Can Guinea Pigs Eat Onions?

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Onions, also known as bulb onions are vegetable that belongs to the Allium family.  The shape, size, flavor, and color of this vegetable vary and some of the most common types are red, yellow, and white. However, the taste and flavor of this vegetable depend on the season in which season grows and consumes i.e it may range from sweet to spicy or pungent. Onions are also used in almost all cuisines in the world, and this does not extend to only cooking purposes but has numerous benefits in our daily life. 

Onions are particularly rich sources of sulfur compounds. They are also rich in antioxidants, vitamins B &C, potassium, fibers, and other micronutrients. You will also see them enriched with low fat, cholesterol, and sodium which is considered good for your Human being and pets. However, can guinea pigs eat onions? Do onions have any nutritional benefits they offer your little cavies? The answers to these questions will be answered in this article

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Onions

No, guinea pigs can not eat onions. Onions contain thiosulfate, a substance that is safe for humans to eat, but causes hemolytic anemia in guinea pigs (Basically this means that a bunch of red blood cells die when they consume this veggie). Eating onions or any other family of onions like garlic once may not be as serious for a guinea pig as eating them regularly, even when fed in small amounts because their body system can not keep up with replacing the red blood cells over time. The severity of an individual cavies reaction to onion is not something pet owners can predict, so it is much better not to try to give it to them at all. 

Possible health risks of feeding onions to guinea pigs

Onion is the most planted vegetable in the world, and its nutritional value content is very high, which allows it to be labeled as the Queen of Vegetables. Onions not only contain nutrients that the body needs, but onions also have many medicinal properties, including antioxidant, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-virus, and so on

However, there are a lot of possible reasons why onions have been ruled out to be a toxic food for your pets. Some of the reasons are listed below

  • Contain toxic nutrients
  • Guinea pigs are little animals with sensitive digestive systems. A lot of nutrients may be good for pet owners, but when it gets to their pets they may be harmful to them, such an example is thiosulfate. Onion contains a high amount of sulfide, and this may be dangerous for your guinea pigs. This compound is responsible for causing hemolytic anemia in your little cavies. Failure to treat this on time may result in death for your little cavies. 

  • Contain high amount of acidic content
  • Just like it has been stated above, the onion is also enriched with a high amount of acidic content. Too much acid in the body system of your little cavies may be toxic for your pets and result in serious health risks like digestion problems. 

  • A high proportion of calcium 
  • Not all guinea pigs require high amounts of calcium as nutrients. Only pregnant and young guinea pigs are given the liberty of using high calcium since they use the extra calcium to move around. However, if matured adult guinea pigs eat a high proportion of calcium, it may result in kidney or bladder stones. The symptoms are blood during urination, painful urination, malnutrition from loss of appetite, and other symptoms.

  • Digestive problem
  • Your pets are at risk of suffering from digestive problems like bloatedness, Gas, and diarrhea as long as there is a high proportion of fiber in their body. If you overfeed them with vegetables like onion and other fiber-containing food, then the above symptoms are what you should watch out for

  • Allergy reaction
  • Guinea pigs naturally have a sensitive stomach, and this is why their stomach can not digest onions, garlic, leek, and their other related family. They usually have allergy reactions just by feeding this vegetable to your guinea pigs. Some symptoms of your guinea pigs experiencing allergy reactions are itching, vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea 

    Can guinea pigs eat onion leaves?

    Yes, guinea pigs can eat onion leaves but only in moderation. This part of onions contains little to no amount of sulfide hence, making it an edible food for your pets. However, make sure it is only the top green leafy section that is given to your cavies. Also, it must be fresh, raw, and thoroughly washed before you give it to your little cavies. 

    Can guinea pigs eat cooked or dried onions?

    No, guinea pigs can not eat cooked onion. Any type of cooked food should not be given to your little cavies because they do not contain enzymes that can help in their digestion. Also, drying up onions can not necessarily take away the toxic substance and the acidic content present in this vegetable. Therefore, make sure your little cavies stay away from fresh, dried, cooked, or any form of onions.

    What food should you feed to guinea pigs? 

    Guinea pigs' digestive systems may be super sensitive, however, this does not stop your little cavies from consing too much food. Yes, guinea pigs love to eat a lot of studies show that eating is one of their favorite exercises this is why they require food with low cholesterol so they will not be fat and have high fiber and vitamins. An example of such food is Hay. Some common hay that can be given to them are timothy hay, alfalfa hay, clover, Bermuda, etc

    Vegetables and fruits are also regular meals for guinea pigs. Fresh vegetables like broccoli, zucchini, carrots, cucumbers, kale, artichokes, tomatoes, parsley, etc are enriched with nutritional benefits that can help you keep your cavies healthy. You can also feed them fruits like apples, carrots, berries, bananas, apricots, etc.


    Guinea pigs can not eat onions or any other type of vegetable that come from the Allium family like leeks, garlic, lilies, etc. However, this vegetable is enriched with a lot of beneficial nutrients for your pets, They also house a lot of acidic and sulfide content, and this can lead to serious health risks. However, Instead of feeding onions to your pets, you can feed them some green leafy vegetables that contain a lot of beneficial nutrients with little to no possible health risks. 

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