Can Guinea Pigs Eat Potatoes?



As An Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases At No Extra Cost To You

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Potatoes

Potato, also known as Solanum tuberosum belongs to the Solanaceae family of flowering plants. It is native to Central and South America. Potato is among the five top crops in the world. The other crops include wheat, rice barley, and maize. potato is grown for its edible tubers, and it is a vegetable that is very widely used as a food crop. It has yellowish brownish skin and starchy flesh. It is very hard, but when cooked becomes very soft and delicious to eat.

Potato, no doubt is a very popular food source. The food ranking system qualified potatoes as a very good source of vitamin B6 and a good source of potassium, Potatoes also contain a variety of phytonutrients that have antioxidant activity, copper, vitamin C, manganese, phosphorus, niacin, dietary fiber, and pantothenic acid. Can guinea pigs eat potatoes? Do potatoes offer any nutritional benefits to guinea pigs? Continue reading this article to find out more about them. 

Can guinea pigs eat potatoes?

No, guinea pigs can not eat potatoes. Guinea pigs have a sensitive stomach and digestive system compared to other animals in the Rodent family. Therefore, there are limitations to what guinea pigs can comfortably eat. Although potatoes are considered a healthy food for humans since it is enriched with beneficial nutrients, they can be dangerous for your little cavies especially when it is overfed. 

Potatoes contain a toxic compound called alkaloid, this compound can not be digested in their body system so tie accumulation leads to toxicity for your pets. The amount of sugar and starch present in this vegetable also makes it dangerous for your pets. However, guinea pigs eating this vegetable in little amounts may not result in dangerous health risks.

Can guinea pigs eat sweet potatoes?

Yes, guinea pigs can eat sweet potatoes but only in moderation. Sweet potatoes may share the same name with potatoes, however, they belong to different genetic families, and they are enriched with essential nutrients just like normal potatoes. This vegetable also contains a high proportion of sugar, fats, and oxalic acid, and overfeeding this to your little cavies may result in health risk

Can guinea pigs eat potatoes skin, sprouts, or leaves

No, guinea pigs can not eat potatoes skin. Potato skin may contain fiber and antioxidants that can aid digestion easily, however,  they also contain a toxic compound, and ingesting this compound may result in health risks. As for potato sprouts, your guinea pigs should also stay away from them because the toxic compound is extended to the sprouts area. 

Potato is from the nightshade family of plants and this family has one thing in common, and that is the toxic substance that can be found in them. The toxic compound called Solanine can not be digested by guinea pigs since they don't possess enzymes that can digest them. Therefore, guinea pigs should also stay away from this particular part of the plant

Possible health risks attached to feeding potatoes to guinea pigs

There are a lot of health risks which is associated with feeding daisies to your pets because of the different toxic substances present in them. You need to read the highlighted point below to find out

  • Urinary problem

  • There is a decent proportion of calcium present in the vegetable,  this can be advantageous if it is served to your pets in small proportions. As a result, they will have strong teeth and healthy bones. However, excessive calcium as a result of overfeeding will lead to urinary problems like kidney or bladder stones. If the pet is not properly cared for, this may lead to kidney or renal failure

  • Digestive problems
  • Guinea pigs are prone to digestive problems if they feed on potatoes in high proportions. However, if they nibble on them or have a small bite, it may not cause any issues. Examples of the digestive problem your pets are prone to are diarrhea, vomiting, bloating, stomach pain, and bleeding within the digestive tracts

  • Allergic reaction
  • Due to the various toxic substances in the vegetable, it should not be surprising to find your guinea pigs having an allergic reaction to them. If you feed potatoes, a nightshade family that contains the toxic compound to your little cavies, they may encounter reactions like irritation of the throat or skin.  

  • Weight gain
  • Potatoes may not only cause digestive problems because of too much sugar, but they will also suffer from weight gain because of the high amount of fats this particular vegetable contains. However, too much fat may lead to obesity, and obesity may eventually lead to cardiovascular disease because of the accumulation of fats in the heart region.

    What other foods can you serve to guinea pigs?

    Guinea pigs' digestive systems may be super sensitive, however, this does not stop your little cavies from eating too much food. Yes, guinea pigs love to eat a lot, studies have even shown that eating is one of their favorite exercises. This is why they require food with low cholesterol so they will not be fat and have high fiber and vitamins. An example of such food is Hay. Some common hay that can be given to them are timothy hay, alfalfa hay, clover, Bermuda, etc

    Vegetables and fruits are also regular meals for guinea pigs. Fresh vegetables like broccoli, zucchini, carrots, cucumbers, kale, artichokes, tomatoes, parsley, etc are enriched with nutritional benefits that can help you keep your cavies healthy. You can also feed them fruits like apples, carrots, berries, bananas, apricots, etc.

    Conclusion

    No, guinea pigs can not eat potatoes. Potatoes may be one of the healthy food pet owners can eat, however, the same can not be said for their little cavies. This is because of the high proportion of nutrients that should be fed in small amounts to your pets like sugar, fats, and calcium. This particular vegetable also contains toxic substances like alkaloids and solanine which can be dangerous to the digestive system of your little cavies since they do not secrete enzymes that can digest them. However, your guinea pigs can not die from eating a small bite of this vegetable. You can go through the article above to find out other important information regarding guinea pigs eating potatoes.


    Related Posts

    Can Guinea Pigs Eat Thyme
    Can Guinea Pigs Eat Thyme
      Thyme is a perennial aromatic plant that belongs to the mint family. It has small, oval-shaped leaves that are gre...
    Read More
    Can Guinea Pigs Eat Tangerines
    Can Guinea Pigs Eat Tangerines
      Tangerine is a type of citrus fruit that is closely related to oranges. They are usually small in size, typically ...
    Read More
    Can Guinea Pigs Eat Swede
    Can Guinea Pigs Eat Swede
    Swede is a type of root vegetable that belongs to the Brassicaceae family, and it is a biennial plant. These plants a...
    Read More

    Back to blog

    Leave a comment