Guinea pigs are lovely pets. They’re cuddly, cute, and surprisingly friendly!
The main downside to raising a guinea pig is the sheer amount of poop they produce. Often, new guinea pig parents wonder, “Why does my guinea pig poop so much? Is there something wrong with it?”
Apparently, no one is expecting to see that much poop from such a tiny little creature. Thing is, guinea pigs poop a lot (up to a whopping 100 times daily!).
A normal part of raising guinea pigs is cleaning cages, picking up droppings, and learning to notice any abnormalities in their excreta.
Guinea pigs seem to go by one rule: Eat a lot, poop a lot. Their poop production increases when they overeat or when they’re nervous.
What’s more, when the guinea pig moves to a new cage, the excitement can stimulate bowel movements. If you’re still new to raising guinea pigs, don’t jump to judgments.
You should wait a while before you raise any alarms about the pooping frequency. Let your pet settle down and get used to its surroundings.
In most cases, it’s not the frequency of the poop that you need to worry about. Instead, you’ll keep an eye out for abnormal poop.
Guinea pigs can (and will) eat their pellets. Not just any pellets, though, just a special type called cecal droppings.
Guinea pigs are generally weird when it comes to their habits. They’re coprophagic, meaning they tend to eat poop.
Cecal droppings are greenish and they look like little pellets. These are absolutely safe for ingestion and it’s a normal phase of digestion.
In fact, it’s beneficial for the pig to gobble up these green pellets. If you notice your guinea pigs ingesting another type of poop, though, stop it immediately!
Healthy guinea pig poop is oval and its color is medium to dark brown. The consistency should be the same all over.
Since you’ll be picking up droppings (a lot), you’ll be able to get a closer look. Try to take note of what’s normal for your guinea pig: frequency, color, shape, texture, and odor.
Once you notice any deviation from “normal” bowel movements, you can look for the cause. Abnormal poop may be a sign of distress.
Survival instinct gave guinea pigs a neat little trick: they can hide their illness. In the wild, this serves them to avoid looking like easy prey.
This makes guinea pigs seem low-maintenance. However, it can also keep them suffering in silence. They won’t vomit or show major signs of illness like other pets do.
You’ll have to be vigilant about monitoring their health for any sudden changes and, sadly, poop is a major indicator.
It might seem disgusting, but we do what we have to do to keep our pets healthy!
Here are a few signs of abnormal poop, take the clues and go with it:
When we say tear-shaped, we’re referring to poop that’s dry, small, and looks like teardrops. One end is rounded up and the other is pointy.
These droppings usually indicate that the guinea pig is dehydrated. In some cases, tear-shaped poop can be a sign of abnormal gastrointestinal motility.
You can try giving your pet enough water and fibers in this case. The issue should clear up in a couple of days.
Clumped poop is a sign of dehydration or rectal weakness. It might be a bit hard to guess the cause, but age is an important factor.
Older guinea pigs have weak muscle tone that encourages the buildup of small pellets in intestinal groves. These pellets can clump and come out dry, or they might stay there and get infected.
You can start by adjusting the diet and making sure that the guinea pig is getting enough water. If the problem doesn’t clear up, it’s probably a case of rectal weakness that requires medical attention.
We recommend getting your pet checked up if the poop remains clumped up after diet adjustment and hydration.
Keep in mind that some dental issues can affect the consistency of the fecal matter, too.
Mushy diarrhea is usually more smelly than normal poop. It might be due to an infection, an unbalanced diet, or stress.
Providing water is crucial in this case, but not to soften the poop. Instead, it’s to make sure that the guinea pig doesn’t get dehydrated quickly.
For recurrent diarrheas, you should re-evaluate the guinea pig’s diet. It should be a delicate balance between hay, greens, and commercial feed (more on that later.)
Seeing blood in your guinea pig’s poop for the first time can be quite a shock. However, you’ll need to stay collected and get your pet checked up immediately.
Bloody poop might be a sign of obstruction, anal fissures, or linning inflammations. These aren’t the kind of issues that you can handle with home remedies.
Now that you know that guinea pigs are viscous poopers, you’re probably wondering if you can limit the mess.
We’d like to start by saying that (healthy) guinea pig poop isn’t terribly smelly. It’s frequent and they’ll drop it everywhere, but it’s honestly not that offensive.
However, we get that you want to give your pet the best care and limit any poop-related issues along the way.
Here are a few factors that you need to consider:
To cover all the nutritional requirements of your guinea pig, you’ll need to balance the meals.
The majority of a guinea pig’s diet should be hay. Next, you can add a cup of vegetables and around three tablespoons of commercial pellets per day.
Cucumbers can be a good source of hydration if the pet doesn’t like drinking too much. Other than that, you can depend on leafy vegetables for the daily greens cup.
Choose vegetables and pellets that are rich in vitamin C. Guinea pigs usually like the taste of broccoli and citrus fruits and they provide a nice dose of vitamin C.
Other vegetables and fruits that suit guinea pigs are:
It might be wise to introduce new food one at a time. This helps you identify any items that disturb your guinea pig’s stomach.
Just make sure you’re giving them fresh, clean food on a regular schedule. In most cases, feeding your pig twice daily with occasional treats is enough.
Keep in mind that guinea pigs have huge appetites and they can easily overeat. If you don’t control their portions, they won’t either.
Make it a habit to pick any leftovers before adding new meals. This minimizes food waste and keeps the pig from getting overweight.
Try to keep the water plate clean all the time. Guinea pigs are messy and the plate might get contaminated with hay or even poop.
It might just be easier to get a water bottle. It stays clean longer and reduces the mess from water spills.
For smaller and ill pigs, you can try to offer them water through a bottle or a dropper.
If your guinea pig isn’t keen on drinking, try adding food with high water content. Celery, cucumbers, and lettuce might give the pig an extra amount of water.
However, no amount of watery leaves will replace the need for water. Make sure your pig is hydrated and the poop consistency isn’t too dry.
Since guinea pigs will produce an insane amount of poop, you might as well start getting used to cleaning it up.
The type of litter in a guinea pig’s cage has a significant say on how hard the cleaning job is for you. Dense hay can hide the poop and you might not notice any warning signs early on.
That’s why you should do regular litter clean-ups and keep your eyes open for any changes.
The first step to maintaining a pig’s cage is picking up the droppings. You might need to do this an average of three times per day.
You can pick up the droppings with your hand or with a scoop. You can also vacuum it. Make sure all the hay is removed first and that your vacuum won’t get blocked easily.
Vacuuming seems more time-efficient, but it can be a scary experience. If you do choose to clean with a vacuum, get your pets to another room first.
We recommend doing a thorough clean-up with hot water and a detergent weekly. It’ll keep the cage fresh and your pigs happy.
That’s how you can clean guinea pig poop from the cage. It’s mostly simple and after a while, it’ll be second nature to you.
Things start getting a little complicated when they poop outside the cage (which they very much will do).
Get a small broom and leave it somewhere handy. Whenever the pigs drop while playing, you can just sweep it up quickly before it turns into a mess.
After all that talk of picking up poop, it’s okay to feel overwhelmed. You might even want to put an end to poop messes altogether.
Did you ever wonder if it’s possible to potty-train a guinea pig? Well, it’s not impossible but it’s definitely an uphill battle.
Guinea pigs often roam the house to leave unpleasant surprises. Instead of walking around with a broom, it might just be easier to train the pig to use a potty.
Here are simple steps to potty-train a guinea pig at home:
In most cases, the pig will have one or two preferred spots. Try to take notice of the place with the most droppings.
This should be your training spot.
Now that you know where your guinea pig likes to poop (and pee) you can set up the potty.
Make sure it’s suitable in size and comfortable. Fill the litter box with hay and change it regularly.
This is a frustrating stage, we know, but try to be patient.
Don’t scare off your pets because they can’t figure out what you need them to do. Instead, you can offer rewards for every time they use the potty.
Animal feces can transmit zoonotic infections like salmonellosis, LCM, gastroenteritis, and many other diseases.
If you’ll be picking up the droppings with your hand, try using gloves. This limits the transition of pathogens.
The inverted bag method is also very convenient. You just put your hand in a plastic bag, pick up the droppings, invert the bag, and voila! A two-in-one technique: a glove-like barrier and a trash bag.
Of course, a thorough hand wash is essential after handling animal excreta. Even if you didn’t directly touch the droppings.
Similarly, you’ll need to disinfect your living space wherever your pig poops there. Pay special attention if you have crawling toddlers around.
Being an animal lover means asking the weirdest questions; all for the benefit of your fur-coated friends.
The answer to the question “Why does my guinea pig poop so much?” is simply because it’s a guinea pig.
To keep it simple, guinea pigs are vicious poopers. Too much poop is normal for them, as long as it’s “healthy” poop.
Normal guinea pig poop should be rounded at both ends, small, and not offensive. The consistency should be a balance between runny and dry.
Tear-shaped, clumped, watery, and bloody poop are the ones you need to worry about.
Maintain a balanced diet made of hay, vegetables, and pellets to avoid bowel movement issues. When things seem alarming, don’t hesitate to contact a veterinarian to help your pet.
I have a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When I’m not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, I’m at home with my wife, two daughters and a dog. Outside of family, I love grilling and barbequing on my Big Green Egg and working on projects around the house. Growing up, I had pet dogs, cats, deer, sugar gliders, chinchillas, a bird, chickens, fish, and a goat.