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Can Guinea Pigs Eat Celery? Vet-Approved Facts

Genevieve Dugal

By Genevieve Dugal

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Celery

Vet approved

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Amanda Charles

Veterinarian, BVSc GPCert (Derm) MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Does your adorable guinea pig always try to steal a piece of your crunchy celery snack? Or maybe you just want to vary its diet to make sure it gets all the nutrients that it needs to thrive? Either way, it’s good to know that guinea pigs can safely eat celery and it can be a healthy snack.

That said, you don’t want to give them too much of it because celery doesn’t contain as many useful nutrients for your cavy as other vegetables.

Read on to learn about what constitutes a healthy and yummy diet for your sweet and fluffy piggy.

Divider Guinea Pig

Why Shouldn’t You Give Your Guinea Pig Too Much Celery?

Vegetables are a necessary part of a guinea pig’s diet and you can give your guinea pig a small piece of celery (about 2 inches long) a few times a week, along with a good mixture of other greens and veggies.

Celery contains vitamins A, K and potassium as well as being high in water content which can help keep your piggy hydrated.

However, it shouldn’t be an every day vegetable and there are two main reasons for that:

  • Celery is low in vitamin C, and that matters because, just like humans, guinea pigs cannot synthesize vitamin C on their own. They must consume foods rich in this nutrient; otherwise, they may develop hypovitaminosis C, which can lead to serious health issues, such as scurvy.
  • Celery contains moderate levels of oxalates and calcium.1 Too much calcium and oxalates can promote the formation of bladder stones in sensitive species (like guinea pigs). Celery has 10 mg of oxalate per cup, which is considered moderate. For comparison, raw spinach contains about 700 mg of oxalate per cup. That said, if you’re already feeding other oxalate and calcium rich vegetables to your cavy, it’s best to limit their celery intake.
hands holding guinea pig
Image Credit: Dmytro Vietrov, Shutterstock

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Celery Leaves?

Yes, your guinea pig can snack on celery leaves, as long as it’s in moderation. Rinse them thoroughly before offering them to your guinea pig to remove any pesticide residue.

It’s important to go slowly when introducing new vegetables to your guinea pigs’ diet, as too abrupt a transition can cause gas or diarrhea.

What Other Veggies Can Guinea Pigs Eat?

Guinea pigs can and should eat a variety of vegetables to meet their vitamin and mineral needs. The following are examples of some veggies that can be offered safely to your cavy. However, always introduce new foods slowly to avoid gastrointestinal issues.

  • Dandelion greens
  • Carrots
  • Cilantro
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini

Best Diet for Your Guinea Pig

Here’s a quick reminder of what should make up a good diet for your guinea pig:

  • Hay is the most important staple in a guinea pig’s diet. It must represent more than 3/4 of their daily intake.
  • Vegetables are also essential in the diet of guinea pigs. You can offer them ½ to 1 cup of two to three different vegetables a day.
  • Guinea pig-specific pellets can be given in limited amounts, about 1–2 tablespoons per day.
  • Fruit can be offered once or twice a week, as a treat. Avoid offering it every day; otherwise, your cavy may gain too much weight.
  • Guinea pigs cannot synthesize their own vitamin C, so they must obtain it from their diet.
Guinea Pig eating a carrot
Image Credit: enchanted_fairy, Shutterstock

Do’s & Don’ts of Maintaining a Healthy Diet for Your Guinea Pig

  • Offer unlimited access to hay. Timothy, orchard, meadow, or oat hays are all suitable for guinea pigs.
  • Provide unlimited access to water. It should be available at all times, either as a bottle or in a container suitable for the guinea pig’s cage.
  • Do not feed alfalfa or clover hay to adult guinea pigs. Alfalfa or clover hay is too high in calories and calcium and is only suitable for growing or pregnant guinea pigs.
  • Do not offer animal protein. Guinea pigs are strict herbivores, which means their digestive system is not suited for animal protein of any kind.
  • Do not give them seeds or nuts. These are far too high in fat and calories for guinea pigs.

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Bottom Line

As a responsible guinea pig parent, you want to make sure you’re providing your furball with all the good stuff. A crunchy piece of celery once in a while is a healthy addition to their diet, but don’t make it part of your cavy’s daily diet because it’s too low in vitamin C and too high in calcium and oxalates compared to other veggies. As always, if you’re concerned about your tiny pet’s health, don’t hesitate to seek advice from your veterinary team.

Featured Image Credit: Julita, Pixabay

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