How Long Can Guinea Pigs Go Without Food? | Guinea Pigs Without Food

If you have to leave your guinea pig pet alone for a few hours, you might have a few questions about it. How long can guinea pigs go without food? If the guinea pigs are hydrated well, they can go without food for more than six hours. However, if you push the dry period longer than 12 hours, it might be harmful to these little rodents.

Every living creature needs to stay hydrated and it can save them from a breakdown if there is no food. However, if you are leaving your pet alone for a few hours and you are wondering if these furry little creatures are going to make it comfortably through that time, be sure that you leave some snacks if you are going for more than six hours.

How Long Can Guinea Pigs Go Without Food

How Long Can Guinea Pigs Go Without Food? Compete Guide

Guinea pigs are small animals and they do not eat much. These rodents are active and run around in their cages. However, if you leave them alone and they do not eat for up to eight hours maximum, their body can get into GI stasis. This state is when the gastrointestinal tract slows down and the rodent’s body does not get any nutrition for hours.

Many times your guinea pig will be hiding in the cage, and sometimes you might have to leave them for some time. Now you know how long it would be acceptable and when you should hurry and feed them.

If the weather is cool, or if it is chilly, these rodents might feel hungry sooner than in the summer. Weather and other factors impact the time that they can go without food. However, you also have to understand that just as all of us are different, every guinea pig is an individual and has unique behavior and physical requirements.


How Long Can Guinea Pigs Go Without Water

If there is no water, the guinea pig cannot survive twenty-four hours without food and water. These little rodents feed on dry forage most of the day. Only 20% of their diet consists of vegetables and fruits. For digestion, they need to keep drinking water. However, they can miss a snack if they are not fed one for some hours.

Water is an essential part of the diet, and since most of the food is dry pellets and hay, the need for water is greater. Be sure to leave a full bowl of water if you are heading out for some hours.

On the safe side, it would last for at least some of the time that you are not around to refill the bowl. If you feed your guinea pig pet some vegetables and fruits that have a higher water content, their need for water would be slightly lesser.


The Harm Of Going Without Food For a Long

If your guinea pig munches on hay all day long, it will find it hard to stay without eating fruits and vegetables that provide most of the vitamins and other essential nutrients. You may be serving dietary supplements to your guinea pet, but they still need food.

If these rodents do not get food for more than eight hours, their body slows down as the gastrointestinal tract becomes slow. The body fluids stop moving, and this means that they feel inactive.

When the fluid circulation slows down, these rodents get dehydrated. Consequently, guinea pigs feel bloated and they stop eating even when they are given food. This condition can worsen within twenty-four hours, and the poor pet can die.

Guinea pigs are designed in a way that they require food and water after intervals. This is why pet parents are told that they need to keep serving hay, vegetables, and fruits throughout the day. This prevents GI stasis, which means that the rodents will keep feeling hydrated due to the proper circulation of fluids in the body.

If you are gone for more than 12 hours, the guinea pig might get low on vitamins. The daily vitamin intake is fulfilled by vegetables, fruits, and vitamin supplements.

Since rodents are prone to infection and diseases, they need vitamin C in higher amounts than other vitamins. Your pet can develop scurvy if it goes without this vitamin for more than a day. Moreover, their immunity drops and they can catch infections easily.


Harms Of Going Without Water For Long

If you forget to fill the water bowl to the brim, your guinea pig pet might get dehydrated after six to eight hours. If this happens, many side effects can seep in, and none of them are desired. Firstly, guinea pigs might get kidney stones due to low water content in the body. This can be painful and may even hinder their daily activity levels.

They may also suffer constipation or intestinal impaction since they eat hay and if there is no water, the high-fiber food moves slowly along the tract and may get stuck in the intestines. A urinary tract infection can also cause discomfort in these rodents. Again, this condition is painful and you would not want to see your guinea pig pet upset and in pain. Also, check out the Guinea Pigs Food Chart.


How To Prevent These Harms In Guinea Pigs

If you are leaving your guinea pet alone for hours, be sure to leave enough hay for it to enjoy. These creatures eat in small amounts but need constant refills so they can keep their metabolism levels in check.

If your guinea pig has hay and water, it will not need dry pellets or vegetables and fruits to keep them active. The high roughage hays are a portion of good food for these rodents, and they enjoy the hard texture. It helps keep their dentition in check and satiates their hunger for a long.

Dry pellets are also an important constituent of their daily diet, however, if you feed these pellets after you get back home, guinea pigs will survive on hays. Moreover, be sure to leave a lot of water so that even when they are not eating, they can have water. This hydrating routine will keep their bodies active and healthy.

Special Conditions Which Make Guinea Pigs Sensitive

As we mentioned earlier, guinea pigs are individuals with specific body requirements. Some of these rodents might be able to endure hunger and no water for a longer period, while others may give in earlier. Here are some special conditions that make guinea pigs become more sensitive and therefore they need food and water sooner than others:

  • Pregnant guinea pigs,
  • Baby guinea pigs,
  • Old guinea pigs,
  • Sick or ill guinea pigs.

All these conditions reduce the stamina to go without food for a long. If your guinea pig pet is feeling any of the symptoms of GI stasis, it is time to take notice and quickly take care of it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can my guinea pig die if it does not get food for three hours?

No, your guinea pig will not die if it doesn’t eat for three hours. However, there will be a drop in its metabolism and that would make it inactive and sluggish.

What are the symptoms of GI stasis?

GI stasis is indicated by a few symptoms such as inactivity, low appetite, teeth grinding, weight loss, gurgling in the stomach, and constipation.

How can I improve GI stasis in guinea pigs?

There are a few remedies that could help get guinea pigs out of GI stasis. You can try massage, enema, gut motility drugs, fluid therapy, and forced feeding.


How long can guinea pigs go without food? Usually, five to eight hours can be spent without food but when these rodents do not have water and food, dry periods of more than twelve hours can be fatal. Be sure to understand the harms of not feeding your guinea pig over short intervals so that you avoid them and can see your pet thrive.

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