I have a three-year-old male guinea pig named Simon. Simon is much too fat. He is neutered, he was when we adopted him. I have tried everything to get his weight down to a healthy point. But he’s just not losing. He has been at the vet for a check up. He gets only about six or seven pellets a day. Just enough to placate him when the other pig, rabbit and chinchilla get theirs. I only feed him greens, and red pepper. He gets an Oxbow multi vitamin wafer daily. No fruit or things like carrots. He is now in the bathroom with his brother but unless I get after him, he just sits. I hope maybe someone might have a hint.
- And got the T-shirt
Most weight recommendations that you'll find on the web are based on lab animals, not pets. And most guinea pigs are not overweight unless they are overfed on pellets or have mobility issues. They're herbivores. Think about how hard it would be for you to be overweight eating nothing but salad with no dressing on it.
Every sow I had hovered above or just under the three-pound mark, and none were overweight.
How much floor time does he get? Are you able to take him outside when it's nice? If you are able to get him outside, you must use caution with regard to temperature (hot and cold both), possible predator hazards and the vegetation on the spot where you might have him. Fertilizer and insecticides are harmful as are bacteria and parasites from decaying organic material. There's a lot to consider when it comes to guinea pigs and the great outdoors. I take mine out whenever I can; usually multiple times a day for short periods. They love to forage the lawn and eat fresh grass. The grass is very good for them and they are allowed to eat their fill daily.
I rake my lawn thoroughly twice a year to remove undergrowth. I don't use fertilizer or insecticides and I have only a few certain spots where I set up their outdoor pen. I've picked places that allow me to provide shade, away from where passing dogs and cats don't do their business and where I can sit with them and watch over them. As far as weeds, the only one I have to deal with is dandelion, which is good for them in limited quantity.
Do your research before you take him outside and if you can work it out, don't leave him unattended even for a second. If you give him a big enough pen, you'll find that he'll get plenty of exercise and his weight will be well managed. If you can't get him outside, setting up an inside pen and putting things for him to play with or chew on will help. You might have to get down there with him to encourage him to move around and play.
Initially I put them in the bathroom with a bunch of houses, tunnels, etc. and he would just run into one and sit. I kind of have to encourage him to move around and it is not successful. He prefers to hang out in one spot. I will try spreading out his veggies. Good idea. He has piles of hay in his pen already. His pen is 28” x 56”. Good sized. But he sits in his house. I think he is lazy due to being neutered. My intact boars are much more active.
- Make Good Choices
As far as the weight gain goes, I haven’t had a pig balloon up as is warned, but, I do have a lazy one. He knows all about the goodness that is stored in the refrigerator, and about the cookies that are kept at the other end of the room. So I set up his floor time mats in between the two, and then I get him all excited about one or other, and then I walk back and forth between them 8 or 10 times while he chases after me. He eventually gets his treat, to keep the ruse up, but he gets his steps in. (Most of the time. Once I turned around to find him sitting in front of the refrigerator, staring at it. He was on to me. LOL)