Can Guinea Pigs Eat Onions? | Diet Safety And Guidelines

Guinea pigs cannot eat onions because of various reasons. You must ensure that you do not feed onions to these little rodents because it can harm them drastically. Guinea pigs are cute little pets and many people want to keep them at home.

One of the first things that you have to do to prepare for your pet is the right diet plan, and in this endeavor, vegetables and fruits at home become the first focus. Can guinea pigs eat onions? Find out why this vegetable is a complete no for these cute little pets.

Onions are essential in every household kitchen and we all love to add them to salads, foods, and even condiments. There are numerous benefits of onions for humans, but this everyday vegetable is completely off the table when you are planning your guinea pig’s diet.

Why are onions such a problem for guinea pigs? It is best to understand your new pet’s nutritional needs before you decide to feed this vegetable only because it is convenient.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Onions

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Onions Or Not

Guinea pigs cannot eat onions at all. If you feed them this vegetable, they will suffer serious consequences due to the poisonous impact of this vegetable on these rodents. Many pet parents think that they can feed cooked, canned, or even pickled onions to reduce the toxicity of onion compounds for these furry creatures.

However, the truth is that guinea pigs cannot eat onions in any form. Guinea pigs are small creatures that rely on hays, dry pellets, vegetables, and fruits. They require a few nutrients daily while some of the nutrients found in many foods must be avoided.

Moderate amounts of vegetables and fruits are a good way to keep these rodents active, and healthy. However, onions are not among these vegetables. Onions can be toxic for guinea pigs and if you feed them in any form, they can kill the poor pet. The main components of onions that can be harmful to guinea pigs are thiosulfate and disulfide compounds. These compounds are the reason that onions are not recommended for many other pets as well.

What Is In Onions That Affect Guinea Pigs

Here is a detailed description of the compounds found in onions that can adversely impact guinea pigs.

Thiosulfate: Thiosulfate is a compound of hydrogen, sulfur, and oxygen. The acidic, and sulphuric aroma of onions is due to this compound. Guinea pigs cannot consume this compound as it can be hard for their digestive system and may even give them terrible stomachache and diarrhea in extremely small amounts. Since onion has thiosulfate in larger quantities, it can be harmful to them and may impact them in a single dose.

Disulfide Compounds: These compounds are also extremely toxic and can harm guinea pigs’ digestion drastically. If you are feeding onions in any cooked food, it can still be harmful to guinea pigs. The best way to ensure the health and strong gut of your rodent pets is to abstain from feeding them onions in any way. Canned food for hamsters also must be checked before feeding to your guinea pig pet because they can be extremely harmful.


Sugar: Onions are tubers that contain high amounts of sugar. Guinea pigs cannot eat onions because they are rich in sugars, which can be damaging for these rodents. If you feed sugars to guinea pigs, they can become irritable, and anxious.

Sugars can be hard on their digestive system and since their metabolism is low, they cannot digest sugars quickly. These sugars are stored in their body as fats, making them obese. When guinea pigs become obese, they stop being active and stay in one place. This may lead to a lack of appetite and may even make them ill.

Calcium: Calcium is necessary for all living creatures, but an excess of this mineral can make guinea pigs develop bladder and kidney stones. It is best to feed these rodents vegetables and fruits that contain adequate amounts of calcium and not a high quantity of this mineral.

Onions are a big no for guinea pigs because it has high calcium, which can cause stones. Guinea pigs that have bladder stones suffer pain and become immobile as they endure the discomfort. Also, read out the guide about Can Guinea Pigs Eat Oranges.

What Happens If Guinea Pigs Eat Onions

If your guinea pig eats a small amount of onion once even, it will get a runny nose and eyes. In some cases, the guinea pigs can even develop coughing and salivate more. Guinea pigs will begin to vomit when they eat onions and if this happens, medical care must be provided. Apart from these short-term effects, some serious illnesses may set in.

Guinea pigs can get urinary problems due to kidney and bladder stones. These issues arise from high calcium intake. Additionally, onions can cause anemia in guinea pigs. The disulfide compounds damage the red blood cells in these rodents and they develop serious blood infections as well.

If you do not take care of your guinea pig pet and feed it onions, the poor pet might even die due to numerous internal infections, and anemia. Respiratory issues also occur if guinea pigs eat onions regularly. Explore Can Guinea Pigs Eat Broccoli as well.

What To Feed Guinea Pigs As An Alternative To Onions

The only benefit of onions is that this vegetable is rich in vitamin C. If you feed vitamin C to guinea pigs, it will make them stronger as their immune system will be better. However, many other vegetables and fruits contain high vitamin C and can be fed instead of onions. Strawberries, peppers, blueberries, and many other vitamin C-rich foods can be offered to guinea pigs, and they will enjoy them too.

Apart from foods, vitamin C-fortified pellets and dietary supplements can be an alternative for these rodents. Try and keep onions away from your pets as they have only one benefit, and that too can be fulfilled by feeding them other foods that have high amounts of vitamin C. Also, read Can Guinea Pigs Eat Rabbit Food?

Frequently Asked Questions

Will onions make guinea pigs ill in one dose?

Yes, guinea pigs can develop serious health issues if you feed them onions even once. Try and avoid this vegetable at all times and feed them more beneficial foods.

What to do if my guinea pig eats an onion accidentally?

Seek medical care for your guinea pig pet if it feeds on onions. Be sure to take your guinea pig to a vet if this happens so that they can help restore the health of your pet.

Can I feed onion peels or spring onions to guinea pigs?

No, all kinds of onions and all parts of onions are unsuitable for guinea pigs. Try and feed them other vegetables that are beneficial for them instead of relying on onions because they can have serious side effects.


Can guinea pigs eat onions? No, this vegetable is highly toxic for them and they may become ill if you feed it to them in high amounts. Onions contain various compounds and high amounts of calcium that can impact your guinea pig pet adversely.

Do not feed onions to guinea pigs as they are a forbidden food item. Try and select other fruits and vegetables that can give them more nutrition without any risks. Moreover, you may also want to read Can Guinea Pigs Eat Radishes.

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