Guinea pigs are extremely active little creatures that love playing and being always on the move. It may be a cause for alarm for many guinea pig owners when they notice them slumping down everywhere.
It may not be a heavy kind of slump but it may still be lying down here and there which may make you worried. Is it really normal? Find out below.
Why is my guinea pig lying down so much?
Your guinea pig lying down, be it on one side or on its stomach with both front and hind legs stretched out, is generally okay. Mostly it’s because it’s just tired and only taking a rest. If you have only started realizing the behavior, that could be a good sign. Guinea pigs always lie down to rest every now and then.
Starting to see them do it out in the open is a shows that it feels safe and secure in its environment. This is because they usually hide away before lying down.
Reasons why your guinea pig could be lying down a lot
There are various reasons that will make your guinea pig keep lying around. These reasons include:
Taking a break
With all the activity and high energy levels in your tiny pet, it’s only normal that it will require a break every now and then. It may lie around in between playtimes and that’s okay behaviour.
Instead of worrying yourself sick, give it a break and allow it to rest.
Some guinea pigs are naturally lazy. They can be lazy to the extent of eating while sleeping.
Some may only ever run when chased and always lie around due to being naturally inactive. If your guinea pig is not the active kind, that’s okay.
Just like a kid, a guinea pig gets bored easily. It may have several toys but playing with them every day each time may make it bored.
Living in a monotonous cage may also make it bored and you’ll find that it will just keep lying around all the time. You can try to spruce up the cage with interesting things like tunnels or mazes to keep it on the move a lot more.
When a guinea pig has gotten used to its surrounding environment, it will begin feeling secure and safe. This will make it feel comfortable enough to lie around.
It’s just a form of relaxing and it means you are taking good care of it.
Sometimes your pet could be injured making it lie down every time. It’s easy to spot an injured pet as it will seem to be in pain.
It may make uneasy painful sounds when touched. Always be careful when dealing with a pet that seems injured to avoid making things worse than they already are and call a vet immediately.
If a pet’s nails grow too long it could make it have trouble moving around. Always trim a guinea pet’s nails.
A sick guinea pig may keep lying around more than normal. It is essential to seek a vet’s help when you sense your guinea pig is unwell.
Other signs of a guinea pig being sick are:
- Heavy breathing/panting.
- Appearing lethargic.
- Can’t seem to able to move.
How to know if lying down a lot is not normal
Though it’s okay and normal for your guinea pig to lie down often, there may be times when it’s not normal and something more serious could be the issue.
Guinea pigs being prey animals have adapted to not showing weakness so as not to attract predators in the wild. This makes them hide it if they are sick and it is usually a little too late if you begin noticing signs of sickness in your guinea pig.
It is therefore very important to keep a hawk-like eye on your guinea pet at all times so as to notice early-on the slightest sign of something being upset. Lying down a lot will not be okay if several other factors come into play.
Listed below is what to watch out for.
Lack of appetite
Guinea pigs are ever eating. It’s in their nature and even in the wild, they will always be foraging through vegetation for food.
If your guinea suddenly lacks appetite and starts nibbling on food or completely stops eating then there is trouble in paradise.
A lack of appetite coupled with lying around should be checked out by a vet.
Due to the amount of food they eat, guinea pigs are prone to poop a lot. They may even have over 100 droppings a day.
This can drastically change if they are not eating or something is wrong with their digestive system. A digestive system that’s not okay will tend to make the piggy have issues like diarrhoea.
Normal guinea pig poop is brown and has uniform oval pellets. No poop at all or liquid poop with constant lying down means that something is bothering your pet.
Loss of weight
Guinea pig owners should constantly measure their guinea pig’s weight. Some advise it to happen weekly while others swear by daily measurements.
Whichever you choose, it’s a practice you should adopt if you haven’t already. If you notice that your pet is losing weight, something is the matter.
It could be due to a lack of appetite. Do bear in mind that a guinea pig that has lost weight will be weak and will tend to keep lying down everywhere.
If your guinea pig is always up and kicking then suddenly becomes sluggish, keep a keen eye on the pet. If things don’t change, talk to a veterinarian.
So there you go with reasons why your pet may be lying around a lot. Unless you notice something else abnormal it’s usually nothing to worry about.
Your pet is only just taking life one day at a time which you should too.