Will Eating Chamomile Hurt Your Guinea Pig? (Find Out Now)

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With so many wild plants and herbs outside (like chamomile), it’s no wonder that you’re curious about whether it’d be safe for your guinea pigs to nibble on them. Well, wonder no more, because…

Yes, chamomile is safe and nutritious for guinea pigs to eat. But only in moderation. Since chamomile is rich in calcium and oxalates, guinea pigs should only eat a limited amount of chamomile to avoid developing bladder and kidney stones as well as other digestive problems.

a picture of a guinea pig wondering if he can eat chamomile

Chamomile is a great addition to your guinea pig’s diet and has many health benefits for them. In this article, you’ll learn the benefits of chamomile for guinea pigs, as well as how to SAFELY add it to their diet.

But, first let’s start off with…

An easy-to-read food chart for safe piggie foods – Buy, download, and print.

What Is Chamomile?

Chamomile is a flower that can be found at most health food stores as well as in gardens, fields, and public parks. It’s been used for centuries as a natural remedy for various ailments, such as insomnia, anxiety, and upset stomachs.

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Chamomile is also high in antioxidants, which help to protect the body from damage caused by free radicals.

In addition, raw chamomile is a good source of calcium and Vitamin A. It also contains small amounts of potassium, zinc, and iron.

So, as you can see, chamomile is packed with nutrients that are beneficial for your guinea pig’s overall health – but also contains compounds that can cause bladder stones, so it’s important to give them just a small amount.

Is It Safe For Guinea Pigs To Eat Chamomiles? 

Yes, eating chamomile is perfectly safe for guinea pigs – as long as it’s fresh and they don’t eat too much of it.

When feeding chamomile to your guinea pig, you’re allowed to give them the stem and the flower. The dried flowers aren’t quite nutritious as the fresh ones, but they’re still a healthy treat.

Are Chamomiles Good For Your Guinea Pigs? 

a tip that answers the question can guinea pigs eat chamomile

Even though, there’s a small risk for bladder stones, chamomile is still a great addition to your guinea pig’s diet. Chamomile has many health benefits, such as:

1. Packed With Antioxidants

It’s always nice to give your guinea pig a treat that’s not only delicious, but also good for them. Chamomile is packed with antioxidants, which help to protect your piggies’ bodies against damage caused by free radicals.

Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause cell damage and lead to various diseases, such as cancer and heart disease.

So, by adding chamomile to your guinea pig’s diet, you’re not only giving them a tasty treat, but also helping to boost their overall health.

2. Has Calming Properties

If your piggies are feeling a little stressed out, chamomile can help to calm them down. Chamomile has been shown to have soothing and anti-anxiety properties, which can be helpful if your guinea pigs are feeling skittish or nervous.

And if you’re trying to get your fur babies to chill out for the night, you can add a small amount of chamomile to their food bowl for a snack. This can help them to relax and get a good night’s sleep. I’ve never tried it, but a few pet parents say that it works like a charm.

3. Supports Digestive Health

Chamomile can also help to support your guinea pig’s digestive health. This is because chamomile is a natural source of fiber, which is important for keeping the digestive system healthy.

Fiber helps to keep things moving along smoothly and can also help to prevent constipation. So, if your guinea pig is having trouble with their digestive system, adding a bit of chamomile to their diet may help to get things moving again.

4. Better Eyesight

In case you didn’t know, cavies have poor  eyesight, so they rely heavily on their sense of smell and touch (whiskers) to navigate their surroundings. Chamomile is a great herb for boosting your guinea pig’s eyesight.

How?

Chamomile contains flavonoids and Vitamin A, which are plant-based compounds that have been shown to improve vision.

Risks to Consider When Feeding Chamomiles To Guinea Pigs 

No matter what food you’re feeding your guinea pig, it’s always a little risky. The only pure safe things that piggies can eat every day are hay, grass, and bell peppers.

This means that chamomile comes with a few risks that you need to be aware of before feeding it to your guinea pig.

1. Pesticides and Contaminants

Typically, chamomile is foraged from the wild. And while this is a great way to get your guinea pig some fresh herbs, it’s important to avoid chamomile that has pesticides and other contaminants (like animal waste) on it.

So, when you’re foraging for chamomile, you’re going to want to make sure that you’re getting it from a trusted source. Stay away from areas near busy roads (exhaust fumes), and avoid other places that are open and might have been peed on by other animals.

It’s also a good idea to give the chamomile a good wash before feeding it to your cavies. This will help to remove any pesticides or other contaminants that may be on the plant.

If you’re unsure whether or not the chamomile you have is safe for your guinea pig, it’s best to err on the side of caution and not feed it to them.

Better safe than sorry, right?

2. Digestion Issues

Chamomile has fiber in it. Good, right? Sure, it is. But, too much of a good thing can also be bad.

Fiber is important for keeping the digestive system healthy. However, too much fiber can actually cause digestion issues, such as gas, bloating, and diarrhea.

If you notice that your guinea pig is having any of these issues after eating chamomile, it’s best to stop feeding it to them and speak to your veterinarian.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Dried Chamomile? 

Dried chamomile is safe for guinea pigs to eat. It can be sprinkled into hay as a treat for your guinea pig or added to their food. But, only do this once or twice a week to prevent overfeeding. And be sure to avoid giving your guinea pig too much chamomile, as this can cause digestive issues and other health problems (as I mentioned earlier). A little bit goes a long way.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Chamomile Flowers?

Guinea pigs can safely eat chamomile flowers – in moderation. Chamomile flowers contain compounds that can help to soothe the digestive system. The best way to give your guinea pig chamomile flowers is to sprinkle a small amount onto their hay or food. You can also give them a fresh chamomile flower as a treat.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Chamomile Stems?

Yes, guinea pigs can eat chamomile stems, but they should only be given in very small amounts. A little bit of chamomile stem goes a long way. If you overfeed your guinea pig chamomile stems, they may experience digestive issues.

Can Guinea Pigs Drink Chamomile Tea? 

Guinea pigs shouldn’t drink chamomile tea. As a general rule, it’s better for guinea pigs to only drink water – unless there’s specific health reasons why they need something else.

Chamomile tea has a lot of Vitamin A and beta carotene in it, which is great for improving your piggies’ eyesight. But, there’s not much else in it to make it a worthwhile drink for guinea pigs – no Vitamin C (scurvy repellant) and no fiber (to help with digestion).

So, while it’s okay for guinea pigs to nibble on chamomile leaves now and then, it’s not a good idea for them to drink tea made from the herb.

How Often Can Guinea Pigs Eat Chamomile? 

Guinea pigs can eat the white flowers of chamomile 1 to 2 times a week. (As a general rule, that’s the feeding frequency of most treats for piggies). They’re rich in fiber, are good for their eyesight and digestion.

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Do Guinea Pigs Like Chamomile? 

Yes, most guinea pigs love the taste of chamomile, and it’s a great way to get them to get extra minerals in their diet.

Plus, as an added bonus, chamomile can help to keep your guinea pig’s digestive system healthy and functioning properly.

So, if you’re looking for a way to add some variety to your guinea pig’s diet, chamomile is a great option. Just be sure to start with a small amount and increase the amount slowly over time to avoid any negative reactions.

How To Forage For Chamomile

Foraging means searching for food in the wild, and is a great way to provide your little friends with some of their favorite herbs, flowers, and plants. Chamomile can be found growing near roadsides, in meadows, and even in gardens.

The best time to find chamomile is during the summer months, when it’s in bloom. In general, foraging can be a lot of fun, but it’s important to be aware of a few things before you dive in.

  • Be sure to properly identify the chamomile before you take them home. Some plants, like foxglove, are poisonous and can be deadly if ingested.
  • Only harvest a small amount of each plant at a time. This will help ensure that the plants will continue to grow and provide food for other wildlife in the future.
  • If you’re not sure what a plant is, don’t give it to your cavies. When in doubt, leave it be. It’s not worth the risk of poisoning your little friends.
  • Wash any plants you’ve collected thoroughly before feeding them to fur babies.
  • Avoid public parks unless you’re sure that no pesticides have been sprayed in the area.
  • Take a bucket of water with you. When you cut the stems, place them in the water to keep them fresh.

Foraging is a great way to get outside and connect with nature (cuz fresh air rocks), while also providing your guinea pig with some delicious and healthy snacks. Just be sure to take some basic safety precautions and you’ll be all set.

How To Introduce Chamomiles To Your Guinea Pigs

Once you’ve collected some fresh chamomile, it’s time to introduce them to your guinea pigs. There are a few different ways you can do this:

The easiest way is to simply place the a chamomile (stem attached if you want) in their cage and let them nibble on them as they please.

If your piggies aren’t too sure about the plants, you can try chopping them up into small pieces and mixing them into their pellets.

Whichever way you choose to introduce chamomile to your guinea pigs, be sure to monitor them for any bad reactions – for at least 24 hours. If your fur babies start having stomach pain or diarrhea, stop giving them the chamomile and get them to the vet.

What Flowers And Herbs Can Guinea Pigs Eat?

Guinea pigs have a big appetite and love to eat a variety of different plants (ummm…once they’ve had a chance to get to know you and trust you of course).

While hay, pellets, and vegetables should make up the majority of their diet, there’s plenty of flowers, plants, and herbs that can provide some added nutrients.

Some of the most common flowers, plants, and herbs that guinea pigs can eat include:

  • Parsley
  • Marigold
  • Sage
  • Dill
  • Basil
  • Rose petals
  • Thyme
  • Dandelion
  • Fennel
  • Clover

While these plants are safe for your furry friends to eat, it’s important to remember that not all plants are.

Some, like foxgloves and lilies, are poisonous and can be deadly if your cavies eat them. So, before you go out foraging for your guinea pigs, be sure to do your research and know which plants are safe.

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Things To Remember About Guinea Pigs and Chamomile

Here’s a few thing that you need to keep in mind about guinea pigs and chamomile. In no particular order:

  • Chamomile should only be given to guinea pigs in small amounts.
  • Chamomile can be given fresh, or dried. If you’re giving them fresh chamomile, make sure to rinse it thoroughly first.
  • If you grow your own chamomile, avoid using any pesticides or herbicides on it.
  • As with any new food, be sure to monitor your guinea pigs for any bad reactions after giving them chamomile.
  • Chamomile is a great source of fiber and can help stimulate your guinea pig’s appetite.
  • Guinea pigs need a balanced diet. Offering them chamomile as a snack is a great way to supplement their diet with some extra nutrients.
  • Just like people, guinea pigs have different reactions to different foods. So, if your piggies don’t seem to like chamomile, try another herb or flower instead. But, don’t give up too easily. Piggies are sometimes just a little slower to warm up to new things.
  • Make sure you can tell the difference between chamomile and daisies, as daisies are poisonous to guinea pigs.

Now, go forth and forage. Your little friends will thank you for it.

Have you ever fed your guinea pigs chamomile? How did it go? Let me know in the comments below.

Chamomile health benefits & uses. (2010, October 8). WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/diet/supplement-guide-chamomile

Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future. (1, November). PubMed Central (PMC). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2995283/

Guinea lynx :: Common forages. (n.d.). Guinea Lynx :: A Medical and Care Guide for Your Guinea Pig. https://www.guinealynx.info/forages_common.html

How to forage your own wild bouquet. (0000). Reader’s Digest: Online Magazine, Competitions and More. https://www.readersdigest.co.uk/lifestyle/home-garden/how-to-forage-your-own-wild-bouquet

Nutrient requirements of the Guinea pig – Nutrient requirements of laboratory animals – NCBI bookshelf. (n.d.). National Center for Biotechnology Information. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK231932/

What can Guinea pigs NOT eat | What food & plants are poisonous? (2021, June 14). Guinea Piggles. https://www.guineapiggles.com/unsafe-foods-guinea-pigs/#nuts-seeds

What is chamomile? (2005, February 2). Verywell Health. https://www.verywellhealth.com/the-benefits-of-chamomile-89436

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