Is your Guinea over weight?

Is your Guinea over weight?

Guinea pigs are very adorable animals. Their big nose, delightful wheeking call, and unique walk endear them to virtually everyone. If you are lucky enough to care for a pair or group of these precious beings, you might be tempted to spoil them.

Spoiling your guinea pigs is not a bad idea, but only to a degree and only in some areas. Getting your companion an extra, large habitat; lots of toys; and lots of attention from you are some of the wonderful ways you can shower your love and spoil your guinea pigs. So is giving your Guinea pig a balanced diet and some sensible treats, in moderation.

Now giving food and treats is a tricky part as food is an area where guinea pig keepers might go a bit overboard.

So with a body shape that is identical to a rounded brick, how then can you tell if your guinea pig is fat, and how do you prevent or treat a guinea pig with obesity?


Telling If Your Guinea Pig Is Fat

Trying to discern whether or not a guinea pig is fat or not is not as easy as you might think because the normal body shape of your guinea pig would make it difficult. Also, some guinea pigs are larger than others. Their weights can differ from 900 to 1,200 grams for males and 700 to 900 grams for females.

One of the best tools used to determine whether your guinea pig is overweight is a gram scale. Weighing your guinea pigs every week to track their normal weight and regular weigh-ins will assist you in spotting any trends in weight gain or loss. A gram scale will track smaller increments, which is why it is very beneficial to use for weighing small animals like guinea pigs.

Asides from weigh-ins, you could also carry out a thorough inspection of your guinea pig.  Find out if it walks any differently? If it seems more lethargic? You could also look at your pet from above to see if its sides are looking bulgy. If you come across anything that would hint at excess weight, don’t ignore it.

The Guinea Pig-Size-O-Meter from the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association in the United Kingdom would offer you more insight on what to look for before judging whether a guinea pig is overweight.


Finally, if you notice that your guinea pig is putting on weight, make sure you consult your pet expert. A sudden increase or loss of weight could be an indication of a medical problem, including pregnancy or a tumour. You could out bloat. Bloat involves the distension of the abdomen. It happens over hours and is a medical emergency that needs immediate veterinary care.

Once a medical concern is ruled out, get your veterinarian’s opinion about your guinea pig’s weight.


Preventing Your Guinea Pig From Getting Obese

Guinea Pig Food:

Taking too much food and getting too little exercise is usually the cause of excess weight gain. However, one food that you can free-feed your pet with confidence is hay. Guinea pigs need high fibre of hay to wear down their constantly growing teeth and to keep their digestive tract moving. The nutrients in hay are important to your guinea pig's health. Don’t worry about feeding too much hay as long as the hay is grass hay and not alfalfa.

Also, vitamin C-fortified guinea pig pellets are essential for good health as Guinea pigs cannot make their own vitamin C, and over time, they get very sick without this vitamin. Other foods like vegetables and some fruit, add variety and additional nutrients.

Take time to research the types of vegetables and fruit safe for guinea pigs to eat. For example, feeding your pet food high in calcium, oxalic acid, or sugar should be limited quality or not fed at all.

Junk food like candy, cookies, ice cream, cake, potato chips, doughnuts, cheese curls or any food with high fat, high sugar or high salt is not for guinea pigs.



Guinea Pig Toys and Accessories

Ensure your pet gets a lot of exercise by providing foraging toys and some Guinea Pig Accessories can come in handy for taking care of your pet.


© 2023 Scarletts Rat Essentials. All Rights Reserved. VAT. Registration No. 106 2787 19