Can Guinea Pigs Have Mint? – How to Feed Guinea Pigs

Raising a cute little guinea pig who always wanders around your premises is quite challenging, especially if you are a new to piggy parenting. We must pay a lot of attention to the needs of guinea pigs and must arrange their daily routines and meals relevant to that. Guinea pig diets have to be pre-decided by their owners to balance the nutrient, avoid harmful things, and prevent them from getting sick by over-consuming certain things. Can guinea pigs have mint? If this is the question you are searching for, this article carries your most wanted answer. 

Can Guinea Pigs Have Mint?

Mint is a famous herb with an exclusive nutrient value. We use mint in a number of ways. You may have used mint tea to relieve the work stress or have added chopped leaves for your salads when you have indigestion problems. Is it the same in guinea pigs? Yes, guinea pigs get a lot of benefits from this amazing herb. But the amount you need to feed them is the matter here. You cannot feed mint daily. As they are tiny animals, they cannot withstand the overdose of certain minerals and nutrients present in mint. 

Let’s take two tablespoons of mint into consideration. Mint is a rich source of Vitamin C, and it contains 1.5 mg in two tbsp. Mint also contains minerals like Calcium, Phosphorous, and Potassium. In values, there is 22.4 mg of Calcium, 6.8 mg of Phosphorous, and 51.5 mg of Potassium in two tablespoons of mint leaves. We will take each nutrient that may be troublesome when over-consumed and will explain the facts separately below.  

  • Vitamin C– Guinea pigs need 10 – 50 mg of Vitamin C daily. The exact value depends on the fact like age, physical stability, and size. The dose must be confirmed by your vet. The overdose of Vitamin C is not harmful in the short term as the excess is excreted with urine. 
  • Calcium– The daily calcium requirement of your guinea pig is around 130 mg. This is also an amount depending on the physical status and the size. But every guinea pig should consume at least 5mg of Calcium daily. Make sure you do not feed them excess, as an overdose may result in stones in the urinary tract of your beloved pet. 
  • Phosphorous– Daily, a guinea pig needs to maintain a ratio of 1.33:1 in their Calcium and Phosphorous intake. The overdose of Phosphorous may cause tissue failures, poor growth, and even death. 
  • Potassium– If you exceed 5g/kg diet, it becomes a Potassium overdose in guinea pigs. This may cause various gastrointestinal decreases and even death. 

Can Guinea Pigs Have Mint Stems?

Guinea pigs sometimes cannot control the amount they consume in certain food although they prefer it. Therefore, you will have to interfere in such situations to avoid them being sick of overconsumption. This is the same for the mint plant too. You can feed your piggy fella mint stems with mint leaves. Mint stems are under the safer margin for them. But here, too, you must pay keen attention to the amount they have. 

How Much Mint Can Guinea Pigs Eat?

Mint is an addictive herb for most guinea pigs. But some may reject this herb due to its distinct taste and smell. The first thing to do when introducing mint to your piggy friend’s diet is to identify whether he/she welcomes this particular leaf. If they do not show an interest, never force them to have that. You can use mint leaves, flowers, and stems in their meal plans if they prefer the leaves. Especially it would be better if you combine this plant in their vegetable salads. 

It is safe to serve your piggy 3-5 leaves at once when you are adding those for a meal or a snack. If the taste makes a blast in them, they will continuously beg for more. But you must strictly avoid giving them more as it is a health concern. Too much mint will make your pet friend sick. 

How Often Should You Feed Mint to Guinea Pigs?

Mint is an herbal plant with many benefits. The distinct odor has made them one iconic green leaf that is preferred by many. So are your guinea pig pets. They also love to eat these particular leaves. But there may be exceptions, as some could find the taste odd and reject the meal. The best way to identify the preference is by offering a leave or two separately. Do not mix mint leaves with other vegies if your pet is going to taste it for the first time.  

You can add mint leaves to your piggy’s diet a couple of times a week. It may be two or three times. But never add more than five leaves at once. Mint plants present a potential threat of overdose in guinea pigs. Therefore, these limitations are advised to be followed strictly.

Can Guinea Pigs Have Mint and Basil? 

Mint is acceptable as green leaves to be included in your guinea pig’s diet plan. You can also use this herb as a snack. But at first, do not mix it with other greens to identify the preference for mint. You must not feed them mint if they refuse to have it. But there is less possibility of happening, such as most of them love mint. But as per the recommendations, you must not exceed five leaves per meal. It is not an everyday snack. You can only use mint a couple of times a week because of the high mineral levels of mint. 

If you want to add basil to your piggy’s plates, make that also limited to a few times a week. The accepted way is to give only one or two leaves per portion. 

Conclusion

Guinea pigs can have mint leaves in their meals. But they cannot consume a bunch of mint at once. Refer to the above paragraphs to identify the safe limits of mint for your guinea pig and be aware of the threats of overdose. 

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