Can Guinea Pigs Eat Onions? This Is What You Must Know About It

Can Guinea Pigs Eat onion

Onions are a very common veggie among us, which adds a great taste & flavor to any dish and salads. You must be curious to know can guinea pigs eat onions or not? What if we already fed one? So, I did some thorough research, and here is what I have learned.

No, guinea pigs cannot eat onions. Onions belong to a category of vegetables called allium vegetables. The major problem with this type of plant is it can cause severe health problems in guinea pigs. Hemolytic anemia and anaphylactic shock are some health significant concerns among them.

Our guinea pig cannot eat even a small amount of onion because it is a straight poison for them due to the presence of disulfide and thiosulphate compounds.

These compounds are very toxic and even life-threatening for our guinea pig because it damages their red blood cells.

That results in many problems such as irritation in eye and mouth, nasal secretion, respiratory & breathing problems, excess salivation, stomach disturbance, and difficulty in the urine.

Hence, they can suffer from some severe harm and miserable condition.

I know you might have a lot of questions regarding it. Let’s have a closer look at all of them.

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Are guinea pigs allergic to onions?

No, guinea pigs are not allergic to onion but it can surely harm them if ingested.

But, anyhow, they cannot eat onions because it’s harmful to their health.

Do guinea pigs like an onion?

Mostly guinea pigs don’t take an interest in onions due to its strong smell. However, sometimes they can get curious and get attracted to it.

But interest vary pigs to pigs, and some guinea pig may like the onion and try to eat it if they can get one.

So it’s better to put onions miles away from them, find a place where they cannot climb or reach especially if you allow them to free roam in your house.

Are guinea pigs allowed to eat onion?

guinea pig coughing

So from the discussion, we did so far, we are clear that onions are not healthy for our guinea pigs.

Instead, it’s very harmful and poisonous to them and can even lead to life-threatening situations for them.

Now let’s find out what problems and hazards they might face if onions are feed to our guinea pigs:

  1. Weakness & dizziness: Eating even a small amount of onion can result in body weakness and dizziness in your guinea pigs.
  2. Digestive troubles: Onions can cause serious disturbance to our guinea pigs tummy; onions are indigestible and toxic for them. 
  3. Cause anemia: Onions damage the red blood cells in guinea pigs’ bodies, causing less oxygen supply to the body, hence increasing the risk of anemia.
  4. Low immunity and breathing: Feeding onion can reduce immune strength in the guinea pig’s body. They can also get trouble breathing due to the presence of a disulfide compound in it. 
  5. Urinary damage: Onions are rich in calcium, and a high amount of calcium can cause urinary and kidney stones in your guinea pigs. 
  6. Other serious trouble: Due to the presence of disulfide and thiosulphate compound in onion, which is toxic for our guinea pig, it results in many problems such as irritation in eye and mouth, nasal secretion, respiratory & breathing problems, excess salivation and loss in red blood cells. 

General FAQ on Guinea pigs and onion

General FAQ on Guinea pigs and onion

Let’s dig into more details and some general questions related to Guinea pig and onions:

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Can guinea pigs eat onion skin?

No, a guinea pig cannot eat even skin of onion because the presence of a compound that makes onion toxic is present in its surface too.

Every layer of the onion is poisoning for guinea pigs because each segment contains a disulfide compound. 

Therefore, it is recommended not to try to feed onion’s skin in any situation.

Can guinea pigs eat raw onion

No, a guinea pig cannot eat raw onions.

It is also made up of disulfide and thiosulphates compound, which is poison for our guinea pig’s bodies.

Can guinea pigs eat onion rings?

If they cannot eat raw onions, how can they eat onion rings?  

Even, onions ring becomes more harmful for our guinea pig as it is fried and cooked, adding different ingredients.

So, you cannot feed onions rings at all.

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Can guinea pigs eat onion greens?

You must be wondering if you can feed onion greens or not.

Onion greens are found healthy and can be served to your guinea pig, but only green parts or leaves of onions are safe for them to eat. The rest part should be avoided altogether.

Onions top leaves contain the right nutrients, are low in calories, and makes for a good snack for our guinea pigs.

Can guinea pigs eat Shallot?

Onions belong to the spices of Allium and shallot too.

Shallots are somehow similar to onions, and it is also made up of the same type of compound which are toxic and life-threatening of our guinea pigs.

Also, the shallot is acidic in nature, which is not suitable for our guinea pigs. Hence, guinea pigs cannot eat shallot.

Can guinea pig eat red onion?

Can guinea pig eat red onion?

Guinea pigs cannot eat red onion as well. They are similar to regular onions and contains the same amount of toxicity.

Hence, Guinea pigs are not allowed to eat red onions.

What happens if a guinea pig eats onion?

If your guinea pig eats onion by chance or in any situation, then there could be some serious harm and will be a difficult time for your guinea pigs.

Guinea pigs cannot vomit even if they have ingested something toxic. Thus anything they eat must pass through their digestive system.

Thus, your guinea pigs may have some bad impact on their health and thus it is recommended to rush them to a vet immediately.

Recommended reading:

How common is onion poisoning in guinea pigs?

Unfortunately, Onion poisoning is quite common in guinea pigs because even a small amount of onion eating can havoc guinea pig’s health and life.

Onion contains disulfide and thiosulphates compound.

These compounds are very toxic for our guinea pigs and result in loss and damage in red blood cells due to which many health problems will occur.

Problems like irritation in eye and mouth, nasal secretion, respiratory & breathing problems, excess salivation, and many stomachs related problems start showing up.

Symptoms get even worse after 24-48 hours.

Therefore, if, by chance, your guinea pigs eat onion and show these reactions, you immediately need to consult the vet without wasting any time.

Symptoms of onion poisoning in guinea pigs?

Sick Guinea pig

Onion poisoning symptoms are quick, and the following are the reaction which guinea pig can show up:

  • Discharge from eyes and nose 
  • Irritation in eye and mouth
  • Weakness and dizziness
  • Restlessness & walking in circles
  • Stomach disturbance 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Increase in heart rate

If you see these symptoms in your guinea pig, you should immediately consult your guinea pigs veterinarian for a medical emergency without wasting any time.

How to prevent onion poisoning in guinea pigs?

Onion poisoning is dangerous, and it may also risk to guinea pigs life

Therefore, we should learn how to prevent our guinea pig from onion poisoning;

  1. Never add any vegetable from allium family to your guinea pigs diet.
  2. Try to keep your guinea pigs miles away from all types of onion, especially if you let them roam free in-home.
  3. Don’t keep onions where guinea pigs have their reach and eye. Try to put onions where they cannot reach and clime.
  4. If you have onion in your yards, restrict guinea pigs reach by taking some measures like putting protection around the yard so that they cannot find a way to reach it while they are playing.

My guinea pig ate onion

If your guinea pig has ingested a lot of it then it can cause severe harm to them.

Somehow, few grams of onions (like less than 6-7 gram) don’t affect much but it also depends on your guinea pig’s weight and age.

But, if your guinea pig has ingested more than than, it can cause real trouble to them, and you should take immediate action.

If your guinea pig has been poisoned, symptoms will start showing up as its reactions are quick. You must lookout for the above-mentioned signs and be quick to respond to it.

You should not wait for the last moment and should quickly consult your guinea pigs vet for emergency treatment.

One important tip is to not panic but act smartly.

What can guinea pig eat?

How much watercress can I give to my guinea pigs?

Guinea pigs can eat a wide variety of vegetables. Some of the examples of healthy vegetables are as follows:

  1. Tomatoes
    • Tomatoes are a staple part of our meal preparation. But it is not toxic like onion rather they are safe and healthy for our guinea pig.
    • A Guinea pig can also consume all types of tomatoes, as they are a good source of Vitamin C and provides other essential nutrition benefits.
    • But it’s only safe if served in moderation as they are acidic.
  2. Cucumber
    • Cucumber is known as good summers salad, and it contains essential vitamins and minerals.
    • It is an excellent treat for our guinea pigs as they are a good source of vitamin K, and vitamin A and other nutrients which are necessary and beneficial for our guinea pigs.
    • The water content is also high, so it helps in keeping them hydrated.
  3. Strawberry
    • Strawberry is a good alternative as it provides good Vitamin C and other essential nutrients needed by our guinea pigs.
    • It should be feed in moderation and only once or twice a week.
  4. Kiwi
    • You can provide kiwi as it is good for our guinea pig body and development. Also, high in nutrients and an excellent source of Vitamins and other minerals such as Vitamins C, A, K, & B, Iron, Magnesium, and potassium.
    • Kiwi is rich in sugar as well. Thus, feeding in small quantities is recommended.

Suggested reading:

Like this, we have many other veggies and fruit, such as cilantro, green peppers, celery, blueberries, bananas, etc., which can be added in the diet chart of your guinea pig.

Sources: Toxicity to pets, Some food toxic for pets, Anti-asthmatic effects of onions.

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Hello, I am Saurav the founder of this blog that's all about guinea pigs. I am an Animal Nutritionist by education but a pet blogger by profession. My motto with this blog is to help guinea pig owners understand their pets better so they can provide them with the life they deserve.

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