July 25


Why Do Guinea Pigs Eat Their Poop

By Mandy Thompson

July 25, 2023


Have you ever noticed your guinea pig munching on what appears to be its own droppings? Perhaps you were shocked, or even horrified, at such strange behavior. But there’s actually a perfectly logical explanation for why guinea pigs eat their poop: they’re performing an important behavior known as coprophagy. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the science behind guinea pig coprophagy and explore why these little furballs need it in order to stay healthy.

Exploring the science behind coprophagy – why guinea pigs eat their own poop

Guinea pigs are popular pets known for their cute, cuddly demeanor and endearing squeaks. However, there is one behavior that can leave even the most devoted guinea pig owner feeling disgusted – coprophagy or the consumption of their own feces. While this behavior may seem revolting to us, it actually serves an important purpose in the guinea pig’s digestive system. As herbivorous animals with complex digestive systems, guinea pigs need to extract as many nutrients as possible from their food. When they eat their own poop, they are able to re-digest certain nutrients that were not fully absorbed the first time around. So while it may not be the most pleasant aspect of pet ownership, understanding the science behind coprophagy can help us appreciate the unique needs of our furry friends.

The benefits of guinea pigs eating their own poop, including increased nutrition absorption

While it may seem unusual to us humans, guinea pigs have a unique digestive system that allows them to absorb crucial nutrients from their feces. This process is called coprophagy, or the consumption of feces, and it’s actually quite common in many small animals. By eating their own poop, guinea pigs are able to extract even more nutrients from their food, including essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin B and calcium. This means that, despite their small size, these animals are able to get all the sustenance they need to stay healthy and thrive. So, while it may not be the most glamorous behavior, coprophagy is an important part of a guinea pig’s diet and can offer a range of benefits.

What to do if your guinea pig is overeating poop

As a guinea pig owner, you may have noticed your furry friend munching on their own poop. While it may seem revolting to us humans, it is actually a natural behavior for these little creatures. However, if your guinea pig is overindulging in their feces, it may be cause for concern. It is important to ensure that they are receiving a balanced diet with plenty of hay and fresh vegetables. Additionally, make sure their living area is clean and spacious to prevent boredom and stress. If you are still concerned, consult with a veterinarian who can provide recommendations based on your guinea pig’s individual needs. Remember, a healthy and happy guinea pig is a happy addition to any household.

Ways to encourage good hygiene habits in your guinea pig for a healthier life

As pet owners, we all want what’s best for our furry friends. When it comes to guinea pigs, one of the most important things we can do is promote good hygiene habits. This not only benefits their overall health but also helps to keep their living environment clean and odor-free. Simple ways to encourage good hygiene habits in your guinea pig include regularly cleaning their cage, providing fresh water and food, and spot-cleaning any soiled areas daily. Additionally, incorporating playtime and exercise into their routine can help keep their fur clean and encourage grooming behaviors. With a little effort and consistency, your guinea pig can enjoy a happy and healthy life.


Coprophagy in guinea pigs is completely normal behavior that shouldn’t be cause for alarm, but it’s always good to be in the know and prepared if your pet decides to feed off their poo. Knowing the science behind this behavior, signs of health problems that could arise, and strategies you can initiate, like introducing different types of food into their diet or encouraging better hygiene practices, can make sure your pet stays as safe and healthy as possible. While coprophagy may carry some benefits for our guinea pig friends, it is always advisable to keep an eye on them and take appropriate measures should anything seem out of sorts. Ultimately, as long as your guinea pig maintains a healthy lifestyle and diet while also tending to their hygienic needs, they’ll enjoy a most contented life.

Frequently Asked Questions

1: What is coprophagy?

Coprophagy is the consumption of feces, a behavior that guinea pigs engage in to extract more nutrients from their food.

2: Are there any benefits to guinea pigs eating their own poop?

Yes, by re-digesting certain nutrients that were not fully absorbed the first time around, guinea pigs are able to get essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin B and calcium.

3: What can I do if my guinea pig overeats its own poop?

It’s important to ensure your pet receives a balanced diet with plenty of hay and fresh vegetables, as well as providing them with ample space and exercise. If you’re still concerned, consult with a veterinarian for advice based on your pet’s individual needs.

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