Causes of a loss of appetite in a guinea pig. When a guinea pig loses its appetite it is a time to be concerned. One of the things that guinea pigs love to do is to eat. They always need to be chewing something, to help grind their teeth down. If they don’t grind down their teeth, their teeth start to hurt them. They also love to eat because they are big eaters. They will usually eat until they are full and enjoy hunting for food to eat.
So when a guinea pig isn’t eating, it is a serious cause for concern.
Why might this be?
There are three reasons why a guinea pig may not be eating and has a loss of appetite.
My new guinea pig is scared. This is a common thing for a guinea pig to experience. Guinea pigs are very timid creatures and will run away from the smallest of threats. This is because they are predator animals and so will protect themselves from threats to their existence.
They can get very scared if they disturbed in any way and are always on the lookout for threats.
My new guinea pig is scared
So when they go to a new environment like a home with unfamiliar people, a guinea pig will get scared. You may well find that they hide out for a while and take their time to learn to trust you.
But there are some things you can do to help them become less scared.
What should I do with my guinea pig during a storm?
A storm is any disturbed state of an environment or in an astronomical body’s atmosphere especially affecting its surface, and strongly implying severe weather.
It may be marked by significant disruptions to normal conditions such as strong wind, tornados, hail, thunder and lightning (a thunderstorm), heavy precipitation (snowstorm, rainstorm), heavy freezing rain (ice storm), strong winds (tropical cyclone, windstorm), or wind transporting some substance through the atmosphere as in a dust storm, blizzard, sandstorm, etc. (source)
Whenever it storms it can be quite a scary time for a guinea pig. They hate loud bangs and things that rattle and bang against their cage or hutch.
So what can we do to help?
What should I do with my guinea pig during a storm?
During a storm, a guinea pig should be kept safe. The best thing you could do for them is to take them inside either into your home or into an outhouse which is secure and safe for them and keeps them away from the elements such as the wind, rain or snow.
Keeping them away from the elements means that they are away from harm and potentially in a warm place.
If you can put them in your home, this is the best place for them and will ensure that they are warm and secure.
When they are inside your home they will benefit from the time they spend with you and your family. The warmth of your home will benefit them from a health point of view. It will be so much better for them than being outside.
They will also benefit from the social interaction with you and your family. They are social creatures and love to spend time with others, whether guinea pigs or people.
If you can’t bring them into your home, then consider putting them in an out house or shed which is dry and free of drafts. This too is a much better place for them than being outside exposed to the elements.
Even if the outhouse is dark, the guinea pigs wont mind as they are well accustomed to living in the dark and can move around in pitch black without any issue at all.
It is how they survived in the wild and kept away from the clutches of predators.
So if you have an outhouse then this is the next best option to being in your home.
Can i use a heat pad for my guinea pig? Heat pads are sometimes used by pet owners to give some extra warmth for their pets. They can be purchased at good pet stores and online. They are heated in the microwave and then put out for the pet at an appropriate temperature.
If you need to warm your small animal then they can be a good place to start. But can they be used on guinea pigs?
Can I use a heat pad for my guinea pig?
Yes, they can use them, there is no harm in them being used as long as they done so in a proper manner.
It needs to be done though, following the correct instructions and should be used inside or inside an outhouse rather than outside.
They will love them though and will enjoy sitting on them.
Thanksgiving is a great time for all the family and one where all are involved in the celebrations and festivities.
If your guinea pig is very much part of your family then it is nice to keep them involved somehow in whatever way we can. Even if they don’t really understand what is going on.
It is more for our benefit than anything.
So if you are wondering how to include your guinea pig in thanksgiving, here are some ideas to get you started.
Thanksgiving ideas for your guinea pig
Give them a guinea pig thanksgiving feast with a few vegetables that they will enjoy. Vegetables such as pumpkin, cranberries, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, sweet potato, green beans, corn, swede, parsnips, and carrots can be given to your piggie sparingly. Don’t give them too much as if they eat a lot, it really isn’t good for them.
Create a nice Thanksgiving bowl for them out of a small pumpkin shell that they can eat their food out of. Pumpkin skin is fine for them to eat. Scoop out the pumpkin first and the seeds leaving the skin and separate the bottom part of the pumpkin to create a bowl for them.
Don’t give them meat. Guinea pigs are not meat eaters as it is generally too full of fat and animal juices for them to eat. They will nibble at it but are not keen on meat as a food in general.
Bring them into your home to be part of the celebration. Guinea pigs will enjoy being part of a social occasion if they are used to people. They will enjoy the warmth of your home and be being around people.
If you’re going to give them a gift, make it hay-related. They love timothy hay, and the greener the hay you can get them the better. Why not treat them to a hay-related gift or simply purchase the best timothy hay like oxbox hay?
You could try something cool and creative, like this guy!
Considering what to get a guinea pig for Christmas can be a tricky thing.
I mean what do you get an animal who doesn’t understand what is going on during that time?
Well here are some ideas that you could get your guinea pig as a gift so that they are not left out of the festive giving at Christmas. So here are 8 Christmas ideas for your guinea pig.
Christmas ideas for your guinea pig
Eating Christmas veggies.
Vegetables such as Brussel sprouts, parsnips, carrots, cranberries, cabbage, bell peppers and green beans can be eaten in small amounts by guinea pigs.
They need to eat them raw though and not in a cooked state and won’t mind feeding off the scraps that you throw out of the above veggies. Just make sure they are washed thoroughly before you feed them to your piggies.
Be careful though, there are some veggies such as onions that guinea pigs can’t eat, so if you are concerned at all just check this site for the vegetable you are concerned about.
One thing that guinea pigs love more than anything else, except bell peppers, of course, is Timothy hay.
Timothy Hay is a natural perennial grass. It is a very fibrous grass which has many benefits to your piggie, both from a health perspective and to their taste buds.
It is vital for the proper functioning of their digestive system as when the chewed hay moves through the small and large intestine, the high fiber content aids in the passage of food. It also helps them grind their teeth down when they chew it.
Timothy hay is also very green and fresh for piggies to eat and by far the tastiest hay for them to chew on. My piggies absolutely adore it!
Anytime they have Timothy hay they wheek in delight at the sight of it.
So a treat of Timothy hay for Christmas is a great present for them if you don’t regularly feed it to them.
Presents made from timothy hay.
Because they really love Timothy hay, you can actually do some really cool things to make it Christmassy for your guinea pig.
Some gift ideas you can make for them include, stuffing a cardboard tube full of timothy hay.
They will love trying to fish it out once you put it out for them. You could put little parcels of Timothy hay around the cage for them to find in different corners and crevices. They love to hunt for things and will love finding them.
You could put some timothy in a hidey house that can be purchased for them. Stuff it full of it, so that they have to burrow into it.
These are just some ideas you can do with Timothy hay to make a nice present or experience for your guinea pig.
Good chew toys.
Guinea pigs need to chew in order to keep their teeth in good condition. If they don’t chew, their teeth grow and if they grow too long they will hurt them.
They grind their teeth down by chewing different things and so always need things to chew on.
Most of the time this can be hay but they love to have variety in the things that they chew.
Chew toys can be anything from a block of wood to specially made guinea pig chew toys which can be purchased.
These can be anything from something like this to this
They are crispy and crunchy chews which are made from rice and corn. They are good for healthy and clean teeth and help them grind them down at the same time. Rice pops make great boredom breakers for piggies and are also good for hand feeding if need be.
Get them a friend.
If you have a guinea pig that is on their own then why not consider getting them a cage mate?
Guinea pigs are social animals and enjoy spending time with other guinea pigs. If you give them a cage mate they will benefit in the long run.
It will take time to integrate them together but once you are through that stage, their quality of life will be enhanced as a result.
It will be much better for them than living on their own. A good article to read about integrating two guinea pigs together is this one. Also, check out this video on the subject
Upgrade their living quarter’s.
If your guinea pig has had their home for a while and it is looking a bit tired, then consider upgrading their home to a better one for them. They will enjoy living in a larger home or one made of better wood or plastic.
If they are indoor guinea pigs, then why not consider upgrading their home to a c&c cage which are the best indoor guinea pig cages that you can possibly get.
They come in all shapes and sizes and you can add to it as time goes on so you don’t have to buy the biggest and most expensive one from the start.
Heat pads for them to sit on.
Small animals like guinea pigs love heat pads to sit or snuggle on.
They are made of hard plastic and so cannot be chewed and all you need to do to warm them up is to put them in a microwave for a specific time.
To make it comfier for your guinea pig, they come in a fleece so they are nice for your piggie to sit on. They will absolutely love them especially as the weather gets colder.
When it get’s cold and the temperature starts to drop, it is always the best idea to bring a guinea pig inside the home or put them in an outhouse or shelter.
It is understood that this may not be an option for some owners as they are limited for space, but if the temperature starts to get below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, it can get quite risky for the guinea pig to stay outside.
Can Guinea Pigs Freeze to Death?
If a guinea pig remains outside when the temperature get’s this low, then there is a risk that it will be detrimental to their health
So yes, they can freeze to death if they are left outside in extreme temperatures.
Guinea pigs have been known to freeze when left out in extreme temperatures.
Their systems seize up when exposed to such freezing temperatures.
What happens if you just get a cold snap?
In your home, you may not have that much space for them to run around in, but even if you provide a small guinea pig cage for them to reside in during the cold spell, it is better than nothing.
This is why it is always best if they can be brought into a warmer place, even if it is a more enclosed area that doesn’t give that much space for the guinea pig.
If there was a choice between them being warm and living in a tight space for a short time, then I would choose the tight space.
Living in areas with extreme temperatures
If you live in an area which has a sustained regular cold spell, then the guinea pig/s should be inside all of the time.
Especially if there is snow, as they should never be exposed to it!
So if you are thinking of getting a guinea pig and you live in an area which gets regular freezing temperatures, then you should be planning to keep them inside and not outside.