Hay, fruits, and vegetables are the staple of a guinea pig’s diet. But they can eat flowers as well. There are some flowers that contain vitamins and nutrients that can boost a piggie’s health. However, not every flower is safe for your guinea pig to consume.
Some flowers might be dangerous for cavies and can upset their gastrointestinal systems. This is why It is important to know the type of flower you give your piggies to eat.
But can guinea pigs eat marigolds? Yes, marigolds are safe for guinea pig but that doesn’t mean you should grab a bunch of marigolds and offer them to your pet, there are a few things to have in mind while feeding your guinea pigs marigold.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Marigolds?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat marigolds but it shouldn’t be fed to them every day, instead, it should be fed occasionally and more as a treat. You should feed your guinea pigs, not more than twice a week.
You can either pick up fresh marigolds from clean areas and gardens or you can purchase them from a pet food store and they are usually sold as a mix of marigolds and timothy hay or just as dried marigolds packed separately.
Many pet food stores offer this marigolds flowers as ‘organic and dried’ so that all you need to do after purchasing it is to simply open up the package and then rinse out the flowers before feeding it to your guinea pig.
Marigolds are also consumable by humans, they are used for many recipes like salads, or even as herbal medicines and they have lots of herbal benefits; they are great for ear infections, lessening skin inflammations, treating cuts, bruises, and many more.
So, there’s no cause for worry about marigolds being harmful to your guinea pig. the great part about this flower is that it can be consumed by the guinea pigs either fresh or dried.
But your guinea pig enjoys freshly picked marigolds more compared to the dried ones, and they usually prefer the petals over the other flower parts. Now that the question of whether guinea pigs can eat marigolds has been answered, let’s go into the details of marigold and their health benefits.
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Nutritional Contents Of Marigolds
1. Calendic Acid
This compound helps to soothe the gastrointestinal tract and the gut lining of your guinea pig, it also helps to prevent cramps, ulcers, diarrhea, or painful bowel movements. It also helps with the process of digestion thereby preventing indigestion.
This compound functions as antioxidants and when they are digested, they are converted to a very powerful antioxidant which is vitamin A.
This antioxidant helps to keep the organs of a guinea pig in good functioning condition, it also helps to improve the overall immunity of your pet.
These are compounds that are linked with vitamin E. It helps to reduce inflammation, and also protects the skin from cancers and aging.
Calendulin (plant sterols) is a compound that helps to prevent heart disease as well as lower cholesterol. It helps to keep the cardiovascular system working better and healthy for longer. These compounds help to prevent rectal, colon, and stomach cancer.
4. Linoleic Acid
this compound helps to build muscle mass and helps with weight loss. These help to keep your guinea pig in good shape and reduces the risk of obesity
These compounds help to boost immunity. They also help to retain energy in the body after food is consumed.
These are plant pigments and they help to lower the risk of asthma, cancers, stroke, and heart problems.
7. Triterpenes Saponins
These compounds help to keep all the membranes in the body well hydrated and soap-like in structure. This means any wounds on the body will heal fast and well, and there will be fewer scars left after injuries or wounds.
the saponins functions like diuretics which helps to achieve better excretion of urine in the body as well as a healthy passage of the urine
Oleanolic acid glycosides compound act as antioxidants which helps to kill microbes, they also help to remove inflammation which makes the skin more elastic.
This helps to keep the retina of the eye healthy, thereby reducing the risk of eyesight problems that can cause macular degeneration.
Health Benefits of Marigolds To Guinea Pigs
1. Reduces Skin Problems
Turning marigold into an ointment helps to treat many skin issues such as sunburns, bug bites, warts, ulceration, acne, wounds, dry skin, blisters. It is a great item to have at home in case of emergencies when your guinea pig suffers some external injury.
2. Helps With Digestion
Marigolds also have the ability to soothe a guinea pig’s stomach. when consumed either as fresh, raw flowers, dried or it is infused into a tea, it can improve the digestive system of your pet.
It also helps to soothe the symptoms of inflammation in the stomach, as well as relieving gastritis, acid reflux too, as well as stomach cramps.
3. Helps To Boost Immunity
Marigolds is packed with lots of nutrients, lots of which helps to boosts the overall immunity and health of your guinea pig
4. It Has Antiviral Properties
Many users have testified to the cleansing power of the marigold flower. It is known to cleanse the organism and removes viruses, thereby detoxifying the whole body, especially the gallbladder and liver.
5. It Offers Antibacterial Properties
Offering marigold to your pet helps them to be able to fight off many illnesses, like common colds, flu, infections. Marigolds also help to keep the lymphatic system healthy too.
6. Contains Antioxidant
The marigold flower contains lots of different antioxidant compounds like carotenoids that help to fight off diseases and keep the immunity of your pet in great shape.
The antioxidants present in marigolds also help to keep the cells of a guinea pig safe from the damage of free radicals which causes early aging and exposes them to diseases.
7. Improves Their Eyesight
The different compounds in the marigold also help to protect your cavy eyes from many eye diseases like cataracts or macular degeneration.
Amount Of Marigold To Feed Your Guinea Pig
As a guinea pet owner, it is very paramount that you do not overfeed it Their digestive system isn’t that strong and this makes them weak in food consumption and other irregularities.
For this reason, you should only feed your guinea pig marigolds in small portions. You can place the marigolds into their salad for easier consumption.
How Often Can You Feed Marigolds To Guinea Pigs?
Marigold isn’t a food item you should feed to your guinea pigs regularly. you should only feed them to your guinea pig every once in a while. Not more than twice a week and, and it should be in small portions.
It is easy to Overfeed your guinea pigs, which can cause serious digestive problems for your guinea pigs as there is a possibility that your pig can’t take too much of what you’re feeding it this is due to their limited digestive system.
These can cause serious digestive issues like indigestion, diarrhea, and loose bowel movement. Only offer marigolds two times a week to your guinea pigs so that they are able to take in other foods that are incorporated into their regular diet.
Mixing different food items in your pet’s diet will help to provide it with a wider variety of nutrients and nutritional benefits that your guinea pig needs for survival.
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Risks To Consider When Feeding Guinea Pigs Marigolds
Marigolds are not food items that should be fed to guinea pigs in large quantities. You should only offer your guinea pigs marigolds not more than once or twice a week.
Feeding your pet marigolds in large portions or regularly can be upsetting to its stomach as they have a very weak digestive system
After feeding your guinea pig marigolds for the first time, ensure to keep an eye on your pet for about 12 hours. Making sure to watch out for signs of bloating, diarrhea, and discomfort. If your guinea pig didn’t show any symptoms, you can go ahead and add it to their diet.
You also need to make sure that the marigold you will be feeding your pet is fresh and free of pesticides as it can be dangerous to their health.
Aside from marigolds, you should always monitor your pet’s reaction each time you introduce a new food, this way you are able to tell which food is okay for their sensitive tummies. You also need to check in with a licensed veterinarian before feeding your guinea pigs any food.
Although marigolds are great for a guinea pig’s health, there are some factors that can cause otherwise to happen, so these factors should always be considered Before you feed marigolds to your guinea pigs
Poisoning And Toxicity Or Bad Digestion
Lots of plant-based products are sprayed with pesticides or herbicides and this isn’t something we can avoid. This makes those products very harmful to humans and even pets.
It is best to pick up fresh marigolds from areas where you are sure it is safe and free from pollution. You should also check for any pests or bugs, that might have destroyed or damaged the plant you will be picking.
Better still, you can grow your own marigold, this way you are sure that it is safe and fresh thereby healthy for your guinea pig to eat.
Feeding your guinea pig marigolds that have been contaminated with toxins or pollutants can cause your pets to experience painful digestion, diarrhea, or nausea, which depending on the severity might send you and your pet to the nearest animal clinic.
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Now, we believe you already know that guinea pigs can eat marigolds. But there are certain factors to consider before offering it to your pet. You should only offer your pet small portions at a time to avoid overfeeding them.