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Food Food For Guinea Pigs

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Sweet Potatoes?10 min read

Aug 1, 2021 4 min
sweet potatoes

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Sweet Potatoes?10 min read

Sweet potatoes are a superfood with many health benefits because of the abundant vitamins and minerals in them. It is good to feed them the required vitamins through foods rich in vitamins, such as sweet potatoes and mango.

In other words – Yes! Guinea pigs can eat sweet potatoes.

However, it is vital to keep the number of sweet potatoes you provide in check.  The recommended amount of sweet potatoes for your guinea pigs is once or twice a week. Preferably their sweet potato intake should be like treats– in small amounts and not regular.

Sweet potatoes great treats for your guinea pigs, and they seem to love the taste as well. But is it good for them? If so, what are the benefits of feeding sweet potatoes to your guinea pigs? These are some of the questions we will be talking about in this article. Find out all you need to know about feeding sweet potatoes to your furry little friends here.

Can guinea pigs have sweet potatoes?

Yes, guinea pigs can eat sweet potatoes. But it should be a minimal amount. Sweet potatoes have a high starch and oxalates content that can be harmful to their bodies if they are fed too much.

Are sweet potatoes good for guinea pigs?

There are many benefits to feeling sweet potatoes to guinea pigs. Here are some of them:

Vitamins

Sweet potatoes have a lot of vitamins in them, such as Vitamin C and Vitamin A. These vitamins are crucial for the excellent health of guinea pigs. Since guinea pigs are incapable of creating or producing their own Vitamin C, they are prone to vitamin deficiency diseases such as Scurvy.

Improves vision

Sweet potatoes boost vision in guinea pigs. They have a lot of vitamin A in them, which is good for improving eyesight. Sweet potatoes also have other compounds like beta-carotene, which forms receptors for light detection in guinea pigs and even prevents eye-related infections.

Neurological health booster

When guinea pigs consume sweet potatoes, the anthocyanin in these sweet potatoes benefits the guinea pigs by preventing their neurological health. It can also improve the brain’s functioning and maintain a well-functioning brain.

Eliminates free radicals

Free radicals may have dire consequences for guinea pigs if they are not monitored. Therefore, it is crucial to supply your guinea pigs with antioxidants that eliminate free radicals. Free radicals can also damage cells and cause other complications, which can harm the guinea pigs. 

Reduce inflammation

Whenever your guinea pig is injured, the compounds in the sweet potatoes can act as natural prevention of infections that can cause further damage to their health. It prevents inflammation and swelling in the injuries.

Strong immune system

Sweet potatoes are rich in immunity boosters like vitamin C and vitamin A which improve the white blood cells functions in the body.

Proper digestion

Sweet potatoes have a lot of dietary fiber, which is excellent for digestion. The digestive system in guinea pigs requires external help from such fibrous food, which helps boost the digestion process. The soluble fibers in sweet potatoes help in absorbing in guinea pigs’ body which prevents constipation.

Cardiovascular health

The content of Potassium in sweet potatoes helps in contracting and relaxing the heart muscles, which ensures moderate blood pressure in the body. The presence of Vitamin A in sweet potatoes also acts as a dominant antioxidant that prevents heart problems.

How much sweet potatoes should guinea pigs eat?

When you introduce sweet potatoes to guinea pigs, give them a small piece first and check for any side effects or reactions that may indicate an allergic reaction. Start with as small as a ½ inch cube of sweet potato and gradually increase the serving size.

Baby guinea pigs should not be fed any sweet potatoes as their diet at this stage is very strict, only comprising of water, hay, and mother’s milk. Adult guinea pigs can have about four ½ inch cubes or 1-inch cube per serving of sweet potatoes.

You can repeat this serving size once a week. But make sure that you don’t add this to their diet if you are already serving them other foods containing starch or sugar. Overfeeding sweet potatoes can make your guinea pigs obese and lead to other related problems.

Even after you start adding sweet potatoes to their diet, always keep an eye out for any reactions or changes in their behavior and health. For example, if they look lethargic or bloated all the time, it is a good sign to stop the feeding for a while. You can also limit the intake even further to once every two weeks.

How to feed sweet potatoes to guinea pigs?

The best way to serve sweet potatoes to guinea pigs is to feed them raw instead of cooked. They also get more nutrition and other health benefits from uncooked meals rather than cooked or dried foods. You can peel the potatoes and chop them up into small 1 inch cubes and serve them with other vegetables that do not contain starch.

You can also feed it to them as a treat without any other food.  Never season the potato with spices, butter, or salt before serving it to your guinea pigs. These additional seasonings will harm them.

Risks to Consider When Feeding Sweet Potato to Guinea Pigs:

Allergic reactions

Not all guinea pigs are the same, so your guinea pigs can have an allergic reaction to sweet potatoes. Hence, you should always observe your guinea pig’s health when you feed them sweet potatoes for the first time and make sure that they are not experiencing any adverse symptoms such as bloating or diarrhea.

High starch and oxalates content

Sweet potatoes have a lot of starch and oxalates, which can be detrimental to the guinea pigs if taken in high quantity.

Final thoughts

You should note that other types of potatoes, like white or red potatoes, are very different from sweet potatoes in their nutritional content. Hence, they can have diverse effects on your guinea pig’s health.  Most of the compounds that make up these white or red potatoes are toxic for guinea pigs and will be harmful to them as regular diet food.

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