If you’re interested in purchasing guinea pigs then you may be wondering “do guinea pigs smell?” Or perhaps, you already own guinea pigs, and you’re wondering if there’s something wrong.
In this article, you’re going to find out whether guinea pigs smell naturally, and if they do, what you should do to stop it!
So keep reading to find out everything you need to know!
Do Guinea Pigs Smell?
Guinea pigs themselves don’t tend to smell, however, their cages can become smelly very quickly. Also, there are times when your guinea pig is going to smell, and while in some cases, it may not be a cause for concern, other times, action may need to be taken.
But for the most part, guinea pigs are very clean animals. So as long as you’re cleaning their hutch or cage regularly, you shouldn’t notice a smell.
Why Do Guinea Pigs Smell?
As previously mentioned, it’s not common for guinea pigs themselves to smell, however, sometimes you’ll notice a smell. Here are some of the most common reasons you may notice your guinea pig smelling.
The Guinea Pig Cage Is Dirty
One of the most common reasons you’ll notice your guinea pig smelling is when their cage is dirty. Guinea pig urine can often smell very potent, so it’s no wonder it can stink up the cage.
This is particularly true if you’re keeping your guinea pig inside. It’s much less likely that the cage will be aired out properly, which causes the smell to be much more potent.
And of course, if you’re not cleaning the cage enough, then it’s not just going to be urine that makes it smell over time.
Guinea Pig That Smells Like Fish
Sometimes you’ll notice that your guinea pig smells like fish, and there are a few reasons this may be happening. The anal sac may be impacted, they may have cystitis or an STI and (if it’s a boy) they may have a sperm rod.
Impacted Anal Sac
Some mammals have anal sacs including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, and even humans. They’re used to secrete pheromones, and in most cases, you’ll never need to worry about them.
For the most part, they don’t cause any problems but in some cases, they can become impacted. When they’re impacted, they can become extremely painful. And they’ll also let off a foul odor.
As you can probably guess by now, they can sometimes smell fishy. However, in some cases, they’ll also smell like feces.
If you think that your guinea pigs anal sacs have been impacted, you’ll need to take them to the vets.
A Sperm Rod
This is a little bit gross, but male guinea pigs can often get a sperm rod attached to their penis which smells fishy. This is when sperm begins to coagulate and stick out of the end of the boar’s penis.
Once the sperm rod has been removed, you should notice the fishy smell going away in no time.
And in some cases, it could also be cystitis or a UTI. If you think that your guinea pig is suffering from either of these, then you should take them to see a vet as soon as possible.
(Find out whether guinea pigs like water, and if they can swim!)
Guinea Pig Smells Like Poop
Sometimes you may notice that your guinea pig smells like poop. And in 99% of cases, if you scour over their body, you’ll find that they have poop on them somewhere.
It’s not uncommon for guinea pigs to poop where they sleep, and then it ends up getting on their fur, under their claws, etc.
The best thing you can do in this situation is to give them a good groom and wash them with a damp cloth if you need too.
In some cases, though, smelling like poop could be because of impacted anal glands.
Guinea Pig Smells Like Urine
If your guinea pig smells like urine, then it’s normally due to a hygiene issue. While they try their best to keep themselves clean, in some cases, urine will dry onto their fur. This is especially prevalent if you have a long-haired guinea pig.
Another common reason that guinea pigs may end up smelling like urine is that they’re laying in their own urine. Sometimes guinea pigs like to pee where they sleep, and if it hasn’t dried before they go to sleep, they’ll end up soaking it into their coat.
Once again. ensuring that they and they’re home is clean, is the best way to stop this from happening.
Do Male Guinea Pigs Smell More?
Sometimes male guinea pigs can smell more than female guinea pigs. This is due to their grease glands, which they use to mark their territory.
While the females also have these glands, they’re not nearly as strong smelling as males. And males tend to use theirs more as well.
You may notice them dragging their bum along the floor (where the gland is located) to mark their territory. This ends up making the hutch, as well as their bum, start to smell incredibly bad!
(Are you curious whether you should keep your guinea pig indoors or outdoors?)
What If Their Poop Smells?
Obviously poop smells. But sometimes it can smell worse than normal. If you notice that your guinea pigs poop smells worse than normal then it could be a problem. As well as bad smells, you should also check to see if the stools are soft.
If you do notice this, then you need to adjust your little piggies diet.
How To Stop A Guinea Pig Smelling?
Fortunately, there is a LOT you can do to stop your guinea pig from smelling. You don’t have to suffer in silence! Here are some of the main ways you can stop your guinea pig from smelling.
Scoop Out Their Cage Every Day
One of the best things you can do to reduce your guinea pigs’ smell is to scoop out their cage every day. Or if you don’t have time to do it every day, at least do it more often.
Not only will scooping out their cage every day remove anything that’s going to cause odor, but it’s also going to help stop your guinea pig lying in it or walking through it as well.
Give The Cage A Good Scrub Once A Week
Another one of the best things you can do is make sure you’re giving their cage a good scrub and cleaning once a week. Not only will this help you remove the standard odor causes, but it’s also going to remove any of the more stubborn bits that have stuck on.
When you’re doing this make sure you pay attention to the floor and use warm water and a mild detergent to remove any build-up.
Brush Their Fur Every Day
If necessary, you may need to brush your guinea pigs’ fur every day. Doing this will remove any build-up of grime and waste that may have gotten stuck.
This is even more important to do for long-haired guinea pigs, who often pick up dirt and waste when they walk around.
Spot cleaning is when you clean up little bits of mess as and when you see them. Every time you notice some dirt or waste in your guinea pigs cage, then simply clean it up.
This is great if you keep your guinea pig in a small room, or when you notice a bad smell frequently.
The normal places to check are their bedding and the area where they go to the toilet. Both of these areas tend to get grubby and dirty a lot quicker.
Make Sure They Have A Proper Diet
A proper diet is essential for your guinea pigs. Of course, without one they’re not going to be healthy. However, when they’re not healthy, you may notice their poop smells a lot worse than normal.
Get A Female Piggie
If you haven’t got a guinea pig yet, then you may want to purchase a female. While it’s not always the case, in general, females don’t smell as bad as males.
They’re not going to feel the need to mark their territory as much, and when they do it’s not going to be as smelly.
And as well as this, they generally have less of an odor than males.
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Let Them Mark Their Scent
Sometimes your guinea pigs will keep marking their scent, every time you remove it from the cage. And instead of doing it in one spot, they’ll do it all over their cage. When this happens it’s going to smell a lot worse.
One of the things you can do is let them leave their scent on something and leave it in the cage with them. This way, they’ll still feel like their territory has been marked, without feeling the need to mark anywhere else. Which in turn will stop the cage smelling so bad.
Use Odor Free Bedding
Another great way to stop the cage smelling is by using odor-free bedding. Odor-free bedding is extremely effective for decreasing the bad smells coming from your guinea pig. And it’s especially effective for guinea pigs that go to the toilet in their bed.
Try Litter Training
It’s not just dogs and cats that can be litter trained. Guinea pigs can be too! Litter training can be a great way to stop the cage smelling as much, as it will only be centered in one area that can be cleaned regularly.
However, litter training will take patience and isn’t something that can be done quickly.
Check Their Ears
Sometimes the smell might be coming from your guinea pig’s ears. Normally, they should have a grey odorless wax in them, but if they’re infected they can start to smell.
If you notice that they smell or they’re infected then you’ll need to take them to the vets ASAP.
Bathe Them (Rarely)
Guinea pigs don’t really like water, however, sometimes they will need to be bathed. When you bathe them, make sure you’re not getting them too wet, and more importantly, dry them thoroughly after. This is particularly important with long-haired guinea pigs who tend to get dirtier easily.
As well as this, make sure you’re not getting any water into their ears as this can cause ear infections to occur.
Use A Cleaning Spray
Lastly, use a cleaning spray specifically for guinea pig cages to get rid of stubborn grime and muck. Doing this will help keep the cage clean and smelling fresh. Just make sure you rinse it off thoroughly afterward.
Avoid Baking Soda
Lastly, some people recommend adding baking soda to their cages to soak up any foul odors, but this isn’t something you should do. Adding baking soda will only cause irritation to your guinea pigs if they inhale it!
As you can see, guinea pigs can smell sometimes, but fortunately, there are a lot of things you can do to stop them from smelling!
Here are some of the main things to remember from this article.
- Guinea pigs often smell when they’re cages are dirty, if they have impacted anal sacs, a sperm rod, cystitis/UTIs, they’ve got poop or urine in their fur, if they’re not getting a good diet, and if they’re male.
- You can stop a guinea pig from smelling by scooping out their cage every day, scrubbing it once a week, brushing their fur, spot cleaning the cage, giving them a proper diet, letting them mark their scent, using odor-free bedding, litter training them, checking their ears, very occasionally bathing them, and using a cleaning spray.
If you liked this article, make sure you check out the rest of the website, otherwise have a great day.