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Do Guinea Pigs Fart? (And Can It Be A Health Concern?)

Tim Rhodes
Written by Tim Rhodes Last Updated: Sep 17, 2022

You might be wondering if guinea pig farting is normal and healthy.

Passing gas for a guinea pig is quite normal and you shouldn’t worry about your guinea pig’s occasional fart. However, guinea pigs cannot pass a large amount of gas through their intestines. This can result in an accumulation of gases, which is extremely uncomfortable and painful and leads to bloating that’s life-threatening.

Guinea pigs have a digestive system quite similar to humans but it’s much more sensitive. However, they don’t have the ability or pass gas as we do, so gases build up in their intestines. So excessive farting is a cause of concern.

The excess gas entrapped in the intestines causes the compression of organs, which is known as guinea pig bloat. Bloating causes slowed gut motility, loss of appetite and consequent weakness, reduced stool production, heavy breathing, and restlessness.

Guinea pig bloat is usually exceptionally painful for your guinea pig and worsens over time, so contact your vet immediately. 

Do Guinea Pigs Fart and Can It Be a Health Concern?

Find out if you should be concerned when you hear your guinea pigs fart and what it says about their health.

Guinea Pig Facts

a cute brown guinea pig looking at the cameraAlso known as cavies or rodents, guinea pigs are native to South America.

There are many different breeds of guinea pigs; 13 commonly recognized types or species of guinea pigs include American, American satin, Abyssinian, Abyssinian Satin, Peruvian, Peruvian satin, silkie satin, teddy, teddy satin, texel, coronet, and white-crested.

These breeds have different hair colors, hair textures, pelage gloss, and pelage color patterns.

Nonetheless, they are small rodents that weigh between 700 and 1000grams. Their compressed, cylindrical body is 8 to 10 inches long.

They have tiny, triangular mouths with 20 teeth. Their teeth are continually growing, and Guinea pigs should chew or gnaw regularly to keep their teeth short and straight.

Guinea pigs scent by touching their chin or cheeks over items that help make their home smell comfortable and soothing.

They have four toes on their front legs, but only three on their back legs.

A female guinea pig matures in two months and the male in three.

Guinea Pig Habits

Guinea pigs are friendly and social animals, most active in the mornings and at sunrise.

Mostly, they spend their time drinking, cleaning, or exploring their cage.

Without a companion, they can be really lonely, but they still rely on human intimacy.

Domestic guinea pigs usually live in pens, but certain owners devote whole rooms to their furry friends because guinea pigs need a lot of space to run around.

They are social animals, have a routine, and occasionally bite, although only when in great distress.

If you already have a furry little rodent or plan to obtain a guinea pig, you will have much fun teaching it and bonding with it.

Popcorning

Popcorning is a unique trait common for young guinea pigs when they are pleased or thrilled. They jump up and fly into the air again and again and again.

Some guinea pigs are charging forward as well as backward easily, while others are kicking off their front and back legs. Most pigs squeal at the same time.

Popcorning is special to guinea pigs and enjoyable to watch.

What Are The Signs of a Healthy Guinea Pig?

A healthy guinea pig is responsive, active, and sociable. It moves around and explores, and eats and drinks regularly.

Its skin is clean, the coat is healthy, and its eyes are bright and clear. It breathes easily, without noise.

Your pet’s nose must be free of any discharges, and its footpads should be healthy.

a selection of food healthy for guinea pigs (cherry tomatoes, spinach)

Guinea Pig Diet

Never offer meat, dairy products, or processed food to your furry little friend, as unlimited amounts of timothy or other low-calcium hay should be the basis of its diet. Guinea pigs cannot digest such food.

Besides, you can supplement it with small amounts of high-fiber, timothy-hay-based guinea pig pellets.

Vitamin C should also be a part of your pet’s regular diet, obtained from fresh fruits and vegetables.

In other words, apart from supplements, make sure that your pet has access to fresh fruits and vegetables every day.

If you keep your pet well-fed, its habitat clean, nails trimmed, and provide it with things to chew and gnaw on such as hardwood tree branches, you shouldn’t worry.

Of course, just like with all other beings, certain foods can cause the bodies of guinea pigs to behave differently.

What Causes Gas in Guinea Pigs?

As guinea pigs will eat almost anything, gases shouldn’t be a cause of concern.

Most species swallow air while feeding and that air has to come out of the body somehow.

Most of the time, guinea pig gas is nothing to worry about. The occasional fart means that a guinea pig’s digestive system is doing its job.

However, in cases of frequent or repetitive farting, schedule an appointment with the veterinarian because there are reasons to worry.

Certain foods can be responsible for guinea pig farts. A high-carb diet or too much sugar in the diet can result in the gas build-up in the bodies of these little rodents.

Likewise, stress, dehydration, and devouring food are some of the reasons.

For instance, certain foods such as cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli, bok choy, peppers, and collard greens can cause gas. According to some experts, the problem is in a low-fiber but high-energy diet.

The sensitive digestive tract of these small animals cannot process certain nutrients such as carbs. 

To prevent bloating, always feed your guinea pig high-quality fiber-rich hay. Fiber is healthy and aids the digestion process of your furry friends. 

Nonetheless, there are two things that might cause real worry: bloating and dehydration.

Bloating

Overall, bloating is a common problem in guinea pigs that prevents food from moving through the gastrointestinal tract, which can be a really severe condition.

Such an obstruction is called GI stasis, and it causes a visibly enlarged stomach. In other words, your piggy’s swollen belly is visibly larger – bloated. GI stasis is potentially life-threatening.

Apart from physically impeding your little pet by causing it much discomfort, your guinea pig cannot perform its regular activities and digest food properly, which also affects its mood and overall wellbeing.

For those reasons, a guinea pig’s bloated belly requires urgent veterinary treatment.

The physiological process is just the same as in humans.

Yet, guinea pigs do not release the gas as quickly as humans, which means that they store their gas for a longer time.

For example, as humans keep the bowel gas within themselves, they feel more bloated and their stomachs tend to suffer. Guinea pigs cannot pass gas, so it stays in their bodies and causes a lot of pain.

Additionally, they cannot eat because they cannot digest food.

For that reason, guinea pig farts are a good thing because they are expelling gas from their bodies.

Yet, excess gas shows that there is much more going on in your guinea pig’s body.

However, although the physiological process is just the same, and guinea pigs fart as well, bloating is a cause of concern.

Constipation in Guinea Pigs

As a guinea pig cannot digest food, it causes constipation.

So, if constipation lasts for over 24 hours, there’s definitely something wrong with your pet.

Therefore, as soon as you notice your pet’s bloated stomach, take it to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

The vet can treat guinea pig bloat with medications to get the gastrointestinal tract working normally.

Besides, they will also have your pet drink more water than usual, which will help in normalizing the problem.

Guinea pigs can die from bloating if untreated because their intestines stop working and they stop eating.

Also, if you know the difference between the normal and abnormal poop of your pet, you will know whether your pet has some gastrointestinal issues.

Your pet’s poop should be oval-shaped with uniform consistency. The color of the poop should be medium to dark brown.

Dehydration

If your pet doesnćt consume enough water (including water from food), its intestines will inevitably become dry.

Consequently, it will slow down the bowel movement, which can be a reason for constipation, which, as we’ve already explained, causes the accumulation of gas in guinea pigs.

Besides, if you can smell your pet’s fart, it is a sign that something is wrong.

Experts can help identify what’s wrong, because, mostly, the diagnosis is related to food intake.

Not to panic, bloating and gas problems have a solution. Within a few days, your guinea pig will be back to its usual happy self.

Things to Remember

Guinea pigs are magnificent animals; they come from cold climates and don’t do well in warm, humid environments.

Although they are easy to take care of, they are also a long-term commitment.

A guinea pig diet is simple and you should take care not to overfeed your pet.

Overfeeding your pet or giving it certain types of food can definitely cause your guinea pig to fart.

They need grass, clean water, fresh veggies and fruits, and a limited amount of pellet food designed for guinea pigs, plus daily vitamin C supplements.

Their cages should be cleaned regularly and thoroughly because they are messy eaters.

Loneliness

Also, when alone, a guinea pig tends to become lonely.

Some owners combat their pet’s loneliness with mirrors, others with plush animals, while some decide to buy another guinea pig.

However, never put two guinea pigs of the opposite gender in the same cage.

If you plan to buy another guinea pig, make sure it’s the same gender as your pet.

Additionally, you should know that personality differences might mean that guinea pigs won’t get along. For that reason, it’s best if you introduce your guinea pigs while they are still babies.

Introduce adult guinea pigs with care.

Communication

Some guinea pigs are quiet, while others are loud and influential.

They make distinctive sounds, depending on whether they are expecting a treat, looking for attention, or exhibiting aggression.

They are not too loud but can be loud enough to startle you.

Besides, if you think that guinea pigs are pets that will not interrupt a quiet evening at home, you will be surprised.

Now, obviously, your guinea pig won’t ever speak any of the human languages but, if you want to get to know your pet’s personality and its needs, you have to pay attention to all the subtleties in the sounds and gestures it makes.

Using distinctive sounds and gestures, your pet will communicate with you.

The only thing you need to do is to pay close attention to what your friend is trying to say.

Do Guinea Pigs Fart?

Yes, guinea pigs fart and it is a normal physiological reaction.

Don’t worry too much about your guinea pig farting unless you notice that your pet has other symptoms that point to health problems.

The digestive system of a guinea pig is very sensitive and their stomachs become easily upset. Every guinea pig farts occasionally, and that is nothing to worry about.

However, regular and excessive farting is a cause for concern.

You should definitely visit a vet with your pet because there could be something else going on with your guinea pig. Take your pet to a veterinarian if you notice that your piggy has an enlarged or bloated tummy and if it doesn’t poop for 24 hours.

Bloating and constipation can be fatal for these cute and lovable creatures.

Again we have to emphasize the importance of a regular fiber-based diet and water intake and also draw your attention to other details to which you should pay attention, such as the color of your pet’s poop.

Final Thoughts

So, if you were wondering whether guinea pigs can fart, we have explained that yes, they do.

Occasional fart in your guinea pig is normal and you shouldn’t worry about it unless your pet produces gas frequently. As guinea pigs cannot pass a large amount of gas, gases can accumulate and cause bloating, which is life-threatening.

Guinea pig bloat is extremely painful so contact your vet immediately. The sooner your vet treats your pet, the easier the treatment and the better the prognosis.

In this article, we have also explained that guinea pigs are social animals and that they can be lonely if you have only one guinea pig. The more guinea pigs in your household merrier the company. You are your pet’s best friend but, still, your pet would like to cuddle and chat with a member of its own species.

So if you are really interested in buying a guinea pig, be aware that you will have a long-term commitment. Even better if you decide to adopt a pet from a shelter, give it all the love and attention that a member of your family deserves.

Author

Tim Rhodes
Tim Rhodes

Hi there! My name is Tim Rhodes and I'm a guinea pig enthusiast through thick and thin. My mission is to teach others useful tips and tricks about these cute creatures. When I'm not writing, I enjoy kickboxing and work as an animal trainer.

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