Guinea pigs like to eat a lot, in fact they eat constantly, which can lead to a situation where they become fat.
My guinea pig is either eating or drinking water every time I see him, so I’m very worried that he maybe get fat. So I did some research on what to do if your guinea pig gets fat and here’s what I found.
What to do if the guinea pig is fat?
If the guinea pig is fat, you need to change its diet, to have more activities, and not to give them treats or healthy snacks that contain a lot of calories.
In today’s article you will learn what to do if the guinea pig is fat, how to know that it is fat and other questions related to the topic.
What to do if the guinea pig is fat?
If the guinea pig is fat, you should help them lose weight and get back to normal weight, which is good for their health.
There are several ways for guinea pigs to lose weight:
- less pleasures with food
- healthy diet
- more activities
Let’s take a closer look at these three ways to help your guinea pig lose weight and get back in top shape.
Fewer pleasures with food
To prevent guinea pigs from getting fat, you need to be careful about the treats you give them, such as healthy snacks.
It’s okay to give them a healthy snack every now and then, but if you do it every day your guinea pig will gain weight.
Guinea pigs will probably start making noises that they are hungry between meals, but that doesn’t mean you should always feed them high-calorie food.
For a healthy snack, give them a salad or a vegetable rich in water, such as a cucumber, which does not have many calories and has a lot of water.
When you give them a healthy snack with few calories then the guinea pigs will not gain weight.
Guinea pigs need a varied diet to prevent them from gaining weight, because if they eat the same food full of calories then you can be sure that the guinea pig will gain weight.
The best combination for a healthy diet without making the guinea pigs fat is:
Guinea pigs need to eat foods rich in vitamin C in order to have a proper intake of this vitamin, which they cannot produce on their own.
If you pay attention to their diet and do not give them too much food with calories, sugar, and fat, your guinea pigs will not gain weight and will be in great shape.
Guinea pigs need enough toys, tunnels, and other entertainment to keep them moving and not getting fat. If guinea pigs do not have enough activities and just sit in their cage then they can gain weight.
You should occasionally let them out of the cage so they can run and play in a larger area that will allow them to burn calories and keep in shape.
It is best if you have enough time to let her out of the cage for an hour every day to run and burn calories.
How do you know if a guinea pig is fat?
Guinea pigs are small animals and it is a little more difficult to know if your pet is fat or not.
Guinea pigs have a slightly different build that cannot tell if they are fat or not, visually it is a little harder to know if they are the right weight.
That’s why I’m going to suggest a few ways to help you know if your pet is fat or not.
Body weight measurement
By measuring the body weight of guinea pigs you can check if your pet is fat or in top shape.
The standard weight of guinea pigs is about 2.5 kilograms, but this can vary depending on their breed and age.
You need to weigh the guinea pig once a week to know if it is fat or not.
Here’s how to measure your guinea pig:
- Measure it once a week on the same day.
- Use a kitchen scale to measure the guinea pig accurately.
- Place the guinea pig in a container so you can weigh it more easily and put it on a scale and subtract the weight of the container.
A guinea pig’s behavior is an indicator of whether it is fat
When guinea pigs are obese they behave differently than normal-weight guinea pigs.
When they are fat they move differently, they cannot be very mobile and the fur itself has a different appearance.
When guinea pigs lie down more than normal then it is because of their obesity.
They then move less because obesity affects their normal breathing, they have more fat deposits and therefore they cannot run and play as much as possible inside or outside the cage.
Problems with walking
When guinea pigs are fat they cannot walk in a normal way, their stomach is rounder and it affects their walking.
Guinea pigs will not be able to walk as normally as lighter guinea pigs and this is easily noticeable if you watch them how they move.
Less trimmed fur
When guinea pigs are fat they have a problem in their regular body grooming.
This happens because due to the thickness, they will not be able to clean themselves well everywhere, especially this applies to the back of the body and the back.
When you notice that their fur doesn’t look good it means they are fat and can’t groom themselves properly.
You can tell if a guinea pig is fat by holding it in your hands
When you hold the guinea pig in your hands, you can tell if it is of normal weight or fat.
If you feel on your hands how his bones are more pronounced and there is not enough meat between them then it is leaner, while when it is thicker you will feel fatty tissue.
Guinea pigs when they are thick their bones will not stick out and will be less noticeable.
Why do guinea pigs get fat?
Guinea pigs are vegetarians and should not have frequent weight problems.
But sometimes they can also gain weight due to poor nutrition, too little activity, too much feeding, and a small cage.
So let’s read together about all these factors that can affect his weight and make your pet fat.
Overfeeding will make the guinea pig fat
Guinea pigs can eat too much and get fat. This happens when the guinea pig was not well cared for by the previous owner and has been taught to starve, that is, to eat too much every time it gets food.
It was learned from the fear of running out of food whenever he has the opportunity to eat as much as he can because he does not know if he will get food again.
In any case, guinea pigs should be fed regularly, but in moderate amounts, so that they do not overeat and gain weight.
A poor diet will make the guinea pig fat
In order to have a normal body weight, guinea pigs need to eat hay, vegetables, and fruits and, of course, drink water.
However, some owners change their guinea pig’s diet and give them many additional types of food that are high in calories.
For example, if guinea pigs eat nuts, seeds, and grains very often they will gain weight.
This kind of supplementary food has a lot of calories, is more difficult to digest in their digestive system, and makes the guinea pig fat.
Too little activity will make the guinea pig fat
Guinea pigs will get fat if they don’t get enough exercise.
This means running and playing in the cage, and outside in your room or in the yard that is well secured from predators beforehand.
A guinea pig needs enough exercise to burn off the calories from food. If it just lies in the cage, it will not burn calories and will start to gain weight.
Exercise is very important, even more, important than diet, because you can’t just reduce the amount of food to keep your pet in top shape.
If you reduce the amount of food, you risk less intake of nutrients that his body needs.
While exercising and eating more will burn off excess calories, he will not gain weight and will be in good health.
Is it okay if the guinea pig is fat?
Generally speaking, if guinea pigs are fat, it is not good, except when they are sick and when they will not be able to eat, so they will use up their reserves, in all other cases obesity is not good.
Here are some health problems that can occur when guinea pigs gain weight.
Bumblefoot is a disease that occurs in guinea pigs when they are fat because the weight puts a strain on their feet.
There is pain and irritation in the limbs of the guinea pigs, difficulties in movement, and they may even start to bend when they walk.
There is a solution for bumblefoot, i.e. therapy and medication, but recovery is a little slower and can last up to 6 months.
Problems with breathing
When guinea pigs are obese, they have breathing problems, as the weight puts pressure on their lungs and makes it difficult to breathe normally.
Then, since the guinea pigs do not have enough capacity to inhale air, they begin to tire quickly.
When the lungs have a problem, it can also lead to the appearance of diseases in the respiratory system.
Flystrike is a condition where guinea pigs have fly eggs on their fur and skin due to their obesity and inability to groom themselves properly.
This condition can be dangerous for the life of the guinea pigs, especially if the maggots start feeding on the skin of the guinea pigs.
Therefore, if you notice fly eggs on the skin of guinea pigs, you should take them to the vet.
Diabetes is a dangerous disease that occurs in guinea pigs when they are obese.
This happens because there is an increase in sugar in the blood.
Overweight guinea pigs are prone to diabetes because they have a lot of fat and sugar in their bodies.
When guinea pigs are obese they start to have heart problems and the risk of cardiovascular disease.
This happens because the guinea pigs then have more fat that can accumulate around the heart and cause heart attacks and strokes.
When guinea pigs are fat, it affects the heart, making it difficult for it to function and requires more effort to work properly.
When guinea pigs are fat, we should pay attention to their diet, more activities, and fewer pleasures in their diet.
If a guinea pig is fat, it is prone to disease and problems with movement and health.
To know if the guinea pig is fat, you should regularly weigh it on a scale, at least once a week.
Guinea pigs should eat hay, vegetables, and fruits, and of course, drink water so that they can maintain a normal body weight along with more activities.