Cilantro, also known as coriander, is a leafy herb that people add to salsa, curries, and marinades. If you have a bunch of it in your fridge and a guinea pig, you might wonder if they can eat cilantro. The good news is that, yes, they can eat it, and it has some nutritious value like vitamin C that is good for guinea pigs.
Let’s look at some of the herb’s benefits and how to serve it to your cavy.
What’s in Cilantro?
Cilantro is a herb that is mainly used to spice up stews all across the world. It has an array of nutrients and vitamins like:
Cilantro is one of the best herbs for vitamin C, which is crucial in a guinea pig’s diet (because, just like humans, they can’t make their own vitamin C). This is the best selling point of the herb when it comes to your guinea pig’s health. In addition, the myriad of other vitamins and minerals, alongside the fiber in the herb make it an excellent addition to your pet’s diet in moderation.
How to Prepare Cilantro for Your Guinea Pig
First, you need to get fresh produce from the market. Overstayed cilantro has poor nutritional value for your hairy little friend.
Thoroughly wash the plant to eliminate any chemicals that were sprayed on it. Washing also takes out the grime from its leaves and stem.
Chop them into small parts and feed your pet, either by hand or put in a bowl. You can spruce it up by adding carrots and cucumber.
How Much Cilantro Should a Guinea Pig Consume?
Guinea pigs do not need too much cilantro in their diet. Their staple of hay and pellets should form the bulk of their diet (around 80% to 90%) and the remainder of their diet should comprise fruits and vegetables that are safe for them to consume (vegetables are preferred over fruits). As such, cilantro would be a small portion of their intake, and ideally, it should be mixed in with other fruits and vegetables and not served on its own (this increases the odds of your guinea pig successfully obtaining all the nutrients they need on a daily basis).
How Often Should Guinea Pigs Eat Cilantro?
Guinea pigs can consume cilantro almost every day. It generally has no negative impact on them so long as the intake is moderated. You can, however, take a break a few times in the week and give them other foods. This spruces up the guinea pig’s diet.
Ensure you monitor your pets when you introduce cilantro to their diet. Everything should run smoothly, but just be on the lookout for the first few days to monitor their reaction. It is best to start off with small amounts of cilantro and monitor your guinea pig for any signs of distress, such as diarrhea or bloat. Please note that inappetence or diarrhea in guinea pigs from bloat or any other digestive discomfort should be taken seriously, if your guinea pig seems reluctant to eat or experiencing an upset stomach after having some cilantro, you should promptly take them to the vet.
What About Cilantro Stems?
Amazingly, guinea pigs can consume all parts of cilantro, the stem included. Wash the stem appropriately before you serve it. Since cavies love to have something to chew on all the time, cilantro stems will work well for them.
Guinea pigs, most of them at least, like munching on cilantro, and it is okay to include it in their daily diet. However, you need to monitor the intake and switch up the diet every so often. Also, look out for any warning signs when you first serve the cavy with cilantro, just in case yours is not a fan.
- Related read: Can Guinea Pigs Eat Cheese? What You Need To Know!