Did you know that celery is one of those foods that you actually burn calories when eating it? That’s because it takes more energy to chew through it than the vegetable provides. And it’s chock-full of vitamins and minerals, making it one of the healthiest foods around.
But can guinea pigs eat celery?
To keep things simple, yes. Celery in moderate amounts is not only safe for your guinea pig but good for them too!
However, there are some things you’ll need to know if you intend on letting your guinea pig nosh away on some celery. Read on for all the answers.
Is Celery Good for Guinea Pigs?
When served in moderation, celery can actually make for a very nice snack for guinea pigs. It contains a lot of essential nutrition that is needed to ensure they have a healthy diet.
Here are just some of the key nutrients that celery can provide for your guinea pig:
Guinea pigs actually have a very high vitamin A requirement when compared to other animals. Unfortunately, though, their bodies don’t have the efficiency of utilization when it comes to vitamin A intake. This means that they’ll actually need to take in a slight bit more when it comes to the vitamin, and celery can help to maintain their balance. Vitamin A is important for guinea pigs because it helps their organs to function properly, keep their immune system robust, and help maintain their vision.
This nutrient is also very important for guinea pigs. Vitamin K helps with bone metabolism and blood clotting. However, it’s relatively rare to find guinea pigs with vitamin K deficiencies as much of their diet consists of foods naturally high in vitamin K, such as leafy greens.
Like humans, guinea pigs are prone to scurvy if they fail to get enough vitamin C. And celery has got a decent amount in it. Not only does the vitamin C fend off scurvy, but it also helps to keep your guinea pig’s immune system bolstered, maintains the health of connective tissue within their bodies, and keeps their organs in tip-top shape.
In the grand scheme of things, celery is just crunchy water — with some nutrients added in. And when consumed by your guinea pig, celery helps to keep your little furball hydrated.
Celery also has a bunch of other antioxidants that help to maintain your guinea pig’s natural body functions and systems. This can ultimately lead to minimizing the risks of disease and other disorders down the road.
Is Celery Bad for Guinea Pigs?
Well, generally speaking, no. But too much of a good thing isn’t always the best. Among other things, celery is highly rich in calcium and oxalates. And while we might need plenty of calcium to keep our bones strong and healthy, guinea pigs need to limit their intake.
Too much calcium and oxalates can lead to issues in guinea pigs, the biggest of which is urinary tract problems and bladder stones.
However, these problems will only really occur if you overfeed them celery. And this is easily avoided by simply being a responsible pet owner.
What Parts of Celery can my Guinea Pig Eat?
When it comes to what celery pieces are best for your guinea pig, it doesn’t really matter too much. It pretty much boils down to what your guinea pig prefers. Some like the crunch of the stalk, while others prefer to nibble on the leafy green tops.
One thing is for certain, however. You should never feed your guinea pig cooked celery. Guinea pigs do not encounter cooked vegetation out in the wild, so there’s no reason to give it to them when you’re caring for one.
When Should You Feed Your Guinea Pig Celery?
As we’ve already established, celery isn’t ideal for everyday feeding. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t make an occasional healthy snack. You should limit your guinea pig’s celery intake to about three times a week to prevent any nasty bladder stone or urinary tract problems.
How Much Celery Should You Feed Your Guinea Pig at One Time?
While celery can be great for your guinea pig, you’ll want to ensure you are feeding them a proper portion when they do eat it. Never feed them a whole stalk all at once. Aside from the calcium and oxalate issue, too much food, in general, can lead to bloating.
Feeding them just a sixth of a stalk or small handful of the leafy tops is more than enough for them.
What are the Best Ways to Feed Your Guinea Pig Celery?
Celery is best served to your guinea pig as a light snack or a supplement to their meal. Give them some thinly sliced pieces of the stalk for a nice crunchy treat. You can remove the excess stringy parts that come off while cutting, but you don’t need to go too overboard with peeling them. Guinea pigs have sharp teeth that’ll bite right through them.
Or if you’re looking to feed them some celery tops, just mix in some celery leaves with their other leafy greens!
When served in moderation, celery can become a very good part of your guinea pig’s diet. It’s full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that your guinea pig needs to remain healthy and active.
But there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Be sure to limit your furball’s celery intake. It isn’t designed to be a meal replacement or an everyday treat.
For more on Guinea Pigs, check out these posts:
- Can Guinea Pigs Eat Green Beans? Are They Safe For Guinea Pigs?
- Can Guinea Pigs Eat Oranges? Can They Eat Orange Peels?
- Can Guinea Pigs Eat Peanuts? – Are They Safe for Guinea Pigs?
Featured Image Credit: Pxfuel