The New Year is typically a time for change, making now the perfect time to change your pet’s life for the better if they are overweight. The team at our Hagley Vet Practice love helping owners and have this advice about overweight guinea pigs.
Reasons for an overweight guinea pig
When it comes to guinea pigs and other small furry pets, weight gain is usually (and we hate to say this but...) because as owners, we haven’t provided them with the right type or amount of food, exercise, and mental stimulation.
There are other reasons guinea pigs can gain and lose weight so it’s always wise to get your pet checked out by a vet as soon as you notice a change.
- Weight gain (or loss) over a few days or weeks could be a sign of a medical condition, most commonly a tumour or pregnancy.
- Weight gain over a few hours could be an emergency condition called ‘bloat’, which is a distension of the abdomen – contact us immediately if this is the case.
Our Hagley veterinary surgeons explain why carrying excess weight is a BIG problem for small pets.
Overweight guinea pigs are:
- less able to reach their rear-end to clean it, which amplifies the risk of flystrike (often fatal)
- putting more strain on joints leading to painful movement
- less mobile and agile, affecting their everyday quality of life and ability to exercise
- candidates for diabetes, typically if fed a high-carb diet with lots of fruit & sugary treats
- at increased risk of complications if pregnant
Assuming all is well, right now is the ideal time to help your small pet shift excess fat.
Helping your guinea pig lose weight
First, we recommend booking a weight check at our Hagley or Bromsgrove practice. Our nurses will assess your guinea pig’s weight, and tell you how much they need to lose.
Our team can then also give you advice on how to:
- review your guinea pig’s diet - provide the essentials and give healthier treats.
- experiment with different ways of feeding – bowl vs scatter feeding and foraging trays.
- provide sufficient mental stimulation & physical exercise through pet companionship, suitable housing, stimulating activities & items, and time outside their enclosure.
Let our nurses help you get your guinea pig on the right track and book a weight check at our Hagley or Bromsgrove veterinary practice – see our location and book.