Guinea pigs are vegetarian and their diet has little fat, so it is unusual for them to become overweight. However, they can gain weight from having too little exercise, being fed too many treats, or suffering from a medical issue like pregnancy or a tumour.
How do I tell if my guinea pig is fat?
Since guinea pigs are fluffy and naturally quite round, it can be hard to distinguish whether your pet is at a healthy weight or not. Generally, overweight guinea pigs don’t run around or play often, since their extra weight quickly tires them out. Look from above to see if your guinea pig has a round shape. This table is a good template for noticing if your guinea pig is overweight.
It can be hard to tell if a guinea pig is obese from weighing them, as healthy weights can vary between breeds, as well as between males and females. However, it may be a good idea to track your pet’s weight once a week, using a typical kitchen scale. This tracking will allow you to notice trends in weight gain. If your guinea pig is rapidly gaining weight, it could be a sign of an underlying health condition.
Preventing your guinea pig from getting fat
Overfeeding your guinea pig is a typical cause of excess weight. Giving your pet too many treats may cause it to eat less of its more nutritious food. Try to give your guinea pig treats with hay as their main ingredient or small portions of more healthy fruit and vegetable pieces. You could also hide their treats around the enclosure, providing some exercise through foraging. Guinea pigs should never be fed high fat or high salt treats. In general, never feed your guinea pig any processed food made for humans.
Hay is one food that can always be fed with confidence, at any volume. It has many nutrients as well as fibre which are both important for a healthy guinea pig. When you measure out its pellets, make sure to follow the portion sizes meant for your guinea pig’s breed and age.
How guinea pigs can lose weight
You should always seek advice from a vet for the best weight loss program for your guinea pig. This will usually involve greater exercise, like allowing your pet out of its cage to roam free in a room with supervision. Your guinea pig will be more motivated to run around if you use toys and games to play with them. You could also hide treats in small spaces such as paper bags or empty tissue boxes. While your pet is within its cage, toys and obstacles like small tunnels encourage them to move around more.
Your guinea pig may also be kept on a diet. This will involve a gradual reduction in the amount of pellets it is given each day. Foods like fruits and vegetables can be fed only a few times a week. Throughout the diet, plenty of water should be given to make sure they stay hydrated.
With care, your pet will soon return to a healthy, happy weight.
Animal–Club provides animal parties or animal handling workshop where your will be able to see, learn and interact with the hamsters and other wonderful animals with the help of our handlers. Our mobile zoo has many fun and friendly animals such as rabbits, tarantulas, geckos, vinegaroons and more that will be perfect for an animal party. We can also come over to your school for an animal school visit or arrange for an animal workshop with us where the children can learn about animal care.