Do Guinea Pigs Smell? All You Need To Know

Last updated on January 22nd, 2023 at 06:48 pm

When we decide to keep a pet, we have many questions that we want to know the answer before starting to keep and care for them.

We wonder do guinea pigs smell?

No, guinea pigs do not smell because they clean themselves and groom themselves regularly. However, if guinea pigs are kept in unclean conditions and have a poor diet, they may start to smell.

In today’s article, we will learn all about their smell and the reasons why they sometimes smell, as well as how to prevent guinea pigs from smelling.

Why do guinea pigs smell?

Guinea pigs are very clean animals that maintain hygiene and groom themselves and it is very rare for them to smell bad.

Guinea pigs smell bad when they have health problems, when they have poor nutrition, and the dirty environment around them, especially their cage.

So let’s see in detail all the reasons why our pets smell bad.

Bad diet

If the guinea pig is fed a healthy and versatile diet rich in vitamins and minerals, it will not smell bad.

If the guinea pig eats the wrong food it starts to smell bad, it can be noticed by its poop which starts to smell bad.

In addition to the unpleasant smell of the guinea pig, poor nutrition will cause other problems such as diseases and infections of the urinary tract.

What should guinea pigs eat so they don’t smell bad?

Guinea pigs eat only plant food, they do not eat meat, but we must pay attention to their diet.

In order not to have an unpleasant smell, guinea pigs should eat:

  • Hay and grass – about 80% of their daily diet should be hay or grass because it will allow them to take in nutrients and fibers that help the digestive system to work better. Hay and grass also help maintain their ever-growing teeth.
  • Vegetables and fruits – have a lot of vitamins and minerals and should therefore be represented by 20% in their diet. Vegetables and fruits also have vitamin C, which is one of the most important for their health. The only thing to be aware of is that fruits with a lot of sugar should be avoided or given to them very rarely because sugar is not good for their health.

Here are the foods to avoid:

  • processed food – because their digestive system is not used to or adapted to such food.
  • Meat – under no circumstances should not be given to them as their stomachs cannot process meat.
  • Garlic and avocado – are too harmful and dangerous for their health.
  • Dairy products – should not be given to our pets as they are not good for the digestion and digestive system of guinea pigs.

A proper and healthy diet is important so that the guinea pigs can be healthy and certainly not have an unpleasant smell.

Dirty cage

When the cage of the guinea pigs is dirty, it affects the smell of our pets, not only do they smell, dirty bedding, feces, leftover food, etc. also smell.

Therefore, timely cleaning of the cage and all parts in it is guinea pigs smell

Frequent cleaning of the cage

Guinea pigs poop and urinate regularly, so their cage needs to be cleaned. It is best to clean the cage daily, and you will notice that the smell will disappear or decrease.

Once a week you need deep cleaning of the cage and all the parts in it such as toys, water bottles, tunnels, and other things that are inside.

Use a disinfectant or make your own vinegar and water solution to thoroughly clean the cage.

Changing the bedding

The bedding should be changed once or twice a week to prevent unpleasant odors from both the cage and the guinea pigs.

If you keep more guinea pigs, you will need to change the bedding more often because they poop and pee more.

Clean bedding not only prevents unpleasant odors but also helps the health of the guinea pigs and reduces the chances of diseases and infections.

Health problems cause unpleasant odor in guinea pigs

WHEN guinea pigs are sick it affects their smell and it can be unpleasant if your guinea pig is sick.

Diseases such as scurvy, tumors, dental problems, diarrhea, abscesses, and similar diseases can cause an unpleasant smell.

Sometimes guinea pigs, in addition to having an unpleasant smell, also have signs of lethargy and loss of appetite, which may indicate diseases that are dangerous to their lives.

If you notice any of these symptoms then you should take them to the vet.

Using a litter box will reduce the unpleasant smell

It’s actually a bit more difficult to teach your guinea pig to use a litter box but it’s worth a try.

If the guinea pig is trained to use the toilet then the unpleasant smell will be reduced.

With a little training and persistence, you will be able to teach your pet to use the litter box.

Why do guinea pigs sometimes smell like fish?

When guinea pigs smell like fish, it’s because of a few things.

Possible causes are urinary tract infections, as well as problems with their genitals that will need to be cleaned.

If the guinea pig has a urinary tract infection, it should be taken to a veterinarian.

In any case, the smell of fish is not good at all and is not a day smell for guinea pigs.

Do male guinea pigs smell better than female guinea pigs?

If you have a male guinea pig it will smell more than a female guinea pig because they secrete more scent from its oil glands.

They secrete more scent to mark their territory or show dominance.

The gland is located under the tail of the guinea pig and when it becomes oily, it not only smells more, it can also cause infections.

That’s why male guinea pigs need to be cleaned and cared for much more, that’s why we need to help them so that they are cleaner and without an unpleasant smell.

Simple tips to keep guinea pigs from smelling bad

If the guinea pig is dirty and smells unpleasant, you will have to bathe it, although this rarely happens because they clean themselves.

If the guinea pig does not smell that much, and his cage does, then you should clean it regularly and change the bedding.

Another good tip is if you manage to teach the guinea pig to use a litter box then even better as it will reduce the unpleasant smell from them, and from the cage.

How do guinea pigs clean themselves?

Yes, guinea pigs are very good at cleaning themselves.

As soon as they notice some dirt, they immediately try to clean it, and if there are two guinea pigs together, they help each other in cleaning.

Guinea pigs produce a milky white fluid in their eyes that help them to clean themselves.

Read more: Do Guinea Pigs Clean Themselves? Find Out Now

How do I keep my house from smelling like guinea pigs?

If your home smells unpleasant because of guinea pigs, then that problem can be solved quickly and easily. Actually, the smell in your home is not from the guinea pigs, the smell is from your pet’s cage.

Clean the cage and you will see that the unpleasant smell will disappear immediately.

Guinea pigs are very rarely the cause of the unpleasant smell, it is almost always the environment in which they live, i.e. the cage.

Read more: How to Bathe a Guinea Pigs? Complete Guide

Do guinea pigs that poop and pee smell more?

Guinea pigs that poop and pee more may smell more, but this depends on several reasons.

If the guinea pig has healthy poop it doesn’t smell much, in fact, it smells very little, it can smell more if it gets wet from pee or some other liquid in its cage.

Whereas guinea pigs’ pee smells more the more they pee.

That is why it is important to change the bedding and clean the area where they urinate so that it does not smell so much.

Generally speaking, if you have two guinea pigs you will always have to clean the cage more often than if you keep one guinea pig.