Many guinea pig owners wonder if the clover in their lawns is an acceptable treat for their piggies.
Guinea pigs can eat clover. When giving your guinea pig clover, it is important to do so in moderation and to carefully observe what kind of clover they are receiving.
To learn about which clovers are acceptable for your guinea pigs and how much they should receive, continue reading below.
There are a wide variety of clover species in the world, and not all of them are safe for guinea pigs to eat. There are also various parts of the clover plant which might raise questions for pet owners. The parts of the clover plant include clover grass, clover flowers, and clover sprouts.
White and red clover are two types of clover that pet owners commonly find. White clover is a safe and fun snack for cavies to munch. Red clover is also a viable choice for piggies, but it is higher in calcium than white clover and should be gifted to them less often.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Clover Grass?
Many pet owners find broad patches of clover in their yards, especially in the spring and summertime. Clover grass refers to the cute, little leaves and stems that you might have plucked as a child in search of four-leaf clovers for extra luck. Lucky for you and your cavies, clover grass can be a delectable, occasional treat for your piggy pals.
Note that you will want to verify what kind of clover is on your lawn before giving it to your guinea pigs. Most clovers are safe and harmless, but it is always important to do your research before introducing anything new to eat to your pets. As mentioned previously, white and red clover grasses are safe for your piggies, but always verify their identities before feeding them to your cavies.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Clover Flowers?
While you are gathering clover grass for your guinea pigs, you might notice that there are little puffy white flowers among the leaves. These flowers are also edible for guinea pigs. The blossoms make for an exciting variety that won’t cost you anything but the time to pick them.
If you like to put your piggies on social media, these flowers could make for cute photo opportunities as your piggies nibble away. Both white and red clover flowers are safe for guinea pigs to eat in small amounts. If you’re looking to take a spring or summer photo session of your herd, then clover flowers might help you succeed in creating your desired images.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Clover Sprouts?
Clover sprouts are the early forms of clover grass. You can differentiate it from clover grass by its tiny pale green or yellow leaves and whitish stems. Don’t fret if you see clover sprouts scattered in with your clover grass. Just like the older, more mature clover grass, clover sprouts are also piggy-approved.
It is necessary to know that there are a multitude of clover species, and not all of them are safe for cavy consumption. White clover grass, flowers, and sprouts are all safe for guinea pigs. White clovers can be identified by their puffy white flowers, and the little, white, obtuse angles pointed upward on each leaf.
If you are ever unsure that what you’re planning to feed your guinea pig is clover, or is a safe clover, then always make sure to look up pictures first and carefully compare the plants before providing them to your pets. Taking a picture and doing a Google cross-image search could be a great way of confirming the identity of the clover that you’ve found.
Before giving anything to your guinea pigs, make sure to rinse them in your sink. This is an excellent way to prevent contaminating the cage with insects that might not be easily visible or unwanted traces of other animals.
If you want to feed your guinea pigs clover from your lawn, it is necessary to review what might have come in contact with your lawn in the past. If there is any chance that weed killers or pesticides may have been introduced to your clover, please do not give any plant grown in your lawn to your pets. If you suspect any chemicals might have entered the area where the clover grows, then rinsing the leaves will not be enough to make them safe for your pets.
Fresh leaves only
Make sure that the clover isn’t dried out or suffering from too much water. Guinea pigs will not eat clover that is dried out or wilted. Putting dried or wilted leaves in the cage with your cavies will only lead to them molding. Mold in a guinea pig cage isn’t great for the air quality of your piggy habitat or your home. Rotting vegetation attracts unwanted insects and can cause upset stomachs for guinea pigs. Only fresh clover is advisable to be placed in your guinea pigs’ cage.
Any treats delivered in too large of amounts can potentially harm your guinea pigs. This is a trait that humans also share when indulging in too much of one snack. For example, acidic fruits like oranges and tomatoes can cause cysts in your piggies’ mouths. Eating too much clover can also have adverse effects.
Clover is too high in calcium to be considered as an everyday option to feed your guinea pigs. When snacks that are too high in calcium are given too frequently to your cavies, they can develop painful bladder stones.
Bladder stones can cause urinary tract infections and must be surgically removed by a veterinarian to improve the guinea pig’s health. To avoid putting your guinea pig and your wallet through unnecessary pain, always make sure to review the side effects of giving your pet a specific treat too often.
The only food that is guaranteed to be safe for a guinea pig to eat daily is timothy hay. Timothy hay is a necessary staple to every guinea pig’s diet, and they will need a surplus of it to live happy and healthy lives.
Feeding a guinea pig too much of any snack can lead to a wide range of health concerns like diabetes, intestinal disruption, or cysts in their mouths. Make sure to switch through your guinea pig’s treats often to keep them excited and prevent them from having too much of the same thing.
As a rule, only timothy hay should be a part of your piggies’ daily routine, and other fruits and veggies should be regularly cycled throughout the week. Some other treats to consider cycling into your guinea pig’s diet include cilantro, carrots, spinach, celery, and parsley.
Any treat given in too high of quantities can have poor outcomes on your guinea pig’s health. So how much clover is too much clover? Giving your guinea pig a small handful of white clover once or twice a week is sure to be within the safe amount for your guinea pig to consume.
Varies according to clover types
Keep in mind that the amount of clover you can feed a guinea pig varies by the type of clover that you plan to feed them. For example, white clover can be fed more frequently than red clover due to its lower calcium content. Knowing which type of clover you have at hand will always be your first step in determining how many clovers you can give to your cavies.
Consult a vet
If you are interested in including clover more frequently into your guinea pig’s diet, then ask your veterinarian what quantity they suggest. This might be especially helpful for those people who have more than two guinea pigs and are having a difficult time measuring a safe amount.
One way to help you decide whether more or less of a treat is necessary is to carefully watch to see how many piggies in your herd have taken an interest in it. When you give a herd of guinea pigs a new treat, always watch closely to see which piggies are indulging in the snack.
Guinea pigs will frequently reject new foods. Usually, the more gluttonous piggies will be the first to interact with a new item. If only one guinea pig is eating the clover, then sticking to a smaller amount of clover is the safest thing to do.
In conclusion, white clover is safe for guinea pigs when picked from a chemical-free yard and given only periodically to your pets. Eating too much clover can cause bladder stones, and it is strongly advisable to ask your vet if you’re unsure of the quantity to feed your herd.
Guinea pigs enjoy and require variety to their snacking just like we do. It’s funny to think that guinea pigs are not too unlike their owners when it comes to munching.