A regular guinea pigs’ diet consists of hay, pellets, and freshwater every day, along with fresh vegetables and fruits occasionally. These added food items provide a refreshing taste to your guinea pigs once in a while along with a good amount of vitamin C. When fed the same diet every day, chances are your guinea pig may get bored or tired of eating even their most favorite food. This may have negative impacts on their health. You must spice up their meals regularly. One healthy ingredient you can choose is cilantro! But, can Guinea pigs eat cilantro?
Yes, they can. Cilantro is not only beneficial for your guinea pig’s health, but your pet will love the taste of cilantro.
Cilantro is one of the most nutritious herbs that most vets recommend on giving guinea pigs. Guinea pigs love to munch on the leaves of cilantro and studies have shown the numerous benefits eating cilantro can have on the overall health of Guinea pigs. Apart from being a safe food item, cilantro is jam-packed with essential vitamins, minerals and has a balanced nutritional value. Your cavy needs a good amount of vitamin C, calcium, phosphorus which are available in cilantro. Also, you must know how much to feed per serving because too much cilantro can also cause complications to your pet’s health.
Health benefits associated with eating cilantro in Guinea pigs
Eating greens and herbs can be very beneficial to the health of your guinea pigs because they come loaded with nutrients. However, you must know what are the benefits of a particular food item before introducing them to your pet. Following are some of the significant health benefits of cilantro in guinea pigs.
Studies have shown that cilantro has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Eating this herb will help in preventing any form of inflammation in your Guinea pig.
Cilantro is a great detoxifying agent. Harmful toxins may accumulate in your pet’s body due to many reasons. Eating cilantro regularly will help in removing such toxins and keeping the immune system strong.
Cilantro contains vitamin A and vitamin C, which are both crucial in keeping your Guinea pig healthy. Since Guinea pigs cannot make their own vitamin C, adding foods rich in vitamin C will protect your pet from many diseases and boost metabolism. The only downside is the less amount of vitamin C in cilantro. Nevertheless, it can be given since the requirement for vitamin C is not much in Guinea pigs.
This herb works wonders in keeping blood sugar levels low. It helps in managing diabetes and can also protect your pet against food poisoning. A small quantity of it can be regularly added to your pet’s meal to keep him safe.
Cilantro improves the cardiovascular health of your Guinea pig. It is also rich in antioxidants and helps in eliminating free radicals from the body.
Health risks associated with cilantro in guinea pigs
Along with its positive effects, there are side effects associated with eating cilantro. However, these side-effects can be observed only when the herb is overfed to guinea pigs.
Coriander can cause indigestion, diarrhea, vomiting, or even dehydration when consumed in excess.
Cilantro is not recommended to be fed to pregnant Guinea pigs. If given heavily, it can slow down the process of blood clotting and cause excessive bleeding.
Cilantro also contains calcium and phosphorus, which can harm your cavy’s health when consumed in excess. Too much phosphorus and calcium in the body causes the formation of stones in the bladder and kidney. While feeding cilantro, care should be taken in feeding other food items that are not rich in calcium or phosphorus.
Too much coriander can also damage your pet’s liver. Even though it contains antioxidants, an excessive amount can lower blood pressure in Guinea pigs. It also affects the respiratory system and can lead to asthma.
Cilantro can also cause skin reactions in some Guinea pigs. It can cause swelling, itching, hives, skin rashes, and so on.
All these effects can be easily eliminated if you are careful about the amount of cilantro you feed your Guinea pig.
Can Guinea pigs eat the stems?
Yes! Guinea pigs can eat the stems of cilantro without any fear. In fact, they love to chew on the stems since they always like munching something. Without something to chew on, your guinea pig may disturb you with some weird noises. The surface of the stems is a little rough, so cut the stems into tiny pieces and give them to your pet. The good news is that every part of cilantro is edible, including the flowers. Don’t panic if you see your pet chewing on a cilantro stem the next time.
How often should you feed cilantro?
Cilantro should be treated more like an occasional snack rather than a regular diet. You can use it as a topping on your piggy’s meals occasionally so that she doesn’t get bored of eating the same food every day. It has a strong flavor and hence giving it every day will not only exceed the adequate amount needed but also bore your guinea pig very soon.
All that being said, cilantro is one of the best treats you can give your cute friend. From being loaded with essential nutrients to its distinct flavor, guinea pigs love to munch on this delicious snack.
Before introducing it to your pet, begin by first giving a tiny bit of the leaves and see if your guinea pig likes it. You should also look out for any adverse reactions to your piggy. If all seems fine, then gradually increase the quantity with time. Just keep in mind the amount you should give.
Excessive amounts can cause a lot of health complications to your guinea pig and can lead to unnecessary problems. Being responsible pet parents, it is imperative that you know what benefits and harms your pet since every pet reacts differently.