Are you wondering, “can guinea pigs eat basil?” Don’t be cos’ the answer is yes. This herb comes with several health benefits that will surely be good for your pet. But then, you have to follow a quick guide to feed them basil. The steps are just easy so, there’s no way you can’t do that.
Basil is a common plant that you can grow inside your home, by the window sill. It has a lot of nutrients that are good for humans and animals alike. You can feed your guinea pigs with basil, yet they must not take up a whole lot in their diet. You should provide them in small amounts, and they cannot have it often.
In this article, we’ll answer in detail the questions that are popping into your mind. Just read on!
Qualities And Benefits Of Basil
Basil is known to have a powerful aroma and sweet flavor. Some types are more intense than others. Anyway, basil belongs to the mint family, so if you want to know whether or not guinea pigs can have mint, find out more!
You already know the answer when asked, “can guinea pigs eat basil?” It is worth noting that guinea pigs should not be fed with foods that hold such strong qualities in significant amounts.
The best thing about basil is that it has vitamin K, which is quite good for your guinea pig’s diet. The herb does not contain sugar, so if your vet recommends that your pet keep a healthy diet, adding basil to their meals will help.
One fun thing to think about is that some guinea pigs do not like to eat basil. Just like people, these critters can also be picky eaters, just like my pet, Ginger. Anyway, my pet eats basil occasionally. I guess it depends upon his mood. I really don’t know.
You’d find guinea pigs that would enjoy nibbling on small pieces of basil, and there would be some that will completely ignore the herb(can Guinea pigs eat herb).
How To Start Feeding Your Guinea Pig With Basil
There are some things that you should bear in mind before you should feed your pet, basil. Follow the steps below:
Step #1. Introduce the plant first
I suggest that you introduce food to your pet first. This only means that you should not feed it with a lot of basil right away. Instead, start with tiny pieces of basil leaves. When you see that it enjoys eating the leaf, then you can gradually add in more.
Step #2. Observe your pet
If this will be the first time that you’ll be feeding your guinea pig with basil, always check for signs of tummy aches, bloating, or diarrhea. Don’t fret when any of these symptoms occur to your pet. It’s really normal when you introduce a new diet to guinea pigs. I can say that this is true as this happened to Ginger before.
Step #3. Feed your pet basil leaves occasionally
As long as these instances don’t happen, rest assured that your guinea pig can handle eating basil leaves. Always remember that basil should not be included in your pet’s everyday diet. It is more about making basil as another alternative or variation in their food.
Comparing it to a human’s diet, guinea pigs also like a variation in their food. At most, you can feed basil leaves to them 2-3 times a week. Basil isn’t the most nutritious food for your guinea pigs. There are far better vegetables and leaves for them to have.
How often should you feed basil to your guinea pig?
Think of basil as an occasional treat for your guinea pig. Before giving it a serving, thoroughly wash the basil. Rinse away the dirt and other harmful substances found in the herb. You may find it clean at first glance; don’t be tempted. Be scared of the things unseen.
Anyway, if you have a baby guinea pig with you, it’s not recommended for you to feed it with basil. Wait for your pet to become adult, then you can start feeding them 2-3 normal-sized basil leaves. (please read here how to tell a Guinea pig age)
A balanced meal for guinea pigs
I know you are curious as to what makes the perfect balanced diet for your guinea pig. Lucky for you, we will share what encompasses that.
Start with a nice serving of guinea pig pellets; these foods are rich in vitamin C. Before feeding, make sure to check the bag to see how much you should give to your pet. For younger guinea pigs, the serving is usually lesser than those for adult guinea pigs.
Next on the list is a huge amount of fresh hay- orchard, timothy, and oat hay, name it, your guinea pig will surely enjoy.
Clean water is essential for your guinea pig’s diet. Be sure that they have a fresh supply inside their drinking bottle every day. Do not let the water stay inside the bottle for more than a day.
Finally, to top it all off, offer them one cup of fresh vegetables, divided into two meals, every day. Research more about what vegetables are safe for your guinea pigs since they cannot eat all kinds of vegetables.
To give more variety, switch up leafy and crunchy vegetables in their diet. By doing so, you’re sure to prevent oxalic acid build-up and lessen the risk of kidney stone formation.
How to properly incorporate new food in a guinea pig’s diet
Before you try and introduce a new vegetable or fruit to your guinea pig, do more background research if it’s safe for guinea pig consumption. It will also be better to consult your veterinarian about the changes you will make in their diet.
Guinea pigs are animals that you should take care of. They are not testing subjects that you can experiment on and give whatever kind of food. Please do not assume that you can feed them with any fruit or vegetable. It is better to be safe than sorry.
When you feed your guinea pigs with fruits and vegetables, make sure to chop these foods up real nice. They might not be able to consume substantial sized foods.
Ginger experienced that when I fed him a large basil leaf. I’m not fully aware at first. That time, he manifests as if he’s choking, and I was very nervous. Good thing he was able to let the leaf out from his mouth. And fortunately, he’s OK.
Proper ratio of fruit and herb for a balanced diet
There is a proper ratio as to how much fruit and herb you should feed your guinea pig. For every pound that your guinea pig weighs, feed it one to two teaspoons of fruit and herb. (please read here how much do Guinea pig weigh)
Risks Of Including Basil To The Diet
But, as we said earlier, basil gives variation to the diet of your guinea pigs. They would love to have something new once in a while.
The main reason basil is not incorporated in their regular diet is that basil has high acidity content. Yes, there are nutrients in basil that are important for guinea pigs, but it must only be fed to them in small amounts.
Basil’s acidity can cause sickness in your guinea pigs, so be very careful when feeding them with these kinds of vegetables.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Other Kinds Of Basil?
You may ask if guinea pigs will react the same way to Thai basils. The answer is yes. Guinea pigs can also eat Thai basils. The serving size for it is the same as the regular basil leaves.
The process is also the same if this will be the first time you’ll feed them with Thai basil. Introduce the leaf slowly to them and see how their body takes it. If the results turn out well, you can add a few more to their diet.
There are plenty more kinds of basil out there like, sweet basil and lemon basil. The way you should approach it will always be the same.
Never immediately put out large amounts of unfamiliar food for your guinea pigs. You might not be aware that these kinds of leaves(can Guinea pigs eat celery leaves) will give your guinea pigs tummy aches or cause bloating.
Can guinea pigs eat basil? Guinea pigs can eat basil but in small amounts. It is proper to research your guinea pig’s diet before you try and incorporate new food. Always be responsible for taking care of them and try to consult your veterinarian regularly.
Delbert Curtis is a senior writer at Petcosset, a leading online resource for pet care information. With over 10 years of experience in the pet industry, Delbert is passionate about helping pet owners provide the best care possible. He has written extensively on pet health, nutrition, training, and behavior. Delbert is dedicated to staying up-to-date on the latest research and trends in the pet industry to provide the most accurate and helpful information to Petcosset’s readers. Delbert enjoys spending time with his pets and exploring the great outdoors when he’s not writing.