avoid giving the flowers of the lavender plant. Lavender contains a lot of calcium content and this could cause harm to them.
Cut a small piece of the stem and wash them first. This will remove any dirt, pest, and debris that may be on it. Then toss them to your guinea pigs for them to nibble on.
How To Feed Lavender To Guinea Pigs
To feed lavender to the guinea pigs, you can either feed them either stalk of lavender or just the flowers.
Always wash the lavender plant first before feeding them any part of it. Since these herbs are grown outdoors, they will most likely have insects on them and dirt accumulating on the plant. While the insects won’t be a danger to them, the chemicals such as fertilizers and pesticides that they are exposed to can.
Another way to feed lavender to your guinea pigs is to mix it with other foods. You can mix it with vegetables, fruits, and hay. This will give them a boost in nutrition.
How Many Lavender To Feed Guinea Pigs
Lavender should be fed to guinea pigs in moderation. This means a stalk of lavender, once or twice per week.
Lavender should only make up 10% of their guinea pig’s overall diet. The rest should come in the form of hay. Hay should make up the bulk of their diet and should be available to them at all times.
Other Herbs That Guinea Pigs Can Eat
Thyme is an herb that’s packed with nutrition, especially vitamin C. It also contains vitamin A, antioxidants, and manganese. All of these are needed for the guinea pigs to remain healthy.
However, due to the high amount of calcium, thyme should be fed to them in a tiny amount, 2-3 times a week.
This is an herb that guinea pigs enjoy eating. It’s full of nutrition, especially vitamin C.
Like most herbs, parsley contains a lot of calcium and oxalic acid, which can harm the guinea pigs. To prevent any health issues, feed them parsley in moderation.
Mint is another herb that could be fed to guinea pigs. This herb contains vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, magnesium, and iron. It also contains a high amount of calcium and phosphorus, which can harm the cavies. For that reason, feed mint to guinea pigs in moderation. Offer them no more than a few small mint leaves, 1-2 times a week.
Lavender is an herb that has many health benefits for guinea pigs. Not only does it provide vitamin C that they need plenty of, but it has calming properties to help prevent them from becoming stressed. As with any other treats, lavender should be feed to them in moderation to avoid any health issues. A couple of pieces of lavender, once or twice per week is plenty for them to enjoy.