Tasty treats are always welcomed snacks for guinea pigs and most of these are readily available in your fridge or kitchen. One food that probably often hangs out from your refrigerator’s produce drawer is none other than cilantro. But, can guinea pigs eat cilantro? How often can guinea pigs eat cilantro? How much cilantro can guinea pigs eat?
Can you feed cilantro to guinea pigs?
Yes, cilantro is safe to give to your guinea pigs provided that you only give it in moderation or small amounts. Moderation here means one to two pieces cilantro will already be enough for guinea pigs.
Since cilantro has high oxalic acid and calcium content, you should avoid feeding it in excessive amounts to your guinea pigs or health problems may occur.
The proper diet of guinea pigs should be made up of ¼ to cup of combined fresh vegetables and fruits everyday and must never go beyond this. This amount must not be composed of cilantro alone.
Take note that cilantro is only acceptable for guinea pigs to eat provided that it is given as an occasional treat.
Aside from that, cilantro has a quite a strong odor and taste that some guinea pigs don’t like at all and may make them refuse to eat the treat. This means that you shouldn’t be surprised if your guinea pig doesn’t eat cilantro that much or avoids it completely.
If your guinea pig doesn’t eat cilantro, this will end up rotten inside their cage that will soon be unsafe for them to eat.
Any fruit or vegetable that is uneaten within 12 to 24 hours must be removed and disposed of immediately.
The remaining chunk of the diet of guinea pigs must consist of hay as well as guinea pig food. The amount should be fed not more than one to two times weekly and never in two consecutive days.
Is cilantro healthy for guinea pigs?
Many vets will surely agree that it is safe for cavies to consume cilantro. But, this is only the case if you give it to them in moderation as stated above.
Cilantro is rich in essential nutrients such vitamin C, phosphorus, and calcium that can help your cavy to stay healthy. Here are some of the possible health benefits of cilantro for guinea pigs:
- Antioxidants or anti-inflammation
Several studies revealed that cilantro is an excellent source of anti-inflammatory compounds that could help prevent inflammation.
- Blood sugar
It is discovered that cilantro can lower the levels of blood glucose in an animal’s bloodstream.
Cilantro has vitamins A and C content that are both essential for proper health of a guinea pig. Vitamin C can help guinea pigs remain safe and properly protected from different diseases while keeping their immune system strong and healthy.
Cilantro is shown to have the potential of detoxifying the body from certain forms of harmful toxins.
Numerous research studies revealed that cilantro is a good source of anti-inflammatory compounds that can effectively fight off various types of inflammation.
This veggie is rich in the potent anti-inflammatory molecules known as antioxidants. It is thought that antioxidants can help lessen inflammation in the body as they attach or bind to and decrease or suppress the free radicals or the molecules that promote inflammation.
But, even though these are promising studies, there is still a need to see further studies on the benefits of the antioxidant content of cilantro.
In the field of medicine, it is a popular belief that people with high levels of blood sugar have higher risks of developing type 2 diabetes.
An animal study conducted on rats given cilantro seeds showed lower or decreased sugar in the bloodstreams and hypoglycemia action.
It has been proven that cilantro is an effective tool in diabetes management through reducing blood sugar levels.
How much cilantro can you give to guinea pigs?
Every time you introduce something new to your guinea pigs, it is important that you take things slowly and take extra care as you do so.
To get started, you can offer your cavy with one cilantro stem for the first time and observe your pet for about 12 to 24 hours for adverse reactions like refusal to eat, reduced energy, diarrhea, digestive upset, and more.
In the event that your guinea pig shows signs of discomfort or distress, it is best to stop feeding cilantro to your pet and call your vet regarding the current situation to get additional guidance.
Having said this, many guinea pigs consume cilantro really well.
So long as your cavy doesn’t show any signs of adverse reactions, that is the time that you can start to increase the quantity of cilantro that you feed them little by little until they get to enjoy a complete full serving which is not really that much.
It is recommended that you only give cilantro several times per week and never go beyond this amount.
Why is that? Well, this is because cilantro contains phosphorus and calcium, both of which could be detrimental to the health of your cavy if given in incorrect amounts. This is because these two can result to kidney stone formation as well as other medical issuers that you would never want your furry baby to suffer from.
You should only serve not more than one to two small bite-sized cilantro pieces to your guinea pig per day and not more than two times a week.
You also have to make sure that you space out those several times weekly and never let your guinea pig eat cilantro for two days consecutively.
Does cilantro pose harm to guinea pigs?
Yes, cilantro can be dangerous to guinea pigs if you don’t prepare, serve, and monitor it properly. Cilantro pieces that are too big might be a possible choking hazard for guinea pigs that is not good at all.
Also, failure to clean the cilantro properly may expose your pet to those things that might have been left behind on the herb such as pesticides, chemicals, dirt, and others that may potentially cause dangerous side effects.
There are also some issues associated with giving too much cilantro to your guinea pig.
Guinea pigs may suffer from digestive upset such as anorexia or reduced eating, lethargy, dehydration, and diarrhea that may all lead to more harmful health concerns if not treated by a veterinarian.
Once you notice your guinea pigs exhibiting any of the above symptoms after you introduce a new food to their diet such as cilantro, don’t waste time and call your vet right away to seek expert help.