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? 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.
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? Find out everything you want to know about the sweet potatoes and guinea pigs in the sections below.
Table of Content
Are Sweet Potato Good for Guinea Pigs? | Health Benefits
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:
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 boost 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 prevent 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.
Aids in Digestion
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 its bowel and helps to prevent constipation.
Boost the Immune System
A guinea pig’s immunity is naturally weak. 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 A that help to improve a guinea pig’s health.
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 increase. Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant that prevents damage to the heart.
Nutrition Facts of Sweet Potato for Guinea Pigs
Sweet potatoes are filled with many nutrients that are helpful to the life of guinea pigs. The following nutrients make up the contents of the sweet potato (amount per 100 grams):
- Energy – 86 kcal
- Protein – 1.57 g
- Total lipid (fat) – 0.05 g
- Carbs – 20.1 g
- Dietary Fiber – 3 g
- Sugars – 4.18 g
- Calcium – 30 mg
- Iron – 0.61 mg
- Magnesium – 25 mg
- Phosphorus – 47 mg
- Potassium – 337 mg
- Sodium – 55 mg
- Vitamin C – 2.4 mg
- Vitamin B-6 – 0.209 mg
- Vitamin A – 709 µg
- Vitamin E – 0.26 mg
- Carotene, beta – 8510 µg
- Folate – 11 µg
Is Sweet Potato Bad for Guinea Pigs? | Possible Risks
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. 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. If it gets worse, seek help from a vet.
Serving Size and Frequency of Sweet Potato for Guinea Pigs
How Much Sweet Potato Can A Guinea Pig Eat?
Because sweet potatoes contain greater quantities of sugar and starch, we recommend saving them as a special treat for your cavy. Giving your guinea pig a careful exposure to sweet potato is essential.
Begin by presenting your cavy with a 1/2-inch-square slice of sweet potato. For the following 12 hours, keep a close eye on your pet for symptoms of discomfort or diarrhea. If everything goes well, you can continue to offer it to them.
Sweet potatoes should not be provided to baby guinea pigs since their diet during this time is quite limited, consisting solely of water, hay, and mother’s milk. Sweet potatoes can be served to adult guinea pigs in four ½ or 1-inch cubes.
How Often Can A Guinea Pig Eat Sweet Potato?
You should only provide sweet potatoes to your guinea pig once a week. Never combine it with other starchy vegetables or sweet foods on the same day. Despite having less sugar than an apple, the mix of sugar and starch makes sweet potatoes difficult to digest for them.
Keep a watch on your guinea pig after they’ve become comfortable eating sweet potatoes. Consider reducing sweet potatoes on their diet if they look bloated, sluggish, or allergic until they get back to their normal state.
How to Feed Sweet Potatoes to Guinea Pigs?
When feeding sweet potatoes to guinea pigs, feed them raw rather than cooked. Compared to cooked or dried foods, uncooked meals provide greater nutrients and other health advantages.
You may peel the potatoes and cut them into little 1 inch cubes. Also, you can serve it with other veggies that aren’t starchy. Before offering the potato to your guinea pigs, never put other spices, butter, or salt because they will be harmed by these added seasonings.
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.
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.