Maybe, it is a festive season, or you want to throw a night light or some extra light to your guinea pig’s cage in either case, fairy lights are a simple and attractive solution that comes to the mind of most people. But is it a wise idea to use it? Is fairy light safe for guinea pigs?
Yes, you can use fairy lights for decoration or lighting up your guinea pigs cage. However, they are not entirely safe as they possess some hazards for your guinea pigs. You can minimize the risk by taking preventive measures or using other secure decoration lighting options available in the market.
If you are planning to use the light as a night light, then you can avoid it entirely as guinea pigs don’t need a light at night.
They have a poor vision anyway and they use hearing and smell for finding their way at night.
You can learn more about it from our in-depth guide on Do guinea pigs need light at night?
However, if you want to use the light for decorating the space so that it looks aesthetically pleasing, then you might need to consider the threat it possesses and take precautionary actions early on.
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What are the threats fairy light possesses for your guinea pigs?
Fairy lights possess a lot of threats for the pets. Reports suggest 1000’s of pets are affected or hurt every festive season by those decorative lights.
RSPCA issues warning regarding those lights every year, yet here we are risking the lives of our pets. But why is everyone so concerned about those cute lights?
How can fairy light harm our guinea pigs? Let us learn about the potential hazards that fairy light possesses:
Chewing the light bulb & cables
Guinea pigs love to chew all different kinds of stuff, and the risk of electrocution & threat to their life is potentially very high if your guinea pigs end up chewing the wire or the bulb.
You must have known by now, guinea pigs are curious creatures, and they are pretty smart as well.
You might think you have placed the lights at the top part of the cage where they possess no threat to your guinea pigs-Think again!
Your guinea pigs might be able to reach the wire or pull the lights by climbing onto something.
If you have a guinea pig who can jump pretty high(Sometimes out of the cage) as mine does, then it might not be difficult for them to get to those lights.
The possibilities are endless, and you must consider these before installing a light in the cage.
If the strings of the lights fall off from the hooks, you have secured them, or your guinea pigs get hold of the hanging string, they might end up pulling the light or even worse get entangled into it.
Entangling can make your guinea pigs anxious, and they may hurt themselves, trying to get rid off the light from them.
These lights also possess the risk of electrocution if your guinea pigs bite the wire off. So, Beware!
Short circuit and fire
Cheap quality fairy lights available in the market often possess the risk of short circuits and fire in households.
Incidents were reported in the past, where overheating of the lights lead to a fire in the house.
Although a few hours might be okay, however, if you missed to turn those off when you are away, then it does possess the risk of overheating.
It would be best if you consider this threat for the safety of your house as well as your pet before using those light.
Disturb their day/night cycle
Studies claim that using bright lights in the cage during day and night can often disturb the balance of the biological clock in the guinea pigs.
Your guinea pigs might get confused, whether it is morning or night, and often that causes some health issues in them.
People also don’t know the fact that guinea pigs prefer to be in the dark rather than in light.
As they feel more secure in the dark, they prefer it that way. Especially during the night time, when they take a little longer nap, bright light can be disturbing for some of them.
Thus, consider the same while using the light in & around your guinea pig’ cage.
How can I minimize the risk for our guinea pigs?
By now, you already know what are the risks that fairy light possesses for your guinea pigs.
Now, we shall discuss some of the ways to minimize the risk if you still want to use those lights.
Get a good quality light
Always choose to buy a quality product, especially when you plan to use them around your pets.
Purchasing good quality fairy lights often helps in reducing the chances of overheating and fire hazards.
Always ensure you get copper-wired material light rather than aluminum-wired.
These lights have a high heating point and tend to last longer and are pretty safe.
Always remember to go for a CE certified fairy light only. I have tried those lights in the past and they did work out pretty well for me.
Place the light up high
Make sure you place the lights up high where your guinea pigs cannot reach them.
Height of 24-36 inches above the cage floor is recommended. Although most guinea pigs can’t climb much higher, some can.
It is recommended to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to guinea pigs.
Never attach the lights to the top part of the cage. Many owners do so; however, it possesses a risk of electricity passing through the cage wire itself if there are any leaks in the cable.
I would instead hook the lights above the cage using some secured hooks. Also, double-check the lights are correctly secured, and there are no chances of the strings hanging into the cage.
Using a timer
If you are not available all the time in the house, it is a good idea to either keep the lights off or use a timer.
Using a timer, you can set the lights ON and OFF when needed, thus, reducing the chances of overheating or any other potential hazard.
Light timers also help in case of any short circuit, so better to get one if you plan to use the lights.
Other lights for decoration?
Rope lights are a safer alternative to string lights. As the wiring and light bulbs are covered with a thick rubber-like material, the risk of electrocution is pretty low.
They are also tough to chew and get through; thus, chances of things going wrong are pretty small with them. Many pet experts recommend them over the string lights.
Is battery-powered light a safe option?
Yes, a battery-powered fairy light is much safer for our guinea pigs than the regular lights as they don’t possess the threat of fire.
Most battery-powered lights make use of led lights instead of incandescent bulbs; thus, the heat produced is very low.
However, they still possess the risk of getting entangled or chewing up the battery if your guinea pigs manage to get it.
These batteries contain harmful chemicals that can be poisonous for our guinea pigs. So, caution is still recommended!