Can guinea pigs eat celery?
Can guinea pigs eat celery? We explore the pros and cons of this vitamin-packed vegetable
Can guinea pigs eat celery? Just like the best guinea pig accessories are important to keep their minds stimulated and enriched, our little pocket pets need a good variety of vegetables to supplement their typical diet of pellets and fresh hay to ensure their physical bodies stay healthy. But, not every vegetable is well-suited to feeding to our cavy companions.
While it makes sense to feed our pets something we’ll be eating ourselves - especially if you’ve got an abundance of it - that doesn't automatically mean that the foods that are delicious and nutritious for us humans are going to make for an equally satisfying snack for our furry friends.
Thankfully, when it comes to celery, feeding it to guinea pigs gets the green light. That being said, it’s one of those vegetables that shouldn’t be fed too often, as too much of it can cause some problems and the high calcium content means it should be avoided if your guinea pig suffers from kidney or bladder stones.
Below, we walk you through everything you need to know, including how you can serve up this green vegetable to your pocket pet. And if you want to know more about the types of foods guinea pigs should eat, check out six guinea pig nutrition questions answered, as well as discovering can guinea pigs eat grapes.
- How long do guinea pigs live?
- 7 popular guinea pig breeds
- Guinea pig noises and body language explained
Is celery good for guinea pigs?
Guinea pigs need Vitamin C in their diet, since they can’t produce it by themselves. An excellent source of this vitamin is from vegetables, of which celery is one of them (albeit having a relatively low amount compared to other veggies). Celery is also a good source of Vitamin A and Vitamin K.
However, despite celery not being toxic, and being a source of several vitamins, it’s best reserved for an occasional treat, rather than a regular snack.
This is due to high levels of calcium, as well as something called oxalates, both of which can be problematic for guinea pigs when ingested in large quantities. You’ll also find these in other green leafy vegetables such as spinach and chard.
When is celery bad for guinea pigs?
Oxalates can exacerbate problems in guinea pigs who have pre-existing conditions such as kidney or bladder stones. If your cavy suffers from one of these conditions, you should be careful to make sure you don’t feed celery to them at all.
However, otherwise healthy guinea pigs can eat it - so long as it’s in moderation. You should feed your guinea pigs a good selection of raw fresh fruits and vegetables every day, within which a couple of bite size chunks of celery can be included occasionally (not every day).
To complement the celery you might give to your guinea pig, look for low-calcium alternatives, such as lettuce or bell peppers. If you want to feed your guinea pig celery, make sure it is fresh and raw. Don’t feed them cooked celery.
Tips on feeding your guinea pig celery
If you want to incorporate this crunchy veg into your guinea pig’s diet, here are some ways that you can do it without going overboard.
- Suggestion 1 - Chop up a small amount of celery and mix it in with other tasty veggies and a small amount of fruit (no more than 2-3 times a week).
- Suggestion 2 - Chop the leafy part of the celery (if included when you buy it) and mix it with other leafy vegetables for your guinea pig to chomp on.
- Suggestion 3 - Give your guinea pig a small baton of celery to chomp on as a chewy treat - just not too often. Always supervise in case of choking.
To sum up, celery is a vegetable that many guinea pigs enjoy (and others might not have a taste for it at all - just like humans!). It’s safe to give to your guinea pig, so long as it’s not fed as an every day treat. Make sure your guinea pig is getting a good mix of veggies every day so as to get all their nutrients they need, including celery as a treat a couple of times a week.
Get the best advice, tips and top tech for your beloved Pets
Amy Davies is a freelance writer and photographer with over 15 years experience. She has a degree in journalism from Cardiff University and has written about a huge variety of topics over the years. These days she mostly specialises in technology and pets, writing across a number of different titles including TechRadar, Stuff, Expert Reviews, T3, Digital Camera World, and of course PetsRadar. She lives in Cardiff with her dog, Lola, a rescue miniature dachshund.