How to Care for a Pregnant Guinea Pig in 4 Easy Ways

Maintaining your pregnant guinea pig throughout her pregnancy journey of 59 to 72 days should be a priority for a responsible guinea pig parent. A properly cared for piggy won’t experience pregnancy-related problems like stillbirths, abortions, and even worst, death. If you’ve been wondering how to care for a pregnant guinea pig, this guide offers a practical approach. 

You can care for a pregnant guinea pig by feeding her a balanced diet, helping her exercise regularly, and ensuring she lives in a comfortable environment. More importantly, you should manage her health well by closely observing her and providing the necessary veterinary support she may need. 

In this article, I’ll discuss how to care for a pregnant guinea pig in detail. Good, timely care and management will help her navigate the pregnancy and deliver without risks. Read on to learn more and help your piggy get through the entire process safe and sound. 

Easy Ways to Care for a Pregnant Guinea Pig at Home

how to care for a pregnant guinea pig

Pregnancy is a difficult experience for guinea pigs. Guinea pig pregnancy takes much longer while posing life-threatening risks, so high-quality care is mandatory.

When properly cared for, your guinea pig will remain healthy for the entire pregnancy. Good care also reduces pregnancy-related risks the piggy might encounter.

Here are the different ways to care for a pregnant guinea pig to ensure safe delivery:

1. Give Your Guinea Pig a High-Quality Diet

Feeding your guinea pig should be a priority. Give the guinea pig a balanced diet – it should be rich in essential nutrients and vitamin C. Some of the essential nutrients include: 

  • Proteins
  • Essential fatty acids
  • Fiber 
  • Amino acids 
  • Calcium 
  • Potassium 
  • Sodium 
  • Copper 
  • Zinc
  • Iron 
  • Manganese
  • magnesium

Remember, your guinea pig will eat more food than usual. She could be carrying a large litter. Hence, the increased feed intake compensates for the extra nutrients fetuses need for development

Your pregnant guinea pig needs a mixed diet as follows:

Pelleted Feed

This includes guinea pig kibble. It could be a pelleted mixture of peas, corn, wheat and more. 

Although pelleted food is usually well-balanced in nutrients, you should control how much the pig eats as too much can result in obesity.

Find Out: How to Tell How Far Along Your Guinea Pig Is Into Pregnancy

High-Quality Hay

Timothy or orchard grass hay is an excellent feed for pregnant guinea pigs. You want to keep a constant supply of the hay so that she eats ad-lib.

Since your pregnant guinea pig requires plenty of calcium, supplement the hay with alfalfa. Alfalfa has plenty of calcium and protein.

Fresh Vegetables

Guinea pigs eating vegetables

Offer a variety of fresh vegetables for the guinea pig. These vegetables should include romaine lettuce, green leafe lettuces, kale, cilantro, and parsley. Ensure you keep changing the type of vegetables daily to encourage the absorption of diverse nutrients.

When she takes one particular vegetable every day, there’s a potential for the animal to suffer from bladder stones due to excess mineral buildup.


Fruits are essential for a pregnant guinea pig. Nonetheless,  supply them only in small quantities because some fruits are highly acidic and have high sugar content. Fruits recommended for guinea pigs include apples, plums, apricots, bananas, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, and seedless grapes.

Vitamin and Mineral Supplements

If you feel your guinea pig has problems with vitamin and mineral uptake, give her supplements containing the same. Guinea pigs suffer a lot due to vitamin C and calcium deficiencies.

Supplements such as Oxbow Natural Science will supply vitamin C.

Also Read: How to Keep a Single Guinea Pig Happy in 5 Easy Ways


Water requirements for pregnant guinea pigs are equally high. Ensure that your piggy can access clean, fresh water throughout the day.

Use water bottles to supply the water to reduce bacteria and algae contamination. It’s recommended to change the water at least twice a day.

If need be, change your guinea pig’s diet gradually. It may refuse to adjust or get stressed if you rush her into new diets.

2. Provide Favorable Housing for the Pregnant Guinea Pig

A pregnant guinea pig needs a conducive environment to stay comfortable, safe, and private. Therefore, consider improving the quality of its house or cage. 

Ensure the cage is spacious enough for easy, unrestricted movement. Remember that the animal needs to exercise during the pregnancy period. The ideal cage size should be 30×36 inches or 7.5 square feet.

The temperature in the cage should be maintained at favorable levels. 

According to the Animal Care Aid code of the United States Department of Agriculture, guinea pigs should be kept in temperatures between 60-85 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal care and health.

Also, the house should not have other guinea pigs. Separate the pregnant piggy from others to ensure there are no inconveniences. Usually, a pregnant piggy can be very territorial and will fight off other members.

Remember to make the cage very conducive and comfortable for her. Use soft bedding materials like grass hay or fleece for a soft landing.

You also want to ensure high cleanliness in the house. Clean any patches of soil and remove wet bedding.

3. Maintain Proper Health

Vet treating guinea pig

Monitor your guinea pig’s health, activity, and feeding habits daily. You want your guinea pig to be in top health condition. You should look out for pregnancy toxemia or ketosis, a common disease in pregnant guinea pigs. Pregnancy toxemia is characterized by the symptoms such as: 

  • Muscles spasms
  • Lack of appetite 
  • Lack of the desire to drink water 
  • Guinea pig becomes lethargic 
  • Clumsiness in movement 

You’ve heard of guinea pigs dying suddenly without any warning signs preceding the death. Toxemia is a serious culprit of such sudden death in guinea pigs. If you notice any symptoms of Toxemia, inform your veterinarian right away. 

At least 20 percent of pregnant guinea pigs die of pregnancy-related complications. Most of the deaths occur due to poor management.

Be on the lookout for obesity. Don’t let your guinea pig overfeed as much as she needs to feed twice as much. 

4. Prepare for the Guinea Pig’s Delivery

You should know when the piggy will give birth. Ensure you have everything set for the big day, and don’t forget to let your vet know about the condition of your guinea pig. Here are the signs that your guinea pig is about to give birth: 

  • The guinea pig cries out loud (vocalization)
  • Straining 
  • The guinea pig shows restlessness and anxiety 
  • There is mucus or bloody discharge from the vulva

It’s vital to contact your vet if you cannot diagnose whether your guinea pig is about to deliver or not. 

How to Tell If a Guinea Pig Is Pregnant: Nipples

You can tell if the guinea pig is pregnant by looking at the size of its nipples. Usually, the nipples are big when the guinea pig is pregnant. The enlarged and elongated nipples appear from week two or three up to ten weeks of the pregnancy.

That said, not all guinea pigs will have enlarged nipples. They may remain the same size until after she has delivered.

Nipple enlargement and elongation in pregnant guinea pigs result from progesterone hormone. Once the hormone level increases, the nipples begin growing large.

The time nipples begin to enlarge depends on a few factors, such as the environment, hormone concentration, and the genetic makeup of the guinea pig.

However, some guinea pigs naturally have large nipples. So, there isn’t any difference when they get pregnant. 

Nevertheless, note that enlarged nipples could also signify ovarian cysts, a common cause of infertility.

Can I Bathe My Pregnant Guinea Pig?

You can bathe your pregnant guinea pig, but you should do it correctly to avoid inducing stress in her. Guinea pigs naturally groom themselves to keep clean. However, if your guinea pig doesn’t groom, you can bathe her once in two or three months.

You should avoid bathing the piggy regularly. This can predispose her to dangerous conditions like drying out of her fur.

Follow these tips when bathing your guinea pig: 

  1. Use lukewarm water and pour just a small amount over her body from a jar.
  2. Wash her gently using your fingers to work the shampoo into her fur in a circular motion.
  3. Don’t press any part of her body.
  4. Avoid lifting the guinea pig when washing her as this could put her belly under extra pressure.
  5. Be careful as you wash her belly—don’t overpress it.
  6. Rinse the guinea pig with lukewarm water. 
  7. Dry off the guinea pig gently using a dry soft towel.

You can also use other methods to clean the piggy. For example, give the piggy a fragrance-free wipe and do it gently. If you must wash her, the shampoos you use should not be medicated – they should be soap-free and natural.

What Age Can a Guinea Pig Get Pregnant?

A guinea pig can get pregnant when they are three months. So, experts suggest breeding female guinea pigs between 3 and 7 months of age. 

Guinea pigs can develop life-threatening pregnancy issues such as pregnancy ketosis when they breed after seven months of age.

The estrus cycle of guinea pigs occurs randomly all year round. So, your sow can get pregnant any time of the year.

Sexually mature females have a 16-day fertile period or estrus cycle. The cycle lasts for about 6 to 11 hours, mostly at night. Your guinea pig could give birth and, shortly after, experience her estrus cycle. With a male around her, she can get pregnant again. 

Final Thoughts

Caring for a pregnant guide pig is a crucial responsibility that determines her safety and that of her fetuses. 

From a balanced diet and favorable housing conditions to delivery preparations, your pregnant guinea pig deserves the best of care to ensure safe delivery.

Now that you know how to care for a pregnant guinea pig, go ahead and follow these steps to keep your piggy happy throughout her gestation period.

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