| Pet Care Advice By Veterinarians |

What To Do If Your Guinea Pig Stops Eating And Drinking



Reviewed By: Dr. Joel Robertson

Learn more about us.

If your guinea pig has stopped eating and drinking, there is definitely cause for concern. It is important to act quickly and get your guinea pig the help that he needs.

In this blog post, we will discuss the possible causes of this behavior and what you can do to help your guinea Pig get back on track.

Key Takeaway

  • If your guinea pig stops eating and drinking, it’s crucial to promptly consult with a veterinarian experienced in guinea pig care, consider dietary or environmental changes that might be causing loss of appetite, and try strategies like offering flavored electrolyte solutions or replacing their bedding with hay to stimulate eating.
  • A guinea pig might stop eating and drinking due to reasons such as illness, dental problems, sudden changes in their environment, or abrupt shifts in their diet.
  • Guinea pigs can experience life-threatening complications after just eight hours without eating or twelve hours without drinking.

What To Do If Your Guinea Pig Stops Eating And Drinking

What To Do If Your Guinea Pig Stops Eating And Drinking

If your guinea pig stops eating and drinking, the immediate course of action should be to consult a veterinarian familiar with guinea pig care to diagnose and treat potential health issues.

1. Provide access to fresh water at all times

Water is essential for guinea pig health. It helps with digestion and prevents constipation. It also keeps them hydrated and can help regulate their body temperature. Guinea pigs should have access to fresh water at all times.

A water bottle is the best way to provide them with water, as they are more likely to drink from it than from a bowl. If you’re using a bowl, be sure to clean it out daily and refill it with fresh water. Water is important for guinea pigs, so make sure they always have access to it!

The average guinea pig needs to drink around 30 – 50 ml of water per day. However, this can vary depending on the size of your guinea pig, their diet, and the temperature of their environment. If you are unsure how much water your guinea pig is drinking, it is best to consult with a veterinarian.

There are a few signs that you can look for to see if your guinea pig is dehydrated. These include sunken eyes, dry nose, dry skin, and lethargy. If you notice any of these signs in your guinea pig, it is important to take them to the vet as soon as possible.

Dehydration can be deadly for guinea pigs, so it is important to make sure they are getting enough water each day.

2. Try offering a variety of foods

There are many reasons why guinea pigs might stop eating and drinking. One possibility is that they’re not getting enough of the right kinds of food. For example, if they’re only getting hay and pellets, they might not be getting enough fresh vegetables and fruits.

There is a lot of debate surrounding what the best diet for a Guinea Pig is, but there are some general guidelines that most experts agree on. The basis of a good diet for a Guinea Pig should be hay, fresh vegetables, and a small number of pellets.

Hay is important for Guinea Pigs because it provides them with essential nutrients and fiber. It also helps keep their digestive system healthy.

Fresh vegetables are also an important part of their diet because they provide essential vitamins and minerals. A small number of pellets can also be beneficial because they provide additional protein and nutrients.

When choosing hay, look for something that is high in quality and low in dust. Timothy hay is generally considered to be the best type of hay for Guinea Pigs. As for vegetables, some of the best options include dark leafy greens, carrots, and cucumbers.

If you’re unsure about what to feed your Guinea Pig or how much of each type of food they need, it’s always best to consult with a veterinarian or other expert.

They can help you create a customized diet plan that meets your pet’s individual needs. By following these guidelines, you can help ensure that your Guinea Pig stays healthy and happy.

3. Visit the veterinarian

Guinea pigs are highly susceptible to health problems, so it is important to take them to the vet for regular checkups.

If you notice any changes in your guinea pig’s behavior or appearance, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with the vet.

Early detection and treatment of health problems can help your guinea pig live a long and healthy life.

In addition to regular checkups, it is important to take your guinea pig to the vet if they show any signs of illness. Some common signs of illness in guinea pigs include lethargy, loss of appetite, weight loss, diarrhea, and excessive thirst.

If you notice any of these signs, please call your vet right away. Early diagnosis and treatment of illnesses can help your guinea pig recover quickly and avoid serious complications.

4. If they stopped eating and drinking due to gastrointestinal stasis…

One medical issue that can cause a Guinea Pig to stop eating is gastrointestinal stasis. This is when the digestive system slows down or stops working properly. This can be caused by a variety of things, including stress, dehydration, and pain.

Gastrointestinal stasis is a condition where the stomach and/or intestines stop working properly. This can be caused by many things, including pain, stress, anxiety, or gastrointestinal infections. Gastrointestinal stasis can be very dangerous and even life-threatening for guinea pigs.

Symptoms of gastrointestinal stasis include decreased appetite, weight loss, lethargy, and bloating. If you suspect your guinea pig may be suffering from gastrointestinal stasis, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately.

Treatment will vary depending on the cause of the stasis but may include antibiotics, pain medication, changes in diet, and/or fluid therapy.

Prevention of gastrointestinal stasis is often possible through proper management of guinea pigs’ diet and environment.

If you have a guinea pig, it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of gastrointestinal stasis and to seek veterinary care immediately if you suspect your pet may be suffering from this condition.

5. If they stopped eating and drinking due to anorexia nervosa

Another medical issue that can cause a Guinea Pig to stop eating is anorexia nervosa. This is an eating disorder that can be caused by a variety of factors, including stress, anxiety, and depression.

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that can occur in guinea pigs. It is characterized by a lack of appetite and weight loss. Anorexia nervosa can be caused by a variety of factors, including stress, illness, or changes in diet.

If left untreated, anorexia nervosa can lead to serious health problems, such as malnutrition and even death. Treatment for anorexia nervosa typically focuses on increasing the guinea pig’s appetite and providing nutritional support.

If you think your guinea pig may be suffering from anorexia nervosa, it is important to contact your veterinarian right away. Early diagnosis and treatment can improve the chances of a full recovery says Chewy.

Why Would a Guinea Pig Stop Eating and Drinking

A guinea pig might stop eating and drinking due to illness, dental issues, environmental changes, or dietary shifts.


In my experience as a veterinarian, illness is often a primary reason why a guinea pig would stop eating and drinking. This could range from kidney infections to gastrointestinal issues. When guinea pigs are unwell, they may exhibit other signs too, such as lethargy, hiding, or decreased fecal production. It’s crucial to get them checked by a vet promptly if you notice these symptoms.

Dental Issues

Dental problems are another common cause for a guinea pig’s refusal to eat or drink. Overgrowth of the teeth can make it painful or even impossible for them to consume food and water. Regular dental check-ups are therefore essential to prevent such issues and maintain your guinea pig’s overall health.

Environmental Changes

Guinea pigs are sensitive creatures and any alterations in their environment can lead to behavioral changes, including changes in eating and drinking habits. This could be anything from moving their cage to introducing new cage mates. Always monitor your guinea pig closely during such transitions and do your best to minimize stress.

Dietary Shifts

If a guinea pig’s diet is changed abruptly, they may refuse to eat or drink. They are creatures of habit and prefer familiar foods. Therefore, any new additions to their diet should be introduced gradually and always alongside their regular food.

How Long Can Guinea Pigs Go Without Eating or Drinking?

Guinea pigs can experience life-threatening complications after only eight hours without eating or twelve hours without drinking.

As a veterinarian, I can attest to the fact that guinea pigs have unique dietary needs. Their systems are designed to constantly eat, drink, and excrete waste.

This constant cycle is crucial for their health, particularly for maintaining a healthy gut flora and preventing GI stasis, a common condition in guinea pigs that can occur when they don’t eat enough fiber.

If your guinea pig stops eating or drinking, it’s a serious concern that requires immediate attention. Even a short period without food can lead to irreversible liver damage, as their bodies need a constant supply of nutrients to function properly.

The same goes for water – hydration is essential for their overall health and digestion.

Moreover, guinea pigs get some of their hydration from their daily vegetables. So if you notice your guinea pig drinking less water, it could be because they’re eating more watery fruits and vegetables.

However, this doesn’t mean they can go without water. Always ensure fresh water is readily available for them.

What Does It Mean When Your Guinea Pig Stops Drinking?

When a guinea pig stops drinking, it could be an indication of several issues, including illness, discomfort, dental problems, or changes in their environment.

As a veterinarian, I’ve seen many cases where guinea pigs stop drinking due to various reasons. Sometimes, it’s as simple as them not liking the water source or the water itself.

Guinea pigs are quite particular about their surroundings and may refuse to drink if they find the water bottle difficult to access or if the water tastes different.

However, more often than not, a guinea pig refusing to drink is a sign of underlying health issues. Dental problems are a common cause.

If a guinea pig experiences pain while drinking due to a toothache or oral infection, they may avoid the water bottle. Similarly, any form of discomfort or illness can also lead to a decrease in water consumption.

How Do You Rehydrate Guinea Pigs?

Rehydrating a guinea pig involves providing easy access to fresh water, feeding them hydrating foods, and in severe cases, offering them a special rehydration solution.

Providing Easy Access to Fresh Water

As a veterinarian, I always stress the importance of maintaining a clean, easily accessible source of water for guinea pigs. The water bottle should be at a comfortable height for them, allowing them to drink without straining or stretching. It’s also essential to change the water daily, ensuring it is always fresh and appealing.

Feeding Hydrating Foods

A significant portion of a guinea pig’s hydration can come from their food. Many fruits and vegetables, such as cucumbers, bell peppers, and watermelon, have high water content. Including these in your guinea pig’s diet can help maintain their hydration levels. However, remember that while these foods are hydrating, they should never replace water as the primary source of hydration.

Offering a Rehydration Solution

In cases where a guinea pig is severely dehydrated, a special rehydration solution may be necessary. These solutions, often containing electrolytes, can be bought from pet stores or made at home using a vet-approved recipe. It’s important to administer this using a syringe (without a needle), gently offering small amounts at a time to avoid choking.


Q: How long can a guinea pig go without eating?

A: Guinea pigs have a sensitive digestive system and cannot go very long without eating. If your guinea pig stops eating, you should be concerned and seek veterinary care as soon as possible. A guinea pig can become dangerously ill within 24-48 hours of not eating.

Q: Can I force-feed my guinea pig if it refuses to eat?

A: It is not recommended to force-feed your guinea pig without veterinary guidance. Guinea pigs have unique dietary requirements, and force-feeding can potentially cause harm if done incorrectly. It is best to consult with a veterinarian who can provide appropriate guidance and support.

Q: Is it normal for guinea pigs to go off their food or water occasionally?

A: Guinea pigs have a consistent need for food and water, and any sudden change in their appetite or drinking habits should not be considered normal. While occasional fluctuations in appetite can happen, a significant decrease or complete refusal to eat or drink is a cause for concern and should be addressed promptly.

Q: What can I do to encourage my guinea pig to eat and drink?

A: There are a few things you can try to encourage your guinea pig to eat and drink. Offer a variety of fresh vegetables, hay, and pellets to stimulate their appetite. Ensure that their water bottle is clean and filled with fresh water. It may also help to create a calm and stress-free environment for your guinea pig.

Q: Should I provide any special care if my guinea pig is not eating?

A: If your guinea pig is not eating, you should provide special care to ensure their well-being. Offer softer foods or soak their pellets to make them easier to eat. Make sure your guinea pig’s enclosure is clean and comfortable. Keep a close eye on their weight and behavior and seek veterinary advice promptly.

Q: Can guinea pigs survive without drinking water?

A: Guinea pigs require constant access to fresh water to maintain their overall health and well-being. They cannot survive without drinking water for an extended period. If your guinea pig is not drinking water, it is essential to address the issue promptly to prevent dehydration and other health complications.

Q: Will my guinea pig’s appetite return once it starts feeling better?

A: In most cases, once the underlying issue causing the loss of appetite is addressed and treated, your guinea pig’s appetite should gradually return. However, it is important to monitor their eating and drinking habits closely to ensure a full recovery and seek veterinary guidance if any concerns arise.

Q: How can I prevent my guinea pig from developing appetite and drinking problems?

A: To prevent appetite and drinking problems in guinea pigs, it is crucial to provide them with a balanced diet consisting of fresh vegetables, high-quality hay, and guinea pig pellets. Additionally, maintaining a clean and stress-free environment, regular veterinary check-ups, and promptly addressing any health concerns can help ensure their overall well-being.

Conclusion and final thoughts

In conclusion, it is important to closely monitor your guinea pig’s eating and drinking habits and take immediate action if you notice any changes.

A loss of appetite in guinea pigs can be a serious issue that requires prompt attention.

By following the tips mentioned in this blog post, you can help ensure your furry friend stays healthy and happy.

Please take the time and leave a comment below if this article helped you, or you have any additional questions.

Learn more about us.

Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

Latest posts

  • When To Neuter or Spay a Toy Poodle

    When To Neuter or Spay a Toy Poodle

    Deciding when to neuter or spay a toy poodle is a common consideration for many pet owners. The timing of this procedure can have significant implications on a dog’s health and behavior. It’s a topic that generates much discussion due to the varying recommendations from breeders, veterinarians, and pet forums. Balancing the benefits of these…

    Read more

  • Do Male Dogs Change After Being Neutered?

    Do Male Dogs Change After Being Neutered?

    Neutering is a common procedure for male dogs, often recommended by veterinarians to promote health and manage behavior. However, many dog owners wonder about the effects of this operation on their furry friend’s behavior and personality. Neutering can indeed induce changes in a male dog’s behavior, which can range from a decrease in aggression to…

    Read more

DMCA.com Protection Status