We have this weird misconception about a lot of our pets and it’s easy to see why. When we look at a cute little Guinea Pig, we don’t stop to consider all of their natural bodily functions. Once of which is farting, can Guinea Pigs do it? If so, why do they do it and is it normal? I wondered this question for a long time, and decided to conduct some research to find out all about this topic to put an end to this question for good. Here is what I have been able to find.
So, do Guinea Pigs fart? Guinea Pigs do fart. This is due to the digestion process but can also be caused by the swallowing of air or trouble breaking down specific foodstuffs. If your Guinea Pig farts excessively or they appear to be bloated, this can indicate a more severe problem. You will likely need to see a Vet in this circumstance because bloating can be problematic and sometimes even fatal.
When you stop to think about it, it does make sense that a Guinea Pig would experience issues like us Humans.
One of those bodily functions we often forget to consider is flatulence. It can be a real eye-opener to people when they discover that their pets do it. Just like other mammals, Guinea Pigs do fart.
You may not have been around to hear one before, but all Guinea Pigs pass gas. Just like with a human, farting behaviors vary drastically due to a variety of factors. Let us now take a look at the various factors one by one so you can better understand this behavior and what it means.
What Causes Guinea Pigs To Fart?
Just like with humans and all other mammals, farting is a part of digestion.
Farts are the result of gasses building up in the intestines during digestive processes. Why this gas builds up on the other hand, can happen for many different reasons.
One of the main reasons is that every time you (or your Guinea Pig) eats, air is naturally swallowed. This is something unavoidable and the amount of air swallowed will differ from meal to meal, Guinea Pig to Guinea Pig. The air must be deposited out of the body. One of the ways to do this is through farting.
Another factor that causes air/gas to collect in the digestive tract is due to the actual process of breaking food down. Some foods will naturally cause more air/gas than others, and some in fact are more troublesome than others.
Guinea Pigs have a unique digestion, and it is a lot more delicate than what we have as humans. This is why you need to ensure they are adhering to a safe, wholesome and nutritious diet. One that supplies all of the vitamins, minerals but also comes with sufficient (but not too much fiber).
An excellent way to ensure your Guinea Pigs has adequate and optimal nutrition is by supplying plenty of premium Hay – which should make up at least 80% of their diet (Small Pet Select is my go to brand from Amazon).
You also want to ensure you are feeding your Guinea Pig wholesome pellets (Higgins provide a great feed which I also buy on Amazon).
Do Guinea Pigs Farts Smell?
All farts can smell. This is because the process of digestion produces waste which can contain some stinky gases. Traces of elements like Sulphur is relatively normal in farts and this naturally carries an ‘egg’ like smell.
Everyone knows this about people, but the same goes for all other mammals as well. Guinea Pig farts would likely smell to us too if we could get down on their level. Lucky for us, Guinea Pigs are so small that we hardly notice them and the smell dissipates before it reaches our nostrils.
So its important to acknowledge that they can smell. However, it could lead to suggest a larger issue if the smell is strong, frequent or out of the ordinary.
In this scenario, you will notice them. If you notice they are creating abnormally stinky farts, then the best course of action is to contact your vet. This is especially true if it is accompanied by diarrhea or other issues like excessive bloating.
Which Foods Should Be Avoided?
There is a rather big connection with the amount of food being produced in an individual and their diet. Guinea Pigs are no different. Certain foods will cause your Guinea Pig to create excess amounts of gas during the digestive process.
While these foods can be enjoyed as a treat once in a while, these should be limited to a couple of times a week and in quantity at each feed.
In fact, they should be totally avoided if you notice your Guinea Pigs are experiencing any adverse reactions like producing excessive amounts of gas that are especially stinky.
You may even notice some similarities between what gives a Guinea Pig gas and what gives you gas.
Here are some vegetables that Guinea Pigs can struggle to break down and can cause issues:
- Collard Greens
- Bok Choy
These foods are a challenge to digest – particularly in their raw state. They are very fiber rich and require strong digestive power to break them down.
Just as it is the case with people, Guinea Pigs also have individual differences on what can upset their stomach. If you notice your Guinea Pig behaving different, going off their good, or in signs of distress and pain this should be a signal that something is wrong with their diet. This can occur even despite eating exactly what any of your other healthy Guinea Pigs are eating. A Guinea Pigs diet therefore needs to be monitored and tailored for each individual.
Make sure to NEVER give your Guinea Pigs dairy or beans. Guinea Pigs have a problem dealing with foods like this and they are renowned for causing excessive gas.
A good rule of thumb is to consider that whatever can make you gassy, it will make your Guinea Pig gassier.
How Can You Manage Excessive Gas In Guinea Pigs?
Avoiding excess gas has a lot to do with diet adjustments. The key thing to remember what works well and optimally for your Guinea Pig and that moderation is important.
Try to develop a well balanced diet for your pet. Guinea Pigs need diversity and will require more than just Hay and Pellets to thrive.
Ensure they are eating adequate Hay and a wide assortment of fresh and safe fruits and vegetables. This will ensure they are getting sufficient and adequate fiber that helps maintain digestive health.
However, too much fiber or fiber of the wrong type that is difficult to break down can cause gas buildup so you need to be careful. It can also be a little complicated for a Guinea Pig when the gasses get trapped so the best approach is to prevent it from collecting and building up in the first place.
Can Guinea Pigs Get Bloated?
Most of us can relate to the experience of feeling bloated, especially after certain meals. This is when your abdomen swells up and you feel as if you need to fart or go to the bathroom. This is the result of gas build up in your intestines and normally, passing gas can help alleviate the discomfort.
You’ll likely know what foods cause the most bloating in you, and naturally you will probably stay away from them. For Guinea Pigs this is a little bit more complex because they eat what they are given.
Guinea Pigs also have a much smaller constitution, frame and digestive power. You need to take this into consideration at all times. Their digestion is more delicate and they do not have the capacity to relieve gas like we can.
When Do You Contact A Vet About Bloating?
Bloating can be very dangerous and fatal for a Guinea Pig, so you need to ensure that it does not occur and you are aware of any bloating that arises.
However, it is often difficult to tell when they are bloating so you need to look out for some of the signs.
One of the key symptoms can be seen via a Guinea Pigs behavior.
If your Guinea Pig is making a lot of noises, this could be them trying to tell you they are in pain. There are also some elements of body language to look out for. If your Guinea Pig is sluggish, laying abnormally, is agitated, is walking irregularly, they have a distended stomach or they just do not seem themselves, this could be a sign that they are in pain.
Another important sign that something is wrong with your Guinea Pig is that they appear to have no appetite. Always makes sure to recognize how much food your Guinea Pigs are eating and whether or not there is a change. This can happen when you change their so you need to be careful here.
If any of the symptoms are displayed, or you are concerned that your Guinea Pig is bloated or in pain, you should visit or call your vet for an examination. You’ll need to do this as quickly as possible because it can be fatal if left unchecked.
What Is Intestinal Twisting?
There is something to consider which in rare cases, could be the cause of farting or digestion issues in general.
Intestinal twisting (Volvulus) is a dangerous complication where the intestines twist within the Guinea Pig’s body. If this was to happen, everything is blocked from passing through and digestion is severely compromised. This can be incredibly life threatening because it prevents digestion, absorption of nutrients, it forces your Guinea Pig to back up and to hold in all the toxins it’s trying to push out.
This condition needs to be treated very quickly, but you will see clear signs that your Guinea Pig is distressed and in pain. Usually, surgery is required and it involves invasive procedures.
Unfortunately, while we have an understanding of what Volvulus is, experts have yet to determine a definite cause.
There is some evidence that other diseases can cause it. A link has been established between this phenomena and some viruses, bacteria, and parasites. Hairball impaction is also a probable cause as hair cannot be properly digested in the body.
Excessive farting will often accompany this diagnosis as the only thing able to get through is air. This also means you will notice that your Guinea Pig has stopped having regular bowel movements altogether.
It is therefore something you should look out for, and reminds us to properly take care of our Guinea Pigs at all times. Ensure their diet is sufficient, regularly check up on them and clean out their cage to remove any excess hair and bacteria from collecting.
Should I be Worried If My Guinea Pig Is Farting?
Volvulus is a rare condition and the worse case scenario. It is usually not the cause of farting.
For the most part a farty Guinea Pig is a healthy one. Everybody farts including the majority of animals and subsequent pets. This is just one of those funny parts of life that we often don’t think about.
If your Guinea Pig is exhibiting any other symptoms, or signs of pains/discomfort, then this may indicate something is wrong. Otherwise, there is no need to worry over farting.
The best thing you can do for your Guinea Pig is offer them a well balanced diet, provide great care, give them your utmost attention and b sure to monitor their behavior. If they seem to be having some dietary problems, you can also adjust their food as needed. This is a normal part of pet parenting.
Being able to recognize their subtle changes in your pet’s behavior is the key to being able to determine when something is going wrong. The earliest sign that you notice something seems off, going to a small animal expert can help get to the bottom of this.