Green onions are definitely a delight when we add them as a garnish to our food. It works as a taste enhancer for us humans.
But is it safe for our guinea pigs? Can guinea pigs eat green onions?
Short answer – It depends. Your guinea pigs can eat green onions or scallions (but only the green part). On the other hand, the bulb of scallions is usually toxic and unhealthy for your cavies.
The top or green part of scallions contains healthy nutrients like Vitamin A, K, and C.
On the other hand, the bulb or the bottom of the vegetable contains toxic nutrients that cause health issues in cavies.
THE BOTTOM LINE – When you feed green onions to your cavies, give them the green leaves of the veggie.
Now that you understand which parts of green onions are safe for your cavies, it is important that you be aware of what part you feed them.
But what happens if you accidentally feed them the bulb?
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What Happens If Guinea Pigs Eat Green Onions (Bulb)?
Scallion greens are safe to eat in moderation. However, unconsciously serving the scallion bulbs to your cavies can have severe consequences.
The bulbs are generally toxic in nature and lead to dizziness and nausea. Hence, it is best to avoid the bulbs under all conditions. Even a small piece of scallion bulb can be harmful.
In case, your guinea pig has eaten too many green onions or its bulb, observe for signs of sickness. If they start vomiting, it is best to take them to a vet immediately for medical assistance.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Green Onions Daily?
No. It is not healthy to feed green onions daily to your guinea pigs.
Too much scallion greens can lead to an upset stomach as they contain a high amount of calcium.
It is best to serve small quantities of scallions once or twice a week. Chop the scallion greens into small pieces and mix them well with the veggie salad you prepare for your cavy.
Nutritional Value of Green Onions
Green onions are completely toxic. The vegetable has a healthy content of carbs and proteins that serve as a source of energy for our cavies.
Here we have the details of nutritional content in 100 gm of green onions as per the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
|Vitamin K (Phylloquinone)
If you notice the nutrient chart, you will see that green onions have 0% content of cholesterol and a very low quantity of healthy fat.
These factors clearly make the scallion greens a healthy food option for guinea pigs.
Health Benefits of Green Onions to Guinea Pigs
If you are avoiding the scallion bulbs, green onions have several health benefits to guinea pigs.
1. Boosts Energy:
As you can see above, green onions contain a considerably high amount of carbohydrates and proteins.
When your cavy eats chopped scallions, they get an instant burst of energy. The high carb and protein ensure extended energy bursts in guinea pigs for long after digestion.
So, if you feel your cavy is lacking energy, you can feed them a small quantity of scallion, mixed with other veggies to see an instant effect.
2. Improves Digestion and Bowel Movements:
The high content of dietary fibers in scallions promotes fast digestion. Even the bowel movements of your cavies improve when they have green onions weekly.
So, if you have a guinea pig with digestive problems and irregularity in bowel clearing, green onions can be your home remedy.
3. Improves Brain Functions and Heart Health:
The low content of fat in green onions helps to improve brain health and function. Also, since scallions have nothing but healthy fat, eating them never leads to obesity in guinea pigs.
Another important fact about low fat in green onions is the lack of cholesterol. The Zero cholesterol content of scallions maintains the cardiovascular health of your cavies.
Zero cholesterol also means lesser to almost no chances of getting blood vessel blockage. Thus, you can avoid cardiac arrests in cavies by adding small quantities of scallion green to their diet.
4. Prevents Inflammation and Scurvy:
One of the major components of green onions is Vitamin C.
Scurvy is a common disease in cavies as they lack Vitamin C. Green Onions supply our guinea pigs with the required amount of Vitamin C that helps in the prevention of scurvy.
Vitamin C is also responsible for shiny fur and the prevention of gum bleeding in cavies.
5. Boosts Healthy Reproduction:
Green onions contain 3% Vitamin B6 which is responsible for Serotonin production, and 16% Folate, which is important for female guinea pigs.
The serotonin and folate are together responsible for a safe pregnancy in cavies. They help in proper fetus development and easy birthing or labor.
Scallions are very important for pregnant guinea pigs.
On the other hand, the vitamins ensure a smooth pregnancy and birth, and on the other, high content of iron provides healthy hemoglobin.
To add to the reproductive benefits of scallions, it contains Zinc in appropriate quantities that help in the proper metabolism of the DNA.
Risk to Avoid When Feeding Green Onions
Green onions definitely have several health benefits. However, regular feeding of scallions can be harmful.
Here are the problems that may happen when you overfeed scallions to guinea pigs.
1. Harms the Urinary System:
Green onions contain high amounts of calcium.
While a moderate amount of calcium helps in bone development in cavies, calcium in excess has several harmful effects.
When your guinea pigs scallions in excess, the calcium in it gets deposited in the bladder. Such deposits lead to kidney/bladder stones and urinary disorders.
Feeding scallions more than once or twice a week for a prolonged time slowly leads to worse conditions. If the calcium deposits are not checked, it can result in blood in urine and even renal failure.
2. Causes Stomach Problems:
We have already mentioned that scallions are high in dietary fibers.
While dietary fibers in moderation are healthy for digestion, excess fibers cause stomach problems. The common symptoms cavies experience is diarrhea, loose stool, flatulence, and gas.
READ ALSO: Can Guinea Pigs Eat Onions from the Garden?
Green Onions Alternative
Green onions are good for guinea pigs only when you feed them in moderation. It is best to mix small quantities of scallions along with other vegetables.
Some of the green onion alternatives you can use in their veggie salads are as below-
It is now clear that green onions are safe for guinea pigs only when you feed them in moderation.
When you prepare a veggie salad for your cavies, ensure you add the scallion greens only. It is best to avoid the scallion bulbs as they are toxic for our cavies.
Chop the scallion greens into small pieces and mix them well with other vegetables. Never serve green onions more than once or twice a week.
Scallions are beneficial for cavies as the proteins and carbs give them instant energy, and the low-fat content ensures they have good cardiac health. Even dietary fibers improve their digestion.
However, excess dietary fibers can lead to stomach problems, and the high calcium causes urinary problems.
Knowing the right way to feed scallions to guinea pigs is the best way to give them a healthy life.
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