Do Guinea Pigs Fart? (The Honest Truth)

So, you noticed that a funny noise has come from your guinea pig, followed by a stinky smell. And this makes you wonder “Do guinea pigs fart?”

Typically, guinea pigs do fart. The reasons why include: digestive issues from antibiotics and the sudden introduction of a new food. Certain foods and roughage cause gas as well. Excessive flatulence or signs of bloat are serious conditions and need to be treated by an experienced exotic vet.

In this blog post, we’ll explore farting in guinea pigs from a variety of perspectives. We’ll start by looking at the possible triggers for farts and then take a look at some behaviors you might see as well. Finally, I’ll cover what you need to look for if your piggie’s gas issues become serious.

What Makes Guinea Pigs Fart? (Causes)

do guinea pigs fart

Most guinea pigs fart sometimes. And it’s not big deal – most of the time. The next time your guinea pig farts, it could just be that their digestive system is doing its job and processing food more efficiently.

So, guinea pigs fart. But, why?

Farts happen when gas builds up in the digestive system. Farts are inevitable. Guinea pigs fart for several different reasons. Here are some of the most common causes:

  • Diet change: One obvious cause of guinea pig farts is a dietary change. If you switch your piggie’s food, it may take a few weeks for his body to adjust to the new diet. This means that for a while, their digestive system will have to get used to the new food. Breaking down the new food will make more gas. Always introduce new foods gradually to avoid the worse of the gassiness.
  • Antibiotics: If your fur babies have just finished a round of antibiotics, guinea pig farts are a common side effect.  Antibiotics kill off the good bacteria in your piggies’ gut. This results in several days of loose stools and gas. The problem lasts until their body can rebalance its bacteria level again. If your guinea pig has to go on antibiotics, feed them a probiotic (like Benebac) to build their “good” gut bacteria back up to help with digestion (and farts).
  • Unbalanced diet: The guts of piggies are delicate. When they have too many carbohydrates or sugars in their diet, gas can form.
  • Swallowing air: Air is swallowed when your piggie eats. This is normal and natural. The amount of air swallowed depends on that your little friend, how quickly the food is eaten, and what food is being served. The gas builds up. Since guinea pigs can’t burp, the only way to get rid of the extra gas is to…well, fart.
  • Cruciferous foods: Foods like broccoli, kale and cabbage cause gas in guinea pigs. This is due to the food’s high sulfur content and a sugar called raffinose. This doesn’t mean that you have to avoid these foods completely. But, you do need to limit the amount and frequency that you serve them to your pigs.

⭐Key Takeaway:

Guinea pigs fart because of diet changes, antibiotics, swallowing too much air when they eat, or overfeeding cruciferous foods like cauliflower, broccoli, and kale.

If you want more answers to quirky guinea pig behavior, check out these posts: Will Your Guinea Pig Eat Her Babies? (What You Need To Know) and Can Guinea Pigs Sense Emotions? (Find Out Now)

Do Guinea Pig Farts Smell?

Pet guinea pigs typically don’t make a stink with their farts because they are so small that the gas doesn’t affect the air around them.

Instead of smelling their cavy’s farts, many owners report “feeling” their piggies fart if it happens when they’re holding them – such as rumblings, vibrations, or light puffs of air.

However:

There are exceptions.

I polled 443 guinea pig owners – asking them what they thought the guinea pig’s farts smell like and here are the results:

  • 15% say they don’t know because they’ve never noticed farting, so that leaves a whopping 85% who’ve noticed farting (either heard or smelled)
  • 35% of the respondents stated that the guinea pigs farts smell horrible!
do guinea pigs fart

When I looked to see how people would describe the smell, it’s amazing how varied the answers are:

  • the most common answer was “rotten cabbage and eggs” followed by a lot of “my guinea pigs’ farts can clear the room”.
  • Others were much more colorful, like “cabbage booties”, “silent but deadly” and even one person said their guinea pig’s farts could shred paper off the walls

The evidence suggests that the average smell of a piggy fart isn’t that bad (they don’t stink). But, just like us humans, some circumstances mean that they can easily stink up the room with their flatulence.

⚠️Warning

If you notice a frequent, strong gassy smell coming from your pet (with a swollen belly) this is probably not normal. It could be an indication of either an upset stomach or some kind of internal health issue like bloat. A visit to the vet might help figure out what needs attention and will ensure that everything is okay for your pet.

Can Guinea Pigs Fart Loudly?

Guinea pigs can fart loudly, but this isn’t always a sign that something is wrong. Lots of healthy guinea pigs have been known to really rip one – from time to time.

Through my survey, I noticed that about:

  • 12% of the respondents stated that their guinea pigs farted loudly
  • 9% mentioned that their piggies had “silent but deadly” farts
  • 79% didn’t mention it at all

Some respondents of the survey shared that they have had guinea pigs that fart loudly and also described it:

Some said that the guinea pig fart was like when you blow up a balloon and let it go, others said that it sounded like a “pfffffffft” sound.

Another person described her guinea pig’s farting sound as “a little perculator” – like for coffee (bubbling noises).

So, what causes the noises? The noises are caused by the escaping gas through the pigs’ rear end as it passes from their digestive system into the anus, where some of it is released out of the body as the guinea pig’s fart.

Do Your Guinea Pigs Fart Too Much? Try These Tips!

do guinea pigs fart

If your guinea pigs fart too much, try the following suggestions to see if it can help control flatulence:

Evaluate Your Piggie’s Diet

The main cause of piggie’s farting is the food that they eat. Closely monitor how much root or leafy vegetables (cruciferous veggies) your give your cavies such as:

These have a high fiber content that can be hard for your little friends to digest.

Spice up your piggie’s menu by adding anti-gas fresh foods and snacks will provide more variety in their diet and keep them healthier overall.

Here are a few great suggestions for snacks, all of which will be highly enjoyed by guinea pigs. Best of all, they’re less likely to give your piggie’s gas.

  • Celery leaves
  • Zucchini
  • Beets
  • Tomatoes
  • Carrots

Don’t go crazy with them, though. A good rule of thumb is to make sure your cavies get a healthy balance of foods, so they’re able to digest them properly – and pull nutrients from them

You don’t have to avoid cruciferous veggies altogether – unless you have a little friend who has a particular (gassy) sensitivity to one of them.

Just make sure that you pay attention to how your piggies respond to these foods, and don’t give them more than a few nibbles. If you notice discomfort, like increased flatulence or discomfort when passing stool, it’s best to skip it for the time being.

⭐Key Takeaway:

Healthy vegetables typically come in different textures – like collard greens or cauliflower. Some are more stringy or dense. But, they can be healthy snacks if you regulate your pet’s gas levels. Most foods don’t need to eliminated from their diet unless they are a known source of discomfort.

If you want more answers to quirky guinea pig behavior, check out these posts: Why Guinea Pigs Don’t Need A Light At Night (Read This Now) and Hair: What You Need To Know About Why Guinea Pigs Eat It

Up The Hay Consumption…Like A LOT

It’s recommended that each cavy have access to 1 cup of produce (fruits and veggies) each day.

(And most of it should be leafy greens).

But veggies are the back up dancers. Hay is the star. It’s essential for a healthy guinea pig, and it’s great for keeping your guinea pig’s digestive system moving the way it should be.

Hay will control your little friends’ flatulence, by making sure they keep all those nutrients moving through their digestive system at a steady pace.  That way, any gas can be shot from their bellies before it’s overly trapped and causes discomfort to your little friends.

So make sure you always have an enormous pile of hay available and accessible. If you have multiple piggies, they can help mow through a lot of hay each day – so make sure to replenish it daily.

What kind of hay should you get? Well, it depends on what your guinea pig could have available to them in a natural setting. For example, timothy is a great option. Meadow and orchard hay are good for piggies and people with allergies.

Additionally, make sure that your piggies’ water intake is consistent.  You’ll need a reliable water bottle or bowl available at all times. Water helps move food through your pet’s digestive tract, too.  

⚠️Warning

Fiber is important for a guinea pig’s diet, but too much of it or the wrong kind can cause gas buildup. Stick with hay as your piggie’s main source of food and you can’t go wrong.  

Make Your Guinea Pig Eat More Slowly

One factor in how quickly a piggies eats is just as important as what they eat: air. When piggies have to scarf down food, it’s easy for them to swallow more air than normal.

As mentioned before, this air just sits in your piggie’ stomach and creates more flatulence than necessary.

To make your piggies slow down their eating, try the following:

  • Feed your piggies on a regular schedule. Some people feed their guinea pigs once or twice a day. It really doesn’t matter when. Just pick a time that you can stick to. That way they’ll eat at the same time every day. And they’ll have less opportunity to overeat on a whim – which can also cause flatulence.
  • Provide lots of food bowls in different parts of the enclosure. Sometimes the dominant guinea pig will bully other piggies away from food. That causes your submissive friends to gulp down their food, because they don’t want to lose it. If there are multiple food bowls available, they can all eat their fill without feeling like they have to rush.
  • Feed your guinea pigs in quiet, tidy environments. Make sure that it’s a relaxing place for them so they aren’t distracted by loud noises or other pets.  And if they’re eating in a busy, noisy place like their living room, that’s going to be stressful for them.
Bloat isn’t something you want to take chances with.

Bloat Symptoms In Guinea Pigs

If a guinea pig is producing gases without expelling them, it will lead to bloating. These little critters don’t pass gas as easily, so if a lot is being produced, it can lead to bloating. Unfortunately, guinea pigs don’t always how obvious signs of bloating.

Bloat is a serious build up of gas that requires medical attention. So if you see any of these symptoms of guinea pig bloat– get to a vet immediately:

  • loss of appetite
  • any weird bowel movements – small soft, funny, or shaped-poos (or no droppings at all)
  • swollen sides that are blown up like a balloon
  • when you (lightly) flick the slides and they sound a bit like a drum
  • lethargy (not wanting to play or even to move)

Some piggies have behavior changes because they’re in so much pain from bloating. So pay attention to signs of depression or unusual outbursts.

Guinea Pigs are known for their vocalizations. If you observe (and listen to) your little friends carefully, they’ll give you a sign something might be wrong – or that they feel discomfort or pain.

Pay attention to your little friend’s body language as well – if you notice them limping, acting agitated, or walking strangely but there isn’t an injury in sight then this could mean more investigating is needed.

⚠️Warning

Some of those symptoms could also be signs of something other than bloat so you should visit your veterinarian for proper diagnosis when in doubt. If you’re concerned that your piggie is bloated or in pain, you should see a vet immediately. Bloat can kill your furry friends.

Conclusion: Should I be Worried If My Guinea Pig Is Farting?

One of the most common questions people have about guinea pigs if farting means that their little friend is sick.

In general, you shouldn’t be worried if your guinea pig farts and this could even indicate that he’s healthy. However, there are other causes for concern such as a bloated belly, excessive farting, discomfort, anorexia, or signs of pain. These symptoms require a trip to the vet and can indicate more serious health problems that may be easily treated.

Your little, furry friends deserve the best, so make sure you give them a well balanced diet and provide great care. If your piggy is having some dietary issues or just doesn’t seem to be feeling their usual self, adjust his food.

Make sure you know what they’re eating so if there are any dietary problems come up; these can be corrected as needed without too much hassle at all. Keeping a guinea pig food journal would help a lot with this task.

You should also monitor their behavior to make sure they are healthy and happy! If something seems off with your pet, don’t hesitate to have a specialist examine them. Recognizing changes in their behavior is crucial when deciding whether or not they’re well.

(Ice), A. B. (n.d.). 13 foods that cause bloating (and what to eat instead). Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/13-foods-that-cause-bloating

Bloat. (2014, January 26). APRIL LODGE GUINEA PIG RESCUE. https://aprillodge.co.uk/emergency-medical-guide/bloat/

DVM, S. L. (2015). The Guinea pig handbook. Barron’s Educational Series.

Gastric volvulus in Guinea pigs: Comparison with other species. (n.d.). PubMed Central (PMC). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3148636/

Peycke, L. (2002). The Effect of Experimental Gastric DilatationVolvulus on the Adenosine Triphosphate Content and Cellular Permeability of the Canine Gastric and Jejunal Mucosa. LSU Digital Commons | Louisiana State University Research. https://digitalcommons.lsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4527&context=gradschool_theses

Soluble vs. insoluble fiber: MedlinePlus medical encyclopedia. (n.d.). MedlinePlus – Health Information from the National Library of Medicine. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002136.htm

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