Can Guinea Pigs Eat Garlic? (Risks, Nutrition Facts & More)

Garlic is a super-nutritious human food with several health advantages. However, little animals, such as guinea pigs, have sensitive digestive systems. Garlic is a diet that may only give guinea pigs discomfort.

Guinea pigs cannot eat garlic or any other bulb vegetable. This includes onions, chives, leeks, and potatoes. The bulb plants are poisonous or toxic for guinea pigs and must be avoided as much as possible.

Nutrition Facts of Garlic

Nutrition Facts of Garlic

The following are the nutrition facts for 100 g (3 oz) of garlic:

  • Energy – 149 kcal
  • Protein – 6.36 g
  • Total lipid (fat) – 0.5 g
  • Carbs – 33.06 g
  • Dietary fiber – 2.1 g
  • Sugars – 1 g
  • Calcium – 181 mg
  • Iron – 1.7 mg
  • Magnesium – 25 mg
  • Phosphorus – 153 mg
  • Potassium – 401 mg
  • Sodium – 17 mg
  • Zinc – 1.16 mg
  • Copper – 0.299 mg
  • Selenium – 14.2 µg
  • Vitamin C – 31.2 mg
  • Vitamin B-6 – 1.235 mg
  • Vitamin E – 0.08 mg
  • Vitamin K – 1.7 µg
  • Thiamin – 0.2 mg
  • Riboflavin – 0.11 mg
  • Niacin – 0.7 mg
  • Folates – 3 µg
  • Carotene, beta – 5 µg
  • Lutein + zeaxanthin – 16 µg

Risks to Consider When Feeding Garlic to Guinea Pigs

Risks to Consider When Feeding Garlic to Guinea Pigs

Stomach or Digestion Problems

Garlic is very bad for guinea pigs because it can upset their stomach and irritate the gastrointestinal tract. Some of the symptoms of an upset stomach and problems with digestion are diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, dehydration, loss of appetite, and depression.

If your guinea pigs accidentally eat a small amount of garlic, don’t worry, nothing serious will happen. Just provide them with a lot of water. But, if a lot of garlic has been eaten by a guinea pig, immediately go to the vet for help.

Urinary Problems

One of the risks of garlic is that it has calcium and phosphorus. These two nutrients work together to create strong bones and bone tissues. But, if these nutrients are found in excess in the body of rodents or guinea pigs, they can cause more problems than benefits.

For instance, extra deposits of calcium will create bladder or kidney stones in guinea pigs. This makes urination painful, with even possible blood in the urine if not cured in time. If left untreated, the kidneys could stop working.

Risk of Anemia

Garlic and other Allium family members, such as onions and leeks, contain thiosulfate, which is toxic to small animals, such as guinea pigs, dogs, and cats. Thiosulfate is a compound that can cause damage to red blood cells, which results in hemolytic anemia in guinea pigs. Anemia symptoms are rapid breathing, weakness, irregular heartbeats, dark-colored urine, yellowish skin, etc.

According to scientific studies, the amount of garlic and onion that may cause toxicity in animals is equal o 0.5% of the animal’s body weight. Since garlic is more concentrated than onion, it is more dangerous for guinea pigs.


Some guinea pigs suffer from allergies to certain foods, and garlic is also one of them. Symptoms that may appear if they are allergic to garlic are diarrhea, hives, breathing difficulties, and swelling of their face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Mouth Irritation

Garlic has a specific spicy flavor. This flavor can cause a burning sensation in the guinea pig’s mouth and throat. So, it’s better not to feed garlic to guinea pigs in order to avoid these unpleasant problems.

More Information About Guinea Pigs and Garlic

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Wild Garlic?

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Wild Garlic

The botanical name for wild garlic is Allium ursinum, which is also known as ramson, wood garlic, bear leek, etc. Guinea pigs can’t eat wild garlic because it has a distinctive garlic flavor and smell. 

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Baby Garlic?

Baby garlic is immature garlic before it develops into bulbs. It has green stalks/leaves with a small white bulb and a bright, fresh grassy flavor, milder than mature garlic.

Guinea pigs still can’t eat baby garlic. It also can cause different health problems in guinea pigs, such as diarrhea, vomiting, mouth irritation, allergies, stomach pain, anemia, urinary problems, and many others.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Dried Garlic?

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Dried Garlic

Guinea pigs can’t eat dried garlic. Fresh garlic is toxic for them, and dried garlic in some cases can be even worst. Guinea pigs can’t eat dried herbs, fruits, and vegetables. Dried foods lose their nutrients, and guinea pigs have difficulties digesting them.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Garlic Bread?

Guinea pigs can’t eat garlic bread. This is primarily because they can’t even eat bread, and the combination of garlic and bread is just terrible. They are herbivore animals, and any cooked or processed food will upset their digestion. Also, garlic bread or any other bread type is a choking hazard for guinea pigs.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Garlic Chives?

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Garlic Chives

Guinea pigs can’t eat garlic chives because they are also from the Allium family. Garlic chives are botanically classified as Allium tuberosum and are also known as Oriental garlic, Chinese chives, and Asian Chives. It has long green leaves with an inedible small white bulb and edible white flowers. Their flavor is described as a mix of garlic and onion.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Garlic Mustard?

Guinea pigs shouldn’t eat garlic mustard because this plant contains a poison which is known as cyanide. If your guinea pigs eat too much garlic mustard, the cyanide in this plant will cause serious health problems to them. Garlic mustard isn’t related to garlic, and it is called garlic mustard because its leaves smell somewhat like garlic when we crush them.

Quick Facts on Garlic

  • Garlic originates from Central Asia, and today China has the largest garlic production worldwide.
  • Garlic is known as one of the healthiest foods on Earth and has both medicinal and culinary purposes.
  • There are several hundred different types of garlic.
  • Garlic was cultivated 4000 years ago and was one of the first herbs to be cultivated.
  • National garlic day is April 19th.
  • You can use garlic to make glue.
  • Some people have a fear of garlic, and that’s called Alliumphobia.
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We have also made a full list of foods that guinea pigs can and can’t eat (150+ Types of Foods). Be sure to also check our recommended products page for everything you will ever need to assure a happy life for your guinea pigs. Hope this information was helpful and you have found the answer you were looking for.

List of Sources

An Investigation into the Relationship between Owner Knowledge, Diet, and Dental Disease in Guinea Pigs (Cavia porcellus)

Nutrient Requirements of Laboratory Animals: Fourth Revised Edition

The Effects of Diet on Anatomy, Physiology and Health in the Guinea Pig