Guinea pig is an herbivorous animal. So, it is evident that they eat different kinds of vegetables, fruits, and leaves. But can guinea pigs eat flowers?
Well, there’s much debate on this topic. So, we are going to discuss that in this article.
Let’s get started!
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Flowers?
If we want to put in simple words, Yes. Guinea pigs can eat flowers. Maybe not all the flowers, but certainly they can eat some flowers.
Just like herbs, leaves, and plants, you can give flowers up to 3 times a week to the guinea pig. Once they are used to eating fresh foods, you can add flower petals with a regular diet.
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Which Flowers Are Safe To Feed The Guinea Pig?
Some of the flowers that guinea pigs like to eat:
- Mallow flower
- Marigold flower
- Dandelion etc.
You can also give various other parts of flowers such as sunflower seed.
Like their leaves, dandelion flowers and sow thistle are much appreciated by guinea pigs. You can also give chickweed flowers, white clover (in small quantities to avoid bloating), rosemary, marigold, or nasturtium. Watch out for the flowers of some exotic plants and garden plants.
How Should You Add Flower To The Diet?
Herbs, plants, and flowers should be fresh and raw. Do not provide cooked flower. Wash and rinse the collected flowers thoroughly. They can be polluted and dirty. So, rinse for a long time in clean water before adding to the diet.
While moving freely in the garden, guinea pigs can destroy the flower plants. Keep the guinea pigs at a safe distance. Make sure they don’t eat any poisonous flower or plant.
Toxicity Caused By Flowers
Although some flowers are edible, others can be life threating. The toxins of those flowers can harm your guinea pigs and even kill them.
In the spring and summer, toxic plants and flowers for guinea pigs represent a medium risk of intoxication. But some species are real deadly poisonous.
List of poisonous flowers:
- Jerusalem cerium,
- Lily of the valley etc.
Symptoms Of Flower Intoxication
For medium dangerous flowers, the poisoning is like any other poison. The intoxication depends mainly on the amount ingested compared to the weight of your guinea pig. But with a severe, dangerous flower, the guinea pig doesn’t need to eat them. A simple contact with the mucous membranes (to chew then to spit out) can provoke a reaction.
Common symptoms are:
- Starts to drool excessively
- Vomit or has diarrhea
More severe symptoms:
Loss of appetite and tremors. It can also cause anorexia and lethargy.
What To Do In Case Of Intoxication By Flower?
If you see your guinea pig chewing or eating a possibly poisonous plant, the first immediate reaction is washing his mouth (with water) because many plants are irritating to the mucous membranes. If your guinea pig vomits, that means it has consumed the plant or flower. However, it is a rather good sign as the poison comes out with vomit.
Do not hesitate to consult your veterinarian if the condition gets out of hand.
Some plants are well tolerated. So there may be no problem for your guinea pig. Just keep the poisonous flowers out of its diet and your guinea pig will do fine!