Can Guinea Pigs Eat Onion?

Guinea Pigs May 12, 2022
Written by | Updated May 22, 2024
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Can Guinea Pigs Eat Onion?

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Onions add complex, savory flavor to many of the foods we humans enjoy. The question is, can guinea pigs eat onions?

As you might already be aware, onions are toxic to certain animals. They contain compounds that can cause anemia and other health problems.

Unfortunately, guinea pigs are among them.

Keep on reading. We’re about to answer all of your questions about onions for guinea pigs.

Onion Nutritional Facts

It’s your lucky day if you’re a fan of onions! They’re a good source of many minerals and a few important vitamins – so feel free to enjoy them even though they’re off your guinea pig’s menu.

Each type of onion offers its own nutritional profile, so consider spending a few moments researching if you’re interested in learning the specifics! For now, here’s a quick overview of the nutrients found in most onion varieties.

  • vitamin C
  • vitamin A
  • potassium
  • calcium
  • magnesium
  • iron
  • folate
  • phosphorus
  • zinc
  • manganese

Can Guinea Pigs Have Onions?

No – guinea pigs can’t have onions of any kind. Onions contain toxins that your guinea pig’s body can’t process.

Are Onions Good For Guinea Pigs?

Absolutely not! Even though onions are full of antioxidants that can benefit humans, they are poisonous to guinea pigs.

Never feed onion to a guinea pig – not even a tiny bit.

Do Guinea Pigs Like Onions?

Guinea pigs seem to prefer leafy greens and sweet fruit above other types of snacks.

The fact is, we’ve never check to see whether guinea pigs like onion because it just isn’t worth the risk.

How Much Onion Can A Guinea Pig Eat?

It’s true that guinea pigs love vegetables – in fact, their dedicated herbivores. Even so, they should never eat onion in any amount. Giving onion to guinea pigs simply isn’t a good idea.

Age Amount
Baby guinea pig None
Adult guinea pig None

In case you are here after the fact and your guinea pig ate onion, the situation could be an emergency. Onion is highly toxic to guinea pigs – in fact, it has the potential to kill them.

If your guinea pig ate onion, call your vet immediately for specific instructions about what to do next.

The Correct Diet Is Important

A guinea pig’s natural diet consists of all kinds of little plants that grow within easy reach of their adorable little legs. Most of the plants guinea pigs eat are in the grass family – but don’t let that stop you from letting them try new things. Even though onion isn’t safe, you’ll find plenty of other suggestions here!

Since guinea pigs mostly eat grasses in the wild, it stands to reason that fresh hay is the cornerstone of a pet guinea pig’s diet.

There are a few other things your guinea pig needs each day:

  • Give your pet a serving of guinea pig food enriched with vitamin C. Different brands suggest different serving sizes so check the label to see how much you should be feeding your guinea pig.
  • Keep fresh, clean water available at all times. Wash your guinea pig’s water bottle Remember to rinse and refill it at least once a day.
  • Guinea pigs love fresh vegetables. Treat your guinea pig to 1 cup of fresh leafy greens and a few chopped veggies every day. You can also offer them tiny amounts of fresh fruit.

There’s one more thing your guinea pig needs in addition to a safe, comfortable cage, soft bedding, and plenty of good food:

A guinea pig’s teeth never stop growing, so it’s up to us to ensure that our pets’ teeth are worn to the correct length. This is easy to accomplish – in fact, your guinea pig will do all the work themselves.

Just give them safe, chewable guinea pig toys. Not only will these items prevent your guinea pig’s teeth from becoming overgrown, they also prevent boredom and help maintain your pet’s mental health.

What Are Some Healthy Alternatives To Onion In A Guinea Pig’s Diet?

We’re pretty sure that your guinea pig won’t be too disappointed about missing out on onion. Even so, you’re probably looking for something else to offer them!

Here are some healthy, all-natural guinea pig treats to consider:

  • asparagus
  • artichoke
  • butter lettuce
  • buttercrunch lettuce
  • bibb lettuce
  • romaine
  • arugula
  • green beans
  • summer squash
  • bell pepper
  • zucchini
  • parsnip
  • tomato
  • broccoli
  • broccolini
  • bok choy
  • yu choy
  • rocket
  • cabbage
  • cucumber
  • pumpkin
  • cauliflower
  • brussels sprouts
  • watercress
  • basil
  • cilantro
  • mint
  • parsley
  • carrot
  • carrot tops
  • swiss chard
  • spinach
  • endive
  • escarole
  • beets
  • beet tops

As you can see, there are lots of different veggies that are good for guinea pigs – and the items on this list are just the tip of the iceberg!

And, as you discovered when you decided to find out about whether onions are OK for guinea pigs, it’s important to research new items – this way, you’ll avoid toxic foods as well as foods that aren’t safe for some other reason; for example, peanuts can be a choking hazard.

For now, why not give your guinea pig a slice of carrot or a green bean? Both are yummy treats that are perfectly safe for your piggie to enjoy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is onion safe for guinea pigs?

No! Onion is toxic to guinea pigs.

Can onion make my guinea pig sick?

Yes – onion is poisonous to guinea pigs and it can make your pet very sick. If your guinea pig ate onion, call the vet right away.

Can guinea pigs eat red onion?

No – red onion is just as toxic to guinea pigs as other varieties of onion. Never give onion of any kind to a guinea pig.

Can guinea pigs eat shallots?

No. Shallots belong to the same family as onions and are equally toxic to guinea pigs.

Can guinea pigs have garlic?

No – garlic is in the allium family just like onions and shallots. Garlic is toxic to guinea pigs. Never give a guinea pig garlic in any amount.

Can guinea pigs have green onions?

No. Green onions contain the same toxic compounds found in other onion varieties. Don't give green onions to guinea pigs.

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Anne is a wellness writer with a lifelong love of animals large and small. As a former veterinary technician, she has a passion for your pet’s well-being. Anne rescues and rehabilitates animals in need. She shares her farm with lots of critters including horses, sheep, dogs, cats, rabbits, and chickens.
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