Do Guinea Pigs Smell?

Each family has its own preferences in choosing a pet. Someone who likes dogs, someone loves cats, birds have fans! And there are people who don’t represent their home without an adorable guinea pig. But there is one question: do guinea pigs smell?

On many occasions, and depending on their environment and customs, guinea pigs can smell really bad. It is a problem that we must know how to solve. In fact, by means of simple homemade tricks, the bad smell can be eliminated.

In this article, we will take a closer look at this question and study the ways of avoiding the smell.

Do Guinea Pigs Smell

Characteristics of Guinea Pigs

Guinea Pigs belong to the order of rodents. This cute little furry animal is native to South America. Indian tribes have used these animals for food. For these purposes, the tribes of South America domesticated guinea pigs for 5 thousand B. C. 

The guinea pig is a herbivore. At home, these rodents can live for 6-7 years. They communicate with each other using high-pitched sounds- squeak. Guinea Pigs do not like to be alone. So it is better to buy a couple of these social animals, so they don’t feel bored. 

Guinea pigs give birth as other pets around the world. They take a long time to take care of themselves. But if you take care of them, and most importantly, do it with pleasure, they become friends very quickly. 

Returning to the question: does guinea pigs stink? It can be answered that it largely depends on proper care. 

Do Guinea Pigs Smell: Why Does My Guinea Pig Smell Bad?

There are different causes that can create a bad guinea pig odor. To avoid it, it is essential to find the origin of the bad smell to be able to treat it. 

Below we show you the most common:

Guinea pigs urinate a lot: It is very important to note that, by nature, guinea pigs urinate abundantly. Generally, female guinea pigs urinate in a specific place in the cage, which facilitates the cleaning of the cubicle. However, the males urinate throughout the length of the cage, territorially. Guinea pig urine smell is one of the main reasons for bad odor.

Irregular cleaning of the cage: Considering that guinea pigs urinate abundantly, it will be essential to clean their cage very regularly to avoid bad odors. Likewise, suppose our guinea pig smells excessively bad. In that case, it will be appropriate to offer it a bath to eliminate the bad body odor.

Skin diseases: Skin diseases such as scabies or ringworm can generate a very unpleasant odor. If you notice hair loss and redness of the dermis, you may be facing some disease. So you should go to the vet promptly.

Other factors: Apart from urine, diseases, and cleaning, there are other causes that can cause a bad smell in our guinea pig. Identifying the root problem will be essential to be able to treat it. For that reason, do not forget to consult a specialist whenever you think it is necessary.

Who Else Exude The Scent- A Male Or Female?

And yet, like any pet, guinea pigs are not deprived of their natural scent. Many wonders: which one better to choose- a male or female? Who smells more?

Of course, differences by gender are responsible for different physiological functions, among which they are also secreted by smell. Each person is related to smell differently. Many owners say it passes quickly and not so hard. However, for some, it is still pretty bad.

The female may start to smell after giving birth due to the change in hormone levels. However, this phenomenon is transitory, and for owners who love their pets, it is not a disaster.

Choose the Ideal Substrate to Avoid Bad Odor

In pet supply stores, you will find various types of substrates. If your guinea pig smells very bad, it is not a bad idea to try different types. Once you find the most effective for the guinea pig, your problem will be solved. The most common substrates are the following:

Paper pellets: It is cheap, absorbent, and biodegradable. However, if we leave it too long without renewing, it can smell bad. It must be changed frequently.

Natural hemp pellets: It is one of the most absorbent and correctly neutralizes the bad smell. However, it is something difficult to find in the market.

Granulated corn: It is ecological and can be eaten; it also absorbs urine and neutralizes the smell. Of course, it must be renewed on a regular basis.

Wood pellets and wood chips: It is an inexpensive type of substrate; however, some can be toxic. This consideration is very important to take into account, especially for your health. You should look for those that are organic and specific for guinea pigs.

Choosing a quality substrate is essential to avoid the bad smell of the guinea pig. It is important for the bad smell of the cage in general as well. There is no “best” substrate since it will depend on the diet. Whether it is male or female, the guinea pig’s body, and the ambient temperature. So, sometimes one substrate works better than another.

How to Keep Guinea Pig Cage Clean To Avoid the Bad Smell

I am in favor of putting it in the dishwasher if possible. A small electric vaporizer is also useful, and it is not excessively expensive. There are no mathematical rules about how often you should change substrates; each guinea pig is different.

Throw-away is relatively better than cleaning. Therefore, I prefer cheap materials. Suppose it is pertinent to throw them away after two days, then choose very expensive substrates that last longer. But you have to remove the feces several times a week.

Then again, how often do you clean a guinea pig cage? At least once a week, the cage of the guinea pig should be thoroughly cleaned. 

The Guinea Pig’s Bath: A Crucial Task

Guinea pigs are very clean animals. So it is not advisable to bathe them unless they are excessively dirty. Or bathe in it is a treatment indicated by the veterinarian. If your guinea pig smells very bad and you want to bathe it anyway, do not forget to use a specific shampoo for guinea pigs.

Generally, we recommend dry cleaning shampoos to avoid this little rodent’s discomfort in the bathroom. If this is not possible, you can bathe your guinea pig in a small container with warm water. Yes, you should dry it completely with the use of towels at the end.

How often should I wash my guinea pig?

As we have mentioned, it is not convenient to abuse the bathroom. If your guinea pig gets dirty very regularly, you can consider bathing it every two to four weeks. That will depend on the level of dirt and the bad smell it gives off.

Do not forget that bathing is usually a stressful time for them. So it will be essential to try to make this experience a positive one. Bathe them with care, kind words, and careful treatment.

Homemade Tricks to Eliminate the Bad Smell

  1. Sand and activated carbon

Fine beach sand is an excellent free substrate. It filters very well since it does not become excessively soaked, and the urine falls. Under it, you will put a bed of active carbon granules. It is a not excessively expensive material and very purifying and bactericidal. This material is the one used for water filters since it purifies it and frees it of residues and contaminants. It is sold in drugstores.

You can collect beach sand on the beach. Remember that it weighs a lot and that you must take clean sand without cigarette butts, plates, or anomalous growths. The unfortunate who live far from the coast can buy it in aquarium stores or in those of materials for construction.

  1. The strainer and cork trick

An enemy of guinea pigs is dust. We recommend that before placing any type of material in the cage, clean it. Put it in a large fine-mesh strainer and proceed to shake it a little. In this way, the dust will fall, and the substrate will be healthier.

Another excellent material is a cork in granules. Its filters are economical, are very soft, and does not absorb rust. Unlike sand, it hardly weighs anything. You can buy a huge bag that will be easy to carry. Underneath, you must put the active carbon. 

There are different measures of grain, but the very fine (sand type) is dusty. We recommend one of those measures like a lentil. It is sold in specialized stores in sack format.


So, do guinea pigs smell? Well, yes, they do.

Owners say that if you really love these furry animals, the smell should not be an obstacle. The smell, in most cases, is an avoidable phenomenon. So before you get started on the pig, you have to understand why you need it. If you love her and want to become her friend, then you can stop the smell. If we like fashion or trend, then perhaps we should not bear such a great responsibility.

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