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Why does my guinea pig poop so much? Your questions answered

In this article, we will discuss the question of why does my guinea pig poop so much as well as more information on guinea pigs pooping habits, how to clean them up, and more.

Why does my Guinea Pig poop so much?

Rule #1 of guinea pig owners is that a pooping guinea pig is a healthy pig.

Guinea pigs poop a lot.

They poop throughout the day to the tune of around 100 pellets a day.

The ingredients to keep your piggy’s digestive system healthy and regular include a proper diet, exercise, and water.

The number #1 reason that guinea pigs poop so much is their diet.

They graze all day long on very fibrous material.

The hay that comprises approximately 70-80% of their diet is high in fiber and pushes the poop through the GI tract.

It is essential to monitor the amount of poop that your guinea expresses, as if it begins to taper off, there could be some possible health issues.

The second reason that your guinea pig poops so much is their exercise.

Exercise improves blood flow to the intestines, helping move nutrients throughout the body and helping with intestinal motility.

Ensure you provide enough exercise time to your guineas for optimal digestive health each day.

Finally, providing enough water to your little friends not only prevents dehydration but also supports circulating blood volume as well.

The higher water content within your animal will make pooping more tolerable, allowing easy passage out of the rectum.

You will want to avoid hard, dry poop as it can tear the rectum leading to bloody stools and impaction if unable to pass the poop.

Please keep your guineas water bottle filled to prevent unwanted stress on your animal.

Do Guinea Pigs eat their poop?

Yes, guinea pigs eat their own feces, but it is not exactly what you would expect.

Cavies partake in a process known as coprophagy, or feces eating, to gain good bacteria and essential nutrients that their body did not absorb the first time.

Think of it as a second meal, they eat the poop directly from their anus, but it is green and known as cecal pellets.

According to the Merck Vet Manual, approximately 40% of their stool is consumed as cecal pellets, mainly at night or when food is unavailable.

Guinea pigs are not the only animal to consume their poop for a similar outcome, but rabbits, hamsters, chinchillas, and hedgehogs do it as well.

About Guinea Pig Poop

What factors can slow down the amount of poop that Guinea Pigs produce?

Several factors can decrease the amount of poop your little friend expresses. They include:

  • The age of the pig – Similar to humans, as older guinea pigs age, so do their intestines, which means slower gut motility. You will see less poop than when they were younger, and they will eat less as well. Guineas maintain a high metabolism throughout their life, but you will notice a little bit of a drop-off in poop production in their later years.
  • Dental problems- Having a guinea with dental issues will seriously derail the amount of food your piggy consumes. If their teeth are hurting them, they will eat much less or not at all. With the dangerous drop-off of proper nutrients, the cavies’ pooping habits will decrease.
  • Improper diet- Feeding your cavy the proper nutrition is vital to their overall health and, of course, their pooping health. Along with a good diet, water intake is crucial to remember. A lack of proper nutrition out of the vital food groups, hay, pellets, and fresh vegetables can significantly decrease the amount of poop but can also shorten their lifespan.
  • Illness- As with people, when we are not feeling well, we are not eating and drinking like we usually do. The same thing with our piggies, when they fall ill, they will eat and drink much less, leading to a reduction in their poop.
  • Different environment and Food change- When moving a guinea pig to a new place or changing their food abruptly, your piggy may stop eating and drinking as a protest. Piggies are skittish and timid animals that crave consistency. They may poop much less if significant changes occur. It is good to introduce substantial changes slowly to prevent weight loss.

The critical takeaway here is to monitor the amount of poop your cavy produces.

By watching the pooping pattern, you can find potential problems early that may be easy to fix or intervene by getting them to a vet promptly to allow them to address your concern.

What does normal poop from a Guinea Pig look like, and what types of poop are concerning?

The healthy poop of guinea pigs is cylindrical, medium to dark brown, and firm.

Green to light brown poop is also considered normal guinea pig droppings. It is the stool that is re-ingested by the cavy for additional nutrition.

Concerning Poops:

  • Clumping, sticking together- A possible yeast overgrowth within the rectum leaves a wet-like finish on the poop. A consult with your vet is recommended.
  • Soft- Most often a poor diet problem. Your cavy is most likely consuming too many fresh vegetables and not enough fiber. The simple fix here is to decrease the amount of fresh food and provide more pellets and hay.
  • Tear-shaped- Causes are digestion problems, dehydration, and decreased food intake. Ensure adequate clean water and fiber are available, such as Timothy hay.
  • Bloody- Many reasons it will happen. From least to most severe forms of bloody poop: dehydration or difficulty straining at the rectal muscles, impaction, or inability to pass stool at all. Impaction is usually associated with older male guinea pigs and is due to the rectal muscles not being as tight to push the poop out.
  • Diarrhea- Multiple reasons it can happen. From least to most severe: providing too much fresh food, lack of vitamin C and GI upset resulting from a fungal, bacterial, or viral infection. Diarrhea is rather urgent, and it will require paying attention to as in severe cases will lead to death from dehydration. One will need to take diarrhea as a warning sign of dehydration, and if left alone, it will lead to it. A vet is required quickly if the diarrhea is consistent.
guinea pig facts

Do Guinea Pigs poop in one area, or do they go anywhere?

Our little furry friends are free-range poopers, meaning they will go whenever they feel the need to go.

Of course, they usually have a favorite spot in a dark area, such as a hideout.

Aside from a dark place, expect poop all over the guinea pig cage, including in the food bowl, water bowl, and sleeping areas.

Poop will be wherever you let them roam outside of their cage as well.

When holding your cavy, expect to get pooped on.

A towel or clothing protectant is appropriate to not soil clothing. The positive takeaway is that guineas poop is easy to clean and not smelly.

What is the best way to clean up Guinea Pig poop?

The two best ways to clean up cavy poop are a small broom with a dustpan and a handheld vacuum.

It is a personal preference on what one will enjoy better than the other.

However, these devices can only be used on fleece bedding and should not be attempted on wood or paper shavings.

Fresh bedding is needed to clean the cage appropriately when using wood or paper bedding.

Guinea pig poop habits
Photo credit- Canva

Are litter boxes feasible for Guinea Pigs?

If you are looking for a challenging but doable task, then yes, you can train your guinea pig to use a litter box.

You must first isolate where your piggy enjoys pooping the most.

Next, provide a box they can easily get in and out of and some current bedding or fleece.

Remember, our guineas do not like abrupt change, so introducing new things will need to be done over a long time.

Once your piggies have adapted to the recent change, you can begin rewarding them when they use the restroom in the box.

A treat will need to be provided immediately after they have pooped to reinforce the new training.

A guinea pig is not similar to a dog in intelligence, and training will be slow going, but with persistence, litter box training is feasible for a pet guinea pig.

Then one can have the rest of the cage clean of poop to decrease the number of full cage cleans.

In conclusion, guinea pigs poop a lot because of their diet and it’s extremely important for their digestive systems to be pooping regularly.

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For references used for this article check out the reference section.