Can Guinea Pigs Eat Marigolds?

Guinea Pigs May 3, 2022
Written by | Updated Jun 7, 2024
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Can Guinea Pigs Eat Marigolds?

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Can Guinea Pigs Eat Marigolds?

Most gardeners know that marigolds help keep pests under control naturally while adding a splash of gorgeous color to vegetable rows. If you’re growing marigolds, you might wonder about other uses for them.

You might even be curious about whether guinea pigs can eat marigolds!

As it turns out, marigolds are one of a handful of edible flowers. While we humans might not like the flavor much, some animals really like marigolds. Guinea pigs happen to be among them!

Here’s the thing: You will need to offer your guinea pig just a little marigold at a time. This isn’t something they can eat often, and marigolds really shouldn’t be eaten in large quantities.

Keep reading! You’re about to learn everything there is to know about marigolds for guinea pigs.

Can Guinea Pigs Have Marigolds?

Yes! Guinea pigs can have marigolds in small quantities. It’s best to offer them marigold blossoms only since the stems and leaves have a strong flavor that your pet might not like.

Choose your guinea pig’s marigold treats carefully. Make sure the flowers are fresh, and be sure that they haven’t been sprayed with pesticides or herbicides that could harm your pet.

Be sure to rinse the marigolds before giving them to your guinea pig.

Are Marigolds Good For Guinea Pigs?

Yes – marigolds aren’t exactly the most nutritious treats, but they are low in sugar and they contain some antioxidants to help support your guinea pig’s good health.

Do Guinea Pigs Like Marigolds?

Yes! Most guinea pigs like marigolds and will happily nibble away when given the opportunity.

The best way to find out if your guinea pig likes marigolds is to give your pet a single marigold blossom and see how they respond!

How Much Marigold Can A Guinea Pig Eat?

This isn’t a food that should be eating in large quantities. Even though it isn’t bad for your guinea pig, Marigold should be enjoyed in moderation.

Here’s how much marigold to feed a guinea pig:

Age Amount
Baby guinea pig None
Adult guinea pig 1 or 2 large marigold or 2 to 3 small marigolds

It’s important to monitor your pet every time you introduce a new food. Even though your guinea pig won’t be eating lots of marigold at once, there’s a slight chance that this fragrant flower could give your pet an upset tummy.

Keep an eye on your guinea pig for about 12 hours after they eat marigold for the very first time. Watch for signs of discomfort, bloating, and diarrhea.

If your guinea pig is okay with one marigold, you can offer them two flowers next time. If the marigolds are small, you can give your guinea pig up to three at once after they’ve become accustomed to them.

How Often Can Have A Guinea Pig Eat Marigolds?

It’s okay to give your guinea pig marigolds once or twice per week but not more often than that unless you’re offering them a dried marigold supplement.

If you purchased a dried marigold supplement for your guinea pig, simply follow the instructions on the package. Dried marigolds and other dried edible flowers can be mixed into your guinea pig’s hay simply to make it more nutritious and enjoyable.

The Correct Diet Is Important

Now that you know guinea pigs can eat marigolds and some other edible flowers, you might be wondering about other foods that make up a guinea pig’s natural diet!

One reason guinea pigs make such great pets is that they require only simple food. It’s pretty easy to feed your guinea pig a diet that mimics the grasses and nutritious little plants that they eat in the wild.

Here are our recommendations for feeding your guinea pig the right way, every day:

  • Offer fresh hay in unlimited quantities. Make sure that you choose the right kind of hay for guinea pigs – Timothy is one of the best options.
  • Give your guinea pig a serving of vitamin C-enriched guinea pig food every day. The package label is your guide to providing your pet with the right amount based on their age and size.
  • Make sure your guinea pig always has fresh, clean water. As part of your daily routine, rinse and refill your guinea pig’s water bottle.
  • Guinea pigs thrive when offered a daily salad made up with about 1 cup of fresh greens and a little bit of chopped veggies. You can also give your guinea pig tiny amounts of fruit as a special treat.

While we’re on the subject of your guinea pig’s health, here is one more thing to remember:

A guinea pig’s teeth never stop growing. Provide your guinea pig with something safe to chew at all times. It’s the best way to prevent your pet’s teeth from becoming overgrown and painfully infected.

There are tons of great guinea pig toys on the market. These are fun for your pet to chew, plus they prevent boredom and promote your guinea pig’s mental health.

Make sure that your guinea pig’s cage is clean, with plenty of soft bedding. This – combined with the right food and fun toys – will help your guinea pig stay healthy and happy.

What Are Healthy Alternatives To Marigolds In A Guinea Pig’s Diet?

Since marigolds can only be offered in limited quantities, you might be wondering about other healthy treats to offer your pet. As it turns out, there are lots of options!

Here are some Guinea-pig approved veggies, fruits, and herbs to consider:

  • asparagus
  • broccoli
  • cilantro
  • parsley
  • blueberry
  • cucumber
  • zucchini
  • Apple
  • summer squash
  • Winter squash
  • pumpkin
  • green leaf lettuce
  • Sweet potato
  • Brussels sprouts
  • cauliflower
  • arugula
  • spinach
  • blackberry
  • carrots
  • carrot tops
  • Swiss chard

This is just a brief sampling of the many foods a guinea pig can eat!

There’s a very good likelihood that if you like a certain fruit, vegetable, or herb, your guinea pig will enjoy it as well.

Just remember to take a moment to check into every new food you consider for your guinea pig. This is the best way to avoid potentially toxic foods as well as foods that simply aren’t good for your pet.

For now, try giving your guinea pig marigold and see how they like it!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are marigolds safe for guinea pigs?

Yes! It's perfectly safe to feed a guinea pig marigolds. Just remember to offer them the right amount.
In addition, you want to make sure that the marigold you feed your guinea pig hasn't been treated with chemicals such as pesticides or herbicides.

Can marigolds make my guinea pig sick?

Yes – but it isn't very likely. So long as you offer the right amount and make sure that the marigolds you give your guinea pig are free from chemicals, they should be fine.
If your guinea pig seems to be in digestive distress after eating marigolds or anything else, give your vet take all to be on the safe side. They'll be able to provide you with specific, case-by-case advice.

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Anne is a wellness writer with a lifelong love of animals large and small. As a former veterinary technician, she has a passion for your pet’s well-being. Anne rescues and rehabilitates animals in need. She shares her farm with lots of critters including horses, sheep, dogs, cats, rabbits, and chickens.
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