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Can Guinea Pigs Eat Parsley? (Know The Benefits & Risks)

Can guinea pigs eat parsley? I love incorporating new palates into my piggy’s diet. [1] This got me wondering if my cavy would enjoy 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 health issues.

I was curious to learn more, so I researched whether it was safe. How much and how often can I feed my piggy?

Key Takeaways

  • Cavies can eat parsley but only in moderation.
  • Feed parsley to cavies only 1-2 times a week.
  • 3- Parsley promotes bone health, the prevention of scurvy, and healthy vision.

CHECK: Best Food To Feed Guinea Pigs

Is It Safe For Guinea Pigs To Eat Parsley?

parsley for guinea pigs but can guinea pigs eat parsley

It’s generally safe for guinea pigs to eat parsley if it’s fed to them in moderation. Parsley contains a high amount of calcium and oxalic acid.

Cavies need a lot of calcium for growth and development. However, for baby cavies, it can become an issue.

At this age, they don’t require high amounts of calcium. The high calcium content will lead to kidney problems, bladder stones, and issues with the digestive system.

As for oxalic acid, too much can be fatal for cavies. Oxalic acid leads to kidney stone formation. As a guideline, an adult cavy should not eat more than 50 mg per day of oxalic acid.

To keep the cavies from having health issues, only feed parsley as occasional treats.

Here are some health benefits of parsley.

4 Health Benefits of Parsley for Guinea Pigs

Parsley is a herb packed with essential nutrients that aid in healthy growth and proper body functioning. [2]

This herb is excellent 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:

1. Promote Bone Health

These leafy greens are loaded with vitamin K, which has been linked to bone health. The vitamin supports bone growth and increases the density of the bones.

Also, calcium is abundant in parsley. This mineral is essential for bones, hair, teeth, and nail growth.

2. Prevention of Scurvy

One of the most important nutrients for cavies is vitamin C. Parsley is an excellent source of Vitamin C.

Unfortunately, guinea pigs cannot 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 in guinea pigs is quite prevalent.

If the disease is not taken care of, the health of cavies will start deteriorating. They may experience painful joints, weight loss, dental issues, diarrhea, rough coat, and lethargy.

3. Vitamin K

Parsley is extremely rich in vitamin K, essential for blood clotting and bone health.

4. Healthy Vision

Parsley is an excellent source of Vitamin A, vital for Vision and proper functioning of the heart, liver, and kidney.

With the knowledge of benefits, it’s now important to know how to feed your cavy the nutritious herb.

How To Feed Parsley To Guinea Pigs?

There are different types of parsley available. Some common ones include Italian Parsley, Hamburg parsley, Cow Parsley and Chinese Parsley.

Some types are strongly flavored, and your cavy might need to be more accustomed to them.

To feed parsley to your cavies, there are a couple of methods. Try each method and see what’s works best for you and your cavies.

The first method gives them a sprig of parsley with the leaves and stems attached. The cavies may eat just the leaves and leave the stem alone.

If they eat just the leaves, you’ll know to feed the parsley leaves next time.

The second method is to mix parsley with other fresh foods. You can create a salad that could include parsley, spinach, romaine lettuce, and kale.

Ensure only to use a small piece of each vegetable. Too much can cause 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 with a balanced diet.

Can fresh vegetables be fed to cavies daily?

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Parsley Daily?

Cavies can eat the green herb daily, but only 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 daily diet. This will give them the nutrition that parsley doesn’t have. This will give cavies the needed nutrition, especially vitamin C.

And how much is too much?

How Much Parsley Can A Guinea Pig Eat?

guinea pig trying to eat parsley but can guinea pigs eat parsley

Parsley is a great herb to feed your cavies, 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:

Baby guinea pigs should not be fed any parsley. It’s best to wait until they are at least three 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, five 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 cavies, make sure to offer them a small piece. This will allow you to test if they have allergic reactions to parsley.

You may notice bloating, upset stomach, and diarrhea if you have an allergic reaction. 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.

Here are some more tips for feeding these organic herbs.

How Often Can Guinea Pigs Eat Parsley?

Parsley should be fed to the cavies in moderation. This is due to the herb containing high calcium levels and oxalic acid. These are very dangerous to the cavy’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, ensure not to feed them other vegetables and herbs high in oxalic acid or calcium.

Can Baby Guinea Pigs Eat Parsley?

Fresh parsley is generally safe, 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 three weeks old, you can try feeding parsley flowers to them. Start by giving a small piece of parsley first and see if they negatively react. If baby cavy starts to have an upset stomach or diarrhea, you should stop feeding them parsley.

On the other hand, if the baby cavies 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?

Cavies can eat parsley stems as it doesn’t contain any toxins. The stem is tough, so the guinea pigs will likely nibble on them.

You should also avoid feeding your cavy with parsley leaves as they can harbor harmful pesticides.

What other herbs can you feed your pet cavy?

4 Other Herbs That Guinea Pigs Can Eat

1. Thyme

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.

2. Basil

Guinea pigs eat basil as it’s another herb that’s great for feeding your guinea pigs. It contains manganese, vitamin A, vitamin K, and iron. All these nutrients are what the guinea pigs require to stay healthy and strong.

3. Mint

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 lot of calcium, which can cause health issues for your guinea pigs. To ensure it’s safe for them, feed them a few small mint leaves 1-2 times per week.

READ MORE: Can My Guinea Pig Eat Lettuce?

FAQs

Can guinea pigs eat Italian parsley?

Yes, Cavies can eat this flat-leaf parsley occasionally

Which are the best healthy vegetables for guinea pigs?

Bell pepper, romaine lettuce, kale, and cilantro are some popular vegetables your cavy will enjoy.

Conclusion

Can guinea pigs eat parsley? Yes, 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 many health benefits from it.

guinea pig trying to eat parsley but can guinea pigs eat parsley

So, do you feed parsley to your guinea pig? Let us know in the comments section!

Resources

  • 1. O’Dell BL, Morris ER, Pickett EE, Hogan AG. Diet Composition and Mineral Balance in Guinea Pigs. The Journal of Nutrition. 1957;63(1):65-77. doi:10.1093/jn/63.1.65
  • 2. Parsley: Nutrition, Benefits, and Uses. Healthline. Published 2019. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/parsley
Ben Roberts
Ben Roberts

My name is Ben Roberts, and I absolutely love animals. So, naturally, I love writing about them too! As far as my animals, I have a Pit-bull, a Beagle-lab mix, a Chihuahua, and one old cat. Each one of them provides me with a new adventure every day. And the best part is they’re all best friends. Well, except the cat when he gets a little annoyed.
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