Can Guinea Pigs Eat Celery? Is Celery Good Or Even Bad For Our Tiny Friends?
Welcome To Our Complete Guide To Guinea Pigs And Celery. Answering These Questions And More Besides!
Feeding fresh fruits and vegetables to your guinea pigs is an important part of their diets.
In fact, veterinarians say that a good guinea pig diet consists of pellets, hay, fresh fruits and vegetables too.
If you’re like me, then you go out of your way to make sure your cavies get a little extra greenery at mealtime.
Those veggies usually come from whatever I happen to be cooking.
I knew that that leafy green veggies like carrot tops and romaine lettuce were good for our pets, but what about celery?
Can guinea pigs eat celery? Is it good for them? Are there any health risks?
The answer is a little more complicated than I expected.
Can guinea pigs eat celery?
Leafy green vegetables keep your guinea pig healthy, but not all leafy greens are safe.
Celery is not toxic for guinea pigs. However, veterinarians do not recommend feeding celery to your cavy on a regular basis.
This is because celery, along with vegetables like spinach, beets, chard, and green beans, contain high amounts of oxalates.
Oxolates are a naturally occurring compound that may increase your guinea pig’s chances of developing bladder or kidney stones.
Guinea pigs as a species may be prone to developing urinary tract stones. Some veterinarians therefore caution owners to avoid feeding celery to your guinea pig on a regular basis.
This is especially important if your guinea pig already has a history of kidney or bladder stones, as a high oxalate diet could exacerbate the problem.
As an occasional treat, however, celery appears to be safe for guinea pigs without pre-existing conditions like urinary tract stones.
Is celery good for guinea pigs?
Urinary tract stones are definitely bad for guinea pigs, but are there any benefits to feeding celery to guinea pigs?
Guinea pigs are unable to create or store vitamin C. This means they need a constant supply of vitamin C to stay healthy.
While pelleted food contains vitamin C, the amount of vitamin C in the food is reduced with time and exposure to air.
The best way to make sure your guinea pig has plenty of vitamin C in their diet is to provide them with safe fruits and vegetables with high vitamin C content (hint: not citrus!).
Celery is a good source of vitamin C.
As an occasional treat, celery might give your guinea pig a vitamin C boost.
However, make sure you do not feed celery on a regular basis, as the oxalate content could create problems for your guinea pig down the line.
Do guinea pigs eat celery cooked or raw?
Guinea pigs are herbivores. They nibble on grasses and leafy greens, and would not naturally encounter cooked food.
Veterinarians advise feeding guinea pigs fresh, raw vegetables. This provides them with lots of nutrients, as well as dental wear, which is important for their oral health.
Cooked vegetables can come with risks.
Many recipes involving cooked celery also contain other ingredients that may be toxic to your guinea pig.
Play it safe and always feed your guinea pig raw vegetables unless otherwise recommended by your veterinarian.
Can guinea pigs eat celery leaves?
Most guinea pig nutrition articles emphasize leafy greens.
Guinea pigs and celery leaves seem like they should be a perfect match.
Here is the good news: guinea pigs can eat celery leaves in moderation as an occasional snack.
However, keep in mind that feeding too many celery leaves could lead to or exacerbate urinary tract stones.
Can guinea pigs have celery stems?
Just like celery leaves, small amounts of celery stems are safe for guinea pigs who don’t have a history of urinary tract stones.
That does not mean that you should feed an entire celery stick to your guinea pigs. No matter how much they seem to enjoy it.
Instead, offer a small piece of fresh celery and be sure to remove any uneaten portions from their cage.
Can my guinea pig eat celery?
If you have been feeding your guinea pig celery, relax.
Celery is safe for guinea pigs to have as an occasional treat, but there are some health risks associated with this vegetable.
Talk to your veterinarian about your guinea pig’s diet, and keep an eye out for symptoms of urinary tract stones, like difficulty urinating, painful urination, or bloody urine.
Celery should not be fed to guinea pigs with a history of urinary tract stones.
To help reduce the risk of stones, do not feed large amounts of celery to your guinea pig on a regular basis, and be sure to offer a wide variety of safe fruits and vegetables to your guinea pig as part of a complete diet.
Further Reading and Resources
‘Housing and Feeding Your Guinea Pig.’ College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois. Jan 2016.
‘Guinea Pigs.’ Ark Veterinary Center.
Axelson, R. DVM. ‘Rodents – Feeding.’ Huffard Animal Hospital. 2009.
Corriveau, L. DVM. ‘Common diseases of guinea pigs (Proceedings).’ DVM360 Magazine. Aug 2010.
‘Guinea Pig Care.’ American Animal Hospital Association. 2017.
Quesenberry, K. DVM, MPH, DABVP (Avian). ‘Providing a Home for a Guinea Pig.’ Merck Veterinary Manual.