Can Guinea Pigs Eat Garlic?

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Garlic

So, it is time to feed our guinea pigs! If you have a guinea pig, you know how fun the feeding time is – the lovely furball cuties will munch whatever you give them, but should we give them just about anything? Our adorable cavies are vegetarians and herbivores, which means they like fresh produce like fruits and veggies, but also they like some roots, herbs, even flowers. And what do you think about the garlic? It is a superfood for humans and has numerous benefits for our health. However, is it the same for guinea pigs? Let’s see.

Can guinea pigs eat garlic? The short answer is: no. Guinea pigs cannot eat garlic or for that matter, anything from a bulb. This means onions, chives, leeks, and potatoes too because they also come from a bulb. The bulb foods are poisonous or toxic for cavies, so these must be avoided as much as possible. Of course, if cavies try some of the bulb foods like garlic, it will not do extreme harm to them or kill them, but it will have side effects. If the guinea pig tries such a food, let this be an extremely rare moment, just for taste and avoid it in the future as much as possible.

So, for sure the garlic is a super-nutritious food for us, with countless benefits. The garlic is known to be a cure for almost anything; skin issues, internal problems, it also acts as an antibiotic, it relieves colds and flu and much, much more! So does the garlic have benefits for guinea pigs, well yeah sure it has but the risk outweighs the benefits and this is why guinea pigs cannot eat garlic. Just for the fun lets see the possible benefits of eating garlic for guinea pigs.

Health Benefits of Guinea Pigs Eating Garlic

Garlic has almost no fat. This means it’s good for the cardiovascular system and the blood vessels. It’s proven that garlic is healthy for the heart and those with hypertension as well. Also, there are carbs and proteins in garlic. These are energy sources for guinea pigs.

There is also almost no sugar, which makes garlic a suitable veggie for both humans and animals, and the less sugar is consumed, the better.

Garlic has vitamin C, which is the most important vitamin for cavies. Guinea pigs don’t create this naturally, and they don’t store it for long. So foods or supplements with vitamin C keeps them very healthy. This prevents them from getting scurvy which shows these symptoms: rough coat, swollen joints, bleedings, no appetite, diarrhea.

There is also iron for healthy blood, vitamin B6 for less anxiety. In garlic, there is copper for collagen tissues, healthy nerves, and creating red blood cells.

Also, with the magnesium, the muscles will be strong, and serious health issues will be prevented. The selenium in garlic keeps the heart healthy and boosts the immunity.

Nutrition Facts of Garlic

So, in a serving size of 100 g (3 oz) garlic, there is:

  • Total of 149 calories (not very caloric, considering 100 g of garlic is a lot to consume at once!)
  • 5 g fat (low amount of fat)
  • 17 mg sodium (a relatively moderate amount of salt for a potent bulb veggie)
  • 33 g carbs (normal amount of carbs)
  • 1 g fiber (for good digestion and better bowel movements)
  • 1 g sugar (low amount of sugar which is healthy for both animals and humans)
  • 4 g protein (for slow release of energy, normal protein amount for a veggie)
  • 52% vitamin C (the vital vitamin for a guinea pig and garlic is abundant in this!)
  • 18% calcium (for strong bones and bone tissues, but this mineral makes urinary problems in guinea pigs)
  • 9% iron (for strong blood)
  • 62% vitamin B6 (for healthy brain development and growth, and dealing with stress better)
  • 2% vitamin K
  • 15% copper
  • 6% magnesium (for bone health, healthy heart and strong muscles, prevention of diabetes, less anxiety, less pains, and aches)
  • 84% manganese (the best antioxidant that exists)
  • 15% phosphorus (for healthy bones, but this is the same as calcium and makes the same problems)
  • 20% selenium (prevents heart problems, cancers, thyroid problems, it boosts immunity, reduces asthma issues, and acts like antioxidant)
  • 8% zinc (for boosted immunity, good DNA cells, metabolism of cells, and for healthy growth and development too)

So, garlic has many nutrients as we see. Some of them are good for the guinea pigs, but some are harmful. Apart from these nutrients, the garlic itself is a bulb veggie and it has other side effects apart from some bad nutrients mentioned here.

Risks to Consider When Feeding Garlic to Guinea Pigs

One of the risks from garlic is that it has calcium and phosphorus. These two nutrients work together to create strong bones and bone tissues. One binds to the other and they contribute to the bone tissues overall.

But, if these nutrients are found in excess in the body of rodents or cavies, they cause more problems than benefits! For example, extra deposits of calcium will make bladder or kidney stones in cavies. This makes urination painful or itchy and stinging, and there can be even blood in the urine if this is not cured in time. If left untreated, the kidneys could stop working too.

In case a lot of garlic has been eaten by your guinea pig, have first-aid meds at home to help the cavy and also immediately go to the vet for help. Garlic is toxic for them because can’t digest it.

Quick Facts on Garlic

  • Cavies cannot eat garlic because it is a bulb veggie, and bulb veggies are toxic for them
  • Garlic has carbs, proteins, and also vitamin C
  • There are also vitamins and minerals for optimal health
  • Garlic also has calcium and phosphorus, which is not good for the urinary system of cavies

Before I let you go, one final thought on food. With food, you can’t ever be too careful which is why I get all guinea pig food from a reliable source such as Amazon. If you are not sure what to order but believe your little piggies deserve some great treats please check our Helpful Guide to the Best Guinea Pig Treats to get some ideas. 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.

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Clarissa Moolbrock

Clarissa Moolbrock is one of the founders and editor at Guinea Pig Tube. She is also an author of "Complete Guinea Pig Care Guide: The Essential, Practical Guide To All Aspects of Caring for Your Guinea Pigs" (available on Amazon). Being a veterinary technician helping animals and sharing her experience and knowledge with other guinea pig owners is her passion. Her life goal is to popularise guinea pigs as pets and that is why she has started Guinea Pig Tube website.