Although guinea pigs aren’t prone to escaping like other smaller rodents, they still have it in their character to explore more and eventually get lost. So, you might be wondering can guinea pigs find their way home? Or should you look after them?
Guinea pigs have a poor sense of direction, which makes it hard for them to find the way back home. Somewhat different, but they are emotionally attached to things like music or food. So, if you place some yummy treat or play their favorite music, they might come running towards it.
The very thought of losing one’s pet gives goosebumps to the owner. The domesticated guinea pigs are highly vulnerable in the wild.
It’s hard for the pet owners to leave them alone. But what should you do if your guinea pig gets lost?
Do guinea pigs try to escape?
Guinea pigs housed outside are more likely to escape than those who are housed inside. Although it is not recommended to house them outside, if you have to then make sure you keep them in a secured environment.
Guinea pigs are artistic in finding their way out. Their instinct nature of exploring new things, often land them into new territory. One cannot deny the fact that guinea pigs might try to escape.
Once the guinea pig has escaped from the home, the chance of its return is modest. If it can return home, it should consider itself lucky.
Its sense of direction is not much refined as with other animals. The hutch should be kept open and start looking for the guinea pig. Try to find the guinea pig as soon as possible, as it has little chance of survival in the wild.
Why do guinea pigs try to escape?
Guinea pigs escaping from is a tough time for both owner and the pet. But it’s their instinct to flee away. The reasons for doing so are:
- Just because they are curious about different things, they often try to move out of the lawn to check out the world.
- Intimidated guinea pigs will run away wherever it finds the way to escape.
- The ambiance is not good. The guinea pig is not enjoying the home.
- There may be several reasons for this dislike: food, loneliness, less or no activities, hutch, etc., that annoys them. This reason is good enough for them to leave home.
How did my guinea pig escape?
Secure the perimeter of the lawn and the hutch, so that there is no way out.
Still, you may wonder how the guinea pig finds its way out. Below are a few common ways of escaping:
- The hutch is boring, doesn’t have much activity and entertainment. So, the guinea pig is most likely to chew the wires of the hutch to escape.
- The guinea pig can escape through a small hole in the hutch. You might ignore such a small opening, but that’s enough for them to escape.
- Guinea pigs are not excellent diggers, but that doesn’t mean they cannot make a tunnel hole to go beyond the garden fence.
- They can climb the chain-linked fencing using the gaps in between.
You will feel sad and worried when the guinea pig escapes. But instead of panicking and acting smartly. Guinea pigs often like when you start looking for them. They are fond of such naughtiness.
Once you are confirmed that the guinea pig is not in the perimeter of the house, you need to start looking for it. Their survival is at risk.
Will my lost guinea pig return home?
The guinea pig will soon realize that it has come to a new place. As it is not well trained to stay outdoors, it will be cautious in its approach.
They will try to accommodate the surroundings and find a place to hide. They avoid the situation when they feel exposed to the world outside without any protection.
The guinea pigs do not notice much around their surroundings while they run away. So it’s unlikely that they will find the way back home.
The guinea pigs run wildly once they get frightened, without noticing where they are up to. They may land into unchartered territory, with little or no idea of the surrounding. Being afraid and in a new place, they often get confused and lose their way.
While they have escaped into a new place, they are still likely to be doing similar activities. It would be best if you search for them in the neighborhood, green fields, or places where they may feel safe.
They are blessed with a good sense of smell and hearing. Guinea pigs are the lowest in the food chain move during the night in search of food.
So, they are more dependent upon ears and nose. We can make use of this habit. Play some music to which is familiar or put some bits of their favorite dish along the path towards the home.
As soon as they come in contact with any familiar sound or smell, they tend to follow it. That is also obvious as they are already afraid of the outside world, and anything known gives comfort to all the living creatures.
In case the guinea pig has willfully left home because of any torture or misbehavior, they might not return, or even they on the return path will run away again. These are very emotional creatures.
How long should I wait for my guinea pig to return?
The odds are less than the guinea pig will return home of its own. They often tend to confuse direction and path towards home.
Although guinea pigs are smart and in the wild, they were able to maneuver their way through dense forest and grassland back to their home. However, the domesticated guinea pig has lost their instinct, and they are less likely to find their way again.
So, it would be best if you started the search campaign as soon as possible. You must be lucky if the guinea pig returns home, so there should be someone to attend the pet.
How do I find my escaped guinea pig?
Most of the time, pet owners panic, thinking about the condition of the pet. Instead of losing patience, you should act smartly.
The following steps will guide you:
- Search your home and garden: You need to check your house and garden, as most of the time, guinea pigs hide nearby only. Also, remove the things that can be a potential danger to the pet like mouse traps. Avoid any interactions of other pet animals like dogs or cats with the guinea pig.
- Inform your neighbors: When you confirm that the guinea pig is not at home, start searching for the pet in the neighborhood areas. Inform the neighbors and the kids about the guinea pig. You need to explore every possible location to hide like beneath the car, in the bushes or shrubs, inside any garage, etc.
- Spread the message over social media: You can spread the message of missing guinea pigs over social media, as many animal lovers groups will come forward to search the pig.
- Visit the local veterinarian or animal shelter: If someone has found the guinea pig, he or she might have taken the guinea pig to the local veterinarian or any animal shelter.
- Favorite treat and familiar music: Guinea pigs are attracted to food or familiar music. You can use it to search for them. Place the food in the hutch, even during the night as guinea pigs are active during the night as well. You can play the music in the local parks or gardens where the guinea pig may have taken shelter.
The sooner you start, the more chances you have to find. In some cases, the guinea pigs return home after a couple of days.
You should not give up, although chances are vague if the guinea pig is not found even after a few days.
How do you find a lost guinea pig in your house?
The search for the missing guinea pig begins at home. The chances are more than the guinea pigs have hidden somewhere within the home.
They like it when some search for them. The following steps are useful while searching the guinea pigs in the house.
- Secure the house perimeter: The guinea pigs may also hurt themselves within the home, so it is necessary to remove such things that can harm the pet. Close the doors and the windows to stop the guinea pig from escaping outside.
- Check every room: You should check for the guinea pigs in each room one by one. Look under the tables, behind curtains, in closets, etc.
- Attract with food: Place the favorite food for the guinea pig to allure it. Placing the treats near their cage door often works like a charm.
Can a baby guinea pig find its way back home?
Baby guinea pig is still new to the world. The bonding which an adult guinea pig has with its owner is not found in the baby pig’s case. The chances of their returning are even lesser.
Baby guinea pigs haven’t attached themselves with any smell or sound, so they do not find relevance at home or any other place.
They suspect the owners and try to run away from them as they are afraid. It will take time to build trust and affection. Till then, you need to make extra effort to preserve the baby guinea pig.
Guinea pigs are less familiar with the potential danger of the outside world, and not strong enough to protect themselves compared to adult ones. They may end up losing their life most of the time.
They don’t even attach themselves with their mother also. The mother is also ignorant of its baby. So, it becomes harder to search the baby guinea pig.
What dangers can a lost guinea pig face?
The guinea pigs belong to the lowest of the food chain, so they are always of the potential risk of being hunted down by the predators.
The dangers they are exposed to also depend on the environment they stay in and the neighborhood.
Let’s summarise them:
- Neighborhood: Busy traffic is always a nightmare for all animals. A guinea pig will be in the doldrums when it needs to cross a road. It is not at all aware of the risks of vehicles.
- Predators: This is a universal hazard for the guinea pigs. They can be attacked by many predators like snakes, foxes, wild cats, etc. The presence of a forest nearby makes them more vulnerable to predators.
- Hunger: Domestic animals are unable to get food and water for themselves. They have little experience of surviving under unfavorable conditions. So the guinea pigs may not find food and water and succumb to death.
- Climatic conditions: Guinea pigs are not comfortable in hot weather. They may even suffer from serious health problems if their body temperature is high, although they can adapt to cold conditions unless it is extreme.
The longer a guinea pig takes to return home, the more chances are that it may face danger. Although they can return home of their own, you shouldn’t wait for it to happen. Sooner the better.
Sources: Olfaction, Management of skin conditions in guinea pigs, Preference of Guinea Pigs for Bedding Materials, Care of Guinea Pigs, Guinea pig housing, Suitable bedding for Guinea Pigs, Petsaver guinea pig guide, Guinea pig care, GUINEA PIG GENERAL CARE GUIDE.