Guinea pigs appreciate to nose around and eat weeds. Guinea pigs thrive on the nutrients in natural greenery. Although some plants are useful to the guinea pig’s health, others are poisonous. So it is essential to know which weeds are good and bad for guinea pigs. And what type of weeds can guinea pigs eat?
Cleavers, Daisies, Dandelions, Buttercups, Plantain, Goosegrass, are some examples of weed that guinea pigs can eat. Foxgloves, Poppies, Bindweed are the type of plants that are poisonous to guinea pigs. Guinea pigs can be allergic to certain kinds of plants, so look out for the same.
If you have a guinea pig, you’ll need to reshape the weeding process.
Weeds contained with herbicides and other poisonous chemicals that can kill your guinea pig.
So, before serving them, you need to supervise by removing all the harmful chemicals without weedkiller. You can remove the weed by your hand or by using specific garden tools.
Let us learn more about types of weed that guinea pigs can eat and types of weed that are toxic to them.
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Do guinea pigs want to eat weeds?
You may be wondering if your guinea pigs like to eat weeds, but they are just following their instinct.
Guinea pigs like to forage and taste, but in captivity, they are not dependent on forage to survive. Still, they are hardwired to do this.
Guinea pig’s teeth grow continuously, so regular chewing can help their teeth to be short.
They always eat hay and pellets, which are easier to chew, but chewing something more substantial, they find challenging and helps their teeth become more robust.
Due to the sensitive digestive system, guinea pigs are provided with a fixed and safe diet regularly.
But finding different flavors as a treat can be attractive to them.
If they find weeds as their treat, then they will enjoy it. For example, Dandelions and Daisies are a particularly tasty treat that they enjoy munching on.
What weeds can guinea pigs eat?
There are wide varieties of weeds that guinea pigs can eat. Following are the list of weeds that are safe for guinea pigs to consume:
- Goosegrass (aka Cleavers)
- Shepherd’s Purse
- Sow Thistle
Dandelions are guinea pigs friendly. Dandelions can be found in your yard.
Guinea pigs love to munch on it as they found new taste to enjoy. Guinea pigs can eat a whole plant of dandelions; there is no harm in it. It helps guinea pigs bones to become stronger as it consists of calcium.
Goosegrass also has known as “sticky willy” because it has short hair that gets clutched with guinea pigs far.
You’ll need to brush and groom them after they undergo goosegrasses because goosegrass’s short hair gets attached to guinea pig’s fur.
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Health benefits of weeds for guinea pigs
The most important benefit is the happiness of your guinea pigs to enjoy different tastes from their regular diet.
Guinea pigs can chew through stalks and stems of weeds. That is challenging to your guinea as they are tough to chew compared to other foods.
Weeds are enriched with fiber and many other guinea pig’s health-friendly nutrients.
Compared to other existing treats, these are pocket-friendly and enjoyable treats to guinea pigs. Some weeds are filled with nutritional health benefits that go like that-
- Borage is beneficial to stressed guinea pigs as it contained with relaxant properties. If your guinea pig is nursing, then it promotes milk flow.
- Chamomile helps to reduce stress and also cleans dirt from teary eyes.
- Chickweed is loaded with anti-inflammatories and wound healing properties. It stimulates molting at significant seasons.
- Coltsfoot uplift antibodies to provide a healthy respiratory system.
- Comfrey is a traditional healer with health benefits like wound healing, bloody urine, diarrhea, etc.
- Dandelions have antidiabetic properties and also promotes a healthy respiratory system.
- Goosegrass is diuretic in nature. They also help in constipation and wound healing.
- Lavender is a beautiful blue colored flower with relaxation properties. Serve it in small amounts so that their digestive system get’s accustomed to it.
- Nettles may sting in your guinea pig’s feet, but they relieve inflammation and reduce blood pressure.
- Nasturtium is an antibacterial flower that is safe for guinea pigs with Vitamin C in it. It helps in growth, wound healing, and fights against sore throat, colds.
- Plantain is a luxurious fiber leaf that controls blood pressure and sugar and also has expertise in managing constipation.
- Shepherd’s Purse is a plant that should be consumed in a short amount to achieve maximum benefits. It relieves from heart disease, diarrhea, headache, and many other problems.
Guinea always needs to obey routine diet, but sometimes feeding them with tasty and appreciable treats is an attractive choice.
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What weeds are poisonous to guinea pigs?
Guinea pigs can eat weeds, but some of them are harmful to them may even kill them.
If you find any discomfort in your guinea pig after consuming weed. You need to remove it from their diets immediately.
Below is the list of weeds that are poisonous to guinea pigs:
- Arum Lily (aka Cuckoo Point)
- Convolvulus (aka Bindweed)
- Deadly Nightshade (aka Belladonna)
- Delphinium (aka Larkspur)
- Fool’s Parsley
- Onion weed
- Hellebores (aka Christmas Rose)
- Lily of the Valley
- Rhubarb leaves
- Scarlet Runnertoadflax
- St. john’s wort
You need clear up your yard to get rid of these harmful weeds. Always keep an eye on whether they are growing back or not.
Signs that a guinea pig ate toxic weeds?
Guinea pigs can have health problems after the consumption of toxic weeds. You need to be accustomed to their behavior towards discomfort.
Following are the list of actions you need to check:
- Inflammation in the mouth: This is a sign of toxic consumption. Herbicides or other toxic materials can create inflammation around the mouth.
- Pain in the belly: This is the sign of gastrointestinal problems like constipation, improper digestion. Your guinea pig may not be able to digest the weed properly.
If you find any of these two symptoms, immediately contact your vet and keep them under observation. These are fatal problems that can lead to severe damages.
Other than these above two signs, there are other signs present which is needed to have appropriately cared for.
Following are the warning signs that you need to look after:
- A noticeable drop in body temperature
- Breathing problem or breathing through the mouth
- Unwillingness and slowness to play or exercise
- Aggressive behavior towards other guinea pigs
- Heavy breathing or grinding of teeth is the sign of pain in the belly
- Moving away from the food
Your guinea pigs cannot get overfed by weeds, as that will cause constipation and digestive problems. Always clean up the weeds with bare hands or with some machinery before feeding them weeds.
Guinea pigs may be allergic to some kind of weeds. Generally, weed’s side effects remain for a short period. A proper recommendation from your vet or adequate research is necessary before feeding them with weeds.
Guinea pigs love to roam freely and eat.
You can allow growing weeds in your yard as your guinea pigs can forage and eat them, you serve them with some hay or grass to provide them with some extra taste.
Before growing weeds in your yard, always gather knowledge about them about their harmful effects on guinea pigs.
Faq on weeds
Can guinea pigs eat weed leaves?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat weed leaves that are beneficial to them.
For instance, guinea pigs can eat dandelion and clover leaves.
Many other leaves have harmful herbicides and pesticides in them.
So it highly recommended not to feed them weed leaves without proper removing of pesticides.
Can guinea pigs eat weed stems?
Guinea pigs are familiar with the eating of fresh vegetables and hay.
Despite this, guinea pigs love to eat weed stems. Stems are full of nutrients that will equip them with many health benefits.
But always remember to clean them properly to remove all the herbicides and chemicals from it.
Guinea pigs eat grass weeds clovers?
Yes, guinea pigs eat grass weeds clovers as clovers are not toxic to them.
Clovers are loaded with calcium that improves the bones of your guinea pigs.
Due to a weak digestive system, guinea pigs can eat clovers in moderation. Excessive feeding of calcium can lead to bladder stones.
Sources: Mineral Balance in Guinea Pigs, Dietary Vitamin C, and Vitamin E on Guinea Pig Immune Responses to Mitogens, Vitamin C requirements of the guinea-pig, Is Your Guinea Pig’s Diet Providing the Right Nutrients? Care of Guinea Pigs.