Can guinea pigs eat celery? In short, yes, they can, but not as frequently as you might think.
Celery has a fair amount of fiber, lots of water, and some good vitamins and minerals. But it also contains oxalates that can encourage the formation of bladder and kidney stones. As a result, you should limit your cavie’s consumption of celery to small portions, once or twice a week.
For those that are interested, we’ll take a closer look at why guinea pigs can eat celery in greater detail, and consider the pros and cons.
Is Celery Safe for Guinea Pigs?
Celery can be a delicious addition to your piggy’s diet, but you need to know the pros and cons before you decide whether to include this on your pet’s menu.
Both the leaves and stalks are edible (for humans and cavies!), and guinea pigs especially love the tender, flavorful leaves. Many grocery stores remove these before sale, but if you can find them, they’ll probably be the best part of the vegetable for your furry friend.
Celery contains a fair amount of fiber, which aids in digestion and helps to keep your guinea pig’s tummy working properly. It also offers plenty of vitamins and minerals, including healthy doses of Vitamin K, B2, B5, B6, and B9. It also contains a nice amount of all-important Vitamin C and is a great source of potassium.
But unfortunately, not everything’s great about celery.
Celery contains a lot of water: about 95% of it, in fact, is composed of water. And while that sounds great–hydration matters!–it can cause diarrhea. So if you do select celery as an addition to your cavie’s diet, watch for loose stools, and stop feeding celery if they occur.
But the real problem with celery is that it contains oxalates. In both humans and guinea pigs, these chemicals bind to calcium and iron, encouraging the growth of kidney and bladder stones. Parsely, spinach, chard, and beets also contain oxalates, and piggies with urinary tract issues and kidney stones should not eat these veggies.
Can Celery Be Harmful for Guinea Pigs?
“Yes,” is the simple answer.
Diarrhea can lead to dehydration, and loose stools are no joke for such a tiny creature. Moreover, a regular diet of celery can lead to bladder and kidney stones for some cavies.
Should you feed your guinea pig celery?
Only you can decide!
But if you’re worried about stones, we’d recommend avoiding it.
And if your piggy has pre-existing problems with bladder of kidney stones, definitely avoid it!
That said, we checked with a number of veterinarians, and they all had celery on the “healthy foods” list for guinea pigs!
How to Feed Celery to Your Guinea Pig
Most piggies love celery and will devour both the tender leaves and crunchy stalk.
The leaves can be given as-is or added into a salad that your cavie will love. Mixed with greens like romaine lettuce (not iceberg!), kale, cabbage, arugula, or Brussels sprouts, and a touch of carrot or sweet potato once or twice a week, your guinea pig will happily munch their way through a cup-sized salad.
The stalks are great, too, though some piggie parents worry about the long strings. While probably not a choking hazard–piggies have sharp teeth!–it’s not unheard of for them to cause some digestion issues, so we recommend cutting the stalks into half-inch pieces.
Always keep in mind that guinea pigs hate change, and any alterations of their diet should be made slowly and with care.
Never just drop a long stalk of celery into their cage, as unexpected food can cause them to stop eating and drinking altogether!
Celery can be a healthy addition to your cavie’s diet, but there are risks as well as rewards.
While a great source of essential vitamins, celery also contains a lot of water–which can cause loose stools–and dangerous oxalates–which contribute to bladder and kidney stones. If your furry friend has known issues with either kind of stone, we’d recommend you avoid celery.
If you do decide to add this yummy veggie to your pet’s diet, keep the following in mind:
- Celery should be fed to your piggie once or twice a week–and no more!
- Guinea pigs love the tender leaves and the crunchy stalks.
- The leaves can be fed as is, but the stalks should be cut into half-inch strips.
- Most cavies love celery, but be sure to introduce it slowly.
- Watch for loose stools, and be on the lookout for bladder and kidney stones.
If you follow these guidelines, it’s generally safe to add celery to your guinea pig’s menu.