A guinea pig’s diet should be made up of high quality pellets and grass hay. But, apart from their regular diet, guinea pigs also love some vegetables and fruits that may be served to them occasionally. Small amounts of leafy greens, such as kale, parsley, lettuce or spinach are a great source of vitamin C that guinea pigs need.
Also, guinea pigs can eat many other vegetables, such as sweet peppers, zucchini, pumpkins, corn with silk and turnips. But, there are also some vegetables that should be eaten only occasionally and also vegetables that guinea pigs should avoid completely.
In this article we will talk about potatoes. Is this vegetable safe for guinea pigs or it can be harmful? If you are a guinea pig’s owner, this article will be useful and also very interesting for you. Read on and find out if your guinea pig can eat potatoes. But, before that, we will tell you something more about this starchy vegetable.
More about Potatoes
As we all know, potato is a starchy tuberous crop from the nightshade family. It is a perennial plant and it is used as a vegetable. Potatoes are native to the Andes, but today they are grown all over the world. Potatoes are considered the fourth largest food crop in the world.
Potatoes are best known for their carbohydrate content, but they are also rich in vitamins and minerals. The nutrient content of a potato depends mostly on the way of its storage and cooking. Potatoes have a high glycemic index, so they should not be eaten in large amounts. You can eat potatoes on many different ways. Potatoes are usually cooked before eating, like many other staple foods. You can eat mashed potatoes, fried potatoes, boiled or baked potatoes, but you can also prepare different dishes of this vegetable.
There’s no doubt that potatoes are one of the favorite vegetables of most people, but can we share this food with our guinea pigs? Is this starchy vegetable also good for them? Read along and you will find out soon.
Are Potatoes Safe for Guinea Pigs?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. Potatoes are not safe for guinea pigs and you shouldn’t feed your pets them. Potatoes are rich in toxins that may be harmful and poisonous for your guinea pig. Also, if guinea pigs eat potatoes, they may become ill, so it is best to avoid them. Potatoes are also high in carbohydrates and low in nutrients, which is bad for your guinea pig. This vegetable definitely won’t be beneficial for your guinea pig. Also see guinea pigs and leeks.
Also, you should not feed your guinea pig potato peel or any kind of potato skin because it is also toxic. Your guinea pig should not eat mashed, baked or cooked potato. But, there are some people who consider that yams or sweet potatoes can be okay for your guinea pig, if they are consumed in moderation. It is best to serve your guinea pig sweet potatoes raw but only as occasional treats.
If you guinea pig has already eaten a slice of potato, don’t worry. A small amount of potatoes won’t do any harm, but you should generally avoid feeding your guinea pig this food. If you feed your guinea pig potatoes, it can lead to serious health complications. But, if your guinea pig has already eaten a potato, you should monitor for any side-effects. Your guinea pig may suffer from some problems in the gastrointestinal tract, such as gas, diarrhea or vomiting.
As you have seen in this article, potatoes are toxic for guinea pigs and they can make them ill.
Also, potatoes can lead to food poisoning, so it is best to avoid this vegetable. Many experts agree that sweet potatoes are safe for guinea pigs, but you should feed them in moderation. A small amount of sweet potato served as occasional treat won’t do any harm to your pet, but if you serve it daily, it can be bad. If you want to avoid any health risks, don’t feed your guinea pigs potatoes at all. It is best to avoid giving any kind of potato to your guinea pig, if you want your little pet to stay healthy and happy. Fruits that are often sugary are best served in moderation as well. See our article on whether guinea pigs can eat pears.