I recommend all guinea pig owners to keep a wide variety of fruits and vegetables on hand. These little animals require a varied diet in order to stay healthy and balanced.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Cilantro?
In short, yes. As with any herb, cilantro can be safe for your guinea pigs to ingest. Just make sure that they aren’t eating a lot of it, as cilantro is a potent source of calcium oxalate crystals. The leaves and stems of the plant contain calcium oxalate crystals that can irritate their digestive system if ingested in excess.
What is Cilantro?
Cilantro is a member of the parsley family and is also known as Chinese parsley. There are many different named varieties, but true cilantro is in the family of carrots and parsnips and ranges in size from 15 to 25 cm (6 to 10 inches). It forms a dense cluster at the top of the plant, which gives it its name. It grows best in full sun and produces small green leaves with stems that look like miniature celery stalks.
Is cilantro safe for guinea pigs?
Yes, cilantro is safe for guinea pigs to eat. I consider it one of the safest herbs for them. If you provide the right amount of cilantro for your cavies, the herb can have significant health benefits.
Cilantro naturally stays fresh longer, making it a great herb to have on hand at your house. The chemicals in cilantro maintain freshness, so you or your piggy can enjoy it several days after purchasing. This herb is very similar to parsley and is among the top leafy vegetables for both cavies and humans.
Nutritional Value of cilantro
A single cup of cilantro (about 10 grams) contains:
How much cilantro can guinea pigs eat?
Introduce cilantro into your guinea pig’s diet slowly. New foods can upset their stomach, even if they are safe for them to eat.
Give them a few small pieces of cilantro to see if they enjoy it. If they like cilantro, you can feed a small amount to them each day if you want.
A few bites of cilantro can be added to your cavy’s food on a regular basis. Wash the herb to remove any damaging chemicals and cut it up into medium-sized bites.
You can also mix cilantro in with other fruits or vegetables to provide extra taste and nutrition. Some guinea pig owners use little pieces of cilantro as treats to motivate or train their pets.
Best Way to Give Cilantro to your Guinea Pig
It is best to give it to your guinea pig fresh and in moderation. Cilantro is a good source of vitamins and minerals and can be given as a treat to your pet. Just make sure that you don’t give your guinea pig too much, as cilantro contains calcium oxalate crystals which could prove harmful to them.
Does cilantro have health benefits for guinea pigs?
Cilantro is one of the best things you can feed your guinea pig, I’ve owned a lot of piggies over the years and I know exactly what they need, this is my secret resource when you have questions., outside of their normal pellets and hay. This herb is rich in antioxidants for both humans and cavies.
It can make them healthier overall, prevent diseases, and keep their heart in good condition.
Vitamin C is also found in cilantro, and it is essential for your piggy’s health. They need vitamin C on a daily basis to protect them from diseases and scurvy.
There is not a lot of vitamin C in cilantro, but there is enough to boost your guinea pig’s overall health.
This herb has detoxifying potential to remove harmful substances from your pet’s body. If they have been sick recently or they ate something unhealthy, small amounts of cilantro can help remove the dangerous foods and toxins from their system.
Cilantro has been found to prevent food poisoning, so you can add a little to their food every day for safe measure.
Cilantro contains low levels of sugar, so it does not pose a great risk to your pet’s weight. It is also low in fat, which helps maintain a healthy weight and prevent obesity.
The protein and carbohydrates in cilantro are good for their overall health. Also, the dietary fiber in the herb can help them regulate their cholesterol levels.
Several nutrients, such as vitamin K and vitamin A, are also found in cilantro. These vitamins can improve your piggy’s bone health and keep their teeth and bones from breaking. They can benefit from sharper eyesight and increased immunity.
The manganese found in cilantro can help them better absorb calcium. A buildup of calcium in their system can lead to painful kidney stones or bladder stones. But, the manganese in cilantro can help prevent these issues from occurring.
Are there risks for feeding your guinea pig cilantro?
There is always a risk when feeding your guinea pig a new food. Most health risks associated with feeding them cilantro are related to over-feeding. Too much of the herb is not safe for your pet and can cause the following health issues.
- Slow clotting
- Damaged liver
- Lower blood pressure
- Chronic asthma
- Respiratory problems
It is important to monitor your pet and take note of how their diet affects their health. There are many things guinea pigs need for a balanced diet, but the most important thing to remember is that you want to only serve them foods that keep them safe.
If you notice any of the symptoms above after feeding them cilantro, immediately stop providing the herb. If the symptoms persist once the cilantro is out of their digestive system, contact your vet.
Cilantro can also be dangerous for pregnant guinea pigs. The herb leads to reduced blood clotting and can cause a higher risk of bleeding.
This side effect is particularly dangerous for cavies that are expecting babies. It can lead to the death of the babies and even the mother in extreme circumstances.
Can guinea pigs eat cilantro stems?
Yes, your guinea pig can eat cilantro stems. The stems are just as safe as the leafy parts of the herb. In fact, they may enjoy the stems more.
Cavies like to chew and crunch on their food, and the stems of cilantro provide more texture than the leaves.
With some vegetables, the stems or stalks may be too rough for your pet. They can damage their teeth or throat and cause digestion issues.
However, this is not the case for cilantro stems. If you cut the stems into bite-sized pieces for your piggy, they will enjoy eating them in a safe manner.
Do guinea pigs like to eat cilantro?
You may be surprised to know that some people think cilantro tastes like soap. While the majority of humans enjoy the herb and the flavor it adds to their favorite dishes, there is a portion of the population with a genetic quirk that does not enjoy it.
If you are part of the 20% of the world’s population that finds the taste of cilantro to resemble soap, you may not believe your guinea pig will enjoy it.
Fortunately, guinea pigs do not seem to have an issue when it comes to the taste of cilantro. For the most part, they genuinely enjoy eating the herb as a regular part of their diet.
If you offer your pet cilantro and they do not seem interested, you should not be concerned though. They may not enjoy the taste, and there is no cause for alarm.
Simply remove the uneaten cilantro from their cage and offer them something else to eat.
What Other Kinds of Herbs Can Guinea Pigs Eat?
You can safely give your guinea pig some herbs like basil, cilantro, oregano, sage, thyme, and others. Just remember, moderation is the key.
Cilantro is a very healthy herb that humans and guinea pigs can both enjoy. Small amounts of cilantro are safe to incorporate into your pet’s diet on a daily basis.
As with all foods, monitor their reaction to see if cilantro will be part of their regular diet. Chances are, your furry friend will enjoy this herb mixed in with their other food.
Lydia King is a huge animal lover and has always been fascinated with learning about the animal kingdom. She enjoys writing about anything animal related from scientific information about rare species to animal references in pop culture.