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As a pet owner, you always want to share everything with your guinea pig; it is pretty much normal. However, can guinea pigs eat sweet potatoes? Yes, guinea pigs can eat sweet potato but in moderation. An excess amount of sweet potato can result in health complications. High oxalates and carbohydrates can cause serious health implications.
Sweet potatoes are very tasty, and guinea pigs love to eat them. they go by several names globally, e.g., gold sweet potato, orange sweet potato, kumara and several local names.
However, the question is whether they are beneficial to feed your guinea pig or not. And if they are beneficial, what are those benefits that your guinea pig can attain.
What are the health benefits of feeding sweet potatoes to guinea pigs?
Can guinea pigs eat sweet potatoes? What are the health benefits? Sweet potatoes are very delicious and have several health benefits for your guinea pig. I have mentioned all the benefits that your guinea pig can attain.
Good for vision
The presence of vitamin A in sweet potatoes determines better sight and vision. Vitamin A is responsible for normal vision and sight in the body.
Additionally, beta carotenes make the sweet potato more beneficial for eyesight and vision. Both these compounds boost vision and prevent eye-related complications and infections.
Free radicals are the product of the body’s metabolism that are harmful to the body. Free radicals tend to oxidize and damage body cells; resultantly, they are harmful to your guinea pig’s well-being.
Antioxidants are compounds that help in the elimination of these free radicals. Sweet potato contains antioxidants that provide a great deal of antioxidant property.
The brain is the most important organ of the body. Feeding sweet potatoes to your guinea pig helps improve the functioning of the brain and prevents many diseases.
Anthocyanin present in sweet potatoes is responsible for several positive benefits towards preventing diseases of the brain.
Prevent and reduce inflammation
Inflammation is a normal response of the body against damage. But, severe inflammation results in impairment of functions. Sweet potato contains anthocyanin, which is responsible for the reduction of inflammation.
Sweet potato contains antioxidants and fibre that help contribute a lot to gut health. Antioxidants prevent the gut from free radicals, while fibre helps maintain the motility of the gut. Both these compounds contribute to the health and well-being of your guinea pig.
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Aids in digestion
The presence of dietary fibre in sweet potato helps boost the digestion process. Sweet potato contains two types of dietary fibre, soluble and insoluble dietary fibre. Both these fibres are essential in boosting the digestion process.
The soluble fibre in sweet potato absorbs the water and makes the stool soft, helping motility and digestion.
Sweet potato improves the immune system. It is important to know that an individual’s entire well-being depends on the working of the immune system. Sweet potato contains several compounds that help in boosting the immune system.
What are the possible risks of feeding sweet potatoes to guinea pigs?
Can guinea pigs eat sweet potatoes? What are the possible risks? Sweet potato is relatively safe for guinea pigs. It means its beneficial effects outweigh the harmful effects.
Additionally, they can be minimized by feeding sweet potatoes in moderation. Let us discuss the possible harmful effects of feeding sweet potatoes to guinea pigs.
High level of oxalates and starch
Sweet potato contains high levels of oxalates and starch that are not suitable for feeding guinea pigs. High oxalates pose the risk of developing kidney and bladder stones.
Whereas high starch levels tend to accumulate fat in the body, guinea pig suffers from obesity. Obesity is associated with other severe health problems too.
Not all, but some guinea pigs can be prone to allergic reactions. If your guinea pig shows allergic signs after eating sweet potato, you should stop feeding sweet potato.
How should you feed sweet potato to your guinea pig?
Can guinea pigs eat sweet potatoes? It is important to feed sweet potatoes in moderation. You should feed sweet potatoes only once a week. The per-serving quantity of sweet potato should be three to four ½ or 1-inch cubes.
Guinea pigs have sensitive stomachs; it will be better to feed them raw sweet potato instead of other preparations.
Compared to cooked or boiled sweet potato, raw sweet potato is better for your guinea pig. It provides more nutrients and matches more with the normal diet of guinea pigs in the wild.
Conclusion – Can guinea pigs eat sweet potatoes?
If you want the final verdict, can guinea pigs eat sweet potato? Yes, you should feed sweet potato to your guinea pigs but in moderation.