How long can you leave your guinea pig alone? (A Day, Weekend or More)

How long can you leave your guinea pig alone? (A Day, Weekend or More)

There might have been some instances when school or some business work, makes you travel somewhere for a day or two or even more. So, as a concerned guinea pig owner, you might be wondering what you should do with your guinea pigs? How long can you leave your guinea pig alone? A day, a weekend, or even more?

A guinea pig should never be left unattended for more than 24 hours. Always have someone look after your guinea pigs at all times. If you have to leave them alone when traveling, you might need to ensure they have more than enough food, multiple sources of water, and plenty of green veggies to last a day.

If you are going to leave for two days or more, then it is recommended to have someone monitor them every 12-24 hours or so.

Living your guinea pigs alone can be a little daunting for some people, and being an owner of 4 piggies, I totally understand that.

However, with my experience, I can say that it is entirely safe to leave them alone for a day, considering you provide them enough food and water to last.

There are a few other concerns that we must know before you leave them alone, and I shall share all of them with you all.

A quick tip: If you are living for a vacation(2 days or more) then you can also try this amazing service from Trusted home sitting to look after your pet when you are away.

I will also share some tips at the end, which can help you to keep your guinea pigs safe and healthy when you leave them alone for some time.

Before you read further, Here are some of our popular books that provides you great value. You don't want to miss them out!

Guinea Pig Diet Plan For Beginners
  • In-Depth Understanding Of All Aspects Of Their Diet
  • List Of Vegetables And Fruits Guinea Pigs Can Eat
  • Types Of Hay+ How To Choose The Best One
  • Importance Of Vitamin C and Calcium+ How To Balance It
  • Toxic Food To Our Guinea pigs
  • Water For Your Guinea Pig (How It Can Lead To Bladder Stone)
  • 4 Complete Diet Chart To Follow With Veggie List
Guinea Pig Care 101: A Definitive Guide
  • Learn All About Setting Up Perfect Living Environment
  • An Overview Of A Guinea Pig's Diet
  • Understand Common Behavior And How To Deal With It
  • An Insight On Common Health Problems And What To Do About It
  • A Complete Care Guide To Keep Your Guinea Pig's Healthy and Happy
  • Covers All The Practical Aspect Of Keeping Guinea Pigs
Guinea Pig Coloring Book: Let Your Anxiety Go Away!
  • 50 Unique Coloring Designs
  • Only One Design Per Page
  • Printed On Good Quality White Paper With Glossy Cover
  • Sized At 8.5x11, A Perfect Size To Color And Frame!
  • Hours Of Fun And Relaxation For Adults As Well As Kids

Also Check Out Our Handpicked Christmas Gifts For You And Your Guinea Pigs! Happy Shopping!

Please note: Guinea pig 101 is reader-supported. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases made by our readers with no extra cost added to you all! Some links in the post are affiliate link and I get commission from purchases made through links in the post.

Concerns about leaving your guinea pigs alone?

Your guinea pigs can get into all types of trouble when there is no one to look for.

Although most of these can be avoided if appropriate measures are taken before leaving them but still it is essential to be aware of the problems which they can get into.

So, today, I have listed some of the significant concerns which many guinea pig owners have while leaving them alone.

Running Out of hay

Guinea pigs need a lot of hay in their diet. A standard diet of your guinea pig consists of 80% hay in it. They get most of their fiber and other essential nutrients from the hay itself.

So, having a lot of feed available for them to eat all the time is crucial. Also, having fast metabolism guinea pigs need to be continually eating, which makes the availability of food 24x7 crucial.

Thus, if you plan to leave your guinea pigs alone, you must ensure they have enough hay to last through the period.

Good quality hay are must for our guinea pigs. I personally love these farm fresh hay from small pet select. They are really nutritious.

Recommended reading:

A leak in the water bottle

I doubt any guinea pig owners haven’t faced the problem of leaky water bottles yet.

The water bottle of your guinea pig works on 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 one being no water for guinea pigs to drink, and the second major issue is damp bedding can make your guinea pig ill.

Although this can be easily fixed if you are there to monitor your guinea pigs; however, when you leave them alone for a day or more, it can be a massive problem for them.

Guinea pigs eat a lot of dry hay, which makes them thirsty so, they need access to freshwater all the time.

A leaky bottle can create a lot of mess, thus I would recommend you give this amazing choconose water bottle a try. They are awesome and they are patented to be leakproof.

Recommended reading:

Soiled bedding can attract flies

If the bedding is not spot cleaned daily or the water from the bottle makes the bedding wet, then such places can be a significant attractant for flies and other insects.

Flies love a damp and moist environment where they can lay eggs. Now you might be wondering what harm can fy do to your guinea pigs.

Let me warm you flystrike can be fatal for your guinea pigs because fly lay eggs on the hay, which forms larvae, which then gets attached to the guinea pig’s genital area and start feeding on them.

It might sound a little scary, but a bunch of maggots can eat your guinea pig live. So, we need to ensure we keep our guinea pigs safe from flies.

Also, if you are living for a couple of days, then your guinea pig’s cage is going to be full of poop lying all around.

This can create 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.

If you are looking for fleece bedding for your guinea pig, look no further than Guineadad fleece liners. They have been my top picks for over a year now.

GuineaDad Fleece Liner 2.0 | Guinea Pig Fleece Cage Liners Bedding | Burrowing Pocket Sleeve | Extra Absorbent Antibacterial Bamboo | Waterproof...
  • DUST FREE, Really! - GuineaDad fleece liner is the ultimate guinea pig...
  • NATURALLY HEALTHY - GuineaDad Liner is methodically designed to help reduce...
  • SAVE TIME AND MONEY - As a guinea pig owner, it takes a considerable amount...
  • QUALITY YOU CAN TRUST - Through a laborious mix of science and ingenuity,...

Recommended reading:

Escaping from the cage

If your guinea pigs tend to jump out of the cage or escape from the cage by any other means, then you must ensure they are unable to do so when you are away.

Either get a proper cage that they cannot escape or modify the cage to prevent the same.

If your guinea pigs escape when you are away, they can get into all sorts of trouble, which can harm them or even be life-threatening for them.

Check out this amazing Midwest cage for a pair of guinea pigs only on Amazon.

Recommended reading:

Thus, this is one major factor to consider when you are leaving your guinea pigs alone for some time.

Lack of veggies can trigger health issues

Guinea pigs need a well-balanced diet to remain healthy. While hay remains a staple part of their diet, vegetables also contribute a significant chunk in it.

Vegetables provide guinea pigs with much-needed vitamin c, which they cannot produce on their own.

If you are planning for a vacation of a day or less, then it might not be a significant problem as you can feed them right before you leave and leave some extra in their cage for the time being.

Recommended reading:

However, if you are going to be away for more than that, then it might be a little troublesome.

Fighting and injury

Male guinea pigs can get territorial sometimes and start fighting with your cagemate. That 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 in themselves get some hideouts. Hideouts are essential for our guinea pigs and I personally love these wooden hideouts for my guinea pigs. They are sturdy and elegant which makes them a perfect choice.

How long can guinea pig go without water?

Any experienced vet would recommend providing water to your guinea pigs at all times.

However, it is said that a guinea pig can last without water for a day or two at maximum.

Although it is not a wise move to keep your guinea pigs deprived of water for so long because they can suffer from serious health issues due to it.

Also read:

A leaky bottle can create a lot of mess, thus I would recommend you give this amazing choconose water bottle a try. They are awesome and they are patented to be leakproof.

How long can guinea pig go without hay?

Guinea pigs can go without hay for 12-24 hours at max. If your guinea pig doesn’t have access to hay, then within the first 12 hours, their digestive system will start having trouble, and within 24 hours, they can become seriously ill.

Anything above 24-48 hours without any hay can be a life-threatening situation for your guinea pigs. Your guinea pig intestine may get damaged permanently if they are deprived of feed for more than 24-48 hours.

Recommended Supplies For Guinea pigs: Our Top Picks!
Before you learn more,here are some hand-picked supplies for your guinea pigs that you must add to your wishlist today:

How long can guinea pigs go without vegetables?

Guinea pigs can go without fresh vegetables for 2-3 days without much issue, although it is not ideal for depriving them of vegetables for that long.

Vegetables supplement a lot of essential nutrients, including Vitamin C, in your guinea pig’s diet, thus providing your guinea pigs with fresh vegetables every day is vital.

In fact, most guinea pigs in pet stores are not offered adequate veggies for more than 5-6 days a week. Most guinea pigs there are just surviving with the bare minimum and have no quality of life.

That is the reason you will see many owners and breeders ask you to avoid buying a guinea pig from pet stores. Thus, It is recommended to provide your guinea pigs with fresh vegetables daily.

Tips to keep your guinea pig’s healthy and safe when you leave your guinea pig alone

If you are going on a trip or a vacation and planning to leave your guinea pigs alone, then there are a few measures you need to take.

You cannot just toss away a little extra food and leave them alone. As we had discussed earlier, your guinea pigs can get into all sorts of trouble when they are alone.

What I did with my guinea pig when I went on holiday!

Thus, we need to ensure that our piggies remain healthy and safe when we are away.

This is not just important for them but also for you as you can enjoy and travel with peace of mind that they are going to be okay even when you are not available.

Get a pet sitter

If you are planning to leave your guinea pigs alone for more than a day, then you might need to consider getting someone to look after them for a small fee.

Now, there can be a lot of options depending upon where you live and what resources you have available.

Either you can get a personal pet sitter who will visit your home in some interval of time and keep checking on your guinea pigs, or you can drop your guinea pig into their place or center where they can look after your piggies.

I would suggest you take the service from Trusted pet sitters if there is no one else available to look after your pet. They are amazing and affordable too.

If such facilities are not available, you can also ask Kennels in the area who can take care of your guinea pigs in the meantime.

You can expect to pay a small fee of 5-10$ per day for a pair of guinea pigs. If you plan to leave them for an extended period or you have a large litter size, then you might bargain the price a little bit.

Train a friend or a neighbor to take care of your guinea pigs

If a pet sitter or kennel is not an option for you, then the second-best alternative would be to look for a neighbor or a friend to look after your guinea pigs.

If you are going for a day then you might have no issue in leaving them on their own; however, if you are planning to leave 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 will be easy for your friend and neighbor to walk in and throw the foodstuff in the cage and refill their water bottles.

This is one of the most reliable methods if you plan to leave for a weekend or more.

Set up a camera to monitor them from your phone

If you are a frequent traveler who needs to leave your guinea pigs alone for a day or two regularly, then you might need to consider adding a security camera with access to live footage on the phone.

This way, you can monitor your guinea pigs personally in short intervals and make sure they are doing good. If you notice some sorts of problems, you can ask your friends, family, or neighbor to check on them.

Get some hay racks set up

On average, a pair of guinea pigs can consume a pound of hay in 2 days. Although the diet of your guinea pig may vary a little bit, the average holds true in most cases.

You can plan accordingly the amount of hay you need to leave available for them in their cage before leaving them alone. It is wise to install some easily accessible hay racks with extra feed for a day or more.

andwe Hay Feeder Less Wasted Wooden Food Feeding Rack for Rabbit Guinea Pig Chinchilla - Standing Pet-self Feeding Hay Manager
  • One of must have - Accessories for rabbit cage, rabbit needs hays all of...
  • Easy to Fill Hay & Stand Base - Designed a removable top cover to fill hay...
  • Bottom Table - Less Wasted and help to keep tidy in cage or hutch or...
  • Big Storage Space - Big enough to fill one day's hay for your pets. Size...

If by any means they run out of hay in their regular hay rack, they can munch on 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 in case they don’t have hay for more than 24 hours.

Get them multiple water bottles( A wise investment)

A healthy guinea pig can drink anywhere in between 50-300ml of water every day. The consumption of 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 diet, they get thirsty quickly, so; they need access to fresh water at all times. Although they might not drink a considerable amount of water at once, they do need to sip in a little every time they eat.

Always ensure they have at least 1 bottle of water for every guinea pig as some guinea pigs get territorial and don’t let the other access the water bottle.

Choco Nose H128 Patented No Drip Small Animal Water Bottle. Best Water Bottle for Small Pet/Bunny/Ferret/Hamster/Critter. BPA Free. 11.2 Oz....
  • Why Choco Nose Water Bottle? Are You Tired of Changing the Wet Bedding for...
  • Mini-Sized Nozzle (10mm) is recommended for Guinea Pig, Ferret, Hamster,...
  • User Friendly Screw-on bracket: Simple and Easy Installation. You can...
  • Nail-on bracket: It may also be nailed to the wall or wooden furniture with...

Recommended reading:

If you are leaving for more than 24 hours, install 1-2extra containers at least because if something goes wrong with a bottle, they can drink with the other. You definitely don’t want to leave your guinea pigs dehydrated and thirsty when you are away.

Throw in some extra greens and pellets

It is a wise idea to install hay racks and throw some Lettuce in it before you leave. In that way, they at least have some green for the day too much on.

Additionally, you would want to leave at least 2-3 small bowls of pellets in their cage so that they can munch on them.

Pellets would help in keeping up with the extra nutrients which guinea pigs need and would have otherwise got from their regular veggies.

Quality pellets are essential to supplement the nutrient requirement of our guinea pigs. I personally pick small pet select pellets as these are fortified with essential nutrients needed by our guinea pigs.

Recommended reading:

Get someone to clean the cage when you are away

If you are planning to leave for a weekend or more, you need to ask someone to spot clean the cage at least every other day.

The waste buildup can attract a lot of flies, which is fatal for your guinea pigs. Another major issue can be the ammonia buildup in the room can make your guinea pigs ill as well.

Recommended reading:

You can ask a friend or a pet sitter to use a vacuum or something just to clean up the cage a little bit every day or every other day.

Separate your guinea pigs using a divider in the cage

If your guinea pigs fight with each other frequently, then it is a good idea to put a divider in the cage and separate them before you leave.

Although keep them side by side as guinea pigs do need social interaction or they can get lonely. Using a divider is the easiest way to avoid any fights when you are away. This shall also reduce the chances of hurting each other.

Toys are essential to keep our guinea pigs mentally and physically stimulated, happy, and busy. I personally love these amazing toy set that is sturdy and safe for them.

Conclusion

It is fine to leave your guinea pigs alone for a day or a little bit more, but anything more than two days can be threatening.

There are lots of problems which your guinea pigs might get into, 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 to look after your guinea pigs if you are planning to leave them alone for more than a day.

Although with enough preparation, you can keep them safe and healthy for two days at maximum, anything above that can be a threat to their health and life.

Product we loved personally

PawHut Rolling Metal Rabbit, Guinea Pig, or Small Animal Hutch Cage with Main House and Run, 35" L
  • ✅COMFORTABLE SIZE: Comfortable living space with a main house and a large...
  • ✅STEEL CONSTRUCTION: Built with steel wires for ventilation and...
  • ✅A TRUE HOME: Features with a door with latch to keep your bunnies safe...
  • ✅EASY MAINTENANCE: The roof can be opened for quick cleaning to maintain...
GuineaDad Crunchy Condo Hideaway Hideout (Pack of 3) | Guinea Pig Hidey | Accessories and Toys
  • SUPER POPULAR AMONG GUINEA PIG ENTHUSIASTS – Due to the popularity and...
  • VERSATILE PLAYHOUSE – HIDE, CHEW, SLEEP, RUN! Crunchy Condo is an...
  • CHEWABLE GUINEA PIG HIDEOUT – GuineaDad Crunchy Condos are made from...
  • EASY ASSEMBLY – The windows and doors are perforated for easy assembly.
Sale
JanYoo 3 Pcs Rabbit Guinea Pig Pillow Accessories Sleep Mat Pad Toy Cushion (Thick,Small)
  • 【ADVANTAGE】Hamster sleep mat made of cozy soft Chenille cotton filling...
  • 【DESIGN】Double-sided material,Chenille fabric on one side and short...
  • 【Size】About6.7"x4.7"x2.8"( Length x Width x High)
  • 【MULTIBLE USE】Better size guinea pig sleeping mats for hamsters,sugar...
Niteangel Guinea Pig Cave Beds Cozy House Bedding for Rats Chinchilla Degu Ferrets Hedgehog (Grey)
  • Comfy & Lovely Bed - Made with warm polar fleece, small pets will love...
  • Open Base Design - Fit into your furry friend’s habitat to provide the...
  • Relax and Rest - Help to reduce stress levels and increase pet's sleep...
  • Great for Guinea Pig, Ferret, Chinchillas, Hedgehogs, Rats, Sugar Gliders &...
Fresh Grass Mat for Your Guinea Pig, 12 x 9
  • Real grass for your guinea pig to lounge on!
  • Grass is all natural and can be used indoors or outdoors
  • Perfect for other small animals like hamsters, rabbits, and hedgehogs!
Sale
JanYoo Guinea Pig Toys Chinchilla Hamster Roller Rat Chews Toys Bunny Rabbits Exercise Wheels Molar Wooden for Teeth(Pack of 7)
  • 【FUNNY TOYS】-The guinea pig toys are made of natural wood,...
  • 【7 PACK】- Rat toys gift set:Watermelon Exercise Wheels Balls+Small Bell...
  • 【APPLICABLE】-Wooden chinchilla toys gives your small rodent the prefect...
  • 【CHEW TOYS】-Pure natural apple sticks with sweet taste, organic,no...

Sources: The Effects of Diet on Anatomy, Physiology, and Health in the Guinea Pig, Nutrient Requirements of the Guinea Pig, The physiological society, NCBI

Sharing is caring!

Saurav

Hello, I am Saurav the founder of this blog that's all about guinea pigs. I am an Animal Nutritionist by education but a pet blogger by profession. My motto with this blog is to help guinea pig owners understand their pets better so they can provide them with the life they deserve.

Medical Disclaimer
Our site intends to provide you with the most accurate and updated information about guinea pigs.
However, our site doesn’t provide you with any medical advice for your guinea pigs. For any medical assistance and advice, it is recommended to consult a licensed veterinarian.
You can refer to our Medical Disclaimer page for more information.

Recent Content