Can guinea pigs eat dandelions. Dandelions considered to be weeds are something guinea pigs enjoy the most. For them, the entire plant is healthy and edible. But are there risks to them eating it?
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Can guinea pigs eat dandelions?
Dandelions are free and very much available. They grow in the wild with their flowers yellow in color and are easily spotted. You can also buy them from a local grocery store.
These wild weeds are rich in Vitamin C, something that a guinea cannot produce on their own. Lack of this vitamin leads to scurvy, which is the issues of the skin and joints. Dandelions also help improve their digestive process.
They are also good sources of Vitamin A, Vitamin K, fiber, antioxidants, and potassium. These help with their bone development and weight management. Moreover, it keeps their heart and liver healthy.
Even baby guineas can be given dandelions in tiny amounts only.
Dandelions are safe to serve a couple of times in a single week. If you are serving for the very first time, start slow. 3-4 leaves are good to serve 2-3times a week. They are best to serve them fresh. Take out leftover dandelions from the cage to prevent them from rotting or decaying.
Can guinea pigs eat dandelion leaves
The leaves are rich in calcium. Before serving them both, the leaves, and roots, make sure to wash them nicely. As these are sprayed with fertilizers or pest control or even stray animals might have peed on them, you would not want your pet to ingest them and fall terribly ill just because of one small mistake you made by not washing them.
Another thing you should not panic about is after eating a dandelion, the color of a guinea pigs’ urine may change to orange or red. It is completely normal since it is the body’s reaction to the processing of the plant’s pigments.
Guinea pigs can consume dandelion leaves, stems, roots, petals, and greens. Much to everyone’s surprise, they can even consume the flowers and their stems.
But hold on too much of it is an issue. Greens like dandelions have a large portion of calcium and protein which are not good for their health if consumed in large portions. Overfeeding can lead to issues like diarrhea, bloating, vomiting and intestinal health problems. Too much of calcium can lead to formation of bladder or kidney stones.
Nutritional Benefits Of Dandelions For Guinea Pigs
Dandelions provide the nutrients that guinea pigs need to remain healthy and productive.
Guinea pigs need a daily vitamin supplement to stay healthy.
Other nutrients, such as fibre, minerals, and antioxidants, are also needed.
Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant.
Guinea pigs are susceptible to scurvy because they lack sufficient vitamin C to avoid it.
Dandelions are rich in vitamin C, which keeps them well and protects them from scurvy.
Guinea pigs require about 25mg of vitamin C per day.
Guinea pigs can get enough vitamin C from a moderate serving of dandelion flowers, leaves, stems, and roots to remain healthy.
The greens leaves of the dandelion contain more vitamin C than any other part of the plant.
Guinea pigs are unable to produce and store vitamins.
It is important that they eat vitamin-rich foods, and dandelion is one of those foods that contains the vitamins that guinea pigs need to survive.
Dandelions are rich in vitamin A, which is one of the vitamins that guinea pigs are deficient in.
Dandelions contain a small amount of potassium, which helps them maintain a healthy heart and blood pressure.
In Guinea pigs, potassium helps them urinate more easily and eliminates salt and other chemicals from their bodies through their urine.
Guinea pigs need a well-balanced diet that includes all of the essential nutrients.
Minerals such as sodium and calcium can be found in dandelions.
These minerals, however, are essential and should be fed to guinea pigs in moderation.
When guinea pigs consume a lot of calcium, it does more harm than good.
Dandelions have enough fibre to keep guinea pigs’ digestive systems in check.
If you are planning to serve them during the season, it is better to reduce other calcium enriched foods. You would not want your cavy to suffer from a calcium rich diet. A practical thing to do would be to mix the dandelions with their regular hay.
In case you notice watery stools after they eat a dandelion, you might want to lessen the amount you serve them or not feed them this at all.
Being herbivores, guinea pigs love dandelions. Hence, they eat these but due to the high calcium content, remember to serve, only in moderation.