There is probably not one single person that doesn’t like french fries. Sometimes even our pets want to be treated as equals and try the foods that we love. Of course, for most of us, the french fries are a real delight as they are crunchy, salty, a bit greasy and oily, the perfect comfort food for any moment and any mood. But, are they good for guinea pigs? Can they be used as a treat, at least?
Can guinea pigs eat french fries? Guinea pigs cannot eat french fries because this is processed food that has been fried and heavily salted or seasoned. For guinea pigs, the digestion of french fries will be slower and more complicated, with possible aches, gas, bloating, and in the worst cases, diarrhea and vomiting.
Guinea pigs can consume sweet potato or even yam, but not the yellow or red potato that is used for french fries. The regular yellow or red potato has some nutrients that can be even fatal for guinea pigs. Even for humans, the french fries are not beneficial or healthy food. In the following sections, read more about the nutrition facts of french fries and about risks and health problems if you decide on feeding french fries to guinea pigs. Let’s begin!
Nutrition Facts of French Fries
The following are the nutrition facts for 100 g (3 oz) of french fries that are fried from fresh potato:
- Energy – 196 kcal
- Protein – 1.93 g
- Total lipid (fat) – 13.1 g
- Carbs – 18.5 g
- Dietary fiber – 1.6 g
- Sugars – 1.25 g
- Calcium – 9 mg
- Iron – 0.64 mg
- Magnesium – 23 mg
- Phosphorus – 52 mg
- Potassium – 401 mg
- Sodium – 141 mg
- Vitamin C – 9.7 mg
- Vitamin B-6 – 0.265 mg
- Vitamin E – 1.56 mg
- Vitamin K – 16.3 µg
- Thiamin – 0.073 mg
- Riboflavin – 0.03 mg
- Niacin – 1.215 mg
- Lutein + zeaxanthin – 13 µg
Risks to Consider When Feeding French Fries to Guinea Pigs
If our human bodies have trouble digesting fast foods like french fries, imagine what happens to small animals that eat them. The digestive system of animals, especially guinea pigs, is not meant to digest certain things like sugars, fast foods, seasoned and salty foods, and anything similar.
The guinea pigs are herbivores, which means they eat only fruits, veggies, some flowers, plants, and roots. Salted and fried potatoes are a forbidden food for guinea pigs. Also, there is a high amount of fibers in french fries and they are responsible for making digestion slower and harder.
In french fries, there is also calcium. This mineral is vital for healthy bones and bone tissues, but in excess, it causes problems for guinea pigs. For example, excess calcium, but also sodium in guinea pigs results in bladder or kidney stones, painful urination, and even blood in the urine. All of this can lead to a fatal outcome or at least renal failure. Foods high in calcium must be avoided or reduced.
In french fries, there is a high amount of fat. This nutrient is vital but in excess, it’s just unhealthy. French fries contain the bad type of fats, and in high amounts, your guinea pig will have problems with weight gain.
There is also sugar in french fries. The yellow potato by itself is not healthy for the guinea pig and plus when we add sugars it just makes it a terrible choice. Guinea pigs must avoid fruits or veggies with lots of sugar because they can become obese and sugar can damage their gut flora.
French fries are very caloric, and that amount of calories is too high even for humans. They are fattening and not good for the cardiovascular system or digestion of guinea pigs. Also, a lot of calories and fat aren’t good for healthy blood, blood vessels, and normal blood pressure levels.
Avoid french fries in guinea pig’s diet. Also if a guinea pig accidentally tries a small piece of french fries there is no need to panic as it is not the end of the world. Just keep your eye on the guinea pig and if you notice some symptoms, like diarrhea and vomiting, call your veterinarian.
Quick Facts on French Fries
- There are many different names and types of french fries.
- No one knows where french fries were invented. People presume that they were made in Belgium, France or Spain.
- Thomas Jefferson has brought french fries to America.
- McDonald’s has the world’s most famous french fries.
- There’s a museum called the Frietmuseum in Belgium, dedicated to french fries.
- In 2011 the Burger King has changed its french fry recipe for the first time since 1998.
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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List of Sources
National Research Council (US) Subcommittee on Laboratory Animal Nutrition, Nutrient Requirements of Laboratory Animals: Fourth Revised Edition, 1995., Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 1995.
Norman, R., Wills, A. P., An Investigation into the Relationship between Owner Knowledge, Diet, and Dental Disease in Guinea Pigs (Cavia porcellus), Animals: an open access journal from MDPI, 2016.
Witkowska, A., Price, J., Hughes, C., Smith, D., White, K., Alibhai, A., Rutland C. S., The Effects of Diet on Anatomy, Physiology and Health in the Guinea Pig, Journal of Animal Health and Behavioural Science, 2017.
Gadiraju, T. V., Patel, Y., Gaziano, J. M., Djoussé, L., Fried Food Consumption and Cardiovascular Health: A Review of Current Evidence, Nutrients, 2015.