Is your Guinea Pig is Happy and Healthy?

Is your Guinea Pig is Happy and Healthy?

Is your Guinea Pig Happy and Healthy?

As a guinea pig parent, you want the best for your furry little friend. Guinea pigs are naturally peppy, happy and enthusiastic creatures, but there are a few signs to look out for to tell if they truly are happy, healthy, and thriving in their new home. Body language can be a huge indictor to how your guinea pig may be feeling, and it’s important to keep an eye on this so you can ensure the best possible care for them.

In this blog post, I’ll explain the signs of a happy, healthy guinea pig, how to care for them, and signs to watch out for if your guinea pig may be unhappy in their environment.

Dr Bobby Ortiz, small and exotic pet vet, posing with a bunny patient

Dr. Bobby Ortiz, M.V.B.

Dr Bobby Ortiz, aka 'Dogtor Bob', is a small animal and exotic veterinarian based in Dublin. He has a strong interest in Small Mammal (rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets) and Reptile medicine and surgery.

He grew up in a family of avid animal lovers, which led him to work as an Aquarist at the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific in California. It was there he decided he wanted to become a vet, and specialise in exotic animals, that needed the same care and medical attention that dogs and cats are given.

He lives with his wife and Brittany Spaniel Bodhi, and has dreams to build a new tropical marine fish tank in the near future!

Signs of a Happy Guinea Pig

  1. Popcorning

A great way to tell if your guinea pig is content in his environment is when he ‘popcorns’ which is a happy and playful burst of energy and jumping around. This may happen when they get a treat, a pet from their favourite human, or it could just be completely random. If you notice your little piggy jumping around like popcorn, you’re doing something right to make him happy.

  1. Vocalisation

If your guinea pig is happy, he’ll sometimes let you know! He’ll often make happy sounds such as ‘chutt,’ ‘chutter,’ whine, tweet, whistle (single or in long bouts), ‘purr,’ ‘drr’, scream, squeal, chirp, or grunt. It may be when you’re feeding him or petting him or anything to excite them.

  1. Social

If your guinea pig is out of his cage and wants to interact with you as he explores, this is a very good sign he trusts you and wants to be your friend. They are comfortable in their surroundings and trust you mean no harm.

Guinea pig in hands of child. Pet's muzzle close-up. child holds tame domestic rodent in arms. Soft focus
young guinea pig looking up at owner making sound

Signs of a Healthy Guinea Pig

  1. Good Appetite

If your guinea pig is consistently eating and drinking throughout the day and generally has a good appetite, this is a good sign he is healthy and thriving.

  1. Healthy Coat

You’ll want to make sure your guinea pig has a glossy, shiny coat with no sores or bald patches. If you do notice any sores or bald spots, make sure to contact your vet for advice.

  1. No discharge

Ensure there is no discharge around the eyes, ears, nose or mouth, and that they are completely clean. Also check for any skin irritations or crustiness.

  1. Dental

Inspect your guinea pig’s teeth and make sure they are not broken, or have much food stuck between them.

  1. No lumps or bumps

Gently feel around your guinea pig’s body to ensure there are no lumps or bumps. If you do feel a bump that doesn’t feel right, take your guinea pig to the vets right away.

  1. Clean bum area

Make sure there are no faeces or urine stuck to their bum and no signs of diarrhoea.

How Do I Know if my Guinea Pig is Unhealthy?

If your guinea is experiencing any health issues or complications, make sure to consult your vet. Some signs to watch out for are…

  1. Sneezing
  2. Diarrhoea
  3. Anorexia/losing weight
  4. Lack of faeces/constipation
  5. Difficulty walking

Guinea pigs will try hide signs of disease and pain due to being a prey species. It’s essential that if you see any of these signs, you get them to a vet straight away.

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