Basil also called great basil, is a culinary herb from the family Lamiaceae (mints). It is a tender plant used in cuisines worldwide. Its leaves are richly green but come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes depending on the cultivar. Leaf sizes range from 3 to 11 cm long, and between 1 and 6 cm wide. Basil grows a thick, central taproot. Its flowers are white, and grow from an inflorescence that emerges from the central stem on top of the plant
Basil is a leafy, fragrant annual with a bushy appearance. The most common type of basil is sweet basil, while other types include purple basil (less sweet than common basil), Lemon basil (lemon flavor), and Thai basil (licorice flavor). Basil is easy to grow and works well in Italian dishes, but it only grows in summer. So, can guinea pigs eat basil? The answer to this question will be fully discussed in the article
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Basil
Yes. Guinea pigs can eat a small amount of basil occasionally and in moderation. But whether your guinea pig will eat them is another thing. Every guinea pig has its taste for food just like humans. If your guinea pig does love this herb, it might try to beg you for more help. Be not be deceived by their affection but only offer them a small quantity. Feeding excess basil can lead to several health problems. A healthier option is for pigs to eat their stems, leaves, or flowers, and it should also be in moderation
Basil contains a lot of nutrients with a large amount of vitamin C. Consumption of vitamin C contributes to improving your pet’s overall health by enhancing immunity and helping protect against harmful free radicals. The herb is enriched with phosphorus, fiber, and calcium. Eating this herb also decreases inflammation.
What is the Suitable Proportion For Feeding Basil To Guinea Pigs (Serving size)
Guinea pigs are known for their sensitive stomach and taste therefore, it is not recommended to feed basil to your pets every day. Apart from that, basil also contains a high amount of calcium and phosphorus, when present in high amount in the body system of a guinea pig can cause a severe health risk. However, if you want to feed basil to your guinea pig one or two leaves are enough per serving. You can also choose to give them less than a handful per guinea pig two or three times a week. Anything other than the standard serving size can lead to health risks which could be mild or severe.
What Other Part of Basil Can Guinea Pig Eat (the Leaves, Stems, or Flowers)
Basil is one of the herbal vegetables which offers beneficial nutrients for your guinea pig due to the type of nutrient present in them. As long as, this herb is given to your pets in moderation and it is in line with the standard proportion, it will help in the diet of your pet to keep them healthy. The stem of the basil plant is enriched with vitamin C an essential nutrient that the body of your guinea pig can not produce but needs to remain healthy, while the flower is also edible and contains a lot of beneficial nutrients which make them a suitable meal for your pets, but they should be fed in moderation.
What Are The Nutritional Benefit Of Feeding Basil To Guinea Pigs
Like any other herbs, basil is also riched in various nutrients apart from the common vitamins and minerals everybody knows about. The herbs are also enriched with calcium and phosphorus and it is known to take up the largest part of the nutrient present in the herbs. Other essential and beneficial nutrients found are listed below.
It should not be news for pet owners to acknowledge the fact their guinea pigs' nutrients revolve around fiber. Fiber is known to help in the digestion of their daily food intake and also helps in regular bowel movements in their body. This nutrient is also known to help clean the leftover waste, increase the metabolism of your pets, and also help them to reduce the cholesterol and glucose level in their body system. Therefore, this is an essential nutrient for guinea pigs, and the good news is that basil contains a decent amount of nutrients.
Vitamin A and Beta Carotene
One of the common challenges guinea pigs encounter as they become older is poor eyesight. This condition tends to worsen as they keep increasing in age every year. Vitamin A and beta carotene are essential nutrients that can help them improve their poor eyesight, it is also known to provide healthy growth of hair which makes them adorable to behold. These nutrients also improve their immune system. Basil contains a decent amount of these nutrients therefore, it is safe to give them to your pets.
Any organism that is capable of existing is prone to diseases, thereby, these organisms need nutrients that can help them fight these diseases. For pet owners, vitamin C is mostly used for boosting and maintaining the performance of their immune system. These benefits also extend to their pet when they feed on food high in vitamin C. Basil is known to contain sufficient amount of vitamin C that can help guinea pigs fight diseases like scurvy in their body.
Health risk of Serving Basil To your guinea pigs
Every food that has a beneficial nutrient is likely to cause a health risk if not served in the standard proportion as recommended. Some of the health risks of basil are listed below
Basil contains a high amount of calcium and phosphorus which when present in high proportion in the body system of your pets, can cause health risks like kidney stones, vomiting, diarrhea, and other calcium and phosphorus health risk
Fibre an essential nutrient that helps in the digestion of food is also present in basil therefore, when the guinea pig is being overfed with basil can cause constipation and improper bowel movements in the digestive system of your pet.
Basil is a highly nutritious herbal vegetable that contains a lot of beneficial nutrients. This herb when fed to your guinea pig in the right proportion can provide a benefit which some have been listed in the article. Other things like the serving size and health risks have also been discussed. All you need to do as a pet owner is to go through the article to avoid overfeeding