Before you turn your nose up at the idea of an article focused entirely on guinea pig poop, you need to understand why it’s so important. You see, your guinea pig’s droppings tell you a lot about your pet’s overall health, long before other symptoms start to show. This is because they are prey animals, and will hide signs of illness from potential predators. While this survival tactic might have kept them safe in the wild, it means piggy parents may only know there’s something with their pet when it’s too late.
Learning as much as you can about guinea pig poop, from its shape and texture, to the colour will help you identify any health issues your guinea pig might be suffering from before they become serious or life-threatening.
Before we get started, we thought we’d share a poem all about the number two.
An Ode To Guinea Pig Poop
Brown, green or clumpy poo, it all happens in the loo
Dropping the kids off at the pool, having a number two,
These are just a few ways to say we’re having a poo
It can be flat or round like a ball, as hard as a nut and that’s not all
Torpedo-shaped, soft and runny, squirty, squishy, smelling funny
Talking about poop is kind of silly, but it’s essential for your piggy
Sometimes messy, sometimes not, without saying a word, guinea pig droppings say a lot
To find out more about a poo, there’s something simple you can do
Take a look, get up close, and always remember to block your nose!
Ben Connor (aged 8)
The 6 Types of Guinea Pig Poop
Are you ready for the scoop on your guinea pig’s poop? Let’s get started.
1. Oval-shaped poop
Medium to dark brown, oval-shaped poop pellets is a sign that all is well with your cavy. As far as the consistency goes, it isn’t too dry or too wet and is relatively small in size.
2. Dry poop
Dry poo may very well be a sign of dehydration. Make sure your guinea pig is getting plenty of clean water around the clock. Check that the water bottle isn’t blocked and that it’s full. If your cavy uses a water bowl, remember to change the water often.
Popcorning pigs might accidentally get hay, food or poop in their drinking bow, so it needs to be changed regularly. Also, in all the scurried excitement, your cavy might be spilling the water out. Water dispensing bottles and heavy, ceramic bowls are best as they are not as easy to topple over.
You could also include some cucumber in your guinea pig’s cup-a-day veggie serving. Although it doesn’t provide a lot of nutritional value, it’s got a lot of water which will keep your pet hydrated.
3. Clumps of poop
Clumps of poop in your guinea pig’s hutch may be a sign of constipation or ageing rectal muscles. As we’ve already mentioned, It’s crucial that your piggy has access to fresh, clean water 24/7, and is getting plenty of fibre in its diet. But something else you can do to help with any digestive problems is to remove grain from your cavy’s diet. In other words, no rice, bread, seeds, granola or chips.
If your piggy looks particularly uncomfortable while pooping, we suggest a visit to your local vet as soon as possible. But for temporary relief, you can apply some coconut oil to your guinea pig’s poop chute.
And don’t forget water, fibre-rich hay, as well as plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. A short term solution to encourage your pet to get more liquid is by adding a little bit of cranberry juice to the water. However, you should only do this for one day.
4. Teardrop-shaped poop
If you notice your cavy’s poop is teardrop-shaped, it could be a sign that there’s a problem in the gut. Guinea pigs need fibre, and plenty of it, which they get from hay. A good quality fibre-rich hay is a must-have for a guinea pig hutch.
Timothy hay is a good choice, as it can be used as bedding, and provides guineas with the crude fibre they need for healthy digestion. It is also essential that you’re feeding your piggy the correct pellets. It’s a common mistake to give them food formulated for rabbits, hamsters or other small rodents.
5. Squishy poop
It’s hard not to notice soft or squishy poop in your guinea’s cage. It’s smellier than usual and is a clear sign that there’s a problem with nutrition. Because cavies’ digestive systems are sensitive, even the slightest change or imbalance in their diet will result in soft, messy poop. Once again ensure your piggy is getting plenty of water and fibre, as well as fruit and vegetables.
Diarrhoea in guinea pigs, however, is a serious problem and can be potentially fatal. Dietary and dental issues can cause this, as can bacterial infections. Pay attention and seek urgent medical care.
6. Poop with blood in it
It’s not common to see blood in guinea pigs’ poop, but when you do, you need to act fast. In the same guinea pig diarrhoea is a life-threatening condition, so too is bloody stools. It’s indicative of inflammation, a tear or obstruction, and will need medical treatment as soon as possible.
In some cases, the blood could be coming from your guinea pig’s urine, which may mean there is an infection in the kidneys or bladder. It could also be bladder stones.
More Poop-Related Facts
Other than the shape, colour and texture, there are some other interesting facts about your guinea pig’s poop. Carry on reading to find out how much cavies poo, why they might do it on you, and why they sometimes pig out on their own poop.
Is it normal for guinea pigs to poop on their owners?
Unfortunately, it’s entirely normal for your piggy to poop on you. Cavies forage and eat throughout the day, and they have high metabolisms. This means that when they need to poop, they need to poop wherever they are. Although it’s not considered polite, at least you know that your piggy is healthy and well.
Is it okay if guinea pigs eat their poop?
Every now and then you may see your cavy eating greenish coloured droppings. Don’t freak out! Unlike regular poop, these cecal droppings provide your pet with essential nutrients. So not only is it okay for guinea pigs to eat their poop, it’s essential they do.
How much should a guinea pig poop in a day?
Because some guinea pigs poop more than others, it’s not that easy to say how much they should poop in a day. What we can tell you, however, is that it’s a lot. Healthy piggies can poop up to 100 times in one day, which means you might be cleaning the hutch out three or four times a day.
Is there a way to stop guinea pigs pooping all over the place?
This is a great question and one we get often. Guinea pigs might be pocket-sized pets, but they’re professional poopers, and will do their business whenever, and wherever. But having said that, it is possible to potty-train your piggy to use a litter tray. Be aware though that it will take some time and a fair amount of patience, however, it’s worth the effort.
Hopefully, we’ve covered all your concerns about the different types of guinea pig poo, and what they could be telling you about your pet’s health, If you think there’s something we’ve missed or want to suggest poop-related topics, feel free to leave a comment below.
And if you would to learn more about your cavy check out our guinea pig library here.