Do Guinea Pigs Smell  – Can You Do Something About It?

Everyone likes animals like guinea pigs. Considering the fact that they are adorable little creatures that you can have fun with, makes them an excellent pet. But, do guinea pigs smell? Do they spread a bad odor?

Guinea pigs can smell. However, they will only smell if you do not look after them. If you do not look after their personal hygiene, they can start to be smelly which can be unpleasant for pet owners.

Your furry little friend cannot look after themselves. Since they cannot groom themselves, they may end up being smelly. But, you can get rid of the smell pretty easily. Here’s what you need to do to get rid of the smell.

My Guinea Pig Smells! – What To Do?

No one likes a smelly pet, whether it is a dog, a hamster, or a cute little guinea pig. The reason why your pet guinea may smell is due to the poor effort in their personal hygiene.

Your poor little friend is not at fault here. They do not know how to look after their personal hygiene and groom themselves properly. This is why, you, as a pet owner need to put an effort to clean your pet routinely.

To further help you get a better understanding of why your pet may smell, here are some reasons.

  • A Guinea pig may smell if their cage is dirty and not routinely cleaned.
  • Your pet piggy may be suffering from a disease or illness that causes a bad odor.
  • They may smell if they do not get proper care and look after.

To avoid all this, you need to pay your pet’s diet and hygiene extra attention. This will allow your pet piggy to stay in the best of his or her hygiene and stay fresh.

Try not to stress over this too much because guinea pigs generally have a certain aroma around them. It only gets worse when you do not look after them properly, but, luckily, it can be reduced.

1) Do Guinea Pigs Smell Due To Insufficient Cage Maintenance?

In short, YES! Guinea pigs can start to be smelly due to insufficient cage maintenance. Simply put, your pet piggy also has to bear the miserable smell. But, it is mainly due to poor cage maintenance.

Guinea pigs cannot clean up after themselves

Unfortunately, your cute little pet piggy cannot clean up after themselves. Yes, they might have some skills of self-grooming but they simply cannot clean up their cages.

Your pet piggy’s cage is his house where he eats, sleeps, and relaxes. Just like you clean your own house daily, you also need to clean your pet piggy’s cage.

Here’s what you need to remove from your pet’s cage frequently:

  • Remove the leftover food from your pet’s cage.
  • Clean up the dirty bedding of your adorable little pet piggy.
  • Clean up your pet’s untidied droppings.
  • Wash away your pet’s urine as well.

It will hardly consume 10 minutes of your precious time. Doing this will allow your pet piggy to stop smelling and live in a clean and well-maintained cage.

This will also strengthen the bond you have with your adorable little friend.

2) Do Guinea Pigs Smell Due To Illness?

Keeping it short, YES! If your pet smells, illness might be a reason behind your pet’s bad odor. It can also help you track any illness that your pet might be going through.

Since guinea pigs are sensitive little creatures, they are more likely to suffer from health complications. These can either be:

  • Diarrhea
  • Scurvy ( A deficiency of Vitamin C)
  • Infections
  • Infestation of Fungus
  • The Infestation of Mites
  • Infestation of Lice

Any of the above complications will make your pet suffer from a bad odor and be in ultimate discomfort. These can be dealt with by just following a simple cleaning routine.

Keep in mind, some of these can be genetic. In that case, a trip to the vet will be compulsory to help deal with the bad odor and make your pet healthy again.

3) Do Guinea Pigs Smell Due To An Improper Diet?

In short, yes! Your pet piggy may smell due to an improper diet. Your furry little friend has a sensitive digestive system that requires extra care when it comes to their diet.

Even a slight hiccup or an imbalance in their diet can lead to numerous health complications. These also include a bad odor or smell, digestive complications, and urinary tract infections as well.

Due to an infection in your pet piggy’s urinary tract, it may make their urine start smelling as well.

An imbalanced diet will lead to flatulence, gas, and diarrhea as well

The same goes for digestive complications as well. An imbalanced diet will lead to flatulence, gas, and diarrhea as well. These are other reasons why your pet may smell.

Considering how susceptible their diet is, you need to feed them a balanced and healthy diet. You can also feed them treats like:

Keep in mind, if you hand feed your pet piggy-sweet treats like berries and mangoes, he or she may bite you.

They like eating sugary and sweet foods and if you hand feed them, they may bite you out of sheer excitement.

As long as your pet’s diet is balanced and has the right food, your pet will be safe from digestive complications and urinary tract infections. This will allow your pet piggy to smell better and stay fresh.

Loving reading this article? You would love to read our other guide on guinea pigs blinking.

4) What Can You Feed Your Guinea Pig To Help Reduce The Smell?

As mentioned in the previous section, a balanced diet is all you need. Their diet primarily focuses on hay, and hay only. Based on this, it is safe to assume your pet needs a diet rich in fiber.

More importantly, your pet piggy will love to have hay every single day of his life. The added fiber will keep their digestive system healthy and ensure he or she does not suffer from digestive complications.

A Balanced Diet For Your Pet Guinea Pig:

Here is a general overview of what you should be feeding your pet piggy to keep their diet balanced and reduce the smell.

  • Provide your pet piggy with unlimited access to fresh and good-quality hay. It can be timothy hay or any hay, as long as it is fresh and not old.
    Good quality hay is essential to your pet’s well being and they must have it in their primary diets.
  • Provide your pet piggy with fibrous food. Considering the fact that your pet loves eating hay, it is clear that they have no issues eating fiber containing foods.
    There are plenty of foods that can give your pet piggy the fiber it needs. To keep your pet healthy and smell-free, make sure you include a cup of fresh veggies and fruits in your pet’s daily meals.
  • Provide your pet with an endless supply of fresh water. Make sure you fill up your pet’s water bottle or any other container that your pet loves to drink water from.
    This will keep your pet’s body hydrated and also ensure your pet’s digestive system is running smoothly.
  • To further assist your pet with their food intake, you can also feed them guinea pig fortified pellets. These will serve as an external source of getting all the essential vitamins and minerals that they need.
  • Make sure you feed them well-balanced meals that include grass hay, one cup of veggies, and fresh (make sure they are fresh) and guinea pig pellets.
  • Your pet piggy cannot produce or store vitamin C in his or her body. Feed your adorable little guinea pig vitamin C-based foods. This will make up for the deficiency of vitamin C and protect them against health issues like scurvy.

By feeding them a well-balanced diet, you can effectively help reduce your pet’s smell.

5) What To Avoid Feeding Your Guinea Pig?

In case you did not know, foods can also make your pet piggy sick. There are many foods that can take a toll on your pet’s health. These include certain foods, veggies, and plants as well.

Here are some of the foods that you should avoid feeding your pet piggy at all costs.

1) Potatoes:

The reason why you should avoid feeding your pet piggy potatoes is the amount of starch in them. They have a high concentration of starch that your pet’s sensitive digestive system cannot take.

Potatoes will put your pet piggy in ultimate digestive discomfort

It will put your pet piggy in ultimate digestive discomfort and can lead to numerous digestive complications. Due to their digestive system being sensitive, it may even lead to a digestive shut down.

No pet owner would want that for their pet piggy and hence should avoid feeding them potatoes and other foods rich in starch.

2) Ice Burg Lettuce And Onions:

Similar to potatoes, onions and ice burg lettuce can also put your pet piggy in digestive discomfort. It can take a toll on your pet’s sensitive digestive system and lead to diarrhea and other digestive complications.

Not only does ice burg lettuce carry no nutritional value, but it also is not considered a healthy treat for your pet piggy. It mostly has water and no fibers in it. Excessive water will give your pet piggy the runs.

Considering this, you should avoid feeding them to your pet piggy. This will keep your pet piggy out of harm’s way and also allow your pet piggy to smell better and fresh.

8 Other Ways To Help A Guinea Pig That Smells

When it comes to looking after your pet piggy, there are only a few basics that you need to know.

Here’s how you can help a guinea pig that smells.

1) Give Your Pet Proper Care:

Improper care is one of the most common reasons why a pet may smell. We are certainly not putting this on you since you can accidentally give your pet piggy improper care.

There are hundreds of pet animals in the world and they all have different requirements to stay at their best. For starters, you can start by giving your pet the correct diet.

2) Help Your Adorable Pet Piggy Groom:

Guinea pigs cannot clean up after themselves, but that does not mean they lack the basic skills of grooming. They can, in some way groom themselves.

Fun fact, they can also groom each other if you own more than one pet guinea pig.

However, their grooming skills are certainly not enough to keep them from smelling. We all like and appreciate a helping hand and the same goes for your pet piggy as well.

Lend your pet piggy a helping hand and help them in grooming. You can do this by grabbing a pet-friendly brush and periodically brush your pet’s fur. Doing this will allow you to remove excess hair and untangle their hair.

Sometimes, when your pet gets too excited to eat sweet snacks, they may get bits of food stuck in their fur. Brushing their fur will also help remove the stuck food particles that may become the cause of a smelly guinea pig.

This is specifically true for Himalayan guinea pigs. If you own one of these, you might know that they have a rigid, long, and thick fur than any other breed of guinea pigs.

In general, you should help groom any breed of guinea pig to help them stay in their best shape. When you follow a day-to-day clean-up routine, your pet will stay fluffy and free from any bad odor or smells.

3) Choose A Decent Guinea Pig Bedding Material:

Who does not like decent bedding material? Guinea pigs sure love a decent bedding material since they love to be clean and odor-free.

More importantly, good bedding will also keep your pet’s cage-free from smells.

If your pet smells, bad bedding might be one reason behind their smell. To help your pet deal with the smell, you need to choose quality and efficient bedding.

Bad bedding might be one reason behind guinea pigs smell

Good quality and effective bedding are aspen shavings. These are the most commonly used bedding material for pet guinea pigs considering the fact that they help deal with odors better.

These are readily available and you will find them at your local pet shops with ease. However, if you cannot find aspen shaving there are other options for you to choose from. These include:

  • Paper shreds
  • Paper pellets
  • And Paper Mulch

4) Routinely Change Guinea Pig Bedding:

Getting decent and quality bedding is not the only thing that will deal with bad smells. It will be of no use if you do not change it when it is due. A good quality bedding like aspen shaving will absorb liquids better.

But, at the same time, when it becomes dirty, it can become a cause of the smell. To avoid all this, you need to routinely change your pet piggy’s bedding.

Ideally, you need to change your adorable little piggy’s bedding every 2 to 4 days.

5) To Help Reduce The Smell, Spot Clean Your Pet’s Cage Every 24 Hours:

Guinea pigs live their entire lives in their little cages. They eat, sleep, and well, urinate at the same place. When they eat, food may get leftover in their cage. The leftovers and urine can make your pet smelly.

Removing leftovers will give your pet piggy a new and clean home

If you remove the leftovers every 24 hours, it will give your pet piggy a new and clean home to live in every day. It will also lower the frequency of deep cleaning your pet piggy’s cage.

6) Deep Clean Your Pet Guinea Pig’s Cage Once A Week:

Spot cleaning your pet’s cage every 24 hours may get the job done. But, if your pet piggy still smells, you will have to deep clean your pet piggy’s cage. Doing this once a week will get the job done.

Here’s how you can deep clean your pet’s cage:

  • Grab a dustpan and remove your pet guinea pig’s bedding.
  • With the help of a small broom or a brush, remove the leftover foods and other small debris from your pet’s cage.
  • Create a cleaning solution to help clean the cage. A good cleaning solution can be a mix of water and an adequate amount of vinegar.
  • Once you have a cleaning solution at hand and you have removed the bedding, give it a spray in the entire cage.
  • After spraying the cage, grab new and decent bedding and replace it in the cage.

It will only take a couple of minutes and will get your pet the clean cage that he or she deserves.

7) Pick a Guinea Pig Female:

It might seem funny, but you should prefer a female guinea pig. If you do not want to deal with the smell more frequently, you should consider getting a female guinea pig.

This is due to the fact that a male guinea pig essentially has a tad bit more musk. For this very reason, many pet owners prefer a female guinea pig and we suggest you do the same.

8) Litter Train Your Pet Piggy:

This has to be one of the most important factors that can help your pet piggy deal with bad smells better. Whether you have just got a newborn or a new adult pet piggy, you need to litter train it.

Litter training improve the self-grooming skills of your pet piggy as well

Doing this will further improve the self-grooming skills of your pet piggy as well. To litter train your pet piggy, you need to confine them to a room. Make sure they strictly use the litter box in the confined room.

To make them use the litter box, put some litter in the box itself to help your pet piggy get a better understanding of what it is.

It is a time-consuming process and you do not need to rush into things or force your pet piggy. When your pet is litter trained, it will also lower the frequency of you cleaning up after them.

How To Get Rid Of The Smell Of Guinea Pig Scent Glands

In case you did not know, your pet piggy has a scent gland. It may also be referred to as a grease gland as well. It is right where the tail is and there is a very logical explanation behind them having this gland.

The scent gland or grease gland essentially secretes oil. It helps your pet piggy mark its territory to help keep track of its movements. The frequent secretion will require a clean-up routine since it can get irritating.

It can also lead to infections if not cleaned up routinely. This is usually more common in male guinea pigs and it can cause discomfort to them.

To help clean your pet piggy’s scent gland, you can simply try cleaning it up with soap and water. This will also help your pet stay safe from any infection or irritation that may occur due to the gunk buildup.

Step By Step Guide To Cleaning A Guinea Pig’s Scent Gland:

Guinea pigs are sensitive little creatures that require special care. This is why you need to follow our precise step-by-step guide to carefully clean your pet piggy’s scent gland.

Step 1:

When cleaning your pet’s scent gland, you need to lay down a towel on the bottom of your sink. After you have placed the towel, set your pet piggy on it. This will prevent it from slipping.

Guinea pig is a sensitive creature and he may get scared

Your pet piggy is a sensitive creature and he may get scared. To help him deal with the fear, keep a comforting hand on his back throughout the process.

Step 2:

Locate your pet piggy’s scent gland. It will be right where the tail is and you will not have trouble finding it. After you locate the scent gland, turn on the tap.

Make sure it is lukewarm and not cold. Wet your pet’s scent gland and focus on that part only. However, if you need to give your pet a complete bath, you can wet your pet’s entire coat.

Step 3:

Once your pet’s scent gland is wet, grab a shampoo or any other pet-friendly cleaning product. Put some in your hand and gently massage the area around your pet’s scent gland.

Keep in mind, the shampoo or any other cleaning product that you use should be safe for your pet piggy. You do not want it to lead to accidental improper care or hurt your pet piggy.

To determine how long you need to massage, give the product instructions a read and do as advised. Make sure you gently massage and have a comforting hand at the back of your pet piggy.

Step 4:

After massaging the scent gland area thoroughly and once you are satisfied, rinse the area. As mentioned earlier, you should only use lukewarm water.

Coldwater will only scare your pet away and you certainly do not want that. If you still see any greasiness or stickiness, you can repeat the process once more.

Step 5:

After washing the area thoroughly, grab a towel or any absorbent cloth. Pat dry your pet’s fur and make sure you get your pet’s entire body. You do not want to leave your pet’s body wet and give your pet chills.

After drying your pet’s body, wrap your pet in a soft cloth. This will comfort your pet piggy and ensure he gets warm.

That is all you need to do when cleaning your pet’s scent gland to help deal with the bad smell.

Do Guinea Pigs Smell? – Conclusion:

Do guinea pigs smell? Unfortunately, yes! They do smell. But, it isn’t entirely their fault and they may smell due to lack of proper care, poor cage maintenance, improper diet, and sometimes due to an illness.

However, you do not have to worry since it is perfectly normal for your pet to smell. To help deal with the smell, you need to give your pet a balanced diet, routinely clean your pet’s cage, litter train your pet, and groom hit.

Additionally, you will also have to clean your pet’s scent gland. Guinea pigs have a scent gland that helps keep track of their territories. Doing this will help your pet stay fresh, smell-free, and more importantly, fluffy.

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