My dears, I know that usually we are funny and we tell you a lot of stories about our amazing life in Brussels, Belgium, sometimes the savvy cavy in me thinks it’s a good moment to have a serious conversation. And this is one of those moments. Today I feel it‘s high time to talk about the importance of weighting your piggies. I will refer only to Guinea Pigs as I am no expert in other four paws creatures.
We are small creatures. I mean our weight, in normal circumstances, goes up to 1.4, maximum 1.5 kilos. Still, like in humans, there is no rule saying that all the piggies should weight this or that. But there are some rules regarding the evolution. And the only way you can oversee that everything goes well with your piggy is to weight him/her regularly. This doesn’t mean once every couple of months, but once every week or at least two weeks.
What are the common rules? First of all, a young piggy (up to 10 months – 1 year) should constantly gain weight. Or at least not to constantly lose it. No worries if one week he or she is 30 g lighter, but if this goes on for more than two weeks, it’s maybe the time to check if there is a problem. A piggy may seem like eating and acting normally, but a loss of weight may be a sign that there are other problems. It’s not for sure, but better check.
Second, at some point your piggy should stop gaining weight. In adult age, your furry friend should not gain anymore, but keep him/herself in between some limits that you will know if weighting is done on regular basis. But pay attention to the weight where they stop. If a piggy is showing signs of going above 1.4 kilo, you should asses with your vet if the piggy is in good health. An active piggy that has plenty of time and space to move and has this weight is not a problem, but one that is lazy or living in a small cage may just be fat and develop all the associated conditions. So, keep your piggy active and control his/her diet!
Next point depends a lot on the piggy, but usually it’s doable. Help your piggy weight more than 1 kilo! Don’t push for it, it should normally come around 8 – 10 months, but if it doesn’t happen you may try some diet tricks also. Why is this important? Because, as I said before, we are small creatures and, if sick, we can rapidly lose weight. A piggy weighting more than 1 kilo has more “manoeuvre space” and chances to get him healthier faster are better.
Now, don’t just weight your piggy and keep the numbers in mind. It may be very helpful to have a sheet of paper or a notebook where you can note down the date and the weight. That will help in case you go to the vet or just to give you an overlook over his/her evolution.
Oh, and most important! Try to use the same scale in the same conditions (day of the week, moment of the day – before or after breakfast/dinner). Check the scale from time to time by weighting something that you know for sure how much weight.
I think I covered the most important things, so I’ll end my post with a nice and recent photo of me enjoying my veggies.