guinea pig

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Potatoes? (Safe?Dangerous?)

The health of a guinea pig will not benefit as much from potatoes, even though they are generally regarded as healthy! Therefore, can guinea pigs eat potatoes? They shouldn’t eat potatoes, is the quick response.

Not all potatoes are harmful or toxic.

You enjoy cooking potatoes, or you enjoy eating French fries, mashed potatoes, or any other type of potato if you would love to feed some to your guinea pigs.

Did you also know that potatoes and guinea pigs are native to Peru?

This study claims that they created solanine as a defense mechanism against rodents like guinea pigs and attack by fungi or diseases.

Are they safe for guinea pigs? No, it’s preferable to stay away from them and seek out healthier alternatives (I’ll give you a few in a moment).

If you’d like to learn more about guinea pig-safe foods and potatoes for them, please continue reading.


Why Guinea Pigs Cannot Eat Potatoes

The Nutrients Potatoes Contain

Before We discuss these risks, let’s first review some of the nutrients potatoes contain.

Vitamin C

In a report from the FAO’s Nutrition and Consumer Protection Division, it is stated that potatoes are extremely high in vitamin C.

Because they are unable to synthesize it, guinea pigs require vitamin C in their diet. Additionally, it promotes healthy blood vessel function, bone development, and general well-being.

Scurvy, a disease marked by problems with the joints and bones, could result from a lack of this vitamin C. Sadly, they are unable to include potatoes in their diet.


This study also found that potatoes contain significant amounts of dietary fiber, which promotes digestive health.

Additionally, fiber aids in the removal of extra cholesterol and promotes regular bowel movements.

Carbs and Starch

Almost 70% of the dry matter that goes into making potatoes is made up of carbs or starch.

Starch is beneficial for digestion, regulating blood sugar and insulin sensitivity, and guinea pigs need carbohydrates for energy.

However, potatoes have too much starch, making them unsuitable for guinea pigs.


Calcium, magnesium, potassium, and copper are all abundant in potatoes. Calcium strengthens bones and teeth, potassium lowers blood pressure and prevents heart disease, copper promotes the production of red blood cells, and calcium strengthens bones and teeth.

Additionally, copper prevents anemia and helps the guinea pig’s body absorb iron by collaborating with vitamin C.

Other Vitamins

Vitamins B1 (thiamin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), and B6 are all present in significant amounts in potatoes.

Heart, nervous, and digestive system health are all maintained by vitamin B1.

Controlling cholesterol levels and the severity of arthritis pain requires vitamin B3. While vitamin B6 helps to reduce physical stress, vitamin B5 aids in metabolism.

Risks of Feeding Guinea Pigs Potatoes

The health problems listed below are some of those that may arise after consuming this vegetable.

  • Digestive issues
    • As was previously mentioned, potatoes have an excessive amount of solanine and alkaloids, which can lead to fatal outcomes and cause diarrhea, upset stomach, and death.
    • Alkaloids can be harmful to people as well. Just the amounts present in fresh potatoes aren’t dangerous.
    • In order to avoid consuming high concentrations of these toxins, advises against eating potatoes that have turned green or potato sprouts.
  • Complications in the urinary tract
    • In order to build and strengthen bones, calcium is necessary.
    • However, when there is an excessive amount of it, it binds with oxalates to produce kidney stones in the kidney and along the urethra.
    • According to the Unusual Pet Vets, these stones result in excruciating pain, blood in the urine, and inflammation.
  • Rapid Weight gain
    • The number of calories, sugar, and carbohydrates in guinea pigs are substantial.
    • These are some of the main causes of guinea pigs gaining excessive weight, which results in heart disease and other health problems.
    • Fructose, a type of sugar, contributes to digestive issues in guinea pigs.
    • Regardless of the fact that they don’t contain as much sugar as strawberries, guinea pigs still don’t need them.

What’s the Worst That Could Happen?

Possibly nothing; conceivably a sick guinea pig. In particular, if given consistently over time, potatoes’ high carbohydrate content is useless to guinea pigs. In the wild, they graze on grasses and other plants because they are strict herbivores. Keep a close eye out for behavioral changes or unusual poop if one of your guinea pigs gets its paws on some potato sprouts, leaves, or peelings.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Potatoes-related Food

Potato Leaves?

No, cavies shouldn’t consume potato leaves. The nightshade plant family includes potatoes, which are known to contain the toxin solanine.

In guinea pigs, this toxin causes severe diarrhea, gastrointestinal distress, and sore throats.

Potato Chips?

Potato Chips

It is incorrect to feed potato chips to guinea pigs. The salt in potato chips is too salty and they are deep-fried.

Avoid potato chips at all costs because the digestive system of the guinea pig cannot process these ingredients. French fries fit the same scenario.

Cooked Potato?

Even though they’ve only been boiled, cooked potatoes are not safe for guinea pigs.

Although some toxins may be neutralized by cooking, cooked potatoes still contain too many carbohydrates, which are harmful to guinea pigs.

Given that they can’t digest cooked food and that cooking additives may be toxic and cause serious digestive problems in guinea pigs, you should avoid giving them any cooked food.

Potato Peelings?

No, they shouldn’t, as the peelings are toxic to guinea pigs and also contain too much starch, even though they may be a good source of fiber, minerals, and vitamin C.

Hay should be guinea pigs’ best source of fiber and vitamin C (more on this later).

Baked Potato?

No, baked potatoes are not secure either. Even as-is, raw potatoes are poisonous.

They will only get worse after baking because they now contain more sugar, starch, and additives.

Whenever possible, stay away from potatoes and anything that even tastes like them.

Potato Sprouts?

The shoots that grow at the potato eyes are known as sprouts, and they are toxic to both humans and guinea pigs.

Sweet Potatoes?

sweet potato

Yes, you can give guinea pigs sweet potatoes.

But since sweet potatoes have excessive amounts of sugar, fat, and oxalic acid, it is best to feed them in moderation.

Sweet potatoes and potatoes have the same name, but they come from different genetic families.

In contrast to potatoes, which contain solanine, alkaloids, and other toxins, sweet potatoes are members of the Convolvulaceae family.

Sweet Potato Leaves?

Guinea pigs can consume sweet potato leaves without harm. They don’t have the same amount of solanine as Irish potatoes.

Your guinea pig can have something sweet without getting too much sugar by eating sweet potatoes! But excessive consumption can also be harmful to your guinea pigs. Too much sugar can result in the onset of diabetes and even obesity, so it’s all about finding the right balance.

This implies that it’s crucial for you to restrict how much your guinea pig consumes of it.

What to Do If Your Guinea Pigs Eat Potatoes?

Guinea pigs will chew on anything that resembles food, as was already mentioned.

Therefore, do not be shocked if they consume potatoes, potato peelings, or any other potato plant parts. Sometimes, nothing might happen.

But keep an eye on your pet for a while.

Make sure they drink enough fresh water and contact your vet as soon as you notice any changes in their health, such as lethargy, loose stools, pain, blood in their urine, or anything else.

How Often Should You Feed Guinea Pigs Potatoes?

One more time, never give your guinea pigs potatoes. They may be good for your health, but guinea pigs cannot eat them because of their nutritional needs.

Other Dangerous Foods


More foods that are poisonous to guinea pigs are listed below.

Animal Products

Herbivores include guinea pigs. In the wild, they rely on twigs, leaves, and other vegetation to survive.

They are lactose intolerant as well. Since their digestive systems have never processed animal products like meat, milk, cream, fish, yogurt, cheese, or eggs, they are unable to do so.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds shouldn’t be given to guinea pigs as they contain too much fat and the larger seeds can cause choking.

Make sure the product you buy doesn’t contain seeds because seeds are frequently included in pellets.


Guinea pigs are extremely toxic to this perennial plant with reddish stalks and green leaves.

As I’ve already mentioned, the main causes of bladder sludge are an excessive amount of calcium and oxalic acid, which are present in this substance.

Additionally, rhubarbs are a good source of sugar, acids, fat, salt, phosphorus, and other nutrients that guinea pigs do not like. Don’t let your guinea pigs graze if you have this plant in your garden.

Processed Food

Additionally bad for guinea pigs are foods like chocolate, ice cream, bread, pizza, and any canned or frozen fruit or vegetables.

Animal and dairy products are found in the majority of these foods. Others have additives that are harmful to your cavies, such as salt, sugar, sodium, preservatives, and others.

Rabbit Food

You should always look for guinea pig-specific foods rather than rabbit or any other small pet food. These animals all require various diets.

For instance, since guinea pigs are unable to produce their own vitamin C, foods for them are fortified with it.

However, you can find pet food with high levels of one nutrient that cavies might not need and low levels of vitamin C.


onions/garlic/leeks, mushrooms, raw beans and lentils, iceberg lettuce, avocado, coconut, hot peppers, herbs, and spices are a few other unsafe foods.

What Should Guinea Pigs Eat?

Let’s go over what guinea pigs should eat now that you are aware of the foods they should and should not eat, such as potatoes.

Commercial food: Select vitamin C-fortified pellets devoid of seeds or dried fruit. It’s important to provide your guinea pig with vitamin C-rich vegetables and fruit every day because the vitamin typically deteriorates rather quickly. Once a day, about 1/8 cup of pellets will be sufficient, along with hay and fresh vegetables as explained below.

Timothy hay: Every day, give out an infinite amount of fresh Timothy hay. To aid in digestion and control tooth growth, guinea pigs require constant access to hay.

Fruit and vegetables: One cup of fresh vegetables per guinea pig per day, or about one serving, can be given once a day. The majority of your pig’s fresh produce should be made up of leafy greens like kale, cilantro, parsley, red and green leaf lettuce, and romaine lettuce. It’s best to offer variety by serving various greens every day. Broccoli and peppers, which come in red or green varieties, are excellent daily choices because they are high in vitamin C. Include once or twice a week carrots, zucchini, tomatoes, or sweet potatoes.

Offering fruit as a special treat once a day or several times a week works well. Since fruit is high in sugar, keep portions small; a small wedge of an orange or apple, a few blueberries, or a thin slice of a banana will do just fine. Vitamin C levels are high in citrus, strawberries, and kiwis.

To prevent diarrhea, gradually introduce new fruits and vegetables. Reintroduce fresh produce in smaller portions after reducing it for a few days if your guinea pig starts to have loose stools.

Other Guinea Pig Feeding Tips

  • Assure them of a steady supply of fresh water.
  • After 24 hours, remove any leftover vegetables, pellets, and other food from the cage.
  • Start with small amounts when introducing new food and build up gradually.
  • Before introducing a new food, seek medical advice, especially if your pet has any health issues.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Potatoes FAQs

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Bread?

Bread is safe for guinea pigs to eat, but garlic and onion-flavored bread should be avoided.

Can Guinea Pigs Have Bananas?

You can mash the banana between your fingers for a tasty treat or serve it as a thin slice. Overall, bananas can be a great treat every once in a while for healthy guinea pigs. Like potassium and vitamin C, which are both essential for the health of your pig, they have many positive health effects.

When to Feed Guinea Pigs?

Timothy hay should always be available as it is an essential component of the guinea pig’s diet.

Feeding your cavy twice a day is a good idea in addition to providing hay. To aid in avoiding overeating and subsequently obesity, do so both in the morning and at night.