With the holidays upon us, many people consider boarding their pets. It’s a good time to talk about guinea pigs, otherwise known as cavies.
Guinea pigs are very sensitive to stress. For instance, a dietary change may cause stress. Even though certain guinea pigs can get used to a variety of foods, others may simply stop eating. Guinea pigs are also at risk for stress due to environmental changes and may stop eating.
For that reason, guinea pigs should not be boarded anywhere outside their home unless absolutely necessary. If you need to go away, it’s best to let the cavies remain in their home with a caretaker. If you move them from their home while you are away for any period of time, there is a chance they may stop eating.
If they are not eating in their home environment, that’s when they can be brought to the veterinarian to be boarded, and they can be force fed at that time.
Therefore, please instruct any caretakers to pay close attention to your guinea pig’s eating habits while you are away. Three or four days without eating is cause for concern, and an emergency visit to your veterinarian is in order.
Dr. Joe Martins, DVM, Belle Mead Animal Hospital