I am always petrified about giving my guinea pig the wrong type of food to eat. After all, the little cavies are not like us. Their stomachs are too sensitive for some of the food we eat in abundance without repercussions. This includes green onions.
Can guinea pigs eat green onions? Yes, they can occasionally enjoy green onions as a treat. However, they cannot eat vegetables entirely. Instead, only the bulb part of the green onions is fit for consumption by a guinea pig.
While this short answer may have given you the information you need, I would advise you to keep on reading to find out everything you ought to know about feeding your adorable piggies some green onions.
Diving Deep: Can Guinea Pigs Eat Green Onions?
For those of you wondering whether or not can guinea pigs have green onions, let’s first deconstruct (figuratively) the digestive system of the cavy.
Guinea pigs are known to have very sensitive digestive systems. Even food that is rich in nutrients they require needs to be given to them in moderation to ensure that excess food does not end up causing them gastrointestinal problems.
When it comes to green onions, guinea pigs can eat some parts of the vegetable in limited quantity when given occasionally.
Green onions have two parts – leaf and bulb. The cavies should not be given any of the onion bulbs because this element contains sulfur, which is harmful to guinea pigs. Not to mention that onion bulbs are too spicy for the little piggies to handle.
The green leafy part of green onions is safe for guinea pigs to consume. In fact, they are packed with various nutrients.
However, the leaf also has a calcium concentration of 7 percent, which, when eaten too much, can cause health issues in the cavies, including urinary ailments and kidney failure.
So, even the parts that guinea pigs can eat, you need to be careful as a pet owner about the quantity.
Removing the ‘Green’: What Happens If Guinea Pigs Eat Onions?
Call me paranoid, but my worst fear is if a reader misinterprets my guide to think that onions (including yellow and red) are safe for consumption by guinea pigs. After all, how different are onions from green onions, right? Wrong! They are completely different. In no situation or circumstance should you feed onions to your cavies!
If guinea pigs eat onions, regardless of how little they consume the vegetable, they can suffer from a series of health issues.
This is what will happen if your guinea pigs eat an onion:
Leafy Treat: Can Pigs Eat Onion Leaves?
There isn’t conclusive information available about onion leaves per se. Considering how toxic onions are for guinea pigs, I would say it is better to stay away from all elements of an onion.
However, when you talk about green onion leaves, you can surely incorporate them into your little herbivore’s diet as an occasional treat. Make sure to differentiate between the two types of onions before feeding the leaves to your pet. Regardless, never give them the bulb!
Back to Basics: What Are Green Onions?
Before wondering, “can guinea pigs eat green onions,” it is a great idea to know what green onions are. This way, you will be able to pick the vegetable out from other types of onions, hence ensuring that you don’t end up feeding something dangerous to your little friend.
If you haven’t heard of green onions, then you might be familiar with its other name – scallions. The two terms are usually used interchangeably to refer to the same vegetable. The veggie is quite common and belongs to the family Allium, which has plants like garlic, leeks, and chives in its portfolio as well.
To identify a green onion from a vegetable aisle, be on the lookout for a bulb that is shooting out long green leaves. The bulb of green onion is visibly underdeveloped, especially compared to regular onions.
What’s in it: Green Onions’ Nutrition Chart
When planning on giving your guinea pig any treat, one of the primary steps to decide whether a given vegetable is worth it is by checking out the nutrients it has.
As per USDA, here is what 100 grams of green onions have:
Health Benefits of Green Onion for Guinea Pigs
Can guinea pigs eat green onions? They can eat the leaves, as I have mentioned before.
But why should you bother giving your piggy something that has an element that is downright toxic for its existence? Well, it’s because there are various benefits of feeding the leafy part of the vegetable to guinea pigs.
A boost of energy
As green onions contain a mix of protein, carbs, and fiber, they provide green onions with energy. The fiber content improves their digestion, thereby improving their bowel movements and gastrointestinal health.
Improved brain function
The fat present in green onion dissolves readily in the bloodstream of guinea pigs. Additionally, it doesn’t have any cholesterol. Therefore, it only improves brain function without being the cause of any ailments.
One of the most common diseases in guinea pigs is scurvy, which is caused by a lack of vitamin C. Since green onions contain a substantial amount of the nutrient, it helps in combatting scurvy.
A safe pregnancy
As green onions are equipped with folate, zinc, and B6 vitamins, it is the perfect treat for ensuring the growth of the fetus while guaranteeing no defects in the newborn baby pig. B6 vitamin also helps in releasing serotonin, which keeps the cavies in a good mood.
Considering that guinea pigs are quite sensitive beings, the more enhanced their immunity gets, the better it is for their health. Green onions have manganese as well as selenium, both of which help in boosting the immune system, thereby leading to the lesser onset of diseases.
The Perfect Quantity: Recommended Serving Size of Green Onion
Can guinea pigs eat green onions in abundance? No! Even if you only feed them the green leafy part, the high sugar content along with the included calcium is detrimental to their health. So much so that the effect of the two nutrients renders the benefits mentioned above null and void.
So, what should be the serving size of green onions? Well, at most, you can feed a handful of the green leaves to your little furry friend. Give the treat at most twice a week. I give my guinea pig green onion leaves once in two weeks. Instead, I supplement the nutrients via other safer vegetables.
Red is Danger: Can Guinea Pigs Eat Red Onions?
Red onions, as well as yellow onions, are immensely poisonous to guinea pigs. As mentioned in the section above, eating these onions can cause immense damage to the health of your cavy.
Even if your guinea pig looks fine after nibbling on a bit of red onion, know that at that moment, the toxins of the onion are gradually killing your beloved pet by attacking its red blood cells. Soon, your piggy will start having problems in breathing and may even start bleeding!
Not to mention how painful bladder stones are (even for humans) and how prevalent they occur due to red onions. Such health ailments can eventually cost you the life of your little cavy.
So, when your guinea pig is concerned, keep it away from all red onions. The same goes for the bulbs of green onions.
Final Thoughts – Can Guinea Pigs Eat Green Onions?
Onions are a very tricky vegetable. There are different verdicts for its varying types. But, one thing is common – you should never give any onion bulb to your guinea pig, regardless of the type of the onion.
To summarize, can guinea pigs eat green onions? They can eat a handful of its green leafy parts once a week. And that is pretty much it!
Just like green onions, there are limitations to other treats as well. Just because you know a given vegetable can be eaten by your guinea pig doesn’t mean you have it covered. I would suggest you go through some of my other guides as well, just as a precaution.
Be a responsible parent to your guinea pig. Don’t let the sensitive cavy down!