can guinea pigs eat chives

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Chives?

As responsible pet owners, we want to ensure that our pets never go hungry and that they eat nutritious and healthy food. Here are a few things to consider when asking the question: “Can Guinea Pigs Eat Chives?”

As Herbivores, Can Guinea Pigs Eat Chives?

Although Chives are plants, and Guinea Pigs are herbivores, your little furry pets should not eat chives. These may cause more harm than good, especially if fed to them in large quantities. Chives – just like onions, shallots, leeks, and garlic – contain a compound known as disulfides, and these can cause damage to your little furry one’s red blood cells.

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Nutritional Value of Chives for Guinea Pigs

Chives offer some nutrition for your Guinea Pig, though the risk brought about by disulfides is very significant. Their nutritional breakdown is as follows:

Protein3.27 g
Fat0.73 g
Carbohydrate4.35 g
Vitamin C58.1 mg

Benefits of Eating Chives for Guinea Pigs

Since chives are still plants, and your little furry ones are herbivores, then there is still some benefit to feeding these to your guinea pigs. The main benefit of eating chives for your furry one is the excellent Vitamin C content, which helps to keep your pet healthy and boost its immune system. However, this should be fed sparingly, as the risks posed by the disulfides may present more significantly compared to the benefits.

The Risks to Guinea Pigs Eating Chives

Some of the compounds present in chives have ill effects on your little furry ones. Read further to know more:

  1. Anemia – Chives may damage the guinea pigs’ red blood cells because they contain disulfides. They are a type of vegetable called allium vegetables, much like onion and garlic, which produce a compound that helps to lower blood pressure.  Less red blood cells also leads to breathing problems for your little pet.
  2. Dizziness and Fatigue – On the same note, fewer red blood cells as damaged by disulfides from allium crops also lead to dizziness and fatigue. Since less oxygen is being supplied to your furry pet’s body, then it will feel more tired and dizzy.
  3. Urinary Complications – As chives are packed with Calcium and other minerals such as Potassium, this could lead to a buildup of stones in your guinea pigs’ bladder and kidney. 
  4. Gut Problems – Due to its small stature, your little furry friends have very sensitive digestive tracts, which are easily irritated. Chives have a tendency to irritate the Guinea Pigs’ digestive system, leading to gastrointestinal stasis, which in turn can cause life-threatening situations such as sudden weight loss, swelling, bloating and organ failure if left untreated.

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Best Course of Action if your Guinea Pig Eats Chives

In case of ingestion of chives, depending on quantity, it is best to monitor your little furry one for the next twenty-four to seventy-two hours, watching out for side effects. 

  • Because of the possibility of dizziness and fatigue, make your little furry pet feel as comfortable as possible. Let them rest or sleep if possible, allowing for recovery rather than getting into collisions and accidents. 
  • Because of digestive complications, your furry pet may not be able to properly digest their food. It’s best to feed your furry pet something healthier such as hay or grass to see if they are able to digest and pass waste. Check also if they are able to puke it out. In case of prolonged periods of a few hours where they can not pass waste or puke out what they ate, seek medical attention from a licensed, professional veterinarian immediately.
  • In case your little furry one ingested large quantities of chives, especially over a prolonged period of time, then seek medical attention from a licensed, professional veterinarian immediately.

In Summary: Guinea Pigs should stay away from Chives

Your little furry one may be a herbivore, which means it is a type of animal that loves to eat plants, but that does not mean all plants are always good for them to consume. In this case, plants such as Chives should be avoided mainly because they provide more harm than good to your little furry pet, especially in the long run, and overconsumption of large quantities.

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