We usually see guinea pigs are easily scared and will run away from any potential threat. Considering this, you must be wondering if your guinea pigs are frightened of loud noises like lightning and thunder. But are guinea pigs scared of loud noises? Let’s find out!
Loud noises can be terrifying for your guinea pigs, and in some instances, it may even risk the life of your guinea pigs. Guinea pigs have a better sense of hearing than humans, so even the sound of loud music, vacuum, fireworks, or even dumpster trucks can unsettle your guinea pigs.
As guinea pigs are attentive to their environment, mainly sounds, It is not possible to eliminate all kinds of loud noises from your guinea pig’s surroundings.
However, you can take the necessary steps to bring it down. Shifting your guinea pig to the interior part of your home is a good start to it.
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How do I know if my guinea pig is scared?
You can notice the following signs in your guinea pigs if they are scared:
- Excessive Grooming.
- If they are hiding.
- Biting the bars of their enclosure.
- Excessive drinking or playing with their bottle.
- Unwilling to move.
- Running in circles in their enclosure continuously.
If you notice such behavior of your guinea pigs, then your guinea pigs are scared.
As soon as you discover that your guinea pigs are stressed, you should take immediate measures to calm them down. Excessive stress can lead to the passing away of our guinea pigs.
Why are guinea pigs scared of loud noises?
Guinea pigs can sense potential danger in many ways. They have a strong sense of hearing, which they use to detect threats and take appropriate action to safeguard themselves.
Guinea pigs might get nervous by doing so, but it will help them to survive.
You must know that guinea pigs’ sense of fear is a survival strategy. Even though guinea pigs can get scared and nervous in a noisy environment, it is crucial for their survival.
You must know that guinea pigs were initially domesticated so that they could be bred for food.
Although today they are bred for domestic pets, their instinct to get frightened of noises is not eliminated.
Are guinea pigs scared of fireworks?
There are chances that your guinea pigs pass away because of fear when fireworks are set close to where guinea pigs reside. But there are ways you can keep them calm, which we shall discuss later in this article.
Guinea pigs might get frightened enough to get a heart attack, if they experience an unusual loud noise.
We would like you to know that the 4 July celebrations and bonfire night scare and upsets many animals not only guinea pigs.
According to studies, a large number of road accidents happen every year, as animals get frightened and run for their life.
Animals usually get distressed by loud noises of fireworks and run towards a road which risks their life. So, you must be well prepared for these days at least.
Are guinea pigs scared of thunder?
As guinea pigs are prey animals, they get scared of loud noises. Thunder creates loud noises that can cause stress in our guinea pigs, leading to loss of lives in some cases.
In the case of thunder, we would advise you to place your guinea pigs indoors in the central part of your home, away from doors and windows.
You must provide them a familiar environment so that they can feel safe for which you can place some hideouts and fleece beds so they can feel relaxed there.
How to calm down a scared guinea pig?
You must know that it doesn’t matter whether your piggies live indoors or outdoors, loud noises can make your guinea pigs scared.
Your guinea pigs can even pass away if they are frightened too much.
You can take many measures to calm and safeguard their guinea pigs throughout thunderstorms and fireworks displays.
Move them to a secured spot
In case of loud noises like thunder, you should move your guinea pigs to a secured spot.
You can move your guinea pigs to that corner of your house where the sound can be minimized. Always keep them away from windows and doors.
As guinea pigs are prey animals, they have sensitive ears that cannot tolerate loud noises.
Guinea pigs should never be kept in an environment with loud noises. Your guinea pigs should always have a calm atmosphere with minimal noises that they can bear.
Add some hideouts
We will advise you to bring your guinea pigs enclosure indoor and make a sheltered hiding place inside their enclosure with loads of cozy bedding.
You can also prepare a separate hiding spot within an enclosure by following the necessary measures:
- You can slash an opening out of a cardboard box so that your guinea pigs can relax.
- We will advise you to keep some hay inside the box so that your guinea pigs will have something to chew on.
- You can also add up some favorite toys if your guinea pigs are inside the box.
Reduce loud noises
Your guinea pigs can get scared if they hear sounds of fireworks, lightning, and thunder.
You should close the windows and draw the curtains to block loud noises entering your house.
Also, you can distract your guinea pigs by turning on some white noises such as television, fan, air conditioner, or radio. You can also play some soothing music as guinea pigs enjoy music.
Try to talk with them
Your guinea pigs may prefer to stay close to you to eliminate their fear. As Guinea pigs are social animals, they bond more during difficult circumstances.
In such a case, you should allow your guinea pigs to come to you. Guinea pigs are very loving, but they only show their love when they like to show. You cannot force your guinea pigs to love you.
You should always remember that guinea pigs do not enjoy too much cuddling or handling.
If you notice that your guinea pigs are not comfortable being held, you should place them down immediately as they can get stressed if you hold them against their will.
You should sit close to your guinea pigs and bond with you in the way they prefer.
You can also bring your guinea pigs indoors and let them stay in their familiar place till the fireworks or storms are over. Guinea pigs will also be more comfortable and relaxed if they are in their accustomed place.
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Distract your guinea pigs with some entertainment
You can also draw your guinea pig’s attention with some entertainment.
We will advise you to play some games with your guinea pigs to draw their attention from the loud noises.
Here are some games that you can play with your guinea pigs.
- Play reverse fetches: You should allow your guinea pigs to throw something towards you using their teeth.
- Go bowling: You can set some items that can be used as bowling pins and let your guinea pigs bang them over with their nose.
- Grab: Allow your guinea pigs to grab something from your hands and run away with it. You can use a piece of newspaper or junk mail.
If you discover your guinea pigs feeling stressed even after playing, we would advise you not to force them to play against their will.
Leave your guinea pigs alone as they might prefer to relax quietly in their hiding area.
Play some calm music
We would like you to know that guinea pigs enjoy calm music. You can play music in a low sound to draw your guinea pigs’ attention from loud noises.
As guinea pigs are prey animals, they get frightened by loud noises. Playing calm music can relax your guinea pigs and make them feel comfortable.
When to reach out to a vet
If you notice your guinea pigs screaming or displaying fewer signs of terror that may not harm them, carry on with calming them down.
But if your guinea pig’s fear has lead to an injury (e.g., spinal injury or fractured limbs), they will need veterinary attention.
We would like you to know that there aren’t any artificial aromas for soothing stressed guinea pigs like there are for other pets.
You must understand that even fear can cause a heart attack in guinea pigs, demanding immediate vet care.
Can guinea pigs die from stress?
A scary condition, such as a thunderstorm, can stimulate the discharge of neurotransmitters from the pituitary gland found at the base of the brain.
The neurotransmitters will then interconnect with several tissues in the guinea pig’s body, especially in the adrenal glands.
The adrenal glands then discharge adrenaline. At the time of prolonged stress, they also release glucocorticosteroids.
Adrenaline causes an increase in guinea pig’s blood pressure and heart rate. When guinea pigs recognize danger, their blood flow is directed to the vital organs and away from non-essential tissues.
That eventually causes the guinea pig’s eyes to dilate with the increase in their respiratory rate, and their blood sugar levels also escalate speedily.
Due to fear, it is possible that your guinea pig’s gastrointestinal system stops moving. The effects of stress are crystal clear in the short term. The above conditions also enhance guinea pigs’ senses and let them run away from threats.
Although, in circumstances that lead to prolonged or extreme stress, your guinea pigs can get affected negatively due to stress.
If the non-essential tissues get a short supply of blood, it can cause them to stop functioning. Changes in the gastrointestinal tract may lead to gut stasis, diarrhea, enterotoxaemia, and enteritis.
You must know that the exhaustion of energy stores in the liver can lead to the starvation of the body tissues and eventually cause a life threat to our guinea pigs.
Loud noises can easily frighten your guinea pigs and can also lead to the passing away of our guinea pigs.
According to studies, arterial hypertension, hypotension, and heart failure are common in animals that are stress-sensitive like guinea pigs.
It is possible that your guinea pigs can go into a “fright paralysis”. Fright paralysis can be defined as a short term and changeable condition of deep motor obstruction that can cause death to an animal.
Lastly, we would like to advise you to take care of your guinea pigs and shower them with all your love and attention.
You should always provide a calm environment with minimal noise as your guinea pigs cannot tolerate loud noises.
Yes, Guinea pigs are scared of loud noises as they are prey animals. Guinea pigs have sensitive ears that cannot handle loud noises. Excessive noise can even lead to the passing away of our guinea pigs.
In addition to this, you should always take extreme care of your guinea pigs to share an unbreakable bond.
Sources: The Auditory Sensitivity of Guinea Pigs, The high-frequency sensitivity of the guinea pig ear, Temporary Auditory Threshold Shift in Guinea pigs, How well can guinea pigs hear tones, Behavioral Measurements of Absolute and Frequency Difference Thresholds in Guinea Pig, Guinea pig housing