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While in their natural habitat, guinea pigs consume a huge amount of plant foods. That is why the animal kept at home should be provided with all the necessary nutrients.
The choice of diet should be approached with the utmost responsibility, since not all green foods are equally useful. Some types of plants can cause irreparable harm to the life of your pet. Is it possible to feed a rodent with sorrel, and what are the nuances of the diet of guinea pigs?
Can rodents eat this herb?
Guinea pigs can only be fed with the usual kind of sorrel, since a variety called "horse sorrel" for rodents, including guinea pigs, is poisonous and fraught with death.
But the collection of the usual kind of sorrel should be approached responsibly. You can not feed the rodents with anything. This also applies to such grass as sorrel. It must be environmentally friendly. That is why it is necessary to juggle some recommendations for the collection.
Do not pick grass near industrial plants, on pastures and near tracks, as well as in places of tick infestation, as they can stick to the pet's skin and provoke dangerous diseases.
A plant grown in an environmentally friendly environment does not need to be washed. Washed green foods can cause bloating and diarrhea.
Any heat treatment of sorrel deprives it of useful properties., so that such a meal will already be simply useless.
Distinguishing the "horse sorrel" from the usual is not difficult. The leaves of the common species of this plant are light green in color and are small in size, about the size of a human palm. And the leaves of "horse sorrel" with red veins and have a dark green color, moreover, they are 3-4 times larger.
What are the beneficial properties of the plant?
Sorrel contains proteins, fiber, carbohydrates, thiamine, ascorbic, folic and oxalic acids, as well as a large amount of vitamin B.
This plant has a lot of useful macro- and microelements, including: potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, etc.
In small quantities, it has a beneficial effect on the general condition of the animal, tones up, and also helps to improve digestion.
What is the correct way to give the product to a pet?
As a rule, guinea pigs do not have a diet per se, they eat almost always. This continuous intake of food ensures better processing of food.
Despite the whole range of nutrients, it is recommended to give sorrel to guinea pigs no more than 2-3 times a week and only in small portions, since the use of this herb in large quantities can harm the health of the animal.
If the animal feeds on sorrel for a long time, then the acid contained in the plant can provoke kidney stones and a violation of mineral metabolism in the body. In summer, it is better to replace sorrel with dandelion, which also has a lot of useful properties. It will have a beneficial effect on the digestive system and improve the rodent's appetite. And in winter, fresh sorrel can be replaced with dry one. But here, too, the main thing is to know when to stop.
Also after wintering, green grass should be introduced into the animal's diet in stages, so as not to harm the body and not provoke an upset of the gastrointestinal tract. Veterinarians recommend giving any kind of fresh grass, including sorrel, in the form of a "salad", ie. along with vegetables (such as carrots and cucumbers) and other types of herbs. Thus, nutrients are better absorbed by the animal's body.
Sorrel is a plant that can only benefit a rodent if it is consumed in small quantities and without fanaticism. Otherwise, the animal may be severely injured or killed. Whether it is worth including sorrel in the diet of a guinea pig or not is up to every owner. The most important thing to remember is that everything needs a measure.