Not a week goes by that we don't get asked about feeding celery to guinea pigs. Or that we run across someone who is feeding too much celery to their guinea pigs on a daily basis.
Admittedly, celery has some attractive qualities, two being that it's crunchy and filling. Guinea pigs do love celery leaves, and some do love the satisfying crunch of the celery stalks. But there's a few things to keep in mind about celery:
- It has a high water content.
- It causes bloating and gas in humans (when eaten frequently or in large quantities), so you can imagine what it does to a guinea pig's belly.
- All those strings that we peel off celery stalks so they don't get caught in our teeth or in our throats also wreak havoc on a guinea pig's teeth, throat, and intestinal tract.
It's best to think of celery as an "accent" to your guinea pigs' daily salad, served in small quantities.
- Mix celery leaves in with a serving of lettuce and other vegetables.
- Thinly slice celery stalks, which makes it easy to find and remove strings.
- Consider giving it on alternate days to help keep some variety in your pigs' diet.
Using these tips can help you ensure that you don't overfeed celery, or that your guinea pigs don't become quickly bored with it. Additionally, by mixing it in with other veggies, you can make meal time a little more interesting for your guinea pigs as they forage through breakfast (or dinner).
Don't forget to set aside a stalk or two for yourself!