Can Guinea Pigs Eat Basil? (3 Safe Parts to Feed)

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Basil is a healthy herb that adds flavor to different dishes. Since guinea pigs only do well with fresh veggies, you may want to share some fresh basil with them.

However, you might also be thinking – “Can guinea pigs eat fresh basil?

Yes! Your guinea pigs can eat basil. These veggies are filled with vitamin C, A, K, fiber, and antioxidants that promote good health for your cavy.

However, this herb is high in calcium so you have to feed it only as treats and in moderate sizes too. 

One thing about basil is its aroma and taste, which makes it a tasty snack for your furry friend.

Also, they are low in sugar and aren’t toxic at all for your little pet to have. However, you still need to serve it a few times to them.

As a careful guinea pig owner, you need to be sure about the right parts of basil to feed your little pets.

So, what part of basil can guinea pigs eat?

Let’s find out as we go deeper into this article…

What Part of Basil Can Guinea Pigs Eat? 

Interestingly, guinea pigs can eat almost all parts of basil. But let’s discuss each part below to be sure of how safe they are for your little pets.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Basil Leaves?

Of course! You can feed your guinea pigs basil leaves. They’re filled with vitamins that your guinea pigs need to stay healthy. 

Moreover, when talking about feeding your cavy basil treats, the leaves are the main part to serve them. Nevertheless, you should always wash them well with water while preparing them for guinea pigs.

Again, when serving, stick to the right serving sizes. 

Moderation is very important in keeping your guinea pigs safe from the harm too much basil could cause them.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Basil Stalk/Stems?

Yes, guinea pigs can eat basil stems. They’re rich sources of vitamin C, which is important for your guinea pigs to stay immune to certain diseases. 

However, due to the calcium in the stem, you should only give them to your little pet as treats and in moderate amounts.

Also, wash them properly when serving and slice them into tiny sizes that your cavy can eat with ease. 

Do Guinea Pigs Eat Basil Flowers?

Yes! Basil flowers are very safe to serve guinea pigs. Just like the leaves, these flowers also add flavor to many dishes. They are only milder than the leaves and can cause no harm at all to your cavy.

However, you should also taste these flowers before giving them to your furry friends.

This is because some of them can be bitter and guinea pigs might not like it. 

Also, you shouldn’t let your guinea pigs have too many of these flowers to keep things safe for your cavy.

Nutritional Value of Basil

Basil is a healthy veggie with a lot of nutrients. So, let’s look at the nutritional value of basil per 100 g serving below.

NutrientsPer 100 g
Fiber1.6 g
Vitamin C18 mg
Vitamin A264 mcg
Potassium295 mg
Protein3.15 g
Calcium177 mg
Vitamin K414.8 μg
Calories23 Kcal
Magnesium64 mg
Zinc0.81 mg
Sugar0.2 g

Benefits of Feeding Guinea Pigs Basil

Supports the Immune System

Basil is filled with vitamin C and many antioxidants, which protect your cavy from diseases. Vitamin C on its own is very important for them to fight scurvy, which guinea pigs normally suffer from. 

This disease is common to them because they normally lack vitamin C as their bodies cannot produce them.

So, feeding them basil will help prevent scurvy and boost their immunity against several diseases that might arise.

Boosts Eyesight

In basil, you’ll find vitamin A, a well-known sight-booster. Also, this herb has beta carotene in them too.

Both of these nutrients will help improve the vision of your cavy. 

As your cavies get older, they normally suffer from poor vision, so they’ll benefit from this herb. Guinea pigs’ sight is important for them so as basil has the sight boosters they need, feel free to serve it to them.

Supports the Digestive System

Fiber is one of the major nutrients guinea pigs need every day and basil has a lot of it. Digesting foods isn’t quite easy for guinea pigs to do as they have weak digestive systems. 

So, the fiber they’ll get from basil will help in breaking down the food they eat easily.

It also promotes good bowel movement for your cavy and prevents certain issues that can happen from improper digestion

Improves Cardiovascular Health

Potassium helps regulate blood pressure in the body. This way, it will help to prevent a lot of diseases high blood pressure could cause to your cavy. 

Another thing it does is to help muscles in the body, especially the heart muscles to contract and relax properly. This in turn will promote a good heartbeat.

Also, your guinea pig will be safer from certain diseases relating to the heart.

Supports Bones and Teeth Development

Basils also have so much calcium and phosphorus. Moreover, they both improve bone and tooth health. For these animals that chew a lot, their teeth need to remain healthy to continue doing it. 

Also, if their bones are weak, it would be really bad for them as these cute creatures naturally have weak bodies.

Helps in Wound Healing

Vitamin K is found in basil and it’s an important nutrient for guinea pigs’ wellbeing. Among many of the things they do, one of them is creating the proteins that make blood clots. 

This clotting prevents injuries from bleeding too much. This way, wounds will cover up quickly and then boost recovery. 

So, serving your furry friend a veggie that’s rich in vitamin K, such as basil, will help them recover quickly from injuries.

How Much Basil Can Guinea Pigs Eat?

You should feed no more than 2 – 3 leaves per serving. These herbs can’t be one of the main foods in their diet. 

If this is new to your cavy, you should start with a smaller portion of basil. It should just be gradual.

Pro Tip: After serving, watch your guinea pigs for any unpleasant reaction. If there’s any, reduce the amount again till they’re used to it. However, if they don’t react badly and seem to be fine, you can then give them the recommended sizes.

Moreover, you should never let your cavy’s love for these herbs trick you into giving them so much more than the normal amounts per serving. You’ll just end up creating serious risks to their health.

How Often Can You Feed Guinea Pigs Basil?

You should only feed your guinea pigs basil two or three times a week. Unlike hays or grass, basil cannot be a daily food for your little pet. 

However, your cavies enjoy this snack without the trouble it could cause, especially that of getting excess compounds.

Meanwhile, as you stick to serving them basil for these few days, it’s safer to give gaps in between these days. Like you can feed them basil on a certain day, skip the next day or two, and resume the day after.

Risk in Feeding Guinea Pigs Sugar Snap Peas


Guinea pigs can build allergies to new foods they eat. Basil itself has no allergic effects on guinea pigs in general. 

However, just like any other new food, some guinea pigs can react badly to it and others might not. It just depends on each guinea pig. So for yours, they might have bad reactions like vomiting, bloating.

Digestive Problems

For cavies, too much of some compounds aren’t good at all. Even the nutrients, like fiber that helps them digest food with ease, can also cause them a lot of digestive problems.

Excess fiber can disturb their tummy and cause improper bowel movements. Your guinea pig may suffer different health problems like bloating, gas, and diabetes.

Urinary Issues

The calcium in basil can endanger your guinea pig’s health if they take it in excess amounts. This compound can form kidney and bladder stones in your cavies’ bodies. 

In prolonged cases, they can be very painful and also cause urinary infections. Also, in the worst conditions, your guinea pig can end up dying.

What Type of Basil Can Guinea Pigs Eat?

Do Guinea Pigs Eat Thai Basil?

Thai Basil - Food for Guinea Pigs

Yes, guinea pigs do eat Thai basil. Also known as Thai sweet basil, they are safe to serve your little pets. 

In addition, it’s easy to spot them in stores by their unique purple stem. However, it’s best to serve organic ones to your little pet since these kinds of basil can easily grow in your gardens.

Also, just like every other kind of basil, you shouldn’t serve too much to your guinea pigs as you can create risks to their health.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Sweet Basil?

Sweet Basil - Food for Guinea Pigs

Of course, guinea pigs can eat sweet basil. Moreover, this is the most common type of basil. It also has lots of nutritional benefits. Some of which are to help digestion and wound recovery.

So, feel free to serve this to your cavy, particularly raw and fresh ones. And also, serve in moderation to avoid health issues.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Genovese Basil?

Genovese Basil - Food for Guinea Pigs

Yes! You can serve your guinea pigs Genovese basil. This is one of the common basils you’ll find in stores. 

They’re filled with many nutrients like vitamin C, K, and antioxidants like beta carotenes, that’ll help keep your little pet healthy.

Moreover, Just like sweet basil, it has a nice aroma. However, Genovese basil is well-known to have a spicy taste. In addition, make sure you serve them to your cavy in bits and just for a few days.

List of Basil to Feed Your Guinea Pigs

There are many kinds of basil available worldwide. But not all are fine for your guinea pigs to eat. Moreover, here’s a list of basil you can choose from wherever you want to prepare basil treats for them.

  • Sweet basil
  • Lemon basil
  • Genovese basil
  • Cinnamon basil
  • Thai sweet basil
  • Holy basil
  • Purple basil
  • Greek basil

How to Serve Basil for Guinea Pigs

Preparing Basil for Guinea Pigs

Step 1: Select Only Fresh Basil

When it comes to a guinea pigs diet, things tend to get pretty picky. You just have to carefully select foods in a way that’s fine for guinea pigs to eat. 

So, for basil, you can only serve them fresh raw ones. Moreover, if they’re dried up ones or leftovers, don’t use them at all.

Step 2: Wash Basil Thoroughly

It’s very important to maintain proper hygiene as you’re caring for guinea pigs, especially in their diet. You shouldn’t do this to only the leaves, but also any other part whenever you want to serve them to your cavy. 

Washing these herbs helps to get rid of dirt, bacteria, and chemicals that normally stay on them. Whenever you get the basil you want to prepare, particularly from stores, you should always wash them. 

With a bowl and warm water, shake the veggie like the “dunk and swish” way. In this way, it cleanses this veggie more than washing it under running water.

Step 3: Cut Basil Moderately

Next, you should just cut out two or three leaves. Also, you can cut these leaves in a way they’ll still be on the stem. This stem shouldn’t be so much as that will be too much for your cavy. 

Step 4: Serve Already Prepared Basil

Serve your cavy in clean areas and without added ingredients. You can also choose to serve just slices of the stem, flowers. 

Moreover, a better way to serve them is to mix them up with other veggies, especially ones that have less calcium in them. This will help keep things more balanced.

Take Note!

If you have homegrown basil in your garden, it’s better to use them than the ones you get from stores. Organic basil in the gardens will be safer for your pet as they’re not grown with chemicals. 

Interestingly, basil is easy to plant even in little spaces, so growing one for your cute furry friends is worth doing.

In case of any leftover basil or veggies that you serve with them, make sure you remove them from your cavies’ cage. This way you’ll keep your pet from issues leftover basils could cause, especially ones that have stayed for hours. Bacteria normally grow on them and that wouldn’t be good entering your cavies’ mouth. 

Basil Alternatives

Mixing foods in a guinea pigs diet plan is a healthier way to feed them. It’s better that they get different nutrients from different veggies every day.

Imagine feeding them basil every day, which you shouldn’t even do. Moreover, whenever you want to serve them any other healthy veggie other than basil, use these:

ParsleyCilantroBeetSweet Potato
LettuceCauliflowerSpinachSnap Peas
Bell pepperCeleryZucchiniKale
Brussel sproutsAsparagusGreen beansBroccoli

Nevertheless, it’s important to know the proper serving sizes of any of the veggies you choose. Also, you should find out the right preparation and possible risks in serving them to your little pet.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can Guinea Pigs Have Sweet Basil Leaves?

Yes, you can feed sweet basil leaves to your guinea pigs. These are the common basil leaves. However, wash them well to get rid of chemicals and other harmful substances that normally stay on them. 

Also, moderation is important and your guinea pigs shouldn’t get these leaves more often.

Is Basil High in Calcium for Guinea Pigs?

Yes, basil contains so much calcium. This is one of the main reasons your guinea pigs need them in moderation. So, the high calcium content can only make your guinea pigs sick if they eat too much basil.

Final Thoughts

To sum up, guinea pigs can eat fresh basil. They’ll make a tasty and very healthy snack for your guinea pigs. Your cavies will get vitamin C, fiber, and many other important nutrients they need from this herb.

You should know that most guinea pigs might like them and some might not. However, you shouldn’t force them. Just like us, these cute little creatures have favorites!

Make sure you prepare them well before serving them to your furry friends. Most importantly, don’t give them more than the usual amounts and stick to the right number of serving days.

Moreover, visit more of our blogs like this one to get more information about guinea pigs, especially the foods they eat. 

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