Learn everything you need to know about guinea pig poop!
As little as they are, guinea pigs poop a lot!
Understanding the basics of guinea pig poop and what it can be telling you about your guinea pigs is important for any guinea pig parent. It might be a little bit gross, but your guinea pig’s poop can actually tell you a lot about their overall health.
This guide is going to break down everything you need to know about guinea pig poop!
This post contains affiliate links, which means we may make a commission off purchases at no additional cost to you. Check out our Disclaimer for more information. As an Amazon Affiliate I earn on qualifying purchases.
- What Does Normal Guinea Pig Poop Look Like?
- Is It OK To Touch Guinea Pig Poop?
- Do Guinea Pigs Eat Their Own Poop?
- How to Spot Unhealthy Guinea Pig Poop
- How Many Times Do Guinea Pigs Poop A Day?
- Can You Litter Train Guinea Pigs?
- Final Thoughts on Guinea Pig Poop
What Does Normal Guinea Pig Poop Look Like?
Healthy guinea pig poop should be firm, moist, and light to dark brown. Most guinea pigs will have poop that looks like dark brown pellets.
Healthy poo will be pretty uniform in shape, so most of the poops will look the same. They will hold their shape when swept up and won’t mush or crumble very easily. The normal size will depend on your specific guinea pigs, but they should be around 1/2 to 1 inch long.
In general, any smells come from a guinea pig’s urine. Healthy poop will not have a strong odor.
It’s important to get used to taking a quick look at your guinea pigs’ poop when tidying their cage so you become familiar with what is normal for them. This is the best way to spot a change early on that might mean there is some sort of health issue.
The foundation of a healthy guinea pig and healthy poops is feeding the right diet. Check out this article that breaks down the basics of a nutritious diet for guinea pigs.
Is It OK To Touch Guinea Pig Poop?
Yes! Guinea pig poop is perfectly safe to be around.
You may not want to touch guinea pig poop, but it’s not going to hurt you if you do. Many guinea pig owners get used to seeing so much poo that it becomes a daily thing to pick up a random poop to throw in the trash.
A quick wash of your hands after touching guinea pig poop is all that is needed to keep yourself healthy around your piggies.
Do Guinea Pigs Eat Their Own Poop?
This might seem like a crazy question… but the answer is yes! Guinea pigs do eat their own poop.
Now, they don’t eat all of their poop. There will still be plenty left for you to clean up!
Guinea pigs have two different kinds of poop. They have their regular poop that they will leave around the cage and they have special poops called caecotrophs or cecal poops.
We don’t know with 100% certainty why guinea pigs eat their caecotrophs, but the most commonly thought reason why they eat these – also called coprophagy – is to get back some of the essential nutrients that didn’t get absorbed by the body the first time.
Guinea pigs will eat this type of poop to absorb vitamin K, vitamin B, and other essential vitamins when they go through the second time.
We’ll get into talking about unhealthy guinea pig poop in a minute, but if you are seeing a lot of caecotrophs in your guinea pig cage that aren’t being eaten you need to get your guinea pig checked by a vet.
How to Spot Unhealthy Guinea Pig Poop
Now, let’s run through different types of problematic guinea pig poop. If you are noticing any of these abnormal poops in your guinea pigs’ cage, make sure to do a thorough health check and address any potential problems.
Whenever you are unsure, it’s always better to take your guinea pig to the vet for a checkup – better safe than sorry!
Soft or Runny Poop
If you are noticing poops that are very soft and squishy in your guinea pigs’ cage, they most likely are getting too many veggies or not enough hay.
Take a look at whether you are feeding a healthy diet or if you are overfeeding veggies.
Sometimes you will also see soft poops if your Guinea pig is on antibiotics. Antibiotics can upset the normal functioning of the gi tract. If this is the case, just monitor it and consider giving your piggy probiotics 30 minutes before the antibiotic dose.
Very runny poop or diarrhea is another story. This can turn very dangerous for guinea pigs since they are so little and can get dehydrated very quickly.
Diarrhea that comes on suddenly calls for a vet visit as soon as you can get one to determine the cause and make sure your guinea pig is able to get enough fluids.
Signs of dehydration include:
- Squinty or crusty eyes
- Sitting hunched and not moving around the cage
- Not eating or drinking
- Not peeing or pooping
Very Dry Poop
Guinea pig poop will be dry most of the time you see it in the cage, but if fresh poop pellets are very dry that may be a sign of a problem.
Very dry guinea pig poop can be a sign of dehydration. Again, this can be very dangerous – dehydration can kill a guinea pig within 24 hours. You want to figure out why your piggies are not hydrated enough.
Make sure there are no problems with your guinea pigs’ water bottles, that they have fresh water, and that they know how to use them. Sometimes a water bottle can break or leak. If you are using a water bowl, make sure it stays clean and full throughout the day.
Also, make sure you are feeding enough and a good variety of veggies that your guinea pigs actually like and are eating. A single guinea pig should get about a cup of vegetables per day.
You can add an extra leaf of lettuce or some cucumber to your guinea pig’s veggies to help increase their water intake.
Clumped poop can be a sign of digestive issues, or you might see it as your male guinea pigs get older.
If you have boars, you might find clumps of poop in the cage as they age. Sometimes their rectal muscles start to weaken as they get older, leading to clumps of misshaped poo.
You want to keep an eye on this because older male guinea pigs can get a condition called impaction that can cause a lot of problems if not treated.
Clumped poop can also be a sign of constipation and digestive issues. Make sure your guinea pig is eating enough hay and drinking enough water, and review their diet to make sure they are getting everything they need.
Green poop is usually your guinea pig’s caecotrophs. As I mentioned earlier, guinea pigs do eat their own poop – normally they will eat these cecal pellets directly from their behinds.
You normally won’t see these too often. If you are seeing a lot of green poop around your guinea pig’s cage, it is likely an indicator of a gut problem.
In this case, I would review your guinea pig’s diet to make sure it is healthy and balanced, and monitor your guinea pig’s eating habits. A wellness checkup with the vet might be in order to rule out any digestive problems.
If you are seeing bloody poop in your Guinea pigs’ cage, it’s time to get them a vet appointment scheduled asap.
Bloody poop is always a sign of a serious medical issue and your guinea pig needs to be seen by a vet to determine and treat the cause.
Causes could be an internal injury to the digestive tract, a symptom of ovarian cysts in female piggies, or a sign of a urinary issue like infection or bladder stones.
Tear Drop Poop
This type of poop is usually a sign of a digestive problem. The main cause of teardrop-shaped poop is a lack of fiber in your guinea pig’s diet, but it can also be an early sign of dehydration.
The easiest way to feed hay is in a big pile – guinea pigs love burrowing into hay and it will encourage them to eat more! If you are using a very small hay rack, your guinea pigs might have trouble getting the hay out or they might not be getting enough hay. Check out my list of the best hay racks for guinea pigs to see some other options.
If you have a picky eater, try out different types of hay to see if you can find one your piggies like better. You can also try mixing some forage into the hay to encourage them to eat more.
Very Small Poop
Smaller poops might be a sign that your guinea pig hasn’t been eating enough.
It takes around twenty hours for food to completely move through a guinea pig’s digestive system, so if their poops are small it could be a sign that they either didn’t have enough food, or they didn’t have much of an appetite over the previous day.
A guinea pig’s digestive system must have food moving through it at all times to function properly, so make sure to figure out why your piggy hasn’t been eating enough. Make sure they have plenty of water and unlimited grass hay available to munch on throughout the day.
If you notice that your guinea pig hasn’t been eating as much as they normally would, start feeding them critical care and get them a vet checkup scheduled as soon as you can so you can find out why.
How Many Times Do Guinea Pigs Poop A Day?
There’s no one perfect answer for all guinea pigs. In general, guinea pigs are constantly pooping because they are constantly eating. It’s important to feed them the right diet – including unlimited grass hay – to ensure their digestive system is always moving the way it should be.
You’ll become familiar with the normal amount of poop for your particular guinea pigs. If you are noticing a lot more or a lot less poop, that is a sign something might be off with their health.
Can You Litter Train Guinea Pigs?
Many guinea pigs can be litter trained to an extent. Guinea pigs are pooping constantly, so expecting them to get 100% of their poop in a litter box is unrealistic.
However, you can get them to regularly use a certain area of their cage to do the majority of their business. The easiest way to do this is to work with a guinea pig’s established natural habits.
Check out this article about litter training guinea pigs to learn more about the process.
Final Thoughts on Guinea Pig Poop
Understanding what your guinea pig’s poop is telling you can help you keep your guinea pigs happy and healthy. Keep an eye on your guinea pig’s poo so you can spot any signs of health issues early!
I think you’ll also enjoy these other articles:
- Why Do Guinea Pigs Eat Their Poop?
- Guide to a Healthy Guinea Pig Diet
- Why Does My Guinea Pig Poop SO MUCH?