Can Guinea Pigs Eat Rosemary? Why They Should and Shouldn’t?

Own a guinea pig? If so, you will know that these small animals love to eat leaves especially when they are fresh. If you are into growing veggies for your pet to eat, you may arrive at an interesting question. Can guinea pigs eat rosemary? 

Yes, Guinea Pigs can eat rosemary. Only feed your guinea pig a few leaves of rosemary once or twice a week.

Anything more than this could be considered setting them up for death! This is due to the high calcium content that accumulates and forms kidney stones.

What Is Rosemary?

Rosemary is an evergreen herb. It is native to the Mediterranean region. Because of its oils which are highly fragrant, rosemary finds many uses as an aroma in the food and beverage industry. It is also a vital ingredient in the production of perfume. 

People commonly use rosemary leaves to flavor tea and provide an unusual taste in desserts especially biscuits. There are many benefits that humans receive from rosemary. These include better memory, digestion, and better immunity. 

Unfortunately, excessive doses of rosemary can be detrimental to health. Side effects one may experience are coma, nausea, and pulmonary edema.

But, someone would have to eat a lot of the herb to experience such symptoms. Also. rosemary is not advisable for pregnant women. 

Given these benefits, pet owners, particularly guinea pig owners might wonder if this herb is suitable for their pets. Let’s find out the answers about guinea pigs and rosemary.

Is It Safe For Guinea Pigs To Eat Rosemary?

Herbs are usually harmless and provide some benefits that can help to improve the health and lifespan of your pet. But, what about guinea pigs? Can guinea pigs eat rosemary or is it toxic to them? 

Actually, they can eat rosemary. In fact, the smell alone of rosemary will make your guinea pig quite excited! These small creatures will happily munch on almost anything fresh and green. But, there is one thing to watch out for when it comes to feeding pet rosemary. 

Portioning is crucial and anything above the normal amount could spark some highly unwanted side effects. When administered in the right amounts, rosemary leaves can be highly beneficial for your guinea pig. 

Your guinea pig is safe eating rosemary but not too often. It can be easily digested and won’t be too much of a problem for most guinea pigs.  

Growing Mint and also happen to have a pet dog? Find out if dogs can eat Mint.

How much Rosemary and How often you should feed to your Guinea Pigs?

So just after hearing that your guinea pig can eat rosemary leaves, a question arises. How much rosemary can a guinea pig eat and how often can it eat it? 

There is no particular measurement since the desirable amount will vary based on several factors. A few of the factors are:

  • Size of the guinea pig
  • The guinea pig’s sensitivity to rosemary 
  • Age of the guinea pig
  • Form of rosemary (fresh or dry)
  • Rosemary quality (younger or older rosemary, organic or modified)

Based on this you can choose to give your guinea pig some rosemary. 

Generally, feeding your guinea pig a few leaves of rosemary once or twice a week is adequate. This is enough for them to benefit from the leaves without being plagued with toxic effects.   

Feeding your guinea pigs more than a few leaves more than twice a week will be considered too much! 

Why do Rosemary leaves turn black? Explained with Solutions

Benefits Of Rosemary to Guinea Pigs

Why should you give your guinea pigs rosemary? This is a common question a guinea pig owner will ask upon learning that they can eat the herb. There are a few benefits your pet can receive from eating these herbs.

Although these little mammals won’t get the exact same benefits as human beings, they will get different ones. The most common advantages of consuming rosemary are the availability of minerals and nutrients 

Here are a few benefits of rosemary for guinea pigs:

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a crucial material in the body of any living creature. It plays a major role in building an immune response and having a fully functional immune system.

Vitamin C deficiency may lead to the disease scurvy. Symptoms are rough fur, diarrhea, and vomiting. 

This is another reason why it is so important to consume vitamin C? Maybe it has everything to do with the fact that vitamin C is not produced by Guinea Pigs. This material cannot be synthesized and must be introduced externally. 

Usually, owners must fulfill guinea pig vitamin C requirements by feeding them pellets or other horrible supplements. But, with rosemary, guinea pigs will take a liking to the herb.

This allows the animal to get its fair share of vitamin C. 


The mineral Calcium is also an important mineral that is essential for carrying out many bodily functions.

For a growing guinea pig, this very mineral will help in the development of healthy teeth and bones. It makes them strong and hardy.

We, humans, find much of our calcium requirements from dairy products, certain fish, or fermented products. But, you can’t exactly give this to your guinea pig, can you! Read what PetMD says about calcium deficiency in guinea pigs. 

That’s where rosemary makes a suitable and enticing substitute. Rosemary contains a large amount of calcium.

So much that your guinea pigs may not even need any more calcium after eating their weekly dose of rosemary!

Vitamin A and B

Apart from the presence of vitamin C, rosemary also contains vitamin A and vitamin B (B1, 2, 3, 6). Vitamin A is a potent antioxidant and helps to strengthen the immune system. 

Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) contributes towards the prevention of disease and facilitates healthy electrolyte flow. Lastly.

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) helps in correcting and controlling blood flow as well as in energy conversion. The B3 (Niacin) vitamin prevents heart disease and pain caused by arthritic problems. 

Plus vitamin B6 is responsible for the production of Serotonin, the hormone which regulates mood. So with enough rosemary and alternative supplements, your guinea pig will be in high spirits. 

Risks Of Feeding Your Guinea Pigs Rosemary 

Earlier we did mention that rosemary portioning is crucial. This is because in high amounts rosemary could easily become toxic. This toxicity will be accompanied by ill effects. 

The most worrying negative of feeding your guinea pig too much rosemary is the insanely high amounts of calcium it contains.

The amount it contains is much more than your guinea pig will need in such a short time frame.

So all the excess calcium will accumulate in the body of your pet. Calcium is not a good mineral to have too much of! Signs and symptoms will soon follow in such cases.

That’s because excess calcium is linked to the formation of kidney stones. In turn, this can lead to several urinary problems.

Issues include pain while urinating and even bleeding may follow. If left unattended, kidney stones may even lead to the death of your guinea pig!

See how a simple thing like too much rosemary can lead to a chain of health issues and possibly even death?

Excessive rosemary can lead to excessive calcium which then creates kidney stones and possibly death. You will want to avoid this chain of events.

How Will You Know Rosemary Doesn’t Suit Your Guinea Pig?

Most guinea pigs don’t mind the taste of rosemary and they adapt to the herb quite nicely. However, there are always the odd few that are sensitive to it and become affected by rosemary in a short time. 

They may take a liking to the smell and even eat it without knowing they won’t adjust to it. This is when the owner has to be very observant of their guinea pig.

But, how will you know if your guinea pig is one of those sensitive few? Well, these are a few changes to look out for. 

Identifying any of these symptoms in your guinea pig will prove that rosemary does not suit the pet:

  • Bloating
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Lethargy
  • Unwillingness to eat Rosemary leaves

If you encounter any of these signs, stop giving your guinea pigs rosemary immediately! But, if the symptoms are severe and persist for several days, take your pet to see a vet. 

When it escalates to this stage, be sure to tell your vet the truth. Tell the vet exactly how much and how often your guinea pig has been eating rosemary.

Then, do exactly what the vet tells you to do! Especially if he has provided medication for your guinea pig. 

Serving Rosemary To Your Guinea Pig: What You Should Know?

Now you know the pros and cons of guinea pigs eating rosemary, you know to keep an eye on the dosage. Additionally, you may wonder how to serve this herb up to your furry friend. 

The best way for you to serve a guinea pig rosemary is, you guessed it, fresh.

Of course, you will have to prepare the rosemary first. This means picking off the leaves and washing them thoroughly. That is because these herbs, when bought from stores, may have pesticides on them. 

If your guinea pig were to consume this toxic chemical, its organs and health could become affected. Especially if the pesticide has been building up in their system for a prolonged time.

So, washing rosemary is a life-saving activity you must adopt for the safety of your guinea pig. Additionally, fresh unwashed rosemary could have mold or dirt on it. So wash it carefully. 

Also, people often ask if they can feed their guinea pig dry rosemary. Sadly, dry rosemary is not as appetizing to your pet who loves fresh juicy leaves. All the benefits of rosemary are only available in fresh rosemary!

Plus when dry, the leaves could be harder for your furry friend to chew and digest since the oil (fat) content greatly increases. We advise only giving them fresh rosemary leaves to eat. 


After reading this blog about whether or not a guinea pig can eat Rosemary, you have discovered two main points. These are:

  1. Rosemary has many benefits pertaining to the vitamins and minerals it contains (Calcium, Vitamin, C, A, B1, B2, B3, B6).
  2. But, too much rosemary increases the calcium concentrations in the body. Excessive calcium levels can induce the formation of kidney stones which creates urinary tract complications. One unfortunate outcome is death.

This now creates awareness that rosemary needs to be fed to your guinea pig in strict proportions to avert a bad outcome. After all, it is your pet and you are responsible for their health and livelihood. 

Don’t feed your guinea pig too much rosemary!

Want to grow rosemary for your guinea pigs? Read our step-by-step guide to growing Rosemary from stem cuttings.


Can Guinea Pigs eat Rosemary stems?

Yes, a guinea pig can eat rosemary stems because they also have antioxidants and benefits. Just make sure that the rosemary stems are fresh and are cut into smaller pieces.

This is a very good way for your guinea pig to accrue benefits and easily digest the herb. This means that none of your rosemary herbs will go to waste.