Guinea pigs are very clean animals that are regularly groomed and cleaned.
Guinea pigs do not need bathing, except in rare situations when they are too dirty and cannot clean themselves.
But sometimes it happens that their pee smells bad, and that’s why I did some research on this topic.
Why does guinea pig pee smell so bad?
The urine of guinea pigs smells bad when they are sick or have a urinary tract infection, when they have a poor diet, when they are dehydrated, and if the cage is not cleaned enough.
In today’s article you will learn why guinea pig pee smells bad, if you should be concerned and how to reduce the bad smell, so let’s start immediately.
Why does guinea pig pee smell so bad?
When guinea pig pee smells very bad, something is wrong with their health. Guinea pig pee should not smell unless you get too close to the pee.
The bad smell of their pee can be due to poor diet, dehydration, urinary tract infection, and other problems.
Old urine also smells bad because it releases ammonia and can even be harmful to the health of the guinea pigs.
So let’s take a closer look at all these possible problems.
Dehydration makes guinea pig pee smell bad
When guinea pigs are dehydrated it affects the smell of their pee and it starts to smell very unpleasant.
This happens when guinea pigs don’t drink enough water and begin to dehydrate.
When guinea pigs drink enough water then the water dilutes the toxins in their urine and their urine will not smell.
To be sure that dehydration causes a bad smell of urine in guinea pigs, it is enough to see the color, if it is darker then it is definitely a matter of dehydration.
You must react immediately when you notice this phenomenon because if the guinea pigs are dehydrated, apart from the smell of urine, other problems can occur with the appearance of kidney failure.
Poor nutrition causes bad-smelling guinea pig pee
Diet affects urine odor in guinea pigs. If guinea pigs do not get enough nutrients through their diet, it will cause their urine to smell bad.
Certain foods, such as Brussels sprouts, cause bad-smelling urine in guinea pigs because they contain methyl mercaptan.
Fruits that contain a lot of fructose also cause an unpleasant smell in the urine of guinea pigs.
Urinary Tract Infection creates an unpleasant odor
Guinea pigs often have bad-smelling pee due to a urinary tract infection (UTI).
This infection can occur anywhere in the urinary system of guinea pigs:
- the kidneys
- the bladder
- the urethra
UTI in guinea pigs occurs when they have a bacteria that their defense mechanism cannot overcome.
Female guinea pigs are more likely to get UTIs and bad-smelling pee because their anatomy makes them more prone to infection and bacteria.
The urethra in female guinea pigs is closer to the back of the body which allows easier entry of bacteria into the urinary tract.
Because female guinea pigs have shorter urethras, it makes it easier for the bacteria to get to the bladder. However, this does not mean that male guinea pigs are protected, and they can get UTIs.
UTIs and bacteria in the urinary tract create a bad and unpleasant odor in guinea pigs, something similar to the smell of fish.
The grease gland causes a bad odor in guinea pig pee
All guinea pigs have a grease gland near the back of their spine that secretes oil that guinea pigs use to mark their territory.
When urine and grease gland oil mix, an unpleasant odor begins to appear after a certain time.
Male guinea pigs secrete more oil from the grease gland and especially when they mark their territory there is an unpleasant and bad smell in their vicinity.
Old urine smells very bad
If you leave the urine of guinea pigs uncleaned for a long time, then a sharp and unpleasant smell will begin to spread.
This happens because after a while the water will evaporate from the guinea pig’s urine and the toxins will remain.
Then, since there is no water to dilute the toxins, the unpleasant smell from the guinea pig’s urine comes.
Bedding causes a bad smell
If you use bedding that is not of very high quality, then an unpleasant smell may come from the peeing of the guinea pigs.
While high-quality bedding absorbs urine more effectively and for a longer time, the smell of your pet’s pee will not be noticed.
Therefore, even though it is more expensive if you can afford it, you should buy better bedding that absorbs liquids and urine better.
Is the smell of pee dangerous for guinea pigs?
The smell of guinea pig pee can be dangerous to their health. Because when pee starts to smell, ammonia is released which can harm your pets’ health.
Minor irritations of the nose, throat, and skin may occur, but more serious consequences such as damage to the respiratory system may also occur.
Damage to the respiratory system can also cause fatal consequences and death in guinea pigs.
How to prevent the unpleasant smell of guinea pig pee?
To prevent the appearance of an unpleasant smell in the urine of guinea pigs you need to do certain things that will help in that direction.
Preventing the unpleasant smell at the same time also means protecting the guinea pigs, i.e. that they do not have health problems.
Here’s what you need to do:
- regular cleaning – on the urine stains in the cage so that the old urine or ammonia does not start to smell, it is necessary to clean every day.
- Deep cleaning – that is, thorough cleaning of the entire cage once a week to remove all urine residue and all other impurities in the cage.
- Use absorbent bedding – as it absorbs guinea pig urine better.
- Sufficient water – guinea pigs should not be without water, as dehydration causes their pee to smell.
- Diet – you should avoid feeding guinea pigs foods such as Brussels sprouts and fruits high in fructose.
Is guinea pig pee dangerous to humans?
The urine of guinea pigs cannot harm humans, only the smell of the urine can be unpleasant. However, you should be careful because the urine of guinea pigs can contain parasites.
What pH is guinea pig urine?
Guinea pig urine is alkaline pH 8.0-8.2 and has a thick appearance due to crystals formed from calcium oxalate.
What is the white powder in guinea pigs’ urine?
When you see white spots in the urine of guinea pigs, it means that they ate a lot of food with calcium that day. Then the guinea pigs release excess calcium in the body through urination.
Guinea pig pee shouldn’t smell bad, but if they have health problems like UTIs, then an unpleasant smell spreads.
Guinea pigs that are dehydrated or have a poor diet then their urine smells very bad.
The old urine of guinea pigs causes an unpleasant smell when it dries, this happens if the hygiene of the cage is not maintained.
In any case, it is necessary to regularly clean the cage and the places where the guinea pigs urinate.
if the cage is not cleaned regularly, ammonia can be released from urination and endanger the health of the guinea pigs.
Therefore, pay attention to the hydration, healthy diet, and hygiene of the cage so that there is no unpleasant smell from the guinea pigs’ pee.