Can I leave my guinea pig alone for one week? Well, it is not recommended for a guinea pig to be left unattended for more than 24 hours. So, no, you cannot leave your guinea pig alone for one week.
If you have an urgent need to leave your guinea pig for up to a week, make sure to have someone look after them at all times.
You also want to ensure they have more than enough food, multiple sources of water, and plenty of green veggies to last them throughout your stay away from them.
Can I Leave My Guinea Pig Alone For One Week?
However, as earlier stated and from my experience, I can say that it is entirely safe to leave your guinea pig alone for a day, considering you provide them enough food and water to last.
Anything that goes beyond 24 hours is not advice able and should not be tried because your guinea pigs can get into different kinds of trouble when there is no one to look out for them.
Although most of these can be avoided if appropriate measures are taken before leaving them, it is still essential to be aware of the problems they can get into.
There are a few concerns that you must know before you decide to leave your guinea pigs alone, and I will be sharing them with you in today’s article.
What to Consider Before Leaving Your Guinea Pig Alone For One Week
Today, I have listed some of the essential concerns that many guinea pig owners have while leaving them alone.
1. Running Out of hay
Guinea pigs are plant eaters, and for this reason, they need a lot of hay in their diet. A complete diet of your guinea pig consists of 80% hay in it. Most of their fiber and other essential nutrients are gotten from the hay itself.
However, having a lot of feed available for your guinea pigs to feed on all the time is essential. But for the fact that guinea pigs have a fast metabolism, they need to be continually eating, which makes the availability of food crucial.
So, if you have plans of leaving your guinea pigs alone, you must make sure they have enough hay to last through the period. Good quality hay is always recommended for our guinea pigs.
2. A leak in the water bottle
I’m seriously in doubt that any owner of a guinea pig hasn’t faced the problem of leaky water bottles yet.
The bottled water of your guinea pig works on a particular principle known as the principle of vacuum, and if anything goes wrong, the bottle can leak and soak the entire bedding, which can create two significant threats.
The first significant threat being no water for guinea pigs to drink, and the second major issue is damp bedding can make your guinea pig ill.
This shouldn’t be a significant thing to worry about because it can be easily fixed if you are there to monitor your guinea pigs; however, when you leave your guinea pigs alone for just a day or more than a day, it can be a massive problem.
Guinea pigs consume a lot of dry grass like hay, which makes them thirsty so, they need access to freshwater all the time.
3. Soiled bedding
If your guinea pig’s bedding is not thoroughly cleaned every day or the water from the bottle makes the bedding wet, then such places can be a significant attractant for flies and other insects.
Flies enjoy staying in a damp and moist environment where they can lay eggs. You might be asking yourself what harm can fly do to your guinea pigs.
You should be warned that flystrike can be critical for your guinea pigs because fly lay eggs on the hay, which forms larvae, which gets glued to their genital area and start feeding on them.
This might be sounding a little bit scary, but a bunch of maggots can eat your guinea pig live. Therefore, we need to make sure to keep our guinea pigs safe from flies.
Also, take note that if you are staying away from your guinea pig for a couple of days, then your guinea pig’s cage is going to be full of poop lying all around.
This particular scenario can lead to a harmful ammonia buildup in the cage area, especially if there is a lack of proper ventilation in the room, which is dangerous for your guinea pigs.
4. Escaping from the cage
If you have guinea pigs that always tend to jump out of the cage or escape from the cage by any other means, then you must be cautious enough to be sure your guinea pigs are unable to do so when you are away.
Is either you opt for a proper cage that they cannot escape or modify the existing cage to prevent the same.
If there is a possible escape of your guinea pigs from the cage when you are away, they can be exposed to all sorts of trouble, which can cause harm to them or even be life-threatening for them.
5. Lack of veggies can trigger health issues
For guinea pigs to remain healthy, they require a well-balanced diet to stay healthy. While hay is still recognized as a staple part of their diet, vegetables also contribute significantly.
Vegetables serve as a major source of vitamin C for guinea pigs, which they cannot produce on their own.
If you have plans of going for a day or less vacation, then it might not be a significant problem as you can feed them right before you leave and dispense some extra in their cage for some time.
However, if you are going to be away for more than that, it might be a little troublesome.
6. Fighting and injury
Male guinea pigs can get territorial sometimes and start fighting with your cage mate. This is no new thing as it can be a common problem, especially if you have more than one male in a single cage.
You can watch them fighting and hurting each other in some instances. If you are away and they end up fighting with each other and hurting one or both of them, then it can lead to some serious trouble for you.
And also, to keep them busy themselves get some hideouts. Hideouts are essential for our guinea pigs, and I love these wooden hideouts for my guinea pigs because they are formidable and elegant, which makes them a perfect choice.
Read Also: Do Guinea Pigs Play Hide & Seek?
How To Keep Your Guinea Pig Healthy and Safe When You Leave Them
As a pet owner, if you plan to go on a trip or a vacation and are planning to leave your guinea pigs alone, then there are a few measures you need to take.
You cannot just carelessly drop a little extra food and leave your guinea pigs alone. As I had stated earlier, your guinea pigs can get into all sorts of trouble when they are alone.
Thus, as a guinea owner, you need to ensure that your piggies remain healthy and safe when you are away.
This is not just essential for them, but you also, as you can have the liberty to enjoy and travel with peace of mind that they are going to be okay even when you are not available.
1. Get a pet sitter
If you have plans of leaving your guinea pigs alone for more than a day, then you might need to think about getting someone to look after them for a small fee.
You can now have many options on your table depending upon where you live and what resources you have available.
You can either get a personal pet sitter who will visit your home in some interval and keep checking on your guinea pigs, or you can take your guinea pig into their home or a place specially designed for taking care of guinea pigs where they can look after your piggies.
If such an establishment is not available, you can also ask some trusted people in the area who can take care of your guinea pigs in the meantime.
Most times, this kind of service is not free; you may be expected to pay a small fee of 5-10$ per day for a pair of guinea pigs.
If you plan to leave your guinea pig for a more extended period or you have a large litter size, then you might bargain the price a little bit.
2. Train a friend or a neighbor to take care of them
If a pet sitter or a voluntary is not available for you, you will have the second-best alternative, looking for a neighbor or a friend to look after your guinea pigs.
If you are staying away for a day, then you might have no problem in leaving them on their own; but, if you are planning to stay away for more than a day, then it would be a good idea to prepare all the veggies and put it in a container in the fridge and get piles of hay in small bags.
It wouldn’t be a problem for your friend and neighbor to walk in and throw the foodstuff in the cage and refill their water bottles.
This method is one of the most trusted ways if you plan to leave for a weekend or more.
3. Mount a camera to watch your guinea pig from your phone
This method is okay for a frequent traveler who needs to leave your guinea pigs alone for a day or two because you might need to consider adding a security camera which has a passage to live footage on the phone.
In this way, you don’t need a second party; you can monitor your guinea pigs personally in short intervals and make sure they are doing good. But if you notice some sorts of problems beyond you, you can ask then seek your friends, family, or neighbor to check on them.
4. Get some hay racks set up
On a standard note, a pair of guinea pigs can feed on a pound of hay in 2 days. Although your guinea pig’s feeding mode may vary a little bit, the average holds in most cases.
As a pet owner, you can plan accordingly the quantity of hay you need to provide for your guinea pigs in their cage before leaving them alone. It is a good idea to put up some easily accessible hay racks with extra feed for a day or more.
If, by chance, your guinea pig runs out of hay in their regular hay rack, they can consume the extra grass if they have the option to do so. Running out of feed is a problematic situation for you and your guinea pigs as they can get into some serious health issues if they don’t have hay for more than 24 hours.
5. Get them multiple water bottles
Any healthy guinea pig can drink anywhere between 50-300ml of water per day. The way they drink water may depend upon the weather, diet, and living environment around your guinea pigs.
As guinea pigs eat a lot of dry and fiber-rich diets, they get thirsty quickly, so; they need freshwater access. Although they might not drink a considerable amount of water at once, they need to sip in a little every time they eat.
Always ensure they have at least one bottle of water for every guinea pig as some guinea pigs get territorial and don’t let the other access the water bottle.
If you stay away from your guinea pig for more than a day, try installing 1-2extra containers at least because if something goes wrong with a bottle, they can drink with the other. You wouldn’t want to come back and see your guinea pigs dehydrated and thirsty.
6. Throw in some extra greens and pellets
Installing hay racks and throwing some Lettuce in it before you leave can be a sagacious decision. In this way, your guinea pig at least has some green for the day to munch on.
However, you may be needing to drop at least 2-3 small bowls of pellets in their cage so that they can munch on them.
These pellets left behind would help keep up with the extra nutrients that guinea pigs need and would have otherwise got from their regular veggies.
Pellets that are of good quality is essential to supplement the nutrient requirement of our guinea pigs.
7. Seek the service of someone to wash the cage when you are not around
Asking someone to spot clean the cage at least every other day will be a good idea if you plan to leave for a weekend or more.
If the cage is left unattended, the waste buildup can attract many flies, which is not suitable for your guinea pigs.
Ammonia buildup can be another major challenge in the room, which can make your guinea pigs ill as well.
Any friend or a pet sitter that you are inviting to look after your guinea pig should be advised to use a vacuum or something just to wash your guinea pig’s cage a little bit all day or every other day.
8. Separate your guinea pigs using a divider in the cage
If you have guinea pigs that fight with each other frequently, then it will be an excellent decision to put a divider in the cage and separate them before you leave.
Although separating them is not that advised because, like guinea pigs, they need social interaction or get lonely. But this method is the easiest way to avoid any fights when you are away. This method shall also limit the chances of hurting each other.
Keeping toys with them is essential to keep our guinea pigs mentally and physically stimulated, happy, and busy. I recommend toys that are amazingly sturdy and safe for them.
It is accepted to leave your guinea pigs alone for 24 hours or a little more, but anything more than two days can be threatening.
Your guinea pigs might get into lots of problems, right from lack of hay, water to hurting themselves by fighting or escaping their cage.
A lot can happen over two days; thus, it is best to have someone look after your guinea pigs if you plan to leave them alone for more than a day.
Although if you put necessary things in place very well, you can keep them safe and healthy for two days at maximum, anything above that can threaten their health and life.