We love our pets. We love everything about them. They are our cuddle buddies and the ones we turn to when we’re feeling blue. Our little pals don’t even need to be big to make a huge place in our hearts. Take guinea pigs for example. Who wouldn’t love one of these adorable critters in their home? This is why so many people decide to make guinea pigs their pets.
Unfortunately, while snuggling and playing with a guinea pig is all fun and games, one thing new piggy parents aren’t always aware of is the amount of poop these little cavies can produce. Within the first day or so of owning a guinea pig, you may be pulling out your hair and asking, why do guinea pigs poop so much? The easy answer to your question is that guinea pigs are constantly eating. That means it has to go somewhere, right? Let’s learn a few facts about guinea pigs and their poo. This will help you better understand why there’s so much of it and when there might be a problem.
Understanding Your Guinea Pig’s Appetite and Digestive System
In the wild, a guinea pig would be constantly foraging for food. Why would your pet guinea pig act any differently? Guinea pigs are herbivores with very sensitive digestive systems. Thanks to all the food your guinea pig eats, including hay, to stay healthy your little pal’s digestive system is always at work. All the food they take in needs to come out as quickly as possible, so they continue foraging. When your guinea isn’t getting proper nutrition from their diet, their delicate digestive systems can even begin shutting down.
What Should Guinea Pig Poop Look Like?
While it may seem like a foolish question to ask, knowing what your guinea pig’s poop should look like is essential in ensuring your furry pal is healthy. Normal guinea pig poop should be darkish brown, oval-shaped, and mostly scent-free.
You may also sometimes see your guinea pig pass a second kind of poop. This poop is called a caecotroph. This type of poop is softer and lighter in color than normal guinea pig poop. You’ll also find that this is the poop your guinea pig will eat. This normal behavior is called coprophagy. Yes, it’s gross, but it’s actually beneficial for them. A caecotroph is full of nutrients that your guinea pig’s body didn’t absorb the first time through its digestive system. To keep from losing those valuable extras, your guinea will gobble it up quickly. If you notice any odd-colored or bloody poops, reach out to your veterinarian immediately.
Guinea Pig Poop Facts
Now that you know guinea pig poop is ongoing and what it should look like, let’s learn a few other things about your piggy’s poop.
While it may sound crazy, your guinea pig should poop at least 100 times a day. This can happen in the cage, on you, or on your furniture so be prepared. If your guinea pig is older or starting to lose their mobility you will find that it may not poop as much as it once did. This is completely normal. If your guinea pig’s movements drop below 50 pellets in a day, you should contact your veterinarian.
Size is mostly determined by the size of the guinea pig itself. Naturally, larger pigs will produce larger pellets. These pellets should be rounded on the ends and plump. If you notice they have reduced in size this could mean your guinea pig isn’t taking in enough food.
Your guinea pig should produce poop that is rounded on the ends and firm. You may also notice a bit of a glisten when you see them. If a guinea’s movements are too dry or seem crumbly, this could be a sign that your pet is dehydrated. When they are overly soft, most likely your guinea pig is having a dietary issue and not getting what it needs. If you see your guinea pig is passing watery stools, you should take them to the veterinarian. This is often a sign of infection that requires treatment.
Now that you understand a bit more about your guinea pig’s poo you can keep track of how things are moving and ensure your pet is in good health. While it may be annoying to have guinea pig poop all over your house, it’s a normal part of their lives. Make sure that you keep your pet’s enclosure cleaned regularly so your piggy isn’t living in all the poop they pass.