Can Guinea Pigs Eat Parsley?

Guinea Pigs May 7, 2022
Written by | Updated Nov 13, 2022
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Can Guinea Pigs Eat Parsley?

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Can Guinea Pigs Eat Parsley?

Parsley is a versatile herb with a refreshing flavor, loved around the world. We humans enjoy it in all kinds of dishes but what about guinea pigs?

Can you give parsley to a guinea pig? If so, how much can they have – and how often can they have it?

Just in case you’re searching for a quick answer, here it is: Yes! Guinea pigs can eat parsley, but there are certain guidelines you’ll want to follow.

Before you head for the refrigerator to fetch a tasty snack for your cavy, read our quick guide to parsley for guinea pigs.

Parsley Nutrition Stats

Parsley looks beautiful as a garnish but there are plenty of reasons to add it to your own food and give it to your guinea pig!

This savory herb is surprisingly nutritious, with one cup of fresh parsley providing:

  • 5 calories
  • 8 g carbohydrates
  • 2 g fiber
  • 8 g protein
  • .5 g fat

Parsley Nutritional Facts

If you like parsley and eat enough of it, you’ll get a powerful dose of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that benefit everything from your skin to your heart.

That same one-cup serving of parsley offers about:

  • 984 mcg vitamin K
  • 8 mg vitamin C
  • 5055 IU vitamin A
  • 7 mg iron
  • 91 mcg folate
  • 332 mg potassium
  • 8 mg calcium
  • .1 mg manganese
  • 30 mg magnesium

Parsley also contain traces of vitamin E, vitamin B6, niacin, phosphorus, copper, and zinc.

Can Guinea Pigs Have Parsley?

Absolutely! Parsley is a great snack for your guinea pig. If you’ve been looking for low-sugar treats for your cavy, you’ll definitely want to put this savory herb on your list.

Is Parsley Good For Guinea Pigs?

Yes! In fact, parsley is an excellent choice thanks to all of the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants it contains. Of course, you’ll want to wash it well, and you’ll want to serve the right amount.

Since parsley does contain quite a bit of oxalic acid, which contributes to kidney stone formation, your guinea pig will need to enjoy it in moderation.

Do Guinea Pigs Like Parsley?

As fresh herbs go, parsley is a favorite! Guinea pigs tend to go crazy for parsley, happily squeaking while they nibble. There’s no need to separate the leaves from the stems, since guinea pigs like to eat the entire plant.

How Much Parsley Can A Guinea Pig Eat?

Even though parsley is great for your guinea pig, there are limits! Here’s how much parsley a to feed your guinea pig:

AgeAmount
Baby guinea pigNone
Adult guinea pig5 average-sized sprigs of parsley

A sprig of parsley is a stem with all the leaves on it. Five sprigs is a fairly substantial amount, sure to leave your cavy feeling satisfied!

If your guinea pig is a new addition to the family and hasn’t been eating fresh foods much at all, then you’ll want to offer a smaller amount since sudden changes can be a shock to the digestive system. Start by offering your guinea pig one sprig of parsley.

Watch your pet’s behavior and pay attention to their elimination habits for the next 12 hours. If you don’t see any signs of digestive distress or diarrhea, you can gradually increase their serving size over the next several days until they’re enjoying the full portion.

How Often Can A Guinea Pig Eat Parsley?

Since parsley contains high levels of calcium and oxalic acid, it shouldn’t be on your guinea pig’s daily menu. Instead, you should let your guinea pig have parsley up to three times per week, and not on the same day as other veggies that are high in oxalic acid or calcium.

The Correct Diet is Important

A guinea pig’s natural diet is primarily made up of grass. The long fibers keep the guinea pig’s digestive tract working. Pet cavies need to be fed an unlimited amount of fresh Timothy hay, which replaces those natural grasses.

Besides hay, here’s what else you should feed a guinea pig every day:

  • Guinea pig pellets fortified with vitamin C (Check the label to see how much you should offer since serving size varies by brand)
  • Unlimited amount of fresh, clean water. Be sure to rinse and refill your cavy’s water bottle every day.
  • About one cup of fresh leafy greens and crunchy veggies per day. It’s best to divide this into two or three separate servings if possible.

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

Guinea pigs can’t eat parsley every day, so what else can you give them?

The good news is that you’ve got lots of options when it’s time to choose natural treats to round out your guinea pig’s diet.

Here’s a list of some foods most cavies like best:

  • asparagus
  • artichoke
  • basil
  • cilantro
  • mint
  • carrot
  • carrot tops
  • romaine
  • beets
  • beet tops
  • arugula
  • swiss chard
  • spinach
  • endive
  • escarole
  • cabbage
  • butter lettuce
  • buttercrunch lettuce
  • bibb lettuce
  • rocket
  • cabbage
  • green beans
  • cucumber
  • bell pepper
  • zucchini
  • summer squash
  • parsnip
  • pumpkin
  • sweet potato
  • tomato
  • broccoli
  • broccolini
  • cauliflower
  • brussels sprouts
  • bok choy
  • yu choy
  • watercress

Also Read: What Do Guinea Pigs Eat?

Remember to make fresh Timothy hay and vitamin C fortified guinea pig pellets the cornerstone of your cavy’s diet, and you’ll be on the right track.

By adding a bit of fresh food and researching new items before you give them to your guinea pig, you’re putting your pet on the road to a lifetime of good health.

For now, try giving your guinea pig parsley to see if they enjoy it!

FAQ

Is parsley safe for guinea pigs?

Absolutely! Just remember to wash it well to eliminate any traces of pesticide, and offer the right amount since overfeeding anything – even safe foods – can make your pet sick.

Can parsley make my guinea pig sick?

Parsley is very healthy for your guinea pig but remember that sometimes it’s possible to have too much of a good thing. Overfeeding in the short term can give your cavy diarrhea or cause a tummy ache, and overfeeding parsley over a long period of time can lead to serious health conditions including kidney stones. Only offer the right amount of parsley a few times per week to avoid problems.

Can guinea pigs eat Italian parsley?

Yes! guinea pigs can have up to 5 sprigs of Italian parsley up to 3 times per week as a replacement for traditional parsley.

Can guinea pigs eat dried parsley?

Guinea pigs can have dried parsley if there’s nothing else added. The best way to give a guinea pig dried parsley is to sprinkle it on other veggies as a flavor enhancer. Only offer a pinch at a time.

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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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