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How can I get my guinea pig to lose weight?
sunmoon
macychick wrote in guinea_pigs
 

 My little boy, Benny, the guinea pig you see in the PIGture, is quite chubby, and I'm worried that he may be obese and I am worried for his health. Any tips on how to get him to lose weight? I've tried to let him run around the living room (with supervision, of course) but he mostly just stands there and doesn't move around that much. (BTW, the dumbbells and exercise equipment were just props for a cute photo opp...I know those don't really work for cavies!)

Guinea pigs are generally 'overweight' - that is their nature. My only suggestion is to take a look at what you are feeding him and how much then compare that to the feeding suggestions on guinealynx. You may be feeding him too much.

Make sure that he has a large enough cage to run around whenever the mood strikes him. If possible, get him a (same sex) friend, as that will also most likely perk up his activity level - at least, it did for my pigs.

Ahaha, I often joke with my vet that I need a guinea pig treadmill for my boars. They're fatties! :P

My nickname for Caramel is "little fuzzy fat guy". :)

I regularly weigh my piggies on kitchen scales.
My agouti boar weights 1363 grams :)

It's very hard for a guinea pig to actually be overweight; the natural weight range varies hugely, and vet textbooks are massively out of date.

That said, exercise is necessary for health, and a same sex friend is really the only way to achieve that. They're very social animals and a friend increases their happiness, health and life span.

Check the diet information on Guinea Lynx too: his weight is probably fine (he looks normal) but there are a lot of health issues that can arise from a non-perfect diet. Sticking closely to their charts does save on vet bills :)

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i agree with hills. my pigs live in a 3 story mansion and it has to be the only reason that Minerva is not the size of a wombat. i swear she eats more than i do

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my theory is thats why they are called pigs

How much does he weigh?

Also, he probably doesn't move on his own because pigs are pack animals, meaning they need at least one of their own kind to feel safe(r). It must be quite scary on his own on the floor. Getting him a friend would definitely improve things exercises wise.

And if you cavy savvy vet doesn't think he's overweight then I wouldn't worry too much about it. Some pigs are chunkier then others, some are bigger and some smaller.

A good example are 2 of mine, Scruffles and Nibbler.
Scruffles looks and feels chunky, but is only 1080g which isn't that heavy really. Nibbler on the other hand, due to having had babies when she was 3 months old (not by my doing I'd like to add), she had a growth stunt and is very small currently weighing in at 650g and she's a year old now.

Oh aw. I had a piggie that got an URI at maybe two weeks old (and whose mom was probably barely three months old as well) and after all the meds and what not his weight never rose above 740. It was 650g until he turned three. He's three and a half now. I love my big piggies, but my little runt is my darling.

no advice, I just wanted to say I think thats's a really cute pigture :)

Thanks everyone for the advice! Glad to know he's not obese! I'm considered getting another (male) piggie but my husband has put his foot down and said one pet at a time is the limit. We're trying to budget our spending, another g-pig would mean buying 2x the amount of hay, bedding, etc.

I had the same argument from my boyfriend. I got around this by explaining how I was going to save $ on piggy food. I found a place to buy veggies called Produce Junction. They have AMAZING prices. Avg 50% lower than grocery stores, even better if what you are buying is in season. I'm also looking for a local supplier of bale hay. I was thinking I would take as much as I thought I could use and donate the rest to my local animal shelter. For pellets you can try buying online or you can just figure that while they are relatively expensive, they are only a small portion of what your pigs should be eating anyway.

Bedding is the hardest part. While expensive initially if you have easy access to a decent washer & dryer towels and fleece can be a good option. I use paper pellets that are marketed for cat litter, it's identical to the stuff for small animals and it costs less. It lasts a long time too.

You can also mention that because a friend will improve your current pig's health and well being you are saving on vet bills in the long run :)

You can also mention that because a friend will improve your current pig's health and well being you are saving on vet bills in the long run :)

Absolutely!

I buy my hay and pellets online and find that adding a pig didn't really increase my costs.

I went from one, to two, to three at one point. Increasing the number of pigs didn't seem to proportionately increase the expense - really, only in food, which isn't that expensive (especially if you share... I used to share my veggies with the pigs, which means we always had salad around). There are beddings that are cheap and still good for pigs, like Yesterday's News. OR you can go the fleece route which means no more buying bedding and may be the cheapest option if you have easy access to a washer and dryer, although I didn't like fleece.

Anyway, it's doable, but I understand. I am trying to convince my husband we need a second cat. It took a few months but he's agreed to try it out if we find a no-kill rescue that will let us take in a cat for a few weeks to see if it works out (and give the cat back if it doesn't).

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