Can guinea pigs eat onions?
No, guinea pigs cannot eat onion. Onions are one of the most poisonous vegetables for guinea pigs. Read on to learn how toxic are onions for guinea pigs and to discover what makes onions bad for guinea pigs.
Guinea pigs and Onions
Onions are a flavorful hidden ingredient in many recipes. Onions add a rich savory flavor to human foods. Onions not only make many dishes enticing for our taste buds but also has to offer numerous health benefits to humans. We put onions and green onions in most of our recipes and many foods that we buy from stores are featuring onion seasonings. Therefore, it is crucial that as responsible guinea pig owners, we familiarize ourselves with onions’ suitability for guinea pigs. We must know for sure can guinea pigs eat onions or not. Otherwise, we may offer something to our guinea pigs that are seasoned with onions, which could make them sick.
In this article, we will address all your concerns surrounding guinea pigs and onions: can guinea pigs eat onions? Can guinea pigs eat green onions? Can guinea pigs eat scallions? Can guinea pigs eat spring onions? And in the end, we will uncover what makes onions bad for guinea pigs.
Without further ado, let’s get to it.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Onions?
Absolutely not! Onions are one of the most toxic foods for guinea pigs. Even small amounts of onions could deteriorate the health of our furry little friends and if immediate treatment is not provided it may lead to an unfortunate demise of cavies. Onions are not really allergic to onions but they contain certain compounds that are highly toxic to guinea pigs.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Green Onions?
No, guinea pigs cannot eat green onions. Like the usual onions, green onions are also toxic to guinea pigs. Greens are actually onions but they are not fully grown yet. They have green stalks rising from the onion bulbs.
While some argue that you can give green leaves of green onions to guinea pigs, we strongly advise against it. Because all plants belonging to the family allium have a too intense aroma and taste, which could damage our guinea pigs’ sensitive internals.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Scallions?
No, guinea pigs cannot eat scallions. Scallion is just another name for green onions. So as onions are toxic to guinea pigs. We can say that scallions are poisonous to guinea pigs and we should never offer them scallions.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Spring Onions?
No guinea pigs cannot eat spring onions. Spring onions are also toxic to guinea pigs as they are just older green onions or scallions. As compared to green onions, spring onions are more developed and they contain all the elements that were present in scallions. So, like green onions, spring onions are also toxic to guinea pigs. They contain a distressing ratio of phosphorus and calcium and are loaded with sugar and brimming with water. More so, they are just too acidic for the sensitive stomachs of our pocket pets.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Raw Onion?
No guinea pigs cannot eat raw onions as they have little to no nutritional benefits to offer to our guinea pigs and are brimming with toxic elements. They contain unhealthy amounts of sugar, calcium, and phosphorous and are just too acidic for guinea pigs’ sensitive internals.
It is a good thing that our guinea pigs would not voluntarily eat raw onions because of their strong aroma and taste.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Cooked Onions?
No, guinea pigs cannot eat cook onions either. There is just no way you could get rid of the toxic compounds present in onions by cooking and making them safe for guinea pigs. Besides, guinea pigs are natural herbivores and cannot safely eat processed food at all so cooked onions would, in a way, be more poisonous for guinea pigs.
Can Guinea Pigs Have Onion Powder?
No guinea pigs cannot have onion powder. Onion powder and dehydrated and dried and more concentrated form of onions. Therefore, onion powder will be more toxic to guinea pigs as compared to raw or cooked onions.
Why Are Onions Bad for Guinea Pigs?
You must be wondering that guinea pigs are true herbivores and they are supposed to eat vegetables and fruits in addition to their timothy hay, guinea pig pellets, vitamin C tablets, and vitamin C drops. But then how come onions are bad for guinea pigs. They are leafy green vegetables just like other veggies. Then what is it that makes onions toxic to guinea pigs? Let’s discover.
|Why Onions are Bad for Guinea Pigs?|
|· Disulfide and thiosulphate compounds|
· Sugar and Calcium Overload
· Intense aroma and strong taste
· Too acidic
Disulfide and Thiosulphate
Onions contain disulfide and thiosulphate compounds, which are toxic to pets including guinea pigs. Guinea pigs are not able to properly digest these compounds. Their build-up leads to the clumping of hemoglobin, which in turn rupture the red blood cells. The damage to red blood cells leads to life-threatening anemia in guinea pigs. Along with anemia, disulfides also damage the respiratory tract of guinea pigs, causing serious respiratory issues.
Sugar and Calcium Overload
Onions are overloaded with calcium and sugar. Given that guinea pigs can neither deal with foods high in sugar nor foods high in calcium, onions are a big no-no for guinea pigs. Excess sugar cause digestive issues in guinea pigs. We know onions do not taste sweet but they have just way more sugar than a guinea pig can handle.
Similarly, the excessive intake of calcium causes urinary difficulties in guinea pigs. Guinea pigs can only safely eat foods that are low in calcium, so eating foods like onions that are high in calcium would cause urinary problems in guinea pigs like making bladder stones. These urinary difficulties are not really life-threatening but they can be extremely painful for our little cavies.
Aroma Too Intense and Taste Strong
Onions belong to the family Allium and are bulb vegetables. All bulb vegetables, like onions, have a too intense aroma and strong taste, which our tiny guinea pigs just cannot handle. Even large pets like cats and dogs find the smell of onions just too intense. The intense aroma of onions will result in discharge from the eyes and nose of our guinea pigs. More so, eating onion would result in excessive salivation.
Raw onions are too acidic for the sensitive guinea pig internals. Onions contain sulfuric acid, which even makes us humans cry. If your guinea pig consumes onions, it will not only hurt her internals but would also result in a continuous discharge from the eyes and nose.
How Much Onion Can Kill a Guinea Pig?
Onions are toxic for guinea pigs so even eating a tiny quantity of onion would get our piglets in trouble. Eating as much as 2.5g per pound could be life-threatening for our guinea pigs. Given that most of our guinea pigs weigh around 1.5 to 2.5 pounds, eating 7.5 grams of onions could slim their chances of survival.
That said, the more onion your guinea pig eats, the greater the risk of onion toxicity and severe the illness.
Signs of Onion Poisoning in Guinea Pigs
If you think your guinea pig has eaten onions, you should look for the following signs of onion poisoning in guinea pigs. If emergency care is not provided, the health of your guinea pig will further deteriorate and the symptoms would get worse as the time passes.
|Symptoms of Onions Poisoning in Guinea Pigs|
|· Discharge from eyes|
· Discharge from nose
· Irritation in eyes and mouth
· Elevated salivation
· Loss of appetite
· Anemic and lethargic
· Troubled breathing
· Increased heart rate
· Upset stomach
My Guinea Pig Ate Onion! What can I do?
If you think your guinea pig has eaten onion and is showing the symptoms listed above, you should immediately get him to a vet or a nearby emergency animal hospital. Try home remedies and waiting for symptoms to appear, worsen, or disappear on their own is a mistake that you do not want to make when it comes to onion-poisoning in guinea pigs.
|Don’t Wait and See!|
|Do not make the mistake of waiting for symptoms to appear or for your piglet to get better on its own. Neither should you try home remedies. Instead, you should immediately rush to your vet or get the pet poison helpline on the line and start the emergency treatment.|
The Final Verdict: Can Guinea Pigs Eat Onions?
No, guinea pigs cannot eat onions. Onions are one of the most toxic vegetables for guinea pigs—eating even a tiny quantity of onion would lead to the deterioration of piggy’s health and even death. Onions in all its form, green onions, scallions, spring onions, powdered onions, raw onions, and cooked onions are dangerous for guinea pigs.
Check out other guides to what guinea pigs can or cannot eat: