Last updated on January 22nd, 2023 at 07:32 pm
Guinea pigs can eat a wide variety of food in addition to hay, thus providing nutrients and vitamins necessary for their health.
You must have asked yourself many times what about sweet potatoes? Should we give some sweet potatoes to our pets?
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Sweet Potatoes?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat sweet potatoes, but in moderation. Sweet potatoes offer nutrients that are good for the health of guinea pigs such as vitamin C and potassium, the only thing to be careful about is the amount due to the high amounts of oxalates and starch.
In today’s article we will find out the benefits of sweet potatoes, what quantity is allowed for guinea pigs, and the unwanted risks.
What are sweet potatoes?
The sweet potato originated from South America and was first cultivated in Peru long ago. Today, sweet potatoes are grown worldwide, and most are produced in China.
Because it contains many nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are excellent for the health of guinea pigs, it should be part of their diet.
Sweet potato is used in various meals because it tastes great. It can be available in several colors such as orange, brown, red, purple, and yellow.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Sweet Potatoes?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat sweet potato, but always in moderation and only occasionally, it should not be given to them as a main dish.
Guinea pigs can eat sweet potatoes and reap the benefits of vitamins and minerals to improve their health.
Sweet potatoes can be given to guinea pigs, and we need to be careful when preparing them.
Do guinea pigs like to eat sweet potatoes?
Yes, guinea pigs like to eat sweet potatoes because they like their taste, they will eat as much as you give them.
Although most of them will eat sweet potatoes, it is always possible for a guinea pig to refuse to eat.
But of course, it shouldn’t disappoint you, continue to give them sweet potato again after a specific time; if they don’t like it again, don’t give it to them anymore.
If the guinea pig does not like sweet potatoes, he will want to eat other types of vegetables and use the nutrients.
How many sweet potatoes can guinea pigs eat?
Guinea pigs should eat 2-3 one-inch sweet potato cubes once every two weeks, or 1-2 smaller cubes once a week for best benefits.
Sweet potato should always be an occasional treat, and it should never be a daily meal, so we recommend paying attention to the amount and frequency of giving this food.
Also, when you give them sweet potatoes, be careful not to give them other vegetables or foods with a similar composition, especially sugar and starch, which in large quantities are harmful to them.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Sweet Potatoes Every Day?
No, guinea pigs cannot and should not eat sweet potatoes daily.
The sugar in sweet potatoes can cause diabetes and obesity.
That’s why sweet potatoes should only be an occasional dish or dessert, never the leading food for your furry friends.
How to give sweet potatoes to guinea pigs?
When giving sweet potatoes to guinea pigs, always choose the freshest and ripest, so they can make the most of the nutrients.
It’s even better if you can find an organic mirrored sweet potato, because it has the least or no chemicals, making it much safer for guinea pigs to eat.
When given to guinea pigs, sweet potatoes should be cut into small pieces, reducing the chances of your pet choking.
If the guinea pig refuses to eat, do not give him more of this vegetable; if he likes it, ensure that the quantity is always moderate.
Can baby guinea pigs eat sweet potatoes?
No, baby guinea pigs should not be given sweet potatoes, at least not early in their lives.
It takes a few weeks before you start giving them sweet potatoes. In the first weeks of their life, they should consume breast milk, water, and food specially designed for their age.
After prior consultation with a veterinarian, you should start giving them small amounts of sweet potatoes.
Benefits of sweet potato for guinea pigs
As long as they eat moderate amounts of sweet potatoes, guinea pigs will benefit their health.
Sweet potatoes are good for your furry friends’ digestive system, eyesight, immune system, and other benefits.
So let’s find out the benefits, and what exactly guinea pigs get for their health and longer life.
Helps reduce inflammation
In the composition of sweet potatoes, there is a compound such as anthocyanin that prevents the spread of inflammation in guinea pigs.
Inflammation results from injuries, swellings, and various infections in our pets.
Inflammations are always present in guinea pigs; it is a regular occurrence, but by feeding the correct and healthy food such as sweet potatoes, the spread and more severe consequences for their health can be prevented.
Sweet potato improves vision in guinea pigs
Sweet potatoes contain vitamin A, which helps to improve their vision.
In addition to vitamin A, sweet potatoes also contain beta carotene, which is also very important for improving eyesight and protecting guinea pigs against infections.
Beta carotene also helps to improve the function of light receptors in the eyes of guinea pigs, they are responsible for better distinguishing between light and dark.
Stronger bones and teeth
By eating moderate amounts of sweet potatoes, guinea pigs will get calcium and phosphorus.
These two minerals improve bone tissue, strengthen bones, and keep their teeth healthy and strong.
Teeth and bones are of great importance for guinea pigs so they can move better and eat and bite their food.
Antioxidants help fight free radicals, which damage guinea pig cells.
By fighting against free radicals, guinea pigs are protected from cancer, and at the same time, the action of antioxidants helps to slow down aging and extend the life span of our furry friends.
Prevents brain damage in guinea pigs
By eating moderate amounts of sweet potato, the guinea pig will have excellent protection of its brain from diseases and complications.
Our pets’ brains need to be healthy to function well and correctly.
Anthocyanin helps prevent brain damage in guinea pigs, just be careful how much you feed your furry friends.
The dietary fiber found in sweet potatoes is one of the essential ingredients for guinea pig health.
Guinea pigs should always have enough fiber to have the correct digestion function and the entire digestive system.
There are soluble and insoluble fibers in the sweet potato, but both are equally important for the digestion of food in the stomach.
Soluble fiber helps the guinea pigs to have a normal stool, so our pets will not get constipated, which is very important because constipation can be fatal to their life.
A stronger immune system
Sweet potatoes with their vitamins and minerals help strengthen the immune system in guinea pigs.
Guinea pigs naturally have a weak immune system; therefore, they need food to strengthen it and be healthy and immune to diseases and infections.
Vitamin A is one of those ingredients that help with immunity in guinea pigs and helps them to be much stronger.
Improving cardiovascular health
With the effect of potassium, the guinea pigs get normalization of their blood pressure and improvement of the work of the heart and its muscles.
Blood pressure is significant for guinea pigs, and its average level will prevent the risk of heart attack and other dangerous diseases.
Vitamin A helps to prevent and reduce the risk of damage and diseases to the heart and the entire cardiovascular system of guinea pigs.
Nutritional composition of sweet potato
Sweet potatoes are high in vitamins and minerals, making them a good food choice for guinea pigs.
Here is what the composition looks like in 100 grams of sweet potato:
- energy 86 kcal
- fibers 3 d
- carbohydrates 20 g
- fat 0.05 g
- protein 1.57 g
- sugar 4.18 g
- iron 0.6 mg
- calcium 30 mg
- magnesium 25 mg
- phosphorus 47 mg
- sodium 55 mg
- vitamin C 2.4 mg
As you can see from the composition, the sweet potato offers benefits and substances for our furry friends.
What to do if a guinea pig eats too many sweet potatoes?
If the guinea pig accidentally eats too many sweet potatoes, there is no need for alarm; probably nothing serious will happen to him; of course, this does not mean that the same thing should be repeated in the future.
The best solution in such situations is to give them a more significant amount of water so that their digestive system can more easily handle the sweet potato.
Diarrhea, bloating and stomach pains may occur, but within 24-48 hours the condition should return to normal, otherwise, you should take your pet to the vet.
Adverse risks of sweet potatoes to guinea pigs
Any food that is eaten in excess causes side effects on the health of guinea pigs.
Here are the possible side effects of sweet potatoes:
- Allergy – can occur if the guinea pig overeats sweet potato. Still, it does not occur in all guinea pigs, so be careful when eating this vegetable if your pet has any allergies.
- Choking hazard – happens if guinea pigs eat large pieces of sweet potato, so always give them small pieces.
- Obesity – because the starch and sugar in sweet potatoes can lead to obesity, but only if the guinea pigs eat too many sweet potatoes.
- Kidney problems – result from large amounts of oxalates, which can cause kidney stones in guinea pigs.
- Bloating – occurs because when guinea pigs overeat sweet potatoes, they will have too much fiber that they will not be able to process.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Boiled Sweet Potatoes?
No, guinea pigs cannot eat boiled sweet potatoes.
They should always eat raw sweet potatoes, and guinea pigs do not like cooked food.
The digestive system of guinea pigs cannot process cooked food; it is not adapted to process such food.
Raw food is better than cooked food because it retains nutrients much more which is especially important for your pets.
Can guinea pigs eat sweet potato skin?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat the skin of the sweet potato, it is completely safe for them.
The skin and the inner part of this vegetable have fibers, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants that are important for their health.
Of course, before you let them eat the sweet potato skin, you should first wash it thoroughly to remove any dirt and chemicals that may have been used to grow it.
Can guinea pigs eat sweet potato leaves?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat sweet potato leaves and the fruit itself.
By eating the leaves, our pets will get incredible amounts of healthy nutrients such as:
- vitamin C
By eating sweet potato leaves, the guinea pigs will have a better digestive system, stronger bones, better immunity, and protection against diseases.
Can guinea pigs eat baked sweet potatoes?
No, guinea pigs cannot eat baked sweet potatoes or other baked food.
Their digestive system is not adapted for this kind of food, and they will have problems with digestion and other serious consequences.
Guinea pigs can only consume raw food.
Can guinea pigs eat sweet potato vines?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat sweet potato vines quite safely, but of course in moderation.
Sweet potato vines are non-toxic and healthy for guinea pigs to eat.
You only need to be careful about dirt and possible pesticides that may be on it, so it should be washed well and thoroughly before you give it to the guinea pigs to eat.
Can guinea pigs eat yams?
Yes, guinea pigs can of course eat yams, they are suitable for their health.
Yams have nutrients necessary for our pets, among which vitamin A should be mentioned, which helps to improve eyesight.
In fact, yams are a great alternative to sweet potatoes for guinea pigs.
Can guinea pigs eat sweet potato fries?
No, guinea pigs cannot eat sweet potato fries, although they will like the taste.
Sweet potato fries are cooked food, and as we know guinea pigs do not eat cooked food, it interferes with their digestive system.
There are other reasons why sweet potato fries are dangerous to the health of guinea pigs, such as the oil used for frying, spices and other ingredients that cannot be given to guinea pigs.
If they accidentally try sweet potato fries, they may have stomach pains, diarrhea, bloating and other problems.
Can guinea pigs eat sweet potato pie?
No, guinea pigs can’t eat sweet potato pie.
There is a lot of sugar in the sweet potato pie, which is undoubtedly a harmful ingredient for the health of the guinea pigs.
If he still tries to eat sweet potato pie, the guinea pig risks increasing blood sugar levels, and may even gain weight.
These potential problems are reason enough not to risk our furry friends eating sweet potato pie.
Can pregnant guinea pigs eat sweet potatoes?
Yes, sweet potatoes are good for pregnant guinea pigs’ health, as they will provide them with the nutrients they need.
Especially vitamin C and fiber are welcome for their health.
With vitamin C and other nutrients, pregnant guinea pigs will have much stronger immunity and protection against diseases such as scurvy.
Sweet potatoes are entirely safe for guinea pigs and can enjoy this dessert once a week.
The composition of the sweet potato guarantees the intake of nutrients that will help improve the health of the guinea pigs.
If they eat moderately, our pets will have better vision, a healthier heart, stronger bones, protection against cancer, and improved immunity.
If they overeat sweet potatoes, they will gain weight, and they may get diabetes, kidney problems and danger of suffocation.
Raw sweet potato is the best option for the health of guinea pigs, while boiled, baked and prepared in any way is not suitable for their digestive system.
Finally, give the guinea pig a sweet potato to enjoy this dessert, but only occasionally, never as a main dish.