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WEIGHING YOUR GUINEA PIG Weight is of fundamental importance in regards to your guinea pigs health. Weight loss is often one of the very first signs that your cavy may be ill or that there could be an underlying problem. Weighing your guinea pig weekly is a fantastic way to monitor your guinea pigs health and is highly recommended. How much should a guinea pig weigh? Each cavy is different. Diet, environment and social factors can all affect your guinea pigs weight. However guinea pigs owners often cite their cavies weight ranging from 990g - 2kg for both female and male guinea pigs. Some cavies have been cited at exceeding the 2kg weight range however if this is the case your guinea pig may be overweight and an overhaul of diet may be called for. Genetics can also play a part in your guinea pigs weight, some guinea pigs who do exhibit a large amount of weight and are on a healthy diet could be simply naturally so. However if excessive weight gain is the case there may be underlying factors and a veterinarian check could be in order. What scales should I use? Finding a good quality set of scales is highly recommended to help monitor your guinea pigs health. Ensure you purchase scales that are close to your guinea pigs weight range i.e. 0 - 500 grams in comparison to 1 - 10kg scales.  A good set of scales should be: Accurate: A good set of scales should be easy to note weight fluctuations of a few grams.   Digital scales have the benefit of providing accurate weight fluctuations to the decimal point, however analogue scales suit well in the long term due to the effectiveness of not having to replace the battery. With the introduction of  solar panels some digital scales only need recharging. TIP: Using cans in your cupboards that note the weight i.e. 454grams - check your scales accuracy regularly to ensure you are recording your guinea pigs weight correctly. Flat surface/container: The surface area of your scales needs to be large enough for your guinea pig to comfortably sit on. If your guinea pig is not used to being weighed or is not comfortable with being weighed it is advised to purchase scales which have a large container which you guinea pig can sit in. The container can be made more comfortable by adding soft fleece inside. Please ensure you weigh any containers separately and subtract that number from your guinea pigs weight in order to maintain accurate readings. i.e. if your container weighs 0.20grams and your guinea pig's scale reading shows 1.20kg subtract 0.20g to ensure you read your guinea pigs weight of 1.00kg correctly. Easy to read: Ensure you can easily read your scale. Measuring weight fluctuations could help point to potential illness. Tips on weighing your guinea pig 1) Weigh your guinea pig weekly. Set up a routine, same time, same guinea pig each week. Your guinea pig will become set in a routine making weekly weigh ins easier in the long term. 2) If your guinea pig is ill, or is quite senior daily weighing may be beneficial. It is highly recommended to weigh any ill cavy daily as maintaining a healthy weight is vital in accessing your guinea pigs ongoing condition. Senior Guinea pigs also benefit from daily weigh in's to ensure they have no underlying illnesses. 3) Weigh on a flat surface. Ensure you  weigh your guinea pig on a solid, even surface to maintain accurate weight readings and also to ensure your guinea pig does not fall off the scales onto the floor or from a high location. 4) Perform a health check while weighing your guinea pig. Check you guinea pigs teeth, fur, ears, eyes, nose, mouth and feet. Check out our health care chart to see what to look for. 5) Bond with your guinea pig. Weekly weighs are a great way to handle your guinea pig. Pet and gently talk to your cavy whilst weighing  and feed your guinea pig their favourite vegetables after weighing. Make it a positive experience.
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