Parsley is an herb that’s popular to use in culinary cooking. It can be used to garnish salads, used in soups, and stuffing. While it’s healthy and safe for humans to eat, can you feed them to guinea pigs as well?
Can guinea pigs eat parsley? Yes, guinea pigs can eat parsley, including the stem. Parsley is a good source of vitamin C and vitamin K, which is beneficial for guinea pigs. Due to their high amount of calcium and oxalic acid, you should feed parsley to them in moderation to avoid any health issues.
Is It Safe For Guinea Pigs To Eat Parsley?
For baby guinea pigs, they need a lot of calcium for growth and development. However, for adult guinea pigs, it can become an issue. At this age, they don’t require a lot of calcium in their body. Too much calcium will lead to kidney problems and issue with their digestive system.
As for oxalic acid, too much of it can be fatal for guinea pigs. As a guideline, an adult guinea pig should not eat more than 50 mg per day of oxalic acid.
For that reason, to keep the guinea pigs from having health issues, only feed parsley to them in moderation.
Health Benefits of Parsley for Guinea Pigs
Parsley is an herb that’s packed with nutrients. This herb is great for guinea due to its low calories, yet high in nutrition, especially vitamin C.
Below are some of the health benefits of feeding parsley to your guinea pigs:
Promote Bone Health
Parsley is loaded with vitamin K, which has been linked to bone health. The vitamin supports bone development and increases the density of the bones.
Also, calcium is abundant in parsley. This mineral is important for the health of bones, hair, and nails.
One of the most important nutrients for guinea pigs is vitamin C. Parsley is an herb that contains a lot of this vitamin. Unfortunately, guinea pigs are not able to synthesize or store vitamin C in their body. They will need to obtain it from food or supplements.
Without vitamin C, they will get scurvy. Scurvy is a disease caused by a deficiency of vitamin C
If the disease is not taken care of, the health of guinea pigs will start deteriorating. They may experience painful joints, weight loss, dental issues, diarrhea, rough coat, and lethargy.
Can Baby Guinea Pigs Eat Parsley?
Parsley is generally safe to eat, but baby guinea pigs should refrain from eating it. At this age, they are too young and the parsley poses a choking hazard for them.
However, once they are at least 3 weeks old, you can try feeding parsley to them. Start by giving a small piece of parsley first and see if they have any negative reaction to it. If the baby guinea pigs start to have an upset stomach or diarrhea, you should stop feeding them parsley.
On the other hand, if the baby guinea pigs don’t have any negative reaction and enjoy eating it, you can continue to feed them, but a small piece once a week.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Parsley Stems?
Guinea pigs can eat parsley stems as it doesn’t contain any toxins. The stem is a bit tough so the guinea pigs will likely just nibble on them.
How To Feed Parsley To Guinea Pigs
To feed parsley to your guinea pigs, there are a couple of methods of doing so. Try each method and see what’s works best for you and your guinea pigs.
The first method is to simply give them a sprig of parsley with the leaves and stem attached. The guinea pigs may eat just the leaves and leave the stem alone. If they eat just the leaves, you’ll know next time to just feed the parsley leaves.
The second method is to mix parsley with other foods. You can create a salad that could include parsley, spinach, romaine lettuce, and kale. Make sure to only use a small piece of each vegetable. Too much can cause them health issues from all the nutrients from each vegetable.
Once you have the vegetable together, mix them up and give them to your guinea pigs for a nutritious meal.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Parsley Daily?
Guinea pigs can eat parsley on daily basis, but only in a small amount. This is due to the calcium and oxalic acid that parsley has. Too much of both of these can harm your guinea pigs.
Also, you’ll want to add other vegetables to their diet as well. This will give them the nutrition that parsley doesn’t have. By rotating their food around daily, the guinea pigs will get the needed nutrition, especially vitamin C.
How Much Parsley Can A Guinea Pig Eat?
Parsley is a great herb to feed your guinea pigs, but there’s a limit to how much you can feed them. Feeding too much of it could lead them to have health issues.
Below is how much parsley you can feed your guinea pig:
For baby guinea pigs, they should not be fed any parsley. It’s best to wait until they are at least 3 weeks old before you can start to give them some parsley. Before them, the baby guinea pigs should be on a diet of their mother’s milk and alfalfa hay.
For adult guinea pigs, 5 average-sized sprigs of parsley. This is the amount you can give them at each feeding. They tend to eat more, but only limit them to this amount.
A sprig of parsley consists of a stem with all the leaves on it. They’ll eat the leaves and will nibble on the stem.
If this is your first time feeding parsley to your guinea pigs, make sure to offer them a small piece at first. This will allow you to test to see if they have any allergic reaction to parsley.
If they have an allergic reaction, you may notice bloating, upset stomach, and diarrhea. If that’s the case, stop feeding them parsley. There is plenty of other herbs that you can feed them.
On the other hand, if there’s no allergic reaction, you can continue to feed them parsley.
How Often Can Guinea Pigs Eat Parsley?
Parsley should be fed to the guinea pigs in moderation. This is due to the herb containing high levels of calcium and oxalic acid. These are very dangerous to the guinea pig’s health if too much is fed to them.
To keep them from having any health issues, it’s best to feed them 2 or 3 times per week. Also, make sure not to feed them other vegetables and herbs that are high in oxalic acid or calcium.
Other Herbs That Guinea Pigs Can Eat
Thyme makes a good snack for guinea pigs as it’s rich in antioxidants, vitamin A, and vitamin C. All of these nutrients benefit the guinea pigs in many ways.
However, due to their high amount of calcium, it should be fed to them in moderation. Feed them a tiny amount, 2-3 times per week is enough.
Basil is another herb that’s great for feeding your guinea pigs. It contains manganese, vitamin A, vitamin K, and iron. All of these nutrients are what the guinea pigs require to stay healthy and strong.
This herb will depend on your guinea pigs. Some will enjoy eating and some won’t. Mint contains potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, vitamin C, and vitamin A.
Also, it contains a high amount of calcium, which in large amounts can cause health issues for your guinea pigs. To make sure it’s safe for them, feed them a few small mint leaves, 1-2 times per week.
Parsley is packed with a lot of nutrition that the guinea pigs can benefit from. These herbs are great to feed them daily, but only a small piece each time. By feeding them parsley, they’ll gain a lot of health benefits from it.