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My Guinea Pig Won’t Eat: What To Do About It & Diet Plans

Tim Rhodes
Written by Tim Rhodes Last Updated: November 20, 2021

Wondering about why your guinea pig won’t eat and what you should do about it?

Guinea pigs eat all the time to keep their digestive system moving on normal occasions.

But if a guinea pig won’t eat, it might be a great concern for the owners, because seeing this gluttonous pet stop eating suddenly can shock anyone.

This eating problem could be caused by many different reasons.

When guinea pig owners come across this kind of problem most of the time they panic and try stupid things.

Don’t panic and just try to follow the easy steps below and hopefully, your guinea pig will be back to its regular diet.

Why a Guinea Pig Won’t Eat?

There can be many different reasons for a guinea pig to break its diet.

The reason for it could be either a significant health problem like GI stasis, respiratory infection or extreme stress.

Other causes may include temperature fluctuations and changes in eating habits.

First, you should learn about the healthy diet of a guinea pig.

A normal healthy guinea pig can eat hay without stopping during the day.

Also a cup of vegetables, a few pellets, and occasional treats.

If a guinea pig stopped eating its hay, vegetables, pellets, and treats, it can affect its digestive system quickly.

If a guinea pig won’t eat for 12-24 hours it can become dangerously unhealthy for the pet.

If you are facing a not eating problem for more than 12 hours you should get help from a vet immediately.

What are the Reasons a Guinea Pig Won’t Eat?

As mentioned before, the reasons could be significant health problems like GI stasis, respiratory infection, or extreme stress.

Other causes may include temperature fluctuations and changes in eating habits.

If your guinea pig is not eating its regular diet, then it means something is wrong.

It can be caused by a mental trauma or a physical trauma.

When this happens we need to look out for the cause to find a viable solution as soon as possible.

There are a lot of reasons that can make guinea pigs stop eating.

Some of these problems can be dealt with by their owners, but other problems may need medical treatment.

The reasons for loss of appetite in guinea pigs are listed and explained below.

Very Long Teeth

Dental problems are one of the most common problems among guinea pigs that block their ability to eat and drink.

Guinea pig molars often grow inward and can damage their gums and jaws when overgrown, thus making it difficult for them to eat any food.

As with other rodents, guinea pigs’ teeth do not stop growing, so they must be filed constantly.

If it hasn’t been shortened recently for any reason, it may be overgrown.

Tartar Accumulation

If too much tartar builds up, this may cause discomfort for the guinea pig.

If too much build-up happens, it can lead to infections and more serious oral problems.

If this happens, you should take it to your vet immediately for oral cleaning.

At least, tartar can be avoided, and certain foods can help to reduce it.

The important thing is not to cause problems that prevent you from eating.

Gastrointestinal problems

Gastrointestinal issues can inevitably affect your guinea pigs’ food consumption.

It may cause loss of appetite by slowing down bowel movement in guinea pigs.

Gases, blockages from foreign objects, or constipation can cause the guinea pig to feel unwell and lose appetite.

In severe cases, if the pain is too strong, they sometimes even stop moving.

If you suspect your guinea pig might be suffering from such a blockage, you should take him to the vet as soon as possible.

There they will do the necessary tests and solve them.

Vitamin C Deficiency

Vitamin C is very important to guinea pigs because they cannot produce it naturally.

That’s why we should include vitamin C in their diet.

Vitamin C deficiency is quite common in these animals.

If your guinea pig is affected by a deficiency of Vitamin C, in addition to lack of hunger, other symptoms will also occur, such as immobility, bleeding gums, swelling, weakness, anorexia.

A very advanced finch condition can kill your guinea pig.

Therefore, at the least symptoms, the veterinarian should be visited.

Remember that you should regularly give your guinea pig vitamin C in fruits and vegetables to prevent this from happening.

Improper Diet

One of the most common reasons why a guinea pig does not eat is that the meal on offer is inappropriate.

Remember that to supplement your vitamin and fiber intake, you need to provide not only feed, hay, and seeds, but also fresh vegetables.

Also, make sure to always give enough water.

If the guinea pig does not get the nutrients it needs, it gradually weakens and reaches a point where it stops eating.

Consult your veterinarian to find the right diet for your guinea pig.

Respiratory Infection

They may stop eating as a result of an upper respiratory infection.

Respiratory infection is another important factor that can prevent your guinea pigs from feeding.

They may have trouble breathing, and in some cases, guinea pigs may have blocked nasal passages, leaving them no choice but to breathe through their mouth.

Usually, an upper respiratory infection is caused by pneumonia or complications, but serious infections can also cause it.

Difficulty breathing causes guinea pigs to become very tired, so they stop eating.

In these cases, it’s recommended to feed the guinea pig porridge, it’s easy to swallow and it encourages hydration.

If your guinea pig is unable to breathe, take it to the vet as soon as possible.

Avoid exposing your guinea pig to cold drafts or leaving it wet for prolonged periods as this increases the chance of developing an upper respiratory infection.

Emotional Imbalances

While sometimes it’s hard to believe, most pets can experience stress, anxiety, sadness under certain circumstances, just like us.

If your guinea pig is not eating, one of the things you should pay attention to is its environment and general condition.

Are you going through a difficult period or in an unfavorable situation?

For example, excessive noise, lack of hygiene, or the death of a partner can cause a guinea pig to have many kinds of negative emotions.

Losing appetite in adverse situations is also quite normal for guinea pigs.


Stress is another important factor affecting the healthy diet of your guinea pigs.

If your guinea pig is under stress, it will hide more and its appetite will decrease.

Some of the common causes of stress are loud noises in the environment and different types of animals around the house that can be considered predators.

Change in food

If you’ve changed the brand or type of hay, pellets, or other foods, this could also be one of the main factors affecting your guinea pig’s diet.

While one of my guinea pigs doesn’t like Kaytee straw, the others love it.

It’s all about personal preferences.

Temperature fluctuations

Temperature fluctuations can affect the eating of your guinea pigs.

A guinea pig can get anxious and aggressive if the temperature goes above 25°C.

Make sure the temperature is well-maintained in the room of your guinea pigs.

Surgical Procedures

Surgical procedures can be really painful for guinea pigs.

Your guinea pigs may experience pain for a few days after major surgery.

Even a minor surgery can put them under mental stress that affects their eating habits.

Be sure to consult a veterinarian if this happens.

Stay Hydrated

Dehydration can make guinea pigs stop eating.

It’s seen that the bottle nozzle doesn’t distribute water accurately, resulting in a lack of hydration in guinea pigs.

Sometimes mixing different kinds of medicines or vitamins can also change the taste of water in guinea pigs that they might not drink.

This can further lead to dehydration and loss of appetite in guinea pigs.

What if a Guinea Pig is Upset?

It’s normal for us to think that the guinea pig may be upset or depressed before certain symptoms appear, but it’s important to highlight many of them because they can be confused with symptoms of the disease.

Therefore, it would be better to visit a qualified veterinarian and professionally examine guinea pig behavior.

If you are an experienced guinea pig owner, you will know how to easily recognize signs of happiness, such as excitement breaks, a tendency to water, love noises, or the need to interact with other members of your species.

Remember that these are gorgeous animals that must interact to enjoy their well-being.

On the other hand, our guinea pig does not feel comfortable because of discontent or imminent danger, deaf voices, whining, and screams about fear and stress.

But how, how do we know that our guinea pig is sad?

Symptoms of a Sad or Sick Guinea Pig

Below you can see the characteristic symptoms of a sad or sick guinea pig.

  • Silent squeaks and cries abnormal sounds
  • Anorexia
  • Lack of interaction
  • Stress
  • Fear
  • Aggression
  • Hiding
  • Bruises
  • Weakness
  • Boredom
  • Lack of cleaning
  • Hunchback pose

What Makes a Guinea Pig Upset?

If you have noticed one or more of the symptoms of those listed above, it’s necessary to pay attention to the general reasons outside why the guinea pig is upset.

Stress and anxiety

These types of problems are manifested by highly variable stereotypes (repetitive and persistent behaviors).

For example, mandatory water intake, movements in the circle, or a constant “game” with some essential items such as a drinking fountain or nourisher.

May cause a dirty, small environment due to lack of attention.

Fear and aggression

Although not particularly frequent, such behavior towards us or other animals can be caused by the animal having some pathology that can cause pain.

At this stage, we can observe that the animal “freezes”, is inactive, and hides or makes strange noises (such as squeaks and cries).

This type of behavior is also common in new animals that have felt threatened in their new environment, but can also occur when mismanaged by the caregiver, especially if it involves punishment and yelling.

Loss of a guinea pig friend

Many people wonder if the guinea pigs died of grief because the death of a family guinea pig or friend often creates apathy, lack of interaction, and sadness.

Lack of stimulation

Guinea pigs are intelligent and active animals, so a lack of socialization, a poor environment, or a low variety of elements can cause apathy, boredom, and sadness.

We can observe that the animal is not active most of the time.

Diseases and others

There are numerous pathologies and disorders in guinea pigs that can cause abnormal symptoms.

They are easily confused with periods of sadness and depression.

What Should I Do to Help My Guinea Pig Be Healthy Again?

On the off chance that you have quite recently purchased another guinea pig home or you have moved your guinea pigs starting with one spot then onto the next that is new for them, at that point chances are they are terrified and feeling unreliable.

Dread and nervousness could be critical factor that influences our guinea pig’s eating routine.

On the off chance that you have a decent bond with your guinea pigs, attempt to quiet them somewhere around petting them and hand-taking care of them their treat.

On the off chance that you have quite recently purchased another guinea pig home, furnish them with some concealing space, and sit next to them and converse with them for quite a while.

This should quiet them down and urge them to come out, investigate, and have their food.

You ought to likewise enquire about the past proprietor for their eating regimen and proceed with the equivalent for quite a while so your guinea pigs could get familiar with the new living climate all the more without any problem.

What Can I Do When My Guinea Pig Isn’t Eating or Pooping?

You should know that guinea pigs eat their own poop (cecotropes) to get fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin K.

Such an activity improves their digestion, so if a guinea pig isn’t eating or producing poop, it’s a sign that something serious is going on.

There might be a blockage in their gut but the truth is that there can be a lot of explanations for the problem.

A continuous eating regimen change, inappropriate eating routine, or some other medical problems like GI Stasis could be the conceivable purpose for it.

You should gauge your guinea pigs to check whether they are getting more fit.

Taking them to a vet promptly is fundamental.

Your vet needs to do some x-ray and radiotherapy to locate the conceivable blockage and treat it likewise.

The treatment incorporates Ranitidine, and Metacam at regular intervals Buprenex, and Reglan like clockwork Critical Care-4 ml 4-5 times each day.

When craving and crap become customary they should be followed up by Cisapride and Meloxicam orally.

You should continue to take care of the basic consideration to keep something going into your gut.

Guinea pigs can’t endure long without food.

Along these lines, a prompt activity is required.

Never attempt to treat such ailments at home as it very well may be perilous for your guinea pigs.

Few Tips and Pointers

Guinea pigs are picky eaters, and some guinea pigs might not like a particular brand of hay or pellets and even vegetables.

While some guinea pigs love Kaytee Timothy Complete Food, others might not touch it.

You need to try all of them and find out what your guinea pigs like and serve the food accordingly.

If you bought a new bag of pellets or hay and your guinea pig doesn’t like it, then you should give it away to someone else and get the one that your guinea pig likes.

There is no way that you force your guinea pigs to eat.

Make sure you always have some extra food for your guinea pigs because guinea pigs love eating.

For vegetables, you can try a different fresh vegetable, and you can figure out what kind of food your guinea pig enjoys.

Make a healthy diet plan for your guinea pigs accordingly.

In particular, if your guinea pig isn’t eating, drinking, or moving, see your vet immediately.

The guinea pig needs to eat good quality hay to keep their digestive systems active, so the lack of food intake is the alarm signal, indicating that we should visit a specialist as soon as possible because the life of the guinea pig may be at risk.

It’s always suggested that you should take your guinea pig to a veterinarian as soon as possible when you see an abnormal behavior.

You can be experienced about all this but you can misinterpret the behaviors of your guinea pig and this might cause unfortunate events.

Always consult a veterinarian when your guinea pig show abnormal behavior.

Final Thoughts

Now you know what to do if your guinea pig won’t eat!

The article has covered all the reasons for guinea pigs not eating.

As a pet parent, you are well aware of your pet’s character, and you are the best judge to analyze the symptoms and find out the causes.

In the worst-case scenario, when you are unable to find the root cause for certain behavior of your fluff ball, it’s better to consult a vet, before it’s too late.


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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