We all want to have a companion pet, which we can keep indoor and enjoy its company while interacting with them. However, we all want to clear out one question in our mind before we choose one. Do guinea pigs smell bad?
Guinea pigs can be a little smelly sometimes. But in most cases, the bad smell is due to improper care, improper cage maintenance, or some disease in guinea pigs. Thus, to avoid foul smells, make sure you keep their cage clean and your guinea pigs well-groomed.
Some long hair guinea pigs have a hard time keeping themselves clean due to their long-grown hairs, which might also be a reason for the foul smell.
It would help if you dedicated some time to groom such breeds to remain clean and tidy.
Nothing can be more worth a while than watching a Guinea pig groom themselves.
Guinea pigs often release white wax-like substances from the corner of their eyes and use the same to groom their face and body.
Do guinea pigs stink up your room?
Sometimes people don’t have adequate space outside, and they like to keep their Guinea pigs indoors or in a room that works great until you have their cages clean.
I often have seen people complaining that their rooms smell bad when you keep guinea pigs, which can be true if you don’t care about your pigs properly.
Like any other caged pets, Guinea pigs have limited space indoor and will need to eat and poop at the same place, which can often lead to messy cages.
A small cage is yet another reason that can make your Guinea pig smell terrible.
Since they have minimal space, it is quite usual to be messy and dirty over time.
That is why it is imperative to have an adequate size cage for your caged companion.
You can learn more about how big your guinea pigs cage must be? from our in-depth article.
We, as the owner, are responsible for maintaining a clean cage and living environment for them.
A healthy Guinea pig will always try to keep themselves clean, but we should also help them by cleaning them every once in a while.
Guinea pigs are as clean as you keep them.
We should always spot clean the pee and the poop daily to avoid building up over time and creating a nuisance smell in the room.
How to stop indoor guinea pigs smelling?
If we take care of our Guinea pig daily, then its smell would not be a problem for you.
I have gone through a lot of info and videos available on the internet and have noted down a few necessary things we must do to avoid the Guinea pig smell altogether.
- Get an adequate size cage for your guinea pig; This shall reduce the mess you need to deal with every day.
- Spot clean your Guinea pig cages every day. You must remove any left fresh food, Pee or poop in the cage so that it doesn’t stick to your Guinea pig fur and smell bad.
- Use Odour proof bedding to avoid the foul smell. Also, I recommend using fleece or aspen bedding for bedding as I have found it the most effective in odor control.
- Another great option is to Litter-train, your guinea pig. This training shall ensure there is not much poop all around that you clean every day and make your schedule quite simple.
- Sprinkle some baking soda at the bottom of the cage while changing bedding which shall minimize any foul smell as baking soda is useful in reducing the odor.
- Bath your Guinea pig if they get too dirty so to keep them clean and odor-free. If they have a bad smell, then you must bath them immediately.
- If you are too worried about the smell, then get a female Guinea pig rather than a male as females guinea pig produce less odor than male.
- Do make sure your Guinea pig gets a proper diet as an improper diet can often lead to loose motion and other urinary tract diseases which causes a foul smell. For more info, you can check more about their nutrition from our Complete diet plan for guinea pigs.
How to clean your guinea pig cage?
When I first got my hand on a pair of guinea pigs, I wondered how often I should clean their cages and what shall be the proper way to do so?
Then the struggle began to find the correct information about it, and I have come a long way in learning the steps to do it smoothly and right.
Today I shall share all the right steps you need to follow in cleaning a guinea pig cage.
Step 1: Moving your guinea pig to a temporary place.
The first step is to take your cute little companions out of the cage and move them into a temporary safe location.
This location might be either the play area of your Guinea pig, a small temporary cage, or any open-top box-like container which can hold them for a while.
Do not let your pet wandering in the house or outside when you are cleaning the cage.
As you are not around to look after your guinea pigs, they may run into some unforeseen trouble that you may not want.
Step 2: Do a weekly deep clean of the cage.
Always remember that daily cleaning is essential for maintaining the cage, but at the same time, a deep cleaning every week is also part of the schedule you need to take care of.
Since your fluffy little companion spends most time in their cage where they drink, eat, play, and poop every day, thorough cleaning once a week shall ensure that the pen is free from germs and disease at the same time, odorless too.
Firstly, remove all the items from the cage. Right from the food bowl to water dishes and toys, you need to remove everything from the cage.
Now you must take some warm water and mild soap and wash all the water dishes, food dishes, hiding houses and toys properly.
Washing everything ensures that any bacteria buildup in those is wholly disinfected and removed.
Do make sure you wash it with clean water to remove any remaining soap from them.
The next step is to take a garbage bag and remove all the remaining litter, hay, bedding, and solid waste from the cage. Also, sweep the bottom of the enclosure using a brush to scrub off any litter remaining.
Next is you can use a mild detergent and clean the cage with it. A thorough cleaning shall ensure any bacteria present gets eradicated, and thus your guinea pigs are less prone to diseases.
The next step is to mix 1 part of white vinegar with 9 parts of water(10% vinegar) and spray around the cage.
Cleaning with vinegar is just a step forward in disinfecting the cage. (Check out what I use for vinegar and sprayer)
The final step shall be to rinse away the vinegar properly so that Guinea pig nose doesn’t get any issue with it and pat dry using a paper towel.
Step 3: Prepare the housing refresh for your Guinea pig
After ensuring that the cage is completely dried, the next step is to prepare the bedding and set back the enclosure up for your furry friend.
I like to use an old newspaper on the base of the cage. The paper ensures any pee or spilled liquid is adequately absorbed and thus smells less.
Now you can cover the paper with bedding of your choice. I prefer Guineadad fleece liners, But you can also go with wood pellets or Carefresh bedding for your Guinea pigs, as these also help reduce the odor around the cage.
After arranging the bedding material properly, I like to put all the food, water bowls, and other materials back in the cage and arrange them accordingly.
Once everything is in place, I like to fill the food and water bowl up, and now my little furry pets are ready to be back in their home sweet home!
Step 4: Followup with a daily cleaning schedule for a healthy living environment.
It is equally important to follow up with daily cleaning of the cage to ensure that the environment for our furry little guys remains clean.
Following up with the regular cleaning routine is quite an easy task to do. Just follow some quick guidelines, and you are good to go.
Firstly, remove any uneaten fresh vegetables, fruits, or treats lying around the cage.
Secondly, Spot cleans any dirty, messy area around the cage. If there is any water spill or something, do remember to clean it up too.
Lastly, Refill the water and food containers every day with fresh food and hay. You can learn more about How to provide water to your Guinea pig here.
How to keep guinea pigs from smelling? (Cleaning your guinea pig)
Sometimes it is essential to clean your guinea pig by yourself too. Some long hair guinea pigs have more trouble keeping themselves clean as compared to the short-haired ones.
Cleaning your Guinea pigs can be as simple as brushing their hair to remove any broken, damaged hair(fur) or as tough as bathing them or clean a Grease gland of the male guinea pig.
Another essential step to ensure that your Guinea pig remains clean and healthy is to brush their hair regularly.
Brushing their hairs will ensure they are groomed every once in a while, but their fur remains clean this way.
You may also want to trim the hair of the long-haired Guinea pig from and around their bottom areas to ensure that they don’t create much mess when they use the toilet.
This step will also assure you do not need to bathe them as regularly as you might otherwise.
If you feel your Guinea pig is smelly and needs a bath, do make sure to give it one. It is quite beautiful to provide them with a bath once in a month or so.
But do not bathe your Guinea pigs regularly as bathing causes their natural oil to get washed away and can lead to many health and skin problems in them.
Do male guinea pigs smell worse than females?
Yes, Sometimes the males do smell worse than a female does. The bad smell is because of their scent gland, also known as the grease gland in males.
The grease gland is located at the spot precisely at the back(where other rodents have their tail).
This gland sometimes produces a greasy, sticky substance that has a distinct smell. Usually, Guinea pigs in the wild used to use this smell to mark their territory.
The smell is also a signal for a mating call. Studies claim that male uses this strong smell to attract females when they are ready to mate.
So, yes, the males have some strong, distinct smell compared to females, but it’s nothing that can’t be taken care of. You can clean their grease gland regularly while cleaning their cage weekly, and you shall be good to go.
So, I think I have covered all the points that I have learned in my experience for taking care of your guinea pig’s smell.
Although there can be a lot more things you can do, in my opinion, this shall be more than enough to keep your room free of any smell and also the Guinea pigs free of odor.
If you found my article helpful, do share it with your friends and family so that they can also benefit from it.
Sources: 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.