Green onions are readily available everywhere in the market, but can you pick a bunch of green onions for your guinea pig?
Can green onion work as regular food for guinea pigs? What are the nutritional values? Here is a complete guide to feeding your cavy green onions.
Can guinea pigs eat green onions?
A Guinea pig can occasionally eat green onions, but only the leaf. Bulb parts are too spicy and toxic. Scallions contain many beneficial nutrients which can help their healthy growth, but as it has a few harmful components, like calcium, overfeeding can be detrimental.
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Guinea pigs have a sensitive digestive system, and many human foods and nutrients do not add any value to their food. So, you need to be picky and a hundred percent sure while feeding your guinea pig.
When it comes to green onions, the cavy pet society is divided into two parts. One group of people say green onion is toxic to guinea pigs, while others say it’s beneficial. But which one is actually true?
Let’s break it down scientifically. Green onions are young onion plants with a small white onion bulb. There are two parts of green onion, one is the green leafy part, and the other is the onion bulb.
The onion bulb is not suitable for cavy food as it is too spicy and contains harmful sulfur components. So, never feed your guinea pig onion or green onion bulb.
Now, come to the top part of the green onion. The green onion leaves are very nutritious for cavies, but it also contains 7% calcium which can cause health complications to the guinea pigs.
What does calcium does to guinea pigs? Well, their digestive system is not as strong as ours. They can not process many nutrients. They can process a small amount of calcium, but if they eat a lot of it, that can cause urinary problems and even complications like kidney failure.
So, can you feed your guinea pig onion leaves? Yes, but a small amount and not more than one or two times a week.
In the following sections, we will discuss more on the topic, but for now, check out which part of green onions is suitable for the guinea pigs.
Green onion tops:
Cavies can eat green onion top or leaves occasionally. Eating it every day can create health problems in them.
Green onion leaves:
Green onion leaves and green onion tops are the same, and guinea pigs can eat green onion leaves one to two times a week.
Green onion bulb:
Green onion bulb and regular onions are not suitable for the cavies as it has a high amount of harmful sulfur. Moreover, they don’t like the taste of it.
Do guinea pigs like green onions? Are green onions poisonous to guinea pigs?
All the guinea pigs have different tastes and characteristics. Some guinea pigs may like green onion leaves, while others may not like them. But all guinea pigs will eat green onion leaves.
Even if your guinea pig likes green onion leaves, you should not overfeed green onions or provide them regularly as it can have a poisonous effect on your pet when they eat a lot of them.
But, considering the health benefits and nutritional properties, its worth feeding green onion leaves to your guinea pig at least once a week. But certainly, it can’t be replaceable to the regular foods of guinea pigs.
Green onion leaves can be one of the food you can feed them as a source of some essential nutrients. Keep reading to learn more about the beneficial nutrients that green onion leaves provide to cavies.
4 reasons why guinea pigs can eat green onions
Before jumping into why guinea pigs can eat green onions, let’s recap why and when guinea pigs can not eat green onions.
Guinea pigs can not eat the green onion bulb as it is too spicy, and disulfides of onions cause the breakdown of red blood cells, leading to anemia. Onions are also highly harmful for their kidney health.
They can eat the green onion leaves in a small amount and not too frequently as the calcium can cause kidney stones and urinary problems to the cavies.
Now find out why you can feed guinea pigs green onion leaves.
High nutrition content:
Green onion leaves have a variety of beneficial nutrients for the guinea pigs. But because of the calcium poisoning issue, it can’t be regular food for guinea pigs.
Source of vitamin C:
Vitamin C protects cavies from the scurvy of guinea pigs. Scurvy in cavies causes losing fur and bleeding.
Green onion leaves have only 2% fat, which is enough to absorb the fat-soluble nutrients.
High-fat content is harmful as fat causes cardiovascular diseases and blood vessel blockage. Moreover, green onions do not have any cholesterol as it is plant-based food.
Vitamin E, zinc, copper:
Vitamin E helps reduce cancer chances, zing helps in DNA metabolism, and copper is helpful for blood production.
There are many more health benefits of feeding green onion leaves to your cavy. We will discuss the nutritional value of the green onion more.
Can guinea pigs have green onion daily?
No, guinea pigs cannot have green onions daily as they will cause urinary problems due to excess calcium. Their kidney cannot process a high amount of calcium.
So, if you feed them green onion leaves or other food with calcium daily, that can cause kidney stones or even kidney failure, which can be fatal to your furry friends.
Instead, feed them just a handful of green onion leaves once or twice a week. Cut the leaves into small pieces so they can eat comfortably.
Timothy hay is something you can feed your guinea pigs daily. It helps their growth and keeps their teeth healthy. Provide different types of vegetables and fruits every day but try not to feed them too much fatty or sugary food.
How often and how much green onions to give to guinea pigs?
A rule of thumb is to keep at least four days gap between feeding green onion leaves to your guinea pigs.
Green onion leaves can be a source of vital nutrients that enhance their health and growth. So, think of it as a nutrition supplement that you can never overdose.
So, are feeding green onions are mandatory for the guinea pigs? Of course not. Many foods can provide similar nutrients and do not negatively affect, like green onions. Feeding different type of fruits and veggies are crucial to your cavy’s health.
What happens if guinea pigs eat green onion?
If a guinea pig eats a small amount of green onion leave once to twice a week, he will get the health benefits from the green onion leaves.
If you overfeed green onion leaves, your pet can become sick because of urinary problems and can be fatal too.
Feeding whole green onion with the bulb can also make your cavy sick as the bulb is toxic to the guinea pigs.
Make sure your guinea pig is drinking a lot of water after eating green onion leaves. If your guinea pig eats a lot of green onion leaves and bulbs, visit the nearest veterinary doctor for checkups and treatments.
What are the nutritional values of green onions for guinea pigs?
In every 100 grams of green onion leaves, there are 3 grams of carbohydrate, 2 grams of fat, 3-gram sugar and 8-gram protein and a lot of fiber.
It has low carbohydrates and fat and is a low-energy food. A small amount of fat is necessary for nutrient absorption and protein to enhance their growth.
Sugar is unhealthy for guinea pigs, and green onion leaves have low sugar. The fiber of green onion leaves helps digestion.
It also contains,
- 20% vitamin A, an excellent antioxidant
- 31% vitamin C helps prevent scurvy and keeps the fur healthy
- 3% vitamin K prevents cancer and enhance skin health
- 16% Follet, helpful for fetus development
- 3% zinc, essential for cell and DNA metabolism
- 8% manganese, works as an antioxidant
- 4% Copper helps in red blood cell production
- 7% calcium helps bone development but creates kidney problems when overdosed.
- 8% iron, essential for healthy blood
- 3% vitamin B6 helps in brain development and serotonin production, which keeps them happy
As you can see, even if the green onion leaves can be harmful when fed a lot, it has plenty of health benefits that make it worth feeding to your loving guinea pig.
Guinea pigs can only eat scallions from the green onion, but it is still not suitable for feeding plenty every day. Don’t let your cavy eat the bulb part of the green onion as it is toxic to them. Providing green onion leaves once or twice a week can significantly benefit pet guinea pigs.