Read this before giving your guinea pig celery 🐹
By Ellen Schmidt Published on 8/18/2022 at 5:46 PM for The Dodo
But as you likely know already, it’s always smart to make sure a food is OK for your pet to eat, especially if you’re giving it to her for the first time.
If you’ve ever wondered about the crunchy vegetable goodness that’s celery, you’ve come to the right place. So, can guinea pigs eat celery? And if so, how much is too much?
We reached out to Samantha Henson, a certified clinical pet nutritionist with Next Generation Pet Wellness, for more insight on whether the stalky vegetable is a good choice for guinea pigs.
Can guinea pigs eat celery?
The short answer? Yes, but in moderation.
While celery does have some health benefits, it’s actually low in the kind of nutrients that benefit guinea pigs the most.
“As a pet nutritionist, I always look for the pros and cons of foods and make my decisions based on that,” Henson told The Dodo. “With guinea pigs, I want their veggies to be high in vitamin C (because guinea pigs don’t make their own) and low in oxalates (because the species are prone to painful bladder stones).”
Unfortunately, according to Henson, celery doesn’t meet those requirements.
“Celery is low in vitamin C compared to other vegetables that are readily available, and it is high in oxalates,” Henson said. “In moderation, a small amount of celery is fine, but it shouldn’t become an everyday part of their diet.”
Risks of celery for guinea pigs
As mentioned above, while celery is considered generally safe for guinea pigs, it still comes with a little risk.
For example, celery can be a choking hazard since it tends to get a little stringy when chewing it. To help with this, always make sure you cut the celery into small pieces before feeding it to your guinea pig (see portion size below).
Also, since celery is high in oxalates, eating too much can lead to bladder stones or urinary tract infections in your guinea pig. Generally, this can really only happen if you overfeed celery to your pig, so only giving it as an occasional treat should keep you in the clear.
Can guinea pigs eat celery leaves?
How much celery can your guinea pig have safely?
Since you don’t want to overdo it with celery, never give your guinea pig a full celery stalk to munch on.
“Guinea pigs can safely have [one] 2-inch section of celery with some of the leaves included in their diet up to three times per week,” Henson said. “However, they do not need more than that.”
So in general, celery is an OK veggie to share with your guinea pig, just as long as you aren’t making it a part of her regular diet.