Can Guinea Pigs Eat Basil? Interesting Food Facts You May Not Know

Akinwalere Olaleye
Jan 24, 2024 By Akinwalere Olaleye
Originally Published on Nov 01, 2021
Have you ever wondered can guinea pigs eat basil? Guinea pigs need a diversified diet with proper supplements to maintain a healthy body.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 11.6 Min

Guinea pigs are small and adorable pets that can live up to 10 years in proper care.

The size of a guinea pig is approximately 11 in (27.9 cm) so its short height makes it perfect for a cute small home animal. As an owner would treat their pet just like their own child and feed it everything they can eat, guinea pigs being so sweet are treated with great care and pampered with everything.

But can your little pet eat every delicious dish you so lovingly serve them? According to expert veterinarians, guinea pigs need a healthy diet with proper nutrients to have a healthy life. Essential nutrient-rich specially produced for guinea pigs are available in pet stores. Timothy hay, green vegetables, and fruits in proper amounts should be present in their diet. A guinea pig's diet should also be rich in vitamins and minerals to build a good immune system. Their food must contain small amounts of fats and carbohydrates, preferably less sugar. Fresh vegetables and fruits should be served to them. Vegetables and fruits for more than 12-24 hours are not suitable for a guinea pig because fresh food can provide better nutrients. Water given to a guinea pig should be clean and fresh, remaining water should be replaced with fresh water and the water dispenser should be cleaned every day. These are some simple things to follow for keeping your tiny friend healthy. In this article, we will be answering whether or not guinea pigs can be given basil. Basil is a nutrient-rich food with many benefits like anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant.

If you enjoyed this article, why not also know or visit to know about can guinea pigs eat apples or can guinea pigs eat grapes here at Kidadl.

Is basil safe for guinea pigs?

Basil is one of the herbs of the mint family. It has both nutritional and medicinal properties. It contains almost all the essential nutrients known to us. There are different types of basil used for various dishes, like Thai basil, purple basil, sweet basil, lemon basil, and Greek basil.

Basil contains nutrients like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, proteins, and other important vitamins like vitamin A which is a good anti-oxidant, and vitamin C which is an essential nutrient in guinea pig's food. It can be considered a lifesaver as guinea pigs cannot produce vitamin C on their own and cannot store it. So basil can be a vital and regular source of vitamin C for guinea pigs. Vitamin C deficiency can cause scurvy disease in guinea pigs which can be critical to their health. Their meals should regularly contain this particular vitamin. Scurvy disease in a guinea pig can be detected through some of the common symptoms like lack of appetite, fatigue, stiff limbs, and discharge from the eyes and nose. Guinea pigs enjoy eating fresh fruits and vegetables of any kind but their meals should be made in such a way that there must be an exact amount of all the required nutrients like calcium and vitamin C but not excess of anything. Excess nutrients can also harm the health of the guinea pig. So basil leaves are overall a healthy food for guinea pigs with their package nutrient contents, but they should not be included regularly in guinea pigs' meals because their digestive system would prefer diversified fruits and green vegetables over monotonous wholesome basil. Basil leaves taste like pepper and have a sweet smell which makes them a preferred food for guinea pigs. However, basil should only be served to guinea pigs at a regular interval of days per week. Being a wholesome food, basil is preferable to many guinea pig owners to include in a healthy meal. But as we know too much of a good thing is also bad, so an excessive healthy meal for a pet as small as a guinea pig is very harmful because they eat all the food, however they do not have the capacity to digest the nutrients properly. So, it is wise to never feed basil to your guinea pig more than one to two times per week in moderation.

The serving size should begin with one basil leaf, and wait for the next 24 hours before giving more basil leaves to observe if any abnormalities have occurred in the appearance and behavior of your guinea pig. Basil leaves or any other fruits or vegetables are mainly supplementary in the guinea pig's diet. Moderation when feeding basil should be strictly followed to avoid overwhelming nutritional diet and also to prevent the deficiency of the essential nutrient. Serving basil as part of a salad mixed with other fruits and vegetables that guinea pigs like to eat is recommended to feed guinea pigs with diversified food. Fresh basil leaves should be fed to guinea pigs slowly, one to two times a week and then increasing or retaining the serving size according to the response your pet gives out.

Benefits Of Basil For Guinea Pigs

Basil leaves and flowers are used as herbs or spices in many regions. Basil has various types depending on its taste and also the regions of origin such as sweet basil, Greek basil, lemon basil, and Thai basil.

Basil is a plant and the stem and leaves are used as herbs in the United States. This herb has nutritional properties as basil contains calcium, essential minerals and vitamin K, A and C which is very important for guinea pigs as it prevents some fatal diseases like scurvy. Basil leaves also have natural fibers, proteins, zinc, and many other vital nutrients which makes basil a wholesome food. Guinea pigs cannot produce or store vitamin C on their own so it has to be given as a supplement with their regular diet and the basil plant is a good source of vitamin C. Vitamin C can be considered a life-saving nutrient for guinea pigs because a lack of vitamin C can cause scurvy disease in guinea pigs which can be detected through very common symptoms like fatigue, discharge from the eyes and nose, lack of appetite, and also change in appearance and overall weakness.

Basil for guinea pigs is a rich source of vitamin C and should be included in the diet at regular intervals. Basil for guinea pigs is good because it helps to improve the digestive as well as immunity system of the guinea pig. The herb contains natural fibers and proteins and releases energy slowly which helps in reducing stress, fatigue, and anxiety. Proper digestion also ensures proper usage of nutrition as guinea pigs cannot store any nutrition for later use so if their intake system works properly, they can intake the required amount of nutrition.

Zinc present in the green leaves of basil improves the immunity system of the guinea pig which in turn improves its overall health. So you should be feeding your guinea pigs these green leaves, especially when they are pregnant as it keeps the DNA of the guinea pig healthy which is good for their offspring and it also helps to heal wounds fast. You should feed them basil at least once or twice per week. Vitamins and minerals present in basil are very useful antioxidants. Vitamin A is a very strong antioxidant as it prevents inflammation and hinders free radical damage because free radical damage can cause early aging of the guinea pig and other illnesses. Basil also fights against diseases of the heart, lungs, and also kidney stones. Manganese present in the basil guinea pigs eat is also an antioxidant that helps improve the overall health of the guinea pig by fighting against all the diseases and keeping the metabolism of calcium and sugar in control and also keeping the connecting tissues strong. So if you are still not sure about can guinea pigs eat basil, here is the best reason why feeding basil is beneficial to your guinea pig.

Guinea pigs eat basil as supplementary food for many of the nutrients which they cannot produce or even inside their body. So if a supplementary meal like basil comes with extra calories or fat then that food is not good as a supplement. But basil has a minimum amount of fat and a maximum amount of essential nutrients like beta carotene, calcium, and vitamin K. Basil also has a low amount of sugar which keeps the blood sugar level of the guinea pig at a normal rate. Other nutrients present in basil herb such as iron, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin K also help to improve and maintain the overall health of the guinea pig by making the bones strong and the cells and the blood vessels healthy and also helps to maintain normal blood pressure. Guinea pigs can also eat basil flowers and there is no harm if they like to eat fresh basil leaves because guinea pigs can eat different types of fruits or herbal plants.

Guinea pigs can also eat basil flowers and leaves but in a moderation, only once or twice a week

What herbs can guinea pigs eat?

Can guinea pigs eat basil or another herb? It is a very crucial question from pet owners. Guinea pigs eat almost everything that suits their taste including fruits and vegetables.

A guinea pig also eats different herbs and one of them is the basil herb. Basil is both nutritious and therapeutic in nature. It includes nearly all of the necessary nutrients that we are aware of. In many parts of the world, basil and flowers are utilized as herbs or spices. Basil comes in a variety of flavors and origins, including sweet basil, Greek basil, lemon basil, and Thai basil. Yes, basil includes calcium, vital minerals including vitamin K, A and C, which is highly important for guinea pigs since it prevents some deadly diseases like scurvy. Basil include natural fibers, proteins, zinc, and a variety of other essential elements, making them a nutritious meal. Because guinea pigs cannot manufacture or retain vitamin C on their own, eating basil must be supplemented as part of their daily diet, and the basil plant is a rich source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a life-saving ingredient for guinea pigs since a shortage of vitamin C can cause scurvy illness, which can be recognized by fairly frequent symptoms such as tiredness, discharge from the eyes and nose, lack of appetite, and also a change in look and general weakness. Basil is a good source of vitamin C for guinea pigs and should be added to their diet on a regular basis at least two times a week.

Basil also has a low sugar content, which helps the guinea pig maintain a balanced blood sugar level. Other elements included in the basil plant, including iron, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin K, assist to promote and maintain the guinea pig's general health by strengthening the bones and keeping the cells and blood vessels healthy, as well as maintaining normal blood pressure. Guinea pigs eat this basil herb as a supplement to numerous nutrients that they cannot manufacture or even store inside their bodies. Guinea pigs can also eat basil flowers. So, if supplemental food contains extra calories or fat, it is not suitable as a supplement. Basil, on the other hand, has low-fat content and a high concentration of vital minerals such as beta carotene, calcium, vitamin K, and so on.

How much basil can a guinea pig have?

Guinea pigs like eating fresh fruits and vegetables of all kinds, but their diet should be designed in such a manner that there is an exact amount of all the essential nutrients, such as calcium and vitamin C, but do not feed them an excess of anything. Excess nutrients may potentially harm the guinea pig's health.

So, while basil is a healthy meal for guinea pigs due to its nutritional content, too much basil in a guinea pig's diet should be avoided. Their digestive system would prefer diverse fruits and green vegetables over monotonous nutritious basil. Basil has a peppery flavor and a pleasant aroma, making it a favorite meal to feed guinea pigs. There are different types of basil used for various dishes, like Thai basil, purple basil, lemon basil, and Greek basil. Yes, the guinea pig's diet is mostly supplemented with basil or other fruits or vegetables. As a result, feeding basil should be done with caution in order to avoid an overburdened nutritious diet and to avoid a shortage of a vital component. To feed guinea pigs with a varied diet, provide basil as part of a salad combined with other fruits and vegetables that guinea pigs enjoy. Fresh basil should be introduced to guinea pigs gradually, one to two times each week, and the serving size should be increased or maintained based on the response your pet gives. Basil is preferred by many guinea pig owners as a nutritious diet for their pets since it is a wholesome meal. Guinea pigs can also eat basil perennials. But, as we all know, too much of a good thing can be detrimental, so an excessively healthy diet for a pet as little as a guinea pig is extremely harmful since they not only eat the food but must also be able to absorb the nutrients effectively. As a result, it is vital to not serve too much basil to your guinea pig. You should give it once or twice a week in moderation. The serving size should to begin with should be small, one basil leaf, and you should wait 24 hours before adding the second basil leaf to see if your guinea pig's look and behavior have changed.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for can guinea pigs eat basil, then why not take a look at can guinea pigs eat avocado or rex guinea pig facts?

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Written by Akinwalere Olaleye

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

Akinwalere Olaleye picture

Akinwalere OlaleyeBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

As a highly motivated, detail-oriented, and energetic individual, Olaleye's expertise lies in administrative and management operations. With extensive knowledge as an Editor and Communications Analyst, Olaleye excels in editing, writing, and media relations. Her commitment to upholding professional ethics and driving organizational growth sets her apart. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Benin, Edo State. 

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