Get in touch with your test subjects and begin by providing verbal reassurance.. Keep your voice as low as possible while talking to your guinea pigs; once they approach you, gently pet them while continuing to converse with them in a low voice. You can also hand-feed them some treats and allow them to spend some time on the floor.
If there is something in their environment that is causing them stress, try to get rid of it as soon as possible.
A loud noise around them, other pets in your house, etc. could be some of the significant causes of stress in your guinea pigs.
Guinea pigs are naturally anxious and nervous creatures, so you must make certain that they have a stress-free environment in which to live if you want them to thrive.
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Are guinea pigs easily stressed
Yes, guinea pigs can become overly stressed in a short period of time. Because they are prey animals, they are constantly on the lookout for predators who may harm them.
Stress in the form of loud noises or other environmental factors can be harmful to their health if they are exposed to it on a regular basis.
Your guinea pigs may be feisty and bossy among their cage mates, but they are unprepared to deal with predators and other animals when they are outside the cage.
In order for them to be safe and protected, they must rely on their owners. While guinea pigs that are housed inside feel more secure, guinea pigs that are housed outside are more stressed at all hours of the day.
If you subject your guinea pigs to a great deal of stress over an extended period of time, they may develop a serious health problem.
Shocks delivered suddenly can also result in cardiac arrest in guinea pigs. As a result, make every effort to maintain their calm and stress-free state.
Why is my guinea pig stressed
There can be a lot of environmental and other factors that can cause stress in guinea pigs. Some of the common factors include:
- Loud noises: Sudden and loud noises can quickly stress out the guinea pigs as they have a good sense of hearing. Noises like loud music, sudden sounds of thunderstorms, etc. are some common examples.
- Predators: Guinea pigs are prey animals, and the only defense they have is running away from the threat and calling for help. If your guinea pig is housed outside, then there can be a lot of predators like neighbors cat, birds, fox, etc. that can stress out your guinea pigs. Even indoors, your other pets like cats or dogs can stress them out.
- Lack of space: Guinea pigs need a large enough cage for living a happy and healthy life. If their cage is too small, they cannot play and exercise, and they will become stressed out. Follow our article on How bog should a guinea pig cage be for more info.
- Travel: Guinea pigs don’t like new environments as they feel secure in a familiar living space. If you have to travel with your guinea pigs, then it is going to be a stressful journey for them. You can learn more about it from our article: Can we fly with our guinea pigs.
- Change of routine: Guinea pigs love to explore, but they do feel relief following a routine. Having a fixed routine of floor time and feeding will keep them calm and happy. A sudden change can stress them out.
- Excessive handling: Guinea pigs love to play with their owners; however, they don’t prefer excessive handling. If you try to carry your guinea pigs for longer durations or cuddle them all the time, then they may not be good with it. Some guinea pigs don’t enjoy being petted and can get severely stressed.
- Temperature fluctuations: Guinea pigs need to be housed in a stable temperature between 20°C-24°C. Sudden changes in temperature or extreme heat can make them uncomfortable and stressed out.
- Boredom: Guinea pigs are smart pets. We need to provide them with toys and stuff to keep them entertained. Make sure your guinea pig has something to do, or they can get stressed or even depressed due to boredom.
- Health issues: Guinea pigs can suffer from health issues and pain, which they’ll try to hide. These health problems can lead to severe stress in guinea pigs. It can also be life-threatening in some instances.
How do I know if my guinea pig is stressed?
Stressed symptoms can easily be identified in guinea pigs if you monitor their behavior closely. Some of the common symptoms to look out for are:
- Hiding a lot: A stressed-out guinea pig will hide a lot and will not come out until they feel relaxed and secure. If you notice your guinea pig is hiding at a single spot for an extended period, then it inevitably means they are frightened.
- Not eating or drinking: If you notice your guinea pig is not eating as par to their daily diet or not drinking enough water, then it could mean they are stressed out. A health issue can be a significant reason for such a kind of stress.
- Breathing fast: Guinea pigs do tend to breath fast and heavy when they are frightened or stressed out. Make sure you comfort them when you see them gasping for air.
- Screaming: Fear can be one of the significant causes of stress in guinea pigs. If your guinea pig is frightened for its life or they are in some physiological distress, then they will be screaming out loud.
- Digestive problems: Guinea pigs who are stressed out are likely to suffer from health issues like diarrhea, constipation, etc. A higher anxiety level will make stool passing difficult and also create a blockage in some instances.
- Other signs: Some other signs of anxiety and stress includes irritation and more aggressive displays of behavior, such as head tossing, rumbling, or teeth-chattering.
How to calm down a stressed guinea pig
In the event that guinea pigs become extremely stressed, they must be calmed down.
Never leave our guinea pigs alone because, even if they are able to calm themselves down, there will be some knock-on effects to our experiments.
In addition, your Guinea pig is likely to be suffering from some minor health problems. Whenever you notice that your guinea pig is panicking, reach out to them and take a seat next to their enclosure.
Try to reassure them with common phrases such as “It’s all right,” “Your mommy is here,” and so on.
These phrases will gradually become second nature to your test subjects, who will come to understand that you care about them and are always available to them.
Do not attempt to expose them to anything that will increase their stress level; in fact, it would be ideal if you could eliminate everything that could cause stress in your guinea pigs.
Once your guinea pig has begun to calm down and come closer to you, you can pet them gently and continue to reassure them for a short period of time more.
Singing a song to them, giving them a piece of candy, or doing something else to keep them calm and get them back into their comfort zone could be a great way to help them relax and get back into their routine.
Guinea pigs are known for their ability to live in the moment, so if you can find a way to make them happy in any way, they may be able to return to their former state.
To keep our guinea pigs mentally and physically stimulated and happy, we must provide them with a variety of toys. Personally, I adore this incredible toy set, which is both sturdy and safe for children.
My guinea pig is stressed due to loud noises
Loud noises are always a spook for our guinea pigs, and they can be out of our control at the worst of times.
If you live in a metropolitan area, there is likely to be a lot of noise in and around your house. Car horns, fireworks, lightning, loud music, and other loud sounds are examples of these types of noises.
While we have some control over some of these noises, we do not have control over others. So, what are our options?
If at all possible, try to separate your guinea pigs into a separate space. The room should be located in a part of your house where these kinds of noises are kept to a bare minimum.
If possible, avoid placing the television and music system in close proximity to the guinea pigs.
If you have children living with you, instruct them to refrain from making loud noises or shouting in the vicinity of the guinea pig enclosure.
All of these noises can be stressful for your guinea pigs, so it is best to keep them to a bare minimum at all times.
You should also consider adding some fleece hideouts for your guinea pigs so that they can retreat to whenever they are feeling scared or threatened.
My guinea pig is stressed since I got a new pet
Guinea pigs are highly social animals, but that does not imply that they can coexist with other pets in the home.
You can always keep a small group of guinea pigs together as long as you give them enough space to run around in comfortably.
Other pets, such as dogs, cats, rabbits, and other small animals, may not be a good match for your guinea pigs, however.
No doubt, a lot of people have cats or dogs who also have guinea pigs, but this isn’t always a good combination for everyone.
Larger pets, such as cats and dogs, may instinctively chase after your guinea pigs, causing them to become extremely stressed and distressed.
You can gradually introduce these pets to one another; however, you should never leave them alone when they are engaged in joint play with one another.
You never know what could possibly go wrong between the two of them.
In addition, make certain that your cats or dogs do not have access to the guinea pigs’ living quarters or food.
Occasionally, your guinea pigs will become alarmed by the sudden appearance of these pets in their territory.
My guinea pig is stressed due to a heatwave
Guinea pigs need a stable living environment. They cannot tolerate temperatures above 24°C; thus, a sudden rise in temperature in your area or a heatwave could be a trouble for your guinea pigs.
High temperatures make them irritated, aggressive, and anxious as well. Try to keep the enclosure of your guinea pig’s cold.
If you are housing them outside, consider bringing them inside.
Move the cage into the central part of your house as these areas will be colder as compared to others.
Block direct sunlight with blinds and ensure proper ventilation in the area.
Refilling their water bottle with tap water frequently, adding some cold compress in the cage, and adding an extra air blower or fan with a damp cloth in the front can create a breeze of fresh air that helps them survive through the heatwave.
You should make sure that the fan is not directly pointed towards guinea pigs for a more extended period, as it can also stress them out.
My guinea pig is stressed after moving in
In the event that you acquire an additional guinea pig or relocate your guinea pig, they are more than likely to be stressed out by the experience.
Our guinea pigs are vulnerable when they are introduced to a new environment; as a result, you must comfort them by conversing with them and providing them with hiding places and a nutritious diet.
Allow your guinea pig to explore the new territory for a few days so that he or she becomes acclimated to it and feels more secure and relaxed.
Avoid making a lot of noise around your guinea pig and try to provide them with a comfortable living environment so that they can adjust to their new home as quickly and easily as possible.
What does a stressed guinea pig sound like
Guinea pigs make a wide range of noise, and understanding the exact meaning of every sound can be difficult for some owners.
Here are some common noises that a stressed-out guinea pig is likely to make:
- A high pitched purr noise
- Hissing accompanied by teeth chattering
- Growling and
- Shrieking (A loud pitch scream)
Can stress kill guinea pigs
Yes, stress can be life-threatening for your guinea pigs in some circumstances.
A stressed-out guinea pig may suffer from serious health problems, including cardiac arrest, as a result of the stress they are under.
As a result, whenever you notice that they are becoming agitated, make sure to keep them calm and relaxed.