In case you’ve just welcomed one of these adorable creatures into your home and you’ve already picked the right guinea pig bedding, next you might have some questions on what you can feed him or her in order to ensure a healthy development.
What’s important to keep in mind is that while guinea pigs are not pets that require a lot of maintenance, they are rather sensitive to sudden changes in food and environment, which means that you need to slowly introduce new elements into their daily routine.
This way you will make sure that you can track any kind of negative response on their part right away and take the appropriate actions. When it comes to feeding these little furry friends, creating a complete and balanced diet is the best policy, and the way to do this is by including fresh fruits and vegetable as well.
In fact, experts and vets recommend creating a diet that includes a little bit of everything, namely hay, pellets, fruits, and vegetables. Most guinea pig parents use veggie parts that come from whatever it is they are cooking at a given moment.
Of course, leafy green ones such as romaine lettuce and carrot tops can be added to the list, but you might wonder what else can be added as well. This brings us to the main question of this article, namely if celery is a good choice for guinea pigs.
Introducing new foods within a diet
When it comes to feeding the little guy, you might want to take the time and do some research before introducing new types of foods in its cage. Sometimes, like in the case of celery, the answer is a little bit more complicated than one might expect, and you’ll understand what we mean in the next lines.
Before getting into more details, let us first mention that when it comes to any kind of pet that you have, changing the food comes with certain small risks that you should try to avoid, such as an upset stomach. In extreme cases, things can get a lot worse, but hopefully, this will never be the case.
Therefore, what you need to do each time you want to introduce a new element is to do it gradually. Also, never give the little guy more than one type of new food at a time since if anything goes wrong, you might not be able to determine which one caused discomfort.
Is celery good for guinea pigs?
Leafy green veggies are most of the times a very good and healthy choice for your cavy. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. Celery is somewhat at the border between a safe and a risky choice, and vets don’t recommend feeding it to a guinea pig on a regular basis.
Just like some vegetables such as beets, spinach, green beans, and chard, celery contains high levels of oxalates. These are naturally occurring compounds that can increase a cavy’s chances of developing kidney or bladder stones.
Moreover, since these little guys as a species have higher chances of dealing with such problems during their lifetime, vets recommend using celery with caution in their diets. A high amount of oxalates can enhance this problem.
If your cavy is still young, you cannot be sure how his or her body will develop, but if you’ve already had him or her for some time and have dealt with such issues, then it’s better to steer clear of celery, at least for a while.
What are the benefits of celery?
While you should take into account the details provided above, we cannot deny that there are benefits as well to feeding some celery to your guinea pig. This veggie is an excellent vitamin C source for these rodents, especially if you use it as an occasional treat that can give them a boost.
Guinea pigs are unable to store vitamin C or to produce it, which means that they do need a constant supply for a healthy development and life. While it’s true that pellets do contain all the necessary nutrients and vitamins, including this one, the amount might be reduced if the food is not properly stored or if it has been exposed to air for a while.
Therefore, you can provide an occasional boost by adding some celery to their food. Other fruits and vegetables might contain high amounts of vitamin C and not be safe for cavies, citrus being the best example. The trick when it comes to celery is to maintain a healthy balance by using it as a treat.
Cooked or raw?
It’s good to keep in mind that guinea pigs are herbivores and that they simply love to nibble on fresh leafy greens and grasses. Since they would not find cooked food in their natural habitat, it’s a good idea to stay away from trying to feed them cooked celery.
Their digestive systems are different from ours, so cooking the food comes with risks and might involve ingredients that are toxic for the little fellows. Moreover, a fresh choice always means more nutrients, as well as the much-needed dental wear that keeps their teeth from overgrowing.
Which celery parts are good for guinea pigs?
As long as the leaves are fresh, they are a perfect match for guinea pigs. Since you can give these as an occasional snack, you shouldn’t avoid adding the leaves as well, as long as everything is kept under control in terms of quantity and frequency. Remember that balance is key in this matter.
Celery stems are also included in the safe category, as long as we’re not talking about a guinea pig with a history of urinary tract issues. Since we’ve mentioned balance, let’s take a closer look at what we mean by this. Guinea pigs come in more than one shape and size, but they are still small pets, which means that they are easily affected by major changes in their bodies.
When it comes to celery, feeding one guinea pig one celery stalk in one serving can definitely prove to be too much, and you should not do it, no matter how much he or she seems to enjoy it. Also, if any uneaten pieces remain in the cage, make sure to remove them after a short while.
It’s true that guinea pigs love celery thanks to its fresh and unique aroma, as well as to the crunchy texture that they can nibble on, but keep in mind that this vegetable causes digestive issues for humans as well when it’s consumed in large quantities, so you can only imagine what it can do to such a small creature.
Let’s just say that when it comes to moderation, you are the one who needs to make the calls in order to ensure the health and well-being of your guinea pig. In order to make sure that no overfeeding takes place, you can mix celery leaves within the same serving with lettuce and other vegetables.
Another useful tip is to slice celery stalks as thin as possible, which means that you can easily remove any strings that might otherwise get stuck on the little guy’s teeth or cause havoc within the intestinal tract.