Can Guinea Pigs Eat Ivy?

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Ivy?

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Ivy also known as English Ivy or Hedera Helix is a climbing evergreen flowering plant that can survive and thrive in any situation or season (both cold and hot). It is mostly found around the walls of a house, and due to its climbing nature, humans like to use it for decoration and ornamental purposes. Aside from its decorative uses, humans also use it for inflammatory infections because it offers inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which make it an excellent source of growth benefits. Other herbal uses of this plant are for asthma and bronchitis.

Since Ivy can be beneficial to humans, can it also be beneficial to guinea pigs? Can guinea pigs eat English Ivy? What are the possible health risks of feeding ivy to your cavies? Answers to these questions and all other questions will be dealt with in this article.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Ivy

No, guinea pigs can not eat English Ivy.  This is because English ivy contains an organic compound that is toxic in both high and small doses. It is highly recommended to take your guinea pigs to a veterinarian doctor if your little cavies feed on them. However, the result of feeding English ivy to your pets may range from its being mild or highly detrimental and this can be determined by the amount of the leaves that were eaten by them. Some of the common symptoms you will see when your pets mistakenly feed on them are vomiting, stomach upset, diarrhea, body weakness, and other types of diseases. Therefore, pet owners should try to clear their environment free from Ivy in other to keep their cavies healthy.

Guinea Pigs

What is the possible health risk of feeding Ivy to guinea pigs?

Although, ivy leaves can offer health benefits to pets and their owners. However, the little benefit is negligible compared to the health risks it offers to your guinea pigs. This is because their leaves are so potent, and feeding them even in little amounts can be dangerous and may result in you taking your pets to the doctor's office. Anyway, these are the various health risks that can arise if your feed fresh and raw English ivy to your guinea pigs


Dermatitis is a general name that is used in describing a skin irritation. This disease can come as a result of different problems and forms, and one of the causes is rubbing a high amount of ivy leaves into your body. Guinea pigs have sensitive skin, hence you will see them suffering from itchiness or rashes. It may also lead to dry skin and scalp in some situations


It has been mentioned throughout this article that Ivy contains a toxic substance.  This substance is poisonous because the digestive system of your guinea pigs can not digest their hard texture thereby, leading to potential negative side effects for your guinea pigs. Examples of such effects can be heart palpitation, kidney or liver failure, seizure, and other serious health risks

Kidney or Bladder Stone

Feeding English ivy leaves to your guinea pigs will lead to them having kidney or bladder stones. This is because ivy leaves contain a decent amount of soluble calcium oxalate, and the presence of these nutrients in their body system will lead to small stones (pebbles) forming in their kidney or bladder. But before that, the amount your guinea pigs consume will determine if it will develop quickly or slowly and after it has formed it will form a blockage or disturb the operations of both organs.


Ivy leaves also contain a decent amount of phosphorus, potassium, and other essential nutrients. When these nutrients are excess in the body system of guinea pigs it may lead to a stomach upset, but before that, guinea pigs may be experiencing diarrhea, vomiting, bloating, etc 

Allergy Reaction

This is a common health risk for all guinea pigs. Most guinea pigs have an allergy reaction when they are mistakenly fed ivy leaves even though it was not meant to be given to them. This allergy reaction will alert the pet owners to their guinea pigs indicating that they are not in favor of these plants


Careless pet owners that choose to ignore all the signs and symptoms their pets have displayed after ingesting ivy leaves will face the consequences of causing their death. 


Other possible plants that can be served to your guinea pigs

Guinea pigs are natural herbivores thereby, they are drawn to various hay and vegetable. They spend most of their time grazing on wild plants in the field. This is plants can be dangerous and beneficial for your plants depending on the type of leafy food that was given to them. Majorly, veterinarians usually recommend food that is high in vitamin C and low in sugar and calcium to your guinea pigs, but what are the examples of those leaves that are safe for your guinea pigs

The following leaves should be fed to your guinea pigs instead of feeding them Ivy leaves: Leafy green lettuce, red or green leaf lettuce, arugula, asparagus, alfalfa, endive, turnip greens, dandelion greens, basil, bok choy, kale leaves, cilantro, parsley, watercress, mint, celery, cucumber, cabbage, broccoli, borage, coriander, dill leaves, rosemary leaves, carrots tops, Brussel sprouts, silver beets, and many more. 

There are also a lot of fruits that can be given to your guinea pigs, and they include: Apple, apricots, berries (blackberry, blueberry, strawberry, cranberry, raspberry), banana, cherries, kiwi, mango, orange, carrot, pear, pineapple, etc


No, guinea pigs can not eat English ivy because of the poisonous substance present in them. Ivy leaves may have a lot of health benefits for pet owners however, the same thing can not be said for your guinea pigs. This is because they can not secrete enzymes that can help to break down and dive into the leaves. The failure of this thereby leads to a lot of health damage for your cavies. Some of the health risks associated with these plants have been explained above. Lastly, it is recommended to clear your environment free of English Ivy from your garden since your cavies love to chew anything that comes their way all the time.

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