Owning a pet has many benefits. However, there may be one question in your mind that wants to have a clear answer before embarking on getting a guinea pig and that is ‘will your cute guinea pigs smell bad and stink?’
As in all kinds of pets, guinea pigs can get smelly, too if you fail to take care of them the proper way. Even if they are low-maintenance pets, you still have to devote a few precious time to clean them and their cages.
No worries, in the sections below, we will give you more information on why they can smell bad and what are the solutions that you can do to make them smell good again.
Why Your Guinea Pigs Can Get Smelly?
1. Hair Locks
Regardless of the breed of guinea pigs (either long to short-haired) that you are caring for, their coats can collect urine and feces from their cage. But, of course, the smell can be more potent for the long-haired guinea pigs.
2. Due to Hormones and Pheromones
Male guinea pigs stink more than females. Why? Because of the scent glands that they produce which are also known as grease glands. The gland produces a sticky and greasy substance that does not smell good at all.
In the wild, they use this smelly substance to mark their territories and also to attract females.
If your guinea pigs have skin diseases like a fungal infection, then that can make your small pets smell stinky.
4. Dirty Cage
Neglecting to clean their cage can make them smell nasty. Since they have a small space to move around, they eat, urinate, and poop in the same place which makes their cage smell terrible.
Now that you are already aware of the reasons why your guinea pigs can smell bad, let us now go to the next section. You will discover the different steps to do to keep them smelling nice so cuddling them will be a pleasant thing to do.
Solutions to Make Your Guinea Pigs Smelling Nice
1. Bathe Them
Though they have the capacity to keep themselves clean, there are occasions when they need your help, more so for the case of long-haired pigs. Twice a year is sufficient. You need the following:
- Towel for drying
- A shampoo specifically made for guinea pigs
Place the washcloth at the bottom of the sink. Then fill up the sink with 2 inches of lukewarm water. Then place your pets on the sink and gently massage them with guinea pig shampoo. Dry them well before placing them back to their cage.
Be careful: Do not get obsessive-compulsive about bathing them, lest you risk them from getting sick. If you need to give them a bath more than what is necessary, we recommend that you consult a Vet to find out if it is safe or not.
2. Clean the Cage
Our recommendation is for you to do this on a weekly basis. Remove all the old and spoiled beddings. Then, wash the cage from all sides using soap and water. To completely remove the smell, make a solution of 9 parts water mixed with 1 part vinegar and use this solution as the final rinse.
But, if you have more than 1 pig in a cage, do a spot-cleaning daily. Replace soiled beddings every day to ensure that they will not stink.
3. Daily Grooming
Make it a habit to brush their coats daily to remove accumulated dirt particles. Otherwise, the smell from the feces, urine, and other debris will make them smell bad.
4. Check Those Ears
While grooming them, pay attention to your pigs’ ears. It is normal for them to produce a gray-colored earwax that does not emit a foul odor. But, if you see those ears reddish and have a bad smell, then, it is most likely that your pets have skin infections.
5. Litter-train Them
Make it easier for you by teaching these small fellows to do their numbers 1 and 2 in one corner only. Here’s how:
- Identify the area where they do their thing often and then place the litter box in that corner.
- Most likely, their bathroom will be near the eating area, so place the hay close to the litter box.
- Have some patience. There are days when they will use the litter box but at times, they won’t.
6. Odor-Control Beddings
You can buy beddings that are formulated to keep the cage smelling nice for a longer period of time. Put 1 to 3 inches of bedding in the bottom of the cage. But make it a habit to scoop out the wet beddings daily.
Pay attention: Use odor control beddings NOT beddings that are scented. Also, refrain from using baking soda because it can lead to irritation.
7. Clean Those Grease Glands
Males have more active grease glands that are found just above the anus. Gross? Not really, so get on with it and clean those butts. You need:
- Virgin coconut oil
Soften the fur by using oil. Then brush it out and remove the mats. Apply some oil on the Q-tips and then wipe your pet’s behind until you have removed all the accumulated debris.
8. Feed them Well
Mix hay with mint or parsley to keep their sleeping area clean and fresh-smiling. Plus, research on food that causes gas and upset tummy.
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There are many reasons why your guinea pigs smell and stinky. But, if you are going to pay closer attention to their cage, you will find most of the solution on how you can make them smell nice and clean all the time.
You have to understand that there is a strong correlation between how they smell and how you care for them. So, our advice is to treat your pigs with respect so they will shower you with love that is pure and clean.
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