Can Guinea Pigs Eat Potatoes?

Last Updated on December 6, 2020 by Woody Pet

   Can guinea pigs eat potatoes?

Potatoes are one of the most frequently eaten vegetables out there. We people eat them with almost everything. Fast food, home cooked meals it doesn’t matter – potatoes are a must. Because of this you might think that something we eat almost every day can’t be dangerous to our pet guinea pig. You can save some from your lunch and later give it to your piggy. But what if you are wrong? Can guinea pigs eat potatoes?

People often think that taking care of a guinea pig is little to no work. However, they are wrong. First of all it’s important to know that guinea pigs have a very sensitive digestive system.  Even though they mostly eat vegetables, there are some that can be toxic for them. Potatoes are one of them and are not a recommended meal for guinea pigs. If you want to know the reasons behind this, just keep on reading!

   Why can’t guinea pigs eat potatoes?

You must wonder, why can’t guinea pigs eat potatoes? It’s something we eat almost every day. Why can’t they? 

The reason behind this is that potatoes are full of alkaloids. They can be detrimental to our guinea pig’s health. Potatoes also have a lot of starch which can overwhelm their digestive system. Eating a potato can also result in urinary complications in guinea pigs. The excessive amount of calcium found in potatoes can lead to urinary infections, urinary stones and other health problems. 

But what about a meal prepared with potatoes or only part of a potato? Is that forbidden too? The answer is yes, guinea pigs can’t eat potato peelings, baked potatoes or any kind of cooked food, raw potatoes, potato leaves, etc. So all in all can guinea pigs eat potatoes? No, they can’t eat potatoes and other potato flavored foods. I think we don’t even need to mention that potato chips is also a big no for guinea pigs. It’s harmful even to us humans. It contains a lot of salt which can be detrimental to the pig’s health.

So what happens if you didn’t know this or accidentally gave your guinea pig some potato? Well, optimistically nothing, but your pig might also become ill. You should monitor the situation closely and check for other symptoms or changes in its behavior. Hopefully it will only result in diarrhea that will end in a few days.

   What about yams and sweet potatoes?

What about yams and sweet potatoes? Can guinea pigs eat yams and sweet potatoes?  The good news is yes they can. Yams have a lot of vitamin C and raw they can be the perfect snack for your pig to chew on. The vitamin C will help in boosting its immune system and in improving its overall health. They are also rich with vitamin A, Vitamin K and iron. You can feed your guinea pig yams up to twice a week.

Can guinea pigs eat potatoes? Well, if you are talking about sweet potatoes – yes they can. However the recommended amount is usually once or twice a month. Sweet potatoes like yams are packed with vitamin C which is very important for the health of your piggy. On the other hand sweet potatoes also contain some oxalate acid and starch which is why you shouldn’t include them often in their regular meals.

The starch if consumed often can lead to diabetes and even obesity. But they are not nearly as dangerous as other potatoes. Sweet potatoes are relatively easy for digestion so they will not upset your pet’s stomach. Same as the yams, we recommend giving the sweet potatoes to your guinea pig raw. This also goes for sweet potato leaves. But be sure to wash them thoroughly before you serve them. You don’t want your piggy ingesting harmful pesticides, do you?

   What are other dangerous foods for guinea pigs?

Some guinea pigs will avoid some dangerous foods on their own, but unfortunately most of them will stick their teeth in anything you give them. That’s why guinea pig owners should be careful what they give their little pets. So can guinea pigs eat potatoes? No, but what are other dangerous foods for guinea pigs? Animal products are strictly prohibited because they are completely against their nature.

Their digestive systems are not designed to digest animal products. Guinea pigs are dedicated vegans and don’t eat anything like meat, eggs, dairy products etc. Feeding them animal products can result in a very painful experience and possibly death. Seeds and nuts aren’t usually toxic to guinea pigs but they can choke them, so stay away from them.

Also stay away from onions and garlic, mushrooms, avocado which is high in fat, any sorts of chocolate or sweets which can cause obesity, junk food, spices, herbs, foods for other animals for example cat or dog food. These are only a few. The whole list is pretty long and very precise and if you want to feed your pig properly we recommend you read it. Guinea pigs usually eat foods rich with vitamin C rand also foods that contain little to no sugar. And even though some might think that it’s not that big of a deal, don’t be fooled. Your guinea pig can fall seriously ill and suffer a painful death if you don’t feed it properly. 

Back to the query can guinea pigs eat potatoes? – Unless we are talking about sweet potatoes, no they can’t and they shouldn’t. If you are to care for these animals you should really educate yourself about what you can and can’t feed them. As small as they are, their stomachs are even smaller and also very sensitive. Among the other foods, potatoes can really upset their stomach, the starch in them can cause obesity and even cause urinary complications.

On the other hand, sweet potatoes can be a real treat for them once or twice a month. The solution is a well- balanced diet. There are so many other foods that are safe and healthy for them. All you have to do is quickly Google them and read about them!

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