It is veggie o’clock! This means we need to feed our lovely pet guinea pig with some fresh vegetables. Today’s menu is the green onion, also known as a scallion. This veggie is relatively versatile and can be consumed raw or cooked, in many ways. Cavies are all about vegetarian foods and herb-root foods, and green onion belongs in these food categories. But, even among fresh produce foods, there are food items that must be well researched before we give them to the guinea pigs. Now we’ll see if the adorable furball can consume this green onion.
Can guinea pigs eat green onions? The answer is both yes and no. The green onions belong to a group of bulb veggies, so the cavies can consume only the top green leafy parts. The bulb of the onion is not a good food for guinea pigs and may contain nutrients that are either mildly toxic or too strong. In other words, the bulb part can be too aromatic or spicy for the cavy’s palate. Also, it is not uncommon to see guinea pigs disliking or adoring the taste of scallions, so don’t be surprised if they hate or love this veggie! If they try this for the first time, make sure you feed them only the top part, in moderation.
Health Benefits of Guinea Pigs Eating Green Onions
Green onions contain main nutrients like carbs and proteins, which give both quick burst of energy, as well as prolonged-release of energy to last long after the digestion. Also, there are fibers, and fibers are essential for good and fast digestion of foods. With fibers, irregular bowel movements are improved and bowel emptying is better.
It’s great that scallions have just small amounts of fat. The fat is needed for the good functioning of the brain, and for energy. Also, with zero cholesterol, all blood vessels will stay healthy and unclogged, and cardiovascular health will be perfect.
There are also vitamins for less inflammation and health of all organs, vitamin E for prevention of cancers, healthy skin and eyesight. The most important of all vitamins for guinea pigs is vitamin C, this vitamin is present in green onions! This vitamin keeps cavies free from diseases like the scurvy (this damages their fur, makes them bleed, causes loose stool, no appetite).
The B6 vitamin helps with the production of serotonin. Also, the folate, another B vitamin, is very important for the proper growth of a fetus and no birth defects. For pregnant cavies, this is a must-have. In scallion, there is also iron for healthy blood, as well as zinc for proper DNA metabolism.
Then, there’s manganese and selenium – for protection against diseases.
Nutrition Facts of Green Onions
In a serving of 100 g (3 oz) green onions, there is:
- Total of 32 calories (not very caloric)
- 3 g carbs (fast energy)
- 6 g fiber (for good digestion and bowel movements)
- 3 g sugar (average amount)
- 2 g fat (low in fat, and this will keep blood vessels healthy and unclogged)
- 8 g protein (for slow release of energy)
- 20% vitamin A (an antioxidant that prevents inflammation)
- 31% vitamin C (vital vitamin for prevention of scurvy and for optimal health in cavies)
- 3% vitamin E (for healthy skin, heart, prevention of inflammation and cancers, for better immunity and eyesight too)
- 3% vitamin B6 (for healthy brain development and for producing the good feeling hormone – serotonin)
- 16% folate (a good B-vitamin for proper growth and developing of a fetus, for prevention of birth defects. This is beneficial for pregnant cavies)
- 7% calcium (for strong bones, however, this mineral makes urinary stones when its deposits are found in excess in the cavy’s body)
- 8% iron (for healthy blood and fighting anemia)
- 1% sodium (normal amount of salt for a veggie)
- 3% zinc (for healthy immunity, healthy DNA, good metabolism of cells, proper development and growth)
- 4% copper (for making red blood cells, for healthy nerve cells, producing collagen, and for good immunity)
- 8% manganese (a potent antioxidant that protects from most diseases)
- 1% selenium (prevents from cancers, heart problems, asthma, thyroid issues, and acts like antioxidant too)
- 0 mg cholesterol (cholesterol clogs arteries and blood vessels, so zero of this is great news!)
You can give the cavy the green parts, 1-2 times per week, a small handful. You can chop them or let the cavies eat them as they are.
Risks to Consider When Feeding Green Onions to Guinea Pigs
One of the risks is that there is calcium in scallions. The calcium is a mineral for healthy bones. But, if cavies consume this in excess, it will deposit in their bodies and create bladder/kidney stones. This can worsen and cause bloody urine, painful urination, and even renal failure which is fatal!
Don’t feed this too much to cavies, because an excess of fibers might upset their stomach. The symptoms are loose stool, gas, diarrhea, and flatulence too.
Quick Facts on Green Onions
- Cavies can eat the green parts of scallions, not the bulb
- Scallions have many nutrients; vitamins, minerals, antioxidants
- There is also vitamin C in scallions
- Scallions, aka green onions, also have calcium which is harmful to cavies
- Feed cavies the green part 1-2 times weekly, just a small handful
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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