Guinea pigs are herbivores meaning they eat plant and plant-based food. Hence, you might be researching what plants to include in their diet. You might also be wondering if guinea pigs can eat sage. If you are, this article will help you with the right information you need.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Sage?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat sage, it is rich in vitamins and antioxidants, which are beneficial to your pet’s health. However, sage can also be harmful to guinea pigs, especially if consumed in large quantities.
Therefore, you need to take some precautions if you must include sage in your pet’s diet. We will talk about all you need to do shortly.
What Is Sage?
Sage, scientifically known as salvia officinalis, is a perennial plant that belongs to the mint family Lamiaceae and is widely grown in the Mediterranean region. It has a strong aromatic fragrance which makes it suitable for use as a flavor in several dishes.
The benefits of sage aren’t culinary alone, it also has a lot of nutritional and health benefits for humans and animals. It contains essential nutrients such as vitamins A, B, C, E, K, iron, calcium, magnesium, and manganese. Some of its health benefits include but aren’t limited to improved oral hygiene, improved mental performance, and the ability to fight free radicals.
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Health Benefits Of Sage For Guinea Pigs
As mentioned earlier, if sage is consumed in the right amount, it can be beneficial to your guinea pigs’ health. Sage is rich in vitamin k, which helps with bone metabolism and blood clotting.
It also contains dietary fiber, iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium, and zinc, which contribute numerous health benefits to guinea pigs.
For instance, magnesium deficiency can lead to slow growth, soft tissue calcification, overgrowth of the molars, and so on. Hence, feeding your guinea pigs sage will prevent them from lacking magnesium.
Additionally, guinea pigs need about 2.5 micrograms per gram of zinc in their feed, and that can be found in sage.
Another health benefit of sage is that it contains antioxidants. Antioxidants are compounds that slow oxidation, they interact with cells and stop chain reactions that causes cell damage.
Sage also improves the dental health of guinea pigs. It has an antimicrobial property that enables it to fight microbes that cause dental plaque.
That is not all, sage also aids digestion in guinea pigs. Also, when guinea pigs lose their appetite or exhibit dietary-related behavioral changes, sage can be provided as a supplement.
One more advantage of sage for guinea pigs is that it improves their mental performance. Therefore, enabling your pets to perform certain tasks they are trained to do.
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Adverse Effect Of Sage On Guinea Pigs
Sage is an aromatic Mediterranean herb that consists of essential oils. And the essential oils in sage contain a toxic compound known as thujone.
When guinea pigs consume a large quantity of sage, the essential oils can upset their stomach. High doses of thujone will also make them restless and increase their heart rate.
Furthermore, sage has an incredibly high calcium content which can lead to the formation of bladder stones over time.
What Quantity Of Sage Should Guinea Pigs Consume?
Because the excess consumption of sage harms guinea pigs’ health, it is important to feed them the right amount. Speaking of the right amount, sage should only make up a maximum of 10% of your guinea pigs’ meals.
You can add two to three sage leaves per meal. Additionally, the frequency should be no more than twice each week. You should also endeavor to remove all the leftovers after they’ve eaten, so they don’t overeat.
When introducing sage to your guinea pigs’ meal, you have to do so gradually because they are extremely sensitive to dietary changes.
Guinea pigs are lovely pets to have, but they are quite sensitive. Hence, you need to pay close attention to their diet. You can supplement their food with sage if you stick to the right amount. Doing this will improve their nutrient intake while.
I am a huge animal lover and have four dogs, a Labrador, Jack Russell, Pug, and Teacup Yorkie. I also have a cat and a Cockatiel. I have had pets since I was a toddler, and there was not a day when there wasn’t an animal in my house.