Can Guinea Pigs Eat French Fries?

Can Guinea Pigs Eat French Fries

There is probably not one single person that doesn’t like french fries, right? Sometimes even our pets want to be treated as equals and try the foods we love. And of course, the french fries are a real delight. Crunchy, salty, a bit greasy and oily – the perfect comfort food for any moment and any mood. But, are they good for guinea pigs? As a treat at least?

Can guinea pigs eat french fries? Short answer: no. Guinea pigs cannot eat french fries because this is processed food that has been fried and heavily salted or seasoned. Such processed foods are not good for humans, to begin with, let alone animals. Potatoes are not toxic for guinea pigs, but the processed french fries are hard to digest and will cause discomfort. For cavies, digestion of french fries will be slower and more difficult, with possible aches, gas and bloating. Similar to humans who eat too much fast food! Also, cavies can consume sweet potato or even yam, but not the yellow potato for french fries. The regular yellow potato has some nutrients that could even be fatal for guinea pigs if consumed in large dose!

If our human bodies have troubles digesting fast foods like french fries, imagine what happens to animals that eat this. The digestive system of animals, especially guinea pigs, is not meant to digest certain things like sugars, fast foods, seasoned and salty foods and similar. The cavies are vegetarians and herbivores, which means they eat fruits, veggies, some flowers, plants, and roots. Even though potatoes are veggies, the salted and fried potatoes are a forbidden food for guinea pigs.

Health Benefits of Guinea Pigs Eating French Fries

The french fries are not beneficial or healthy food. Not for humans, not for animals. However, when they are consumed, there are still some benefits in the yellow potato by itself.

There is protein in it, so this fast food is not fully harmful. Also, there is no cholesterol, which means the blood vessels will remain healthy and unclogged.

The french fries also have lots of fibers too. The fibers are needed for good digestion of consumed foods and faster bowel movements. Here, the fiber amount is high!

Also, french fries contain potassium. This mineral is essential for healthy heart and prevention of strokes or high blood pressure. The potassium also keeps the kidneys healthy and contributes to the balance of water and electrolytes in the body. With potassium, there is less anxiety and the nervous system is in overall good shape.

Surprisingly, this food contains the best vitamins for cavies – vitamin C! This vitamin has to be given via food or supplements because cavies don’t produce it naturally. It keeps them safe from scurvy (rough fur, swollen joints, bleedings, loose stool…).

Nutrition Facts of French Fries

In 100 g (3 oz) of french fries, there is:

  • 801 calories (very caloric, and very fattening. This amount of calories is too high even for humans!)
  • 63% fat (too much fat content. This is both fattening and not good for the cardiovascular system, or the digestion)
  • 0 mg cholesterol (this is ok because cholesterol otherwise damages blood vessels)
  • 98 g carbs (lots of carbs, even too much. However, this is a source of quick energy)
  • 9 g fiber (for good digestion. Basically, potato is full of carbs and fibers mostly. This is high amount of fibers, so digestion might be slower and harder)
  • 8 g sugars (this is a high amount of sugar for a cooked veggie. Cavies must avoid sugary foods because they damage their gut flora)
  • 6 g protein (slow-release energy source. And, this is a high amount of protein for a processed veggie. But, it’s ok, since proteins are a source of slow-release energy)
  • 2 mg calcium (too much calcium. This mineral is essential for strong bones, but in cavies, it creates urinary stones)
  • 5 mg potassium (this nutrient prevents stroke, high pressure, kidney and heart problems, also it makes good water balance and keeps the nervous system healthy too)
  • 7 mg vitamin C (for optimal health)

Avoid french fries as much as you can, not even once a week is ok. Still, no need to panic – if the cavy tries a small piece it’s not the end of the world. But, it should be as rare as possible!

And remember, if it’s only for the taste – one tiny bite, not more.

Risks to Consider When Feeding French Fries to Guinea Pigs

In fries, there is calcium. This mineral is vital for healthy bones and bone tissues, but in excess it causes problems. For example, excess calcium in cavies results in bladder or kidney stones, painful urination, and even blood in the urine! It can be fatal or at least can lead to renal failure – so calcium foods must be avoided at all costs!

There is also sugar in french fries. Basically, this food is a veggie that contains natural sugars; this is double damage for the guinea pig. The yellow potato by itself is not healthy for the guinea pig, plus to that add sugars and imagine the effect! Guinea pigs must avoid fruits, or veggies with lots of sugar, like the yellow potato.

In french fries, there is also a high amount of fat. This nutrient is vital for the optimal work of the brain and for the warmth of the body, but in excess, it’s just unhealthy. It is hard for digestion and causes aches and heaviness in the stomach. French fries contain the bad type of fats and in high amount. Which is also fattening!

Quick facts on French Fries

  • Guinea pigs cannot eat french fries because this is processed food
  • They can eat sweet potato and yam, but not the not yellow potato
  • Fries have good nutrients: proteins, potassium, even vitamin C!
  • Fries also have calcium which is bad for cavies (kidney and bladder stones)
  • Since yellow potato is rich in fibers, in excess this can cause an upset stomach

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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Clarissa Moolbrock

Clarissa Moolbrock is one of the founders and editor at Guinea Pig Tube. She is also an author of "Complete Guinea Pig Care Guide: The Essential, Practical Guide To All Aspects of Caring for Your Guinea Pigs" (available on Amazon). Being a veterinary technician helping animals and sharing her experience and knowledge with other guinea pig owners is her passion. Her life goal is to popularise guinea pigs as pets and that is why she has started Guinea Pig Tube website.