Celery has been deemed a healthy snack or even healthy meal ingredient by many people, especially in the past decade or so. But can guinea pigs eat celery? Is it safe for them?
We’re answering this question in today’s article, and we invite you to have a look at all the benefits and risks you are exposing your cavy to whenever you decide to give them celery.
But if you need a quick answer, then yes, celery can make a good treat for guinea pigs on occasion.
How safe is celery to give to guinea pigs?
If we were to make a list of some of the best things to feed cavies safely, celery would be somewhere at the top of the list.
It doesn’t have any seeds and rarely presents any choking hazards, and it contains plenty of nutrients, all of which can positively impact your guinea pig’s health in general.
However, there are some concerning ingredients in it, and since they can lead to complications, celery should be looked at as a treat rather than a main source of food, at least for this species.
Cavies should eat hay and pellets and small amounts of safe veggies like cucumbers and bell peppers every day and only on occasion receive small celery pieces.
What benefits might cavies enjoy from celery?
For something that comes from nature and grows from the ground, celery is quite nutrient-rich. For example, it contains lots of vitamins such as vitamins A, C, and K, and it also has minerals such as potassium and calcium.
It does not contain any fat whatsoever, which means that it doesn’t raise the risk of causing obesity, and it also isn’t rich in protein, which, as you probably know, guinea pigs should not have a lot of.
To make things even better, a celery stalk has less than six calories, which means that a small piece here and there won’t add to the daily caloric intake that your cavy should have, at least not too much.
Due to its nutrients, celery seems to ensure that guinea pigs enjoy lots of benefits, such as lower risks of inflammation or dehydration. Also, given the amount of fiber it contains, celery makes it possible for cavies to have normal bowel movements.
Are there any risks involved in feeding guinea pigs celery?
Yes, and they all have to be addressed.
There are several dangers in feeding too much celery to cavies. For one, this species is not accustomed to a widely varied diet, which means that an episode of diarrhea that can lead to dehydration, especially if your pet had a lot of celery, is always a risk to consider.
Then there’s the fact that celery contains oxalates and calcium, much like other things that pets shouldn’t have (kale, broccoli, and other veggies). So, unless you want your guinea pig to develop a urinary bladder stone or some type of other urinary pathology caused by calculi, the amount of celery you give to them should always be controlled.
Finally, as much as we like to believe that everything that we get from the store, especially in the veggie and fruit isles, is healthy, the truth is that most of the produce is contaminated with pesticide residues.
And while the amount of pesticide that can be left on celery might not be harmful to humans, at least not immediately, it could be quite so for cavies. Their little bodies do not do well when processing heavy chemicals, especially potentially toxic ones.
Buying organic celery instead of regular celery might be a solution to this problem.
How often should you give celery to your guinea pig?
One to two times a week can be a good idea if you want to be on the safe side of things and also wish to allow your cavy to enjoy a varied diet.
In terms of quantity or serving size, it’s difficult to give a general guideline as even guinea pigs themselves can vary from one another in terms of weight and age, for example, as well as health status.
One small piece (up to 2-3 cm in length) should be enough for one serving. After all, celery is also harder to chew compared to other types of foods you may give your guinea pig, and it will also take a little more time for their system to digest it completely.
To sum up, celery can make a safe and healthy snack for guinea pigs. The stems, stalks, as well as leaves, can be safely given to cavies so long as you appropriately control the amount you feed them.
Celery should not be given to baby guinea pigs as their diet should be much stricter. You can incorporate other fruits, veggies, as well as fresh greens in your cavy’s diet only after they have reached the age of 5 to 6 months.