Benefits of Foraging
Foraging is nothing but exploring the wild and getting foods from the forest or any other greenery places for your Guinea Pigs.
Foraging will give you and your pet more benefits along with mental happiness. Foraged plants and fruits are like treats to your pets. These plants have so many nutrients and vitamins that you can’t find in the store-bought plants and fruits.
Free Food: Foraged foods not only adds up the nutrients but also reduces the cost required for feeding your pet. It is one of the cost-effective ways to reduce the average cost to maintain your pet.
Improving your Pet’s Wellbeing: When you feed your pet foraged foods they will be happy. Basically foraged plants are like treats to them they will be happy which improves their health both physically and mentally.
Exercise and Family Fun: When you explore in the woods searching for foods for your pet, it helps your mind to be fresh and active. Who doesn’t loves a walk in the woods and meadows with friends?
When can you forage?
You can forage any time you want or you can do it daily. You have to keep in mind that some plants will be available only for a particular season and you should be able to differentiate the plants that are toxic to guinea plants.
You have to make sure in which season what kind of plants and fruits will be available in woods or in garlands in your city.
Where can you Forage?
The best places to forage are
- Public foot paths
- Public parks
Places to avoid foraging are,
- Areas near busy roads
- Areas where dogs roam and poops
- Areas treated by pesticides or any chemicals by the community.
- Don’t trespass and private property to forage
Things you need while Foraging
- To identify the plants you definitely need a guidebook. Never solely depend on your phone sometimes you won’t be in-network coverage area.
How to Forage?
Before foraging search for plants good for guinea pigs and how to identify them. You have to be more sure about the plants. If you are not sure about the plant you pick then don’t feed your guinea pigs better don’t even pluck the plants.
- Avoid plants that are rusty, contaminated, having fungus or mold. Always pick the younger plants than the older ones. If you notice any bugs or larvae in the plants avoid them. Avoid plants that are about to release their seeds. These plants will be bitter and your guinea pig won’t eat them.
- Pick plants only that are required. Don’t be greedy and take loads of plants and fruits and never plan on keeping them for weeks and to feed your guinea pig.
- Start to pick the plants that are easy to identify. It is also safer to pick the known plants and fruits than the unknown new plants.
- Never search the plant types and images based on common names. Most of the plants have similar common names and it will be very confusing.
Make note of every plant you pick and about their identifications in a journal so that you would be more confident the next time when you pick the plant. There are companion plants that grow next to some plants if the companion plants can also be used for your guinea pigs then search for them.
Can you take your pet to Forage?
Never Take your pet to Forage. They may eat something which is not healthy for them and also end up being food poisoned. Your pet may seem happy while foraging but the after part would be really worse.
How to feed foraged foods to Guinea Pigs?
- Wash thoroughly the foraged food in lukewarm water so that any bacterias would be dead.
- Introduce the foraged plants slowly to your guinea pig like you feed your guinea pig for the first time.
- Monitor your pet after feeding the forage foods. If you find any unusual activity or your pet is unwell take them immediately to the vet and stop feeding foraged foods. Whatever you chose is not good for your pet.
Symptoms of food poisoning in Guinea pigs are,
- Muscle spasms
- Inability to hold its head up
Safe Plants for your Guinea pig
Safe Wild plants
- Shepherd’s Purse
- Wild blackberry, strawberries, raspberry
- White Clover
- Apple and Pear Twigs
- Red Clover
- Rose leaves and Petals
- Cow Parsley
- Plantain (Narrow and Broad Leaf)
- Willow leaves
- Nettle (Dried)
- Golden rod
- Cleavers (Goose Grass)
- Wild Geranium
- Campion (red and white)
- Cow parsley
- Common agrimony
- Dead nettle (white or red)
- Dog rose
- Golden rod
- Good King Henry
- Greater stitchwort
- Ground elder
- Herb bennet
- Herb robert
- Plantain (rib and broad leaf)
- Prickly lettuce
- Shepherd’s purse
- Sow thistle
Safe Graden Plants
- Hollyhocks (leaves)
- Wild geranium
- Bay borage
- Lemon balm
Safe Twigs and Shrubs
- Beech (not the nuts
- Blackthorn (not the fruits)
- Crab apple
- Hawthorn (but remove the thorns for piggies)
- Hazel (not the nuts)
Safe fruits and vegetables to grow in the garden for your Guinea Pigs
- Brussel sprouts
- Carrot tops
- Curly kale
- Blackberries (in moderation)
- Tomato (in small pieces)
List of Non-Safe plants
There are plenty of poisonous and non-safe plants for your guinea pigs. We can’t cover them all. So here are a few lists of plants that are poisonous to your guinea pigs.
- Lily of the Valley
- Acacia Iris
- Giant Hogweed
- Horse chestnut
- Poppies Oak
Foraging can be so fun for you as well as for your pets. It is also one of the ways to reduce the average cost of spending for foods for your Guinea pigs. Free food with a lot of nourishment and nutrients. Foraging has a lot of benefits as well as you have to be more careful while choosing a plant if not it may affect your guinea pig in many ways.