Sweet potatoes are really sweet just as the name suggests and also creamy in texture. They go by several names across the world, but the most common ones are gold sweet potato, orange sweet potato, and kumara. Now that we have gathered some information about this little plant, let’s see if our cute little guinea pigs can have sweet potatoes in their diet.
So, can guinea pigs eat sweet potato? Yes, guinea pigs can eat sweet potato but under limited portions. Sweet potatoes should be fed to guinea pigs sparingly due to high levels of oxalates and starch which may be too much for your guinea pig if they are fed daily with sweet potatoes.
The advantage of sweet potatoes is the sufficient amount of vitamin C and A which are vital for guinea pigs. Remember that your pet, just like you, cannot create nor store vitamin C and because of that they depend on the food they eat. It is vital that you feed your guinea pig foods rich in vitamin C more often and sweet potatoes are a good example. Although, due to the compounds present in the plant, it is wise to give your guinea pig sweet potatoes once or twice in a week as a form of a treat.
Sweet potatoes are tasty and guinea pigs love to eat them. But what exactly are the benefits that your cute little guinea pig will gain from eating the sweet potatoes? Are there any risks for your pets? Well, find out everything you want to know about the sweet potatoes and guinea pigs in the sections below.
Health Benefits of Guinea Pigs Eating Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes, aside from being delicious, have several benefits that may improve your guinea pig’s well-being. The following are some of these benefits:
Sweet potato is ideal for a good vision and sight
The presence of vitamin A in sweet potatoes makes them a good option for boosting eyesight in guinea pigs. Also, sweet potato has other compounds such as beta-carotene that boosts vision and prevent the occurrence of eye-related complications and infections. Beta carotene is also used to form light detecting receptors in the guinea pig’s eyes.
Elimination of free radicals
Free radicals are a product of metabolism and they have dire consequences in the body of a guinea pig if not handled correctly. They may lead to cell damage among many other complications that can affect the well-being of your pet. Antioxidants help in the elimination of free radicals in guinea pigs and they are contained in sweet potatoes.
Helps to boost neurological health
The brain is an integral part of any system. Consumption of sweet potatoes by your pet may increase its brain function and prevent a whole lot of diseases and complications. The anthocyanin that is present in these veggies has positive benefits towards the prevention of damage to the brain. A well-functioning brain equals a healthy guinea pig.
Helps to prevent or reduce inflammation
This infection is a reaction of the body where it reacts to infections, diseases or injury through swelling. It is a regular occurrence but it can turn tragic if it gets to a chronic state. Sweet potatoes have compounds such as anthocyanin that prevents inflammation from getting to chronic levels.
Sweet potatoes enhance gut health
The antioxidants and fibers that exist in sweet potatoes play a significant role when it comes to a healthy gut.
The presence of dietary fiber in sweet potatoes makes them best suited for boosting digestion in guinea pigs. The digestive systems of guinea pigs are naturally not reliable, and thus they need assistance from the food they eat. Two types of fibers exist in sweet potatoes, soluble and insoluble fibers. Both are vital to the digestion process and are therefore crucial for guinea pigs. Soluble fibers absorb water while inside the guinea pig’s body and also they make the stool softer. This makes it easy for your pet to empty their bowel and also helps to prevent constipation.
Sweet potatoes boost the immune system
A guinea pig’s immunity is naturally weak, and that is why they entirely depend on the food they eat to boost their immune system. Sweet potatoes are filled with immune boosters such as vitamin C and A that help to improve a guinea pig’s health. Vitamin C helps to boost the functioning of the white blood cells hence protecting the guinea pig from diseases and infections. Vitamin A is yet another vital nutrient that promotes the better health of a cavy.
Boosts cardiovascular health
Potassium controls the contraction and relaxation of heart muscles and ensures that the blood pressure doesn’t go high. When the blood pressure is high, the risks of a heart attack and other diseases also increases. Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant that prevents damage to the heart.
Nutrition Facts of Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes are filled with many nutrients that are helpful to the life of guinea pigs. They include the following:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
- Dietary fiber
- Vitamin B6
Risks to Consider When Feeding Sweet Potato to Guinea Pigs
Sweet potatoes are relatively safe for guinea pigs but there are still some possible risks:
- High levels of oxalates and starch – sweet potatoes have too much starch, and oxalates which are not appropriate for guinea pigs in high amounts and that is why they need to be fed in limited portions.
- Allergic reactions – there is a possibility of allergic reactions if your guinea pig consumes sweet potatoes. Although this is a factor that varies from one guinea pig to the next, in case you notice anything out of the ordinary in your guinea pig, stop the feeding process and if it gets worse, seek help from a vet.
Quick Facts On Sweet Potato
The following are some fantastic facts about sweet potatoes that you probably didn’t know before:
- Although often confused, sweet potatoes and yams are different in many ways.
- They go by many names in different parts of the world.
- The whole plant of the sweet potato is edible.
- Sweet potatoes and Irish potatoes are some of the most common potatoes in the world.
- Sweet potatoes are among the best veggies for digestion.
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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