Can Guinea Pigs Eat Yam? [Is It Safe For Them?]

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Can guinea pigs eat yams? Yes, guinea pigs can have varieties of yams, including peels and leaves.

These root vegetables are a good source of vitamin C, which helps the guinea pigs to survive. But, due to their high sugar content, Yams should be given in moderation.

Interested in how you can optimize this yam diet for your guinea? Read more.

Key Takeaways

  • Adding yams can be an excellent addition to your guinea pig’s diet (even for the little ones!)
  • Feeding yams are safe for your guinea pig. Anyhow, be careful with too much of a good thing!
  • Feeding yams to your guinea is super simple. But I advise that you treat these plants first to optimize your guinea’s health.

Is It Safe For Guinea Pigs To Eat Yam?

Yam’s exist in the list of safe foods for guinea pigs. Yams don’t contain toxins that can harm the guinea, so feeding them is safe. But yam contains calcium, and it’s rich in carbohydrates.

yams, can guinea pigs eat yam

Both of these can be dangerous for your guinea.

As for calcium, for young guinea pigs that are still growing, calcium is okay for them. They need calcium for growth and bone development.

However, for adult guinea pigs, calcium can become a problem.

Feeding food high in calcium makes them prone to bladder and kidney stones, blood in the urine, and urinary tract infections.

If not treated in time, the outcome can be fatal.

As for carbohydrates, they can both hurt young and adult guinea pigs.

When yams are fed to the guinea pigs in large amounts too often, it can cause them to become fat and develop high blood pressure.

Health Benefits of Yam for Guinea Pigs

Yam is full of nutrition that can benefit the guinea pigs. It is a good source of fiber, protein, and amounts of vitamin C.

One cup (136 grams) of baked yams provides:

  • Calories:158
  • Carbs:37 grams
  • Protein:2 grams
  • Fat:0 grams
  • Fiber:5 grams
  • Vitamin C:18% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Vitamin B5:9% of the DV
  • Manganese:22% of the DV
  • Magnesium:6% of the DV
  • Potassium:19% of the DV
  • Thiamine:11% of the DV
  • Copper:23% of the DV
  • Folate:6% of the DV

The above is data from the USDA [1].

Below are some of the health benefits of feeding yams to your guinea pigs:

1. Antioxidants

Like sweet potatoes and regular potatoes, Yams are packed with vitamin A. One terrific vitamin, it not only boosts overall immunity but is also an antioxidant.

“What good are antioxidants” you may ask. Antioxidants help prevent free radicals from damaging the cells in the guinea pig’s body.

Too many free radicals can cause them to become sick and even die. Free radicals are molecules caused by many factors.

It can be from the guinea pigs’ food, cigarette smoke, and radiation. All of this contribute to free radicals building up in the body.

2. Scurvy Prevention

The high amount of vitamin C [2] that yam has can help protect them from scurvy disease.

This disease is typical among guinea pigs, especially those in captivity. If the condition is not treated, it will lead to loss of appetite, weight loss, rough coat, bleeding, and weight loss.

To prevent the scurvy disease from affecting your guinea pigs, they’ll need a lot of vitamin C, like those found in yams.

3. Heart Health

Who doesn’t like a good heart? It’s no secret that potassium is excellent for the heart. You can be sure that your portion of yam contains some of this healing chemical.

4. Healthy Blood

Yams contain lots of iron and essential vitamins, such as vitamin K. This lovely vitamin keeps your guinea healthy and its blood sugar levels under control.

The result? Your guinea will feel more energetic and have a healthier immune system.

Can Baby Guinea Pigs Eat Yam?

Baby guineas can eat yam, but you should wait until they are at least 3 weeks old. Still, they are known to start eating vegetables at only 3 days old.

This habit will depend mainly on their mother. To test, try placing tiny pieces of yam by the baby guinea. If their mom approves, she will show them how to eat it.

Once they are around 3 weeks old, they will stop depending on their mother’s milk and start eating other food. Test this by giving them a small piece of yam at first!

This simple experiment will test whether they get sick from the yam. The most common reaction will be diarrhea and vomiting. If they do, please stop.

But, you may continue if the baby guinea pigs enjoy eating it and do not react to it.

Please feed them small pieces of yam once a week until they are grown up.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Yam Peels?

Please do not feed yam peels to your Guinea. They contain harmful compounds which will be fatal. So, chemicals, such as pesticides and fertilizers used, should be avoided.

The peel will absorb most of the soil’s chemicals when the yam grows. As a result, it might be best if you remove the peel before feeding yams to your guinea.

Related: Can Guinea Pigs Eat Potato Peels?

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Yam Leaves?

Yam leaves are very nutritious and contain amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, riboflavin, fiber, and iron. For that reason, you can feed yam leaves to guinea pigs.

Since it’s a leafy green, you can give them regularly.

How To Feed Yam To Guinea Pigs?

Feeding yam to your guinea pigs is simple. Below are the steps to preparing and feeding yam to them:

  • Wash the yams thoroughly with clean water. This process will remove dirt and other debris from the root vegetable.
  • Peel the skin of the yam.
  • Cut or dice them into small chunks. This process will make it easier for them to eat and digest it. A little disclaimer: Do NOT cook the plant. Cooked foods contain harmful toxins and can be fatal to these little creatures. 

When you feed them the yam, give them only a small amount to see if your guinea reacts. If they vomit or have diarrhea, it’s best to quit.

How Much Yam To Feed Guinea Pigs?

It would be best if you only fed yam to your guinea pigs in moderation. While it’s very nutritious, it’s also high in calcium and starch, which are both dangerous in high amounts for them.

yams, can guinea pigs eat yam

Yams should only make up 10% of the guinea pig’s overall diet.

The rest should come from hay and leafy greens, food for guinea pigs also benefits their overall mental health. What’s more, they contain dietary fiber.

These should make up the bulk of their diet. Hay should be provided and available to them at all times.

To ensure your guinea pigs don’t have any health issues from eating yam, you should give a handful of yam once or twice weekly.


Do guinea pigs eat raw yams?

Absolutely! You may give them raw thanks to these lovely goodies’ nutritional benefits.

What are the risks of eating yams?

Too much of a good thing is terrible, and yams are no different. High in carbohydrates, yams can disrupt their digestion and cause them to gain weight. So check up on your little friend and consult a vet to ensure their new diet is trusted.


So, can guinea pigs eat yam? you bet!

I hope you enjoyed this helpful article on how yams can benefit your guinea. Yet, please be careful when feeding them cooked yam.

They can also get sick if you don’t prepare the meals correctly. So be careful. 

If you feed them correctly, yams can be included in their natural diet. They contain excessive amounts of nutrients, amounts of calcium, and a handful of minerals. 

a guinea pig trying to eat food but can guinea pigs eat yam

Do you have any tips? Please share them in the comments!


  • 1. FoodData Central [Internet]. Available from:
  • 2. Jacob RA, Sotoudeh G. Vitamin C Function and Status in Chronic Disease. Nutrition in Clinical Care [Internet]. 2002;5:66–74. Available from:

Grigorina grew up surrounded by animals – dogs, cats, cows, goats, sheep, and horses and that has shaped her into what I am today – a crazy cat lady who always has a place for one more cat (or a dog). She has two female cats – Kitty and Roni, and two tomcats – Blacky and Shaggy, but she also feeds her neighbors’ cats when they come for a visit. I just can’t say no to them. Follow her on FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM
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