Let’s talk about snacks. What is the first thing that comes to your mind? Probably chips. We have to be honest and say that chips is maybe the tastiest snack you can get. It is perfect for any occasion and even if you’re not hungry, you can still munch chips forever! Have you wondered if our pets can eat chips? Should your guinea pig try the tasty, salty chips? In this article, we are going to discuss if guinea pigs can eat chips.
Can guinea pigs eat chips? No, guinea pigs cannot eat chips. The chips are processed, and cooked food and guinea pigs cannot digest these foods properly. The stomachs of guinea pigs are too sensitive for high amounts of fat and salt, and since chips are an extremely fatty and salty cooked snack, they are definitely not good food for the guinea pigs.
The guinea pigs might like the smell of chips and make sounds until they try this food, but you must never allow them to eat this. Yes, guinea pigs can sense the nice smell of these unhealthy snacks that humans love! Well, they can make all the noise they want – it is important that you as the owner, never allow them to eat unhealthy foods. The tiny and sensitive stomach of the guinea pig will be too upset and hurting after consuming such processed foods.
Well, there are surely some beneficial nutrients in chips, but this doesn’t mean they are a good food item, even for us humans. In any case, let’s see the details for chips in the following sections below.
Main Health Benefits of Guinea Pigs Eating Chips
The guinea pigs cannot eat chips, so speaking of the benefits for each nutrient separately is unnecessary. However, it is a bit surprising that this snack has so many nutrients, as you can see in the section below this one.
We all think that chips are just potato slices with oil and fat, and mainly carbs, right? Well, these fried and salty potato slices don’t offer health benefits, even though they have good nutrients. Ironic, right?
The irony with chips is that they have all these good nutrients, but sadly when these nutrients come in the shape of processed, unhealthy snack, they are kinda worthless! This snack is not good for humans, let alone guinea pigs!
Nutrition Facts on Chips
These are the nutrition facts for 100 g (3 oz) of chips, salted, plain:
- High in calories – 547
- High in carbs – 49.7g
- Proteins – 6.6g
- Fiber – 4.4g
- Sugars – 0.4g
- High in fat – 37.5g
- Vitamin C – 31%
- Thiamin – 4%
- Vitamin E – 34%
- Vitamin K – 28%
- Riboflavin – 14%
- Niacin – 21%
- Vitamin B6 – 36%
- Pantothenic acid – 43%
- Calcium – 2%
- Iron – 1.6mg
- Magnesium – 17%
- Phosphorus – 15%
- Potassium – 47%
- Zinc – 16%
- Copper – 20%
- Manganese – 33%
Risks to Consider When Feeding Chips to Guinea Pigs
- Urinary problems – chips has calcium and phosphorus, and sadly, these are the two nutrients that cause the greatest damage to the health of guinea pigs. Strong bone tissues are created with the help of these 2 nutrients, but when the guinea pig is fully grown, it makes no great use of calcium and phosphorus. So, if your cavy consumes these minerals in excess, they will pile up in his urinary system. Then, there is the risk of bladder and kidney stones, but also bloody urine, infections in the urinary tract, and painful urination.
- Digestion problems – the guinea pig will have troubles with the digestion of chips. This snack is full of fats and salt because it is processed food. Guinea pigs cannot consume cooked foods at all, and if you add salt and oil to the cooked food it is a real mess for the poor cavy! It will get cramps, flatulence, or diarrhea. Chips also have a bit of sugar, which will only worsen the digestion issues for the guinea pig.
- Unhealthy weight – it is a known fact that chips aren’t the healthiest food or the best diet-friendly food. In fact, when it comes to weight topics, chips are first on the list of ‘bad foods’. Because it is potato, it is of course mostly carbs. These potato slices are salted and fried, and this is the worst thing for maintaining a healthy weight. The oils keep the fat tissues from melting, the salt causes water retention and the potato carbs with all of this cause weight gain.
We can’t mention the proper serving size of chips. Usually, when we eat chips, we can down the whole bag in one sitting, which is awful! Now, you might think you can give just one piece of chips to the guinea pig – well, wrong. The cavy must not try even one potato chip, because this could be a risk for its gentle belly.
What Can My Guinea Pig Have Instead of Chips?
This one is pretty much easy. The guinea pig is not allowed chips, but what are chips made of? Potato. And your guinea pig is certainly allowed to eat sweet potato (not regular potato since they are toxic for guinea pigs!).
In a way, it gets its own snack made of almost the same veggie, except much healthier. Don’t feed them too much sweet potato though; few times per month is the optimal rule.
And, to make this ‘meal’ more appetizing for the furry friend, mix in some other veggies it can eat.
Fun Facts on Chips
- The first recipe for chips was named ‘fried shavings’. It was published in a cookbook back in 1824.
- For making 2.500 lbs chips, you need 10.000 lbs potatoes.
- During WW2, chips were considered unnecessary food and they were not made for some time. People protested, and chips were produced again!
- An average person consumed circa 6 lbs chips per year.
- The Potato Chip Day is March 14th.
- Why are the chips bags so full of air? Because the air makes a protective cushioning to prevent breaking of the chips.
- The largest bag of chips in the world had the same weight as a car! Back in 2013, Corkers Crisps owned the record for the largest chips bag worldwide. It was 18 feet in height, and it had more than 2.515 lbs chips!
- In the USA, the most favorite flavors are the plain, then BBQ, then sour cream, and onion.
- Back in 1953, a woman named Laura Scudder invented the chips bag. Before her, the chips were scooped out of barrels and they were placed behind glass counters.
Source: History of Food – Potato Chips
Before I let you go, one final thought on food. With food, you can’t ever be too careful which is why I get all guinea pig food from a reliable source such as Amazon. If you are not sure what to order but believe your little piggies deserve some great treats please check our Helpful Guide to the Best Guinea Pig Treats to get some ideas. We have also made a full list of foods that guinea pigs can and can’t eat (150+ Types of Foods). Be sure to also check our recommended products page for everything you will ever need to assure a happy life for your Guinea Pigs. Hope this information was helpful and you have found the answer you were looking for.
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