Determining if a guinea pig is pregnant in the early stages can be difficult. While a vet can test hormone levels or do imaging for definitive answers, you can also observe your guinea pig to get an idea. A guinea pig will have distinct pregnancy behaviors you’ll notice if you’ve had the piggle a while.
The Physical Signs
Typically, guinea pigs do not start immediately growing when they’re pregnant, just like humans. However, the more pups in the litter, the sooner you will notice the weight gain and distinctive pregnant shape on your piggle.
Usually, the first sign a guinea pig is pregnant is the change in their food and water consumption. Growing little guinea pigs is hard work, so one of the most prevalent pregnancy behaviors in guinea pigs is constant munching and cleaning out the food dish.
If you monitor how much your guinea pig eats, this pregnancy behavior will become quickly apparent. It’s best to increase the food allotment for any guinea pig suspected of being pregnant to be safe.
Additionally, pregnant guinea pigs also need to increase their vitamin C consumption. If you use a water-soluble vitamin C, this may lead to dramatic increases in drinking, so be careful about using this option. It’s best to give pregnant guinea pigs dark leafy greens as well.
If you’ve had your guinea pig for a while, you’re likely used to her habits and know-how she behaves generally. You know what makes her excited, whether she likes to lay in the hay pile, and other small details.
If your guinea pig suddenly starts laying down for everything, it’s one of the possible pregnancy behaviors. Even in the early weeks, growing little guinea pigs is tough and uncomfortable work. Make sure to check your guinea pig over for problems just in case though, especially the feet.
Not Wanting to Be Handled
This one is hard for many guinea pig owners. Your social guinea pig who likes to be held may decide she no longer wants that. While it’s initially heartbreaking, it’s easy to understand this pregnancy behavior since the little ones push on things as they grow and change her center of balance.
Instead of picking her up, consider doing cage-based enrichment. Items like petting, talking to her, or using little puzzle treats are all good options to keep her happy without picking the piggle up.
Protective of Space
While guinea pigs do not build nests to give birth in, you may find your piggle gets protective of her space. If she has companions, it’s best to move them to another cage or divide the cage you have so that they can still interact without encroaching. Doing so takes stress off your piggle and increases the chances of a healthy pregnancy.