Guinea pigs are herbivores and enjoy a wide range of plants, including rosemary! Rosemary isn’t found in their natural habitat, but it’s still a safe herb packed full of nutrition for a healthy pig. It’s also a great source of fiber and vitamin C. A few rosemary leaves once or twice a week sprinkled on their food can be a nutritious addition to guinea pigs’ diet.
Guinea Pigs and Their Natural Diet
Most guinea pigs are domesticated these days, but these creatures are still in tune with their natural diet of foraging for the best plants possible.
A guinea pig naturally grazes on a variety of fresh grasses, flowers, and herbs. Their teeth continue to grow no matter their age, and roughage helps wear down their teeth and prevents dental issues.
Domesticated pigs need an unlimited supply of Timothy hay (and/or grass), fresh greens and vegetables, and a small amount of guinea pig pellets.
The list of what a guinea pig can eat is so long that it’s easier to tell you what foods should be avoided. Thankfully, rosemary is not one of these plants.
Rosemary Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 1 Tablespoon (1.7 grams)
Rosemary is full of antioxidants that support immune health and has no sugar, but the most notable health benefit is its vitamin C content.
Just like us, guinea pigs cannot produce vitamin C themselves and so it is an important part of their diet. Vitamin C protects guinea pigs from free radicals and is needed for healthy joints, skin and gums. It’s also required for wound healing. So it is essential to make sure guinea pigs get enough vitamin C in their diet . This herb is a delicious and natural source of vitamin C for your guinea pig when fed in combination with other herbs and fresh produce.
How Much Rosemary Can I Offer My Guinea Pig?
Guinea pigs need around 10–50 mg of vitamin C daily. This can be achieved through providing them with a varied diet containing fresh vegetables, herbs and fruit and guinea pig pellets supplemented with vitamin C. Some guinea pigs may need an additional vitamin C supplement.
The key is a varied diet and accurate measurements.You don’t want to give your guinea pig too much rosemary, so a sprinkle of rosemary or a sprig every now and then is fine. Mix it up a little and feed different plants to your guinea pig. Each plant contains diverse levels of micronutrients, and your pig will be better off this way. Speak to your vet for advice on the correct diet plan for your guinea pig.
Other Healthy Herbs for Your Guinea Pig
You can grow or forage delicious roughage so your guinea pig has a wonderfully varied diet. Plus, many guinea pig-friendly herbs are also healthy for humans—just steer clear of plants with herbicides and pesticides and those found on busy roadways.
Keep an eye out for these herbs (many are rich in vitamin C as well):
Which Plants Should Be Avoided?
Dry foods like oats, cereals, nuts, dried beans, grains, and seeds are high in carbohydrates and should therefore be avoided.
Some plants are also big no-nos, like lilies, nightshades, oak, onion grass, daffodils, and foxglove. Onions, garlic, mushrooms, sweet peas, and potato tops should also be avoided.
Fruit is a great treat, but because they’re high in sugar, limit how much you offer your pig.
Rosemary is an excellent addition to your guinea pig’s diet. The herb is full of vitamin C, absent of sugar, and low in calories. A quick sprinkle or sprig once or twice a week is all your guinea pig needs to enjoy the health benefits of this powerful herb.