What Smells Do Guinea Pigs Love Or Hate? Let’s Find Out

Guinea pigs have an excellent sense of smell and can identify smells very well. But, like all other animals, guinea pigs like some smells, and some they don’t like.

What smells do guinea pigs love or hate?

Guinea pigs love the smell of hay, vegetables, and fruits, and the smell of their owners and other guinea pigs. Guinea pigs also love the smell of their cage, bedding, and everything inside the cage because they are used to such smells.

Guinea pigs do not like the smell of garlic, onion and essential oils, perfumes, candles and other smells that they will never like.

In today’s article you will find out which smells guinea pigs like and which they don’t like, so let’s get started right away.

What smells do guinea pigs love?

Guinea pigs love the smells of the food they eat and that’s completely normal, especially hay and vegetables and fruits.

So let’s see in more detail all the smells that your pet loves.


Hay is the favorite food of guinea pigs and that is why they love the smell of hay the most. Every time when a guinea pig smells hay, it is excited and squeals with happiness and joy.

There are different types of hay, which are distinguished by specific smells, however, they like the smell of timothy hay the most.

They also love and enjoy the other scents of alfalfa hay, oat hay, or orchard hay.

Vegetables and fruits

Unlike hay, there are many more types of vegetables and fruits and therefore they all have different smells.

Guinea pigs especially love the smells of:

  • spinach
  • strawberry
  • parsley
  • apples
  • celery
  • kale

These and other types of vegetables and fruits have a smell that guinea pigs like.

If you want to know which vegetable or fruit your pet likes the most, give them several different types and see which one they like to smell and eat the most.

Also, when they are sleeping, try giving them a piece of vegetable or fruit to see if they will wake up from the smell.

You can also put some fruits and vegetables on the floor for them in several places to see which one they will go to eat first, it may smell the best and they will eat it first.

The smell of its owners

Guinea pigs love the smell of their owners.

After all, almost all pets, whether they are guinea pigs or others, love the smell of the people who keep them and take care of them.

At first, it will take time for them to get used to your smell, but then they will always want to smell you and play and hang out with you.what smells do guinea pigs love or hate

The smell of other guinea pigs

Guinea pigs of course also love the smell of their cage mates.

Guinea pigs socialize and play with other guinea pigs and love their scent.

Sometimes the scent of other guinea pigs can help if one gets lost and can’t find its way back.

The bedding

The guinea pigs love the old bedding because they have left their smell on it from poop, pee, and of course food.

Regarding the bedding, I want to share a personal experience when I change the bedding of my guinea pig, he often knows how to yell as a way of not agreeing when I put new bedding on him because he likes the smell of the old bedding.

Some owners leave some of the old bedding on when they change so that the guinea pig can smell the old scent and not be upset when you put new bedding on them.

Guinea pigs like chewing sticks and the smell

Guinea pigs love the smell of chewing sticks.

They constantly like to chew which is good for their teeth and of course makes them happy and satisfied.

Some guinea pigs prefer the smell of apple sticks, while others prefer the smell of willow sticks, but this is individual and different for each guinea pig.

What smells do guinea pigs dislike?

Just as there are smells that guinea pigs like, there are also smells that guinea pigs don’t like. So here’s what I found out with my research, I made a list of scents they don’t like.


Guinea pigs don’t like the smell of onions at all, and in fact, they don’t even want to eat them.

Onions are poisonous to guinea pigs and even better they don’t like to eat them at all.

However, no matter how much they don’t like the smell of onions, it’s best not to let onions be near them at all, so that they don’t try a little, although they probably won’t dare because of the smell.

Guinea pigs do not like the smell of other pets

Guinea pigs generally do not like the smell of other pets such as cats, dogs, or others.

They only like the smell of other guinea pigs, and other animals can only add fear and stress to your pet. Never try to keep them with other pets because it just won’t work.

Guinea pigs are often prey animals and they cannot be happy when a cat is near them, they can only get sick due to stress.

Whenever a guinea pig smells a cat or dog, it will immediately hide and be terrified.

My guinea pig, when he hears the sounds of dogs outside my home, immediately gets scared and runs to his house or stops eating until the danger passes.

Guinea pigs do not like the smell of perfume

Avoid keeping any perfumes near the guinea pigs as they will not like their smell. Many of these odors are also toxic to your pet and can cause harmful consequences to their health.

Guinea pigs have a very delicate and sensitive respiratory system which, apart from the danger of poisoning, can also cause an allergic reaction and the appearance of diseases in the respiratory organs.

When guinea pigs have side effects with their respiratory organs it can lead to severe problems that can be fatal to their lives.

In these situations, the guinea pig must be taken to a veterinarian immediately for examination and treatment.

Keep perfume smells away from guinea pigs because you may not notice that something is wrong with them when it is too late.

This happens because guinea pigs know how to hide illness or when they have problems with their respiratory organs because they are afraid of predators taking advantage of their current weakness and illness.

When your pet has problems with the respiratory organs, it can be noticed by the following signs:

  • heavy or shallow breathing
  • lethargy
  • weight loss
  • watery eyes
  • coughing
  • sneezing

So be very careful what smells you leave in the room where you keep your guinea pig.


Guinea pigs do not like the smell of garlic at all.

Garlic is dangerous to guinea pigs and should never be given to them to eat.

Therefore, always keep garlic as far as possible from the reach of guinea pigs, preferably in another room of your home.

Guinea pigs do not like the smell of laundry detergent

Guinea pigs do not like the smell of cleaning or laundry products at all. These products have a lot of chemicals and give off a smell that guinea pigs don’t like.

Such products have a strong and unpleasant smell that we humans do not like, and our pets even less.

Therefore, never allow your pet to be near such cleaning and washing agents.what smells do guinea pigs love or hate

Floor cleaners

Floor cleaners have an unpleasant smell due to the chemicals they contain.

Guinea pigs do not like these smells at all, and they may get allergies or problems with the respiratory organs.

So avoid using them near guinea pigs, or move your pet to another room while you clean the floor in his room.

What scents are harmful to guinea pigs?

A number of different scents can cause serious consequences for the health of guinea pigs.

Here are some of them:

  • scented candles
  • essential oils
  • baking soda
  • cedar and pine
  • cigarette smoke

So let’s take a closer look at each of these smells and their impact on the health of guinea pigs.

The smell of scented candles

Guinea pigs should be protected from the smell of scented candles, which can be very harmful to their health.

Scented candles contain ingredients that can irritate the guinea pig and cause allergies or respiratory diseases.

Ordinary candles should also be avoided for howling guinea pigs even though they are believed to be safer for them. It is best not to light candles at all in the room where your pet is.

You can also find candles on sale that are specially made for pets, including guinea pigs, but before using them, it is best to consult a veterinarian.

The smell of essential oils is harmful to guinea pigs

Most essential oils are harmful to the health of guinea pigs.

Particular attention should be paid to tea tree oil, which should not be near the guinea pig at all.

The smell of tea tree oil is toxic and dangerous for your pet, as well as oils from:

  • peppermint
  • thyme
  • eucalyptus

Oftentimes, the diffusers we use at home may have an addition of essential oils, so always read what is written on the labels.

Guinea pigs can get allergic or respiratory problems from various types of essential oils.

Cigarette smoke is harmful to guinea pigs

Just as cigarette smoke is harmful to humans, it is also harmful to guinea pigs.

The smell of cigarette smoke can make it difficult for guinea pigs to breathe and cause irritation to the eyes and respiratory system.

When guinea pigs are exposed to cigarette smoke their fur can lose its freshness and become greasy and unattractive.

That’s why you should smoke cigarettes away from your pet, which will preserve his health.

Cedar and pine

Often people use aromatic cedar and pine woods in their homes. They have an interesting scent that should help your pet’s room smell nicer, and not smell like pee.

But the smell of cedar and pine can cause liver and kidney damage in your pet.

This happens because these woods have phenol. Phenol is actually the smell given off by aromatic trees and creates lung infections or liver problems.

Baking soda

Baking soda is a substance that is probably in every home.

Using baking soda successfully removes various odors in the home, but it is still harmful to guinea pigs.

The very smell of baking soda is harmful, and it is even more harmful if the guinea pig manages to eat some baking soda. It can cause respiratory problems and cause bloat in your pet.

Do guinea pigs have a good sense of smell?

Yes, guinea pigs have an excellent sense of smell, they have about 25 times stronger sense of smell than humans.

An excellent sense of smell helps them detect danger from other predators or someone they don’t know in time.

Their sense of smell helps them to know when their owners are approaching them from a distance, and that is why they sometimes start making sounds of joy even though they are not yet close to them.

Their sense of smell is very strong, almost like dogs.


Guinea pigs like certain smells and dislike certain smells.

They mostly like the smells of the food they eat such as hay, vegetables, and fruits, with the exception of garlic and onions.

Garlic and onions and better they don’t like them because they are toxic for them.

Guinea pigs can also have harmful consequences for their health, especially from perfumes, essential oils, cigarette smoke, scented candles, and other harmful smells.

That’s why it’s best to keep guinea pigs away from smells they don’t like and from those that are harmful to their health.

Read more: Do Guinea Pigs Smell? All You Need To Know