Why Can’t Guinea Pigs Eat Potatoes? (Hazards, Chips, Cooked & More)

Can guinea pigs eat potatoes?

Guinea pigs are herbivores, flourishing on a plant-based diet. They generally depend on various herbs, grasses, fruits, and veggies. But why can’t guinea pigs eat potatoes?

Guinea pigs cannot eat potatoes as they contain toxins called alkaloids. These toxins can be a massive disaster for our guinea pig’s health. Potatoes can be considered as a healthy diet for humans, but for guinea pigs, it is better to avoid potatoes.

Potatoes are high in calories with no nutritional benefits.

The presence of starch in potatoes is at an utmost level, which cannot be tolerated by the guinea pig’s digestive system.

Complex carbs are always bad for guinea pigs, and potatoes are full of starch.

But is there any parts or preparation of potatoes that is safe? If not what are other good alternative? Let’s find out!

But before that, potatoes hold a lot of nutrition; some of them are as follow :

Before you read further, Here are some of our popular books that provides you great value. You don't want to miss them out!

Guinea Pig Diet Plan For Beginners
  • In-Depth Understanding Of All Aspects Of Their Diet
  • List Of Vegetables And Fruits Guinea Pigs Can Eat
  • Types Of Hay+ How To Choose The Best One
  • Importance Of Vitamin C and Calcium+ How To Balance It
  • Toxic Food To Our Guinea pigs
  • Water For Your Guinea Pig (How It Can Lead To Bladder Stone)
  • 4 Complete Diet Chart To Follow With Veggie List
Guinea Pig Care 101: A Definitive Guide
  • Learn All About Setting Up Perfect Living Environment
  • An Overview Of A Guinea Pig's Diet
  • Understand Common Behavior And How To Deal With It
  • An Insight On Common Health Problems And What To Do About It
  • A Complete Care Guide To Keep Your Guinea Pig's Healthy and Happy
  • Covers All The Practical Aspect Of Keeping Guinea Pigs

Nutrition In Potatoes

NutrientsAmount
Vitamin C19.7 mg/ 100 g
Folate15 µg/ 100 g
Lutein + Zeaxanthin9 µg/ 100 g
Calcium12 mg/ 100 g
Phosphorous57 mg/ 100 g
Potassium425 mg/ 100 g
Fiber2.1 g/ 100 g
Sugar0.82 g/ 100 g
Magnesium23 mg/ 100 g
Carbs17.49 g/ 100 g
Calories77 Kcal
Fat0.09 g/ 100 g
Water79.25 g/ 100 g
Source: USDA National Nutrient database
  1. Vitamin C: Vitamin C is also called ascorbic acid, which is found in various types of food and sold as a dietary supplement. Vitamin C also helps to boost the immune system and helps to fight against various diseases like scurvy.
  2. Potassium:  Potassium is a very much essential macrominerals required by our body. Potassium also acts as a shield against many diseases like kidney stones.
    • Lack of potassium can lead to many problems like weakness and constipation. But excessive potassium is also not a good idea as it can lead to significant issues like hyperkalemia.
  3. Dietary Fiber:  Dietary fiber is found naturally in plant-based products that cannot be digested by a human.
    • Fiber provides many benefits to our body as it helps to control cholesterol levels, and protects our body from diseases like intestine cancer and constipation.

Can guinea pigs eat potatoes?

Why Can't Guinea Pigs Eat Potatoes?

Guinea pigs can not eat potatoes as it produces alkaloids that are toxic to our guinea pigs. Potatoes are almost full of starch, that cannot be tolerated by our guinea pigs digestive system.

It is best to avoid serving potatoes to your guinea pig even though they enjoy it.

Fresh hay, fruits, and veggies provide them all the nutritional benefits they require to stay healthy and active.

Can guinea pigs eat red skin potatoes?

No, guinea pigs cannot eat red skin potatoes.

Can guinea pigs eat white potatoes?

No, guinea pigs cannot eat white potatoes.

Can guinea pigs eat mashed potatoes?

No, guinea pigs cannot eat mashed potatoes.

Here are list of some vegetables and fruits that you can serve to your guinea pigs:

Why are potatoes bad for guinea pigs?

Serving potatoes can be a terrible idea to our guinea pigs, as it can lead to many health problems.

Some hazards of serving potatoes to your guinea pigs are as follows.

  1. Urinary Complications: With growing age, the need for calcium decreases in our guinea pigs. Calcium is required initially for the formation of bones.
  2. Alkaloids content: It produces alkaloids that are very toxic to our guinea pigs and severe damage to their health. 
  3. Fructose content: Potato also contains a decent amount of fructose which, if taken in an excessive quantity, can cause damage to our guinea pigs.
    • Our guinea pigs have a susceptible and fragile digestive system that can not handle sugar well. Intaking high fructose can even lead to diabetes and other severe health issues to our guinea pigs.
Recommended Supplies For Guinea pigs: Our Top Picks!
Before you learn more,here are some hand-picked supplies for your guinea pigs that you must add to your wishlist today:

Some FAQ On Feeding Potatoes To Guinea Pigs

Feeding Potatoes To Guinea Pigs

A lot of guinea pig owners have questions regarding feeding different parts of potatoes or something made with potatoes to their guinea pigs. But are any of them safe for our guinea pigs? Let’s find out!

Can guinea pigs eat potato peelings?

Potato peelings have a lot more nutritional benefits like Vitamin C, fiber, and potassium as compared with the white flesh inside.

But, the benefits of fiber are neutralized with the presence of starch in it. So, likewise, potato, you even cannot serve potato skin to your guinea pigs. 

Our guinea pigs should mostly depend upon fiber-based diets like grass hay and herbaceous leaves. 

Can guinea pigs eat potato leaves?

No, guinea pigs cannot eat potato leaves at all.

Any plant leaves which belong to the nightshade family cannot be served to our guinea pigs as members of the nightshade family contain the poison named solanine.

Potato is an essential member of the nightshade family. So we cannot serve potato leaves to our guinea pigs as it can give terrible results.

Anything from a potato plant like leaves, vines, and flowers are poisonous to our guinea pigs.

You can provide them with other safe tree branches like apple, willow, birch, etc.

Can guinea pigs eat baked potato

No, guinea pigs cannot eat any type of cooked food. A baked potato is one of them that should be avoided altogether.

Serving potatoes in any form can cause damage to your guinea pig.

Potatoes, either baked or cooked, cannot be served to our guinea pigs. Potatoes contain solanine, which is poisonous for our guinea pigs and cannot be served in any condition. 

Can guinea pigs eat raw potato?

No, guinea pigs cannot eat a potato in any form, whether cooked, baked, or raw.

Potato contains solanine, which is poisonous for our guinea pigs. So considering this, we should avoid serving raw potato to your guinea pigs.

Can guinea pigs eat cooked potato?

Can guinea pigs eat cooked food?

No, guinea pigs cannot eat cooked potato, even if it is boiled without any additional ingredients.

Although, cooked potato removes a significant portion of starch from potatoes, but not all.

Even after cooking potatoes, plenty of regular starch remains, which cannot be digested by our guinea pigs. Diarrhea, constipation and gastrointestinal stasis can still occur with boiled potatoes.

It is better to serve them fresh hay and natural veggies, which provide them all the nutritional benefits to stay active and healthy.

Suggested reading:

Can guinea pigs have potato chips?

Can guinea pigs have potato chips?

Potato chips are pieces of potato that are deep-fried in oil and are seasoned with salt and many other artificial flavors for taste.

If potatoes cannot be served due to its contents, how can potato chips be served?

You cannot serve potato chips in any condition as it is worse than serving potato in any other form.

According to studies, guinea pigs require only 0.5g/kg of salt in their diet, and pellets are enough to fulfill the requirements.

Can guinea pigs eat sweet potatoes?

No, guinea pigs cannot eat sweet potatoes at all.

Potatoes and sweet potatoes only share a common name, but there is no relation between these two as potatoes belong to the nightshade family.

In contrast, sweet potatoes come from a family of Convolvulaceae. They do not share any genetic relation.

But that doesn’t mean you can serve sweet potatoes to your guinea pig as it contains way farther sugar and fat as compared to regular potatoes.

Both the potatoes ( sweet & regular) are equally bad for our guinea pigs.

It is better to serve them fresh hay and natural veggies, which provide them all the nutritional benefits to stay active and healthy.

Here are some Amazing coloring books for adults as well as kids:
Guinea Pig Coloring Book: Let Your Anxiety Go Away!
  • 50 Unique Coloring Designs
  • Only One Design Per Page
  • Printed On Good Quality White Paper With Glossy Cover
  • Sized At 8.5x11, A Perfect Size To Color And Frame!
  • Hours Of Fun And Relaxation For Adults As Well As Kids
Guinea Pig Coloring Book: Halloween Theme
  • 50 Unique Halloween Theme Coloring Designs
  • Printed On Good Quality White Paper With Glossy Cover
  • Sized At 8.5x11, A Perfect Size To Color And Frame!
  • Hours Of Fun and Relaxation For Adults As Well As Kids
  • A Perfect Gift Item!

Can guinea pigs eat sweet potato leaves?

Yes, guinea pigs can eat sweet potato leaves but not more than two times in a week in a moderate quantity as moderation is a key to a healthy life.

Sweet potato leaves do not belong to nightshade family and thus, they are completely safe for our guinea pigs.

Other vegetables that guinea pigs can eat

guinea pig balanced diet
  1. Lettuce: An annual plant of the daisy family, which is grown as a leaf vegetable, has numerous benefits for our guinea pigs as it contains a good amount of Vitamin C and A.
    • Lettuce provides loads of nutrients to guinea pigs, which help them to stay active and healthy. leafy green lettuce can be served daily.
    • It would be best if you did not serve iceberg lettuce to your guinea pig as it can cause diarrhea to your guinea pig.
  2. Carrots: A vegetable that originated in Europe and Southwestern Asia provides many benefits to our guinea pig.
    • It holds a good amount of vitamin C, A, and antioxidants, which is very important for our guinea pig survival.
    • You can feed carrots 2-3 times a week in a moderate quantity as it has a small amount of sugar content.
  3. Zucchini: Zucchini, also known as courgette originated in Mesoamerican, has numerous benefits for our guinea pigs.
    • It holds a good amount of Vitamin C, phosphorus, and many other vitamins and minerals, which gives many nutritional benefits to our guinea pigs.
    • You can serve raw zucchini to your guinea pig but not cooked as cooked zucchini contains many artificial ingredients that can cause serious damage to your guinea pig.
  4. Cucumber: It is a broadly cultivated plant from the gourd family. Also known as Cucurbitaceae which originated in India has many nutritional benefits to guinea pigs.
    • It contains a good amount of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and Vitamin A a significant part of guinea pig’s diet.
    • Cucumber can also be served 2-3 times a week.
  5. Tomatoes: Tomatoes are used as a salad, and it is the most consumed food after potatoes, which contains a good amount of Vitamin C and provides many nutritional benefits to your guinea pig.
    • You cannot serve tomatoes to your guinea pig regularly, as it is acidic.
    • Guinea pigs can eat all types of tomatoes 2-3 times a week in a moderate quantity as moderation is a key to a healthy life.
  6. Cilantro: Cilantro has many nutritional benefits to our guinea pigs, as it is an excellent source of Vitamin C which is an essential vitamin for our guinea pig.
    • It helps prevent scurvy and protects against many other diseases. According to studies, coriander is declared as the safest herbs by many vets that guinea pigs can consume.
    • As it also contains a small amount of calcium and phosphorus, it cannot be served in large quantities.
    • You can still serve a small quantity of coriander 4-5 times a week.

Sources: Diabetes in guinea pigsMineral Balance in Guinea PigsDietary Vitamin C, and Vitamin E on Guinea Pig Immune Responses to MitogensVitamin C requirements of the guinea-pigIs Your Guinea Pig’s Diet Providing the Right Nutrients? Care of Guinea Pigs.

Sharing is caring!

Saurav

Hello, I am Saurav the founder of this blog that's all about guinea pigs. I am an Animal Nutritionist by education but a pet blogger by profession. My motto with this blog is to help guinea pig owners understand their pets better so they can provide them with the life they deserve.

Medical Disclaimer
Our site intends to provide you with the most accurate and updated information about guinea pigs.
However, our site doesn’t provide you with any medical advice for your guinea pigs. For any medical assistance and advice, it is recommended to consult a licensed veterinarian.
You can refer to our Medical Disclaimer page for more information.

Recent Content