How to keep a guinea pig cage smelling fresh?
If your room is smelling bad and you are wondering what you can do about it, don’t despair.
There are a lot of things you can do to get rid of the smell and keep your guinea pig’s cage smelling fresh at all times.
Here are some important points to consider:
- Clean the cage regularly: Use odorless cleaning products(Chewy) to clean the cage.
- Choose the right type of bedding: Using fleece(Amazon), or aspen bedding(Chewy) can help control the strong odor of their pee and poo.
- Spay/Neuter your guinea pigs: Spaying or neutering your guinea pigs do eliminate the strong musky smell they make on an occasional basis.
- Choose the right size cage: A larger cage provides them enough space to eat, play, and sleep, and thus, your guinea pigs will not muss the poop all over their coat. Go for a C&C cage(Etsy) if possible.
- Improve their diet: Too much sugary food and vegetables can lead to diarrhea, watery bottom, etc. Serve them good quality hay(Chewy)and pellets(Chewy) followed by a cup of fresh veggies daily.
- Look out for health concerns: If your guinea pig is smelly even when you are maintaining a healthy living environment, then it might be the right time to visit a vet. An underlying health concern could be the problem behind the same.
- Keep the room well ventilated: Make sure the room of your guinea pig is well ventilated so that fresh air can flow in all the time.
- Use an air purifier: Using a HEPA+Carbon based air purifier(Amazon) can get rid of most of the odor from the room.
So, you have learned some quick tips to get rid of those bad odors. But I fear that alone won’t be enough.
Let us learn more about it in detail, so you don’t have to struggle with the same in the future.
Does guinea pigs pee stink?
Although foul-smelling guinea pig pee can be a sign of a poor diet or a urinary tract infection (UTI), this is not always the case in practice.
Often, guinea pigs’ pee smells because the bedding used is of poor quality or because the cage is not thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis.
When you don’t clean the cage on a regular basis, the pee begins to accumulate.
When left for an extended period of time, the ammonia begins to build up and the water begins to smell fishy.
To be more specific, many guinea pig owners have expressed concern about the smell of their guinea pig’s cage, which they believe is caused by a fish.
Nonetheless, the fact remains that it is not the cage itself that is causing the odor; rather, it is the pee that has been left in the cage, which releases ammonia and begins to smell like a fish when left for an extended period of time.
So, if your guinea pig cage smells like a fish, or if you notice that the urine smells a lot, the following is likely the case:
- Either the cage is not being thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis, or the bedding being used is not effectively absorbing the pee.
Maintain this by performing a thorough cleaning and changing of the bedding once a week at the very least.
Do guinea pigs smell up room badly?
No, guinea pigs are only as clean as the environment in which they live. The smell in your room is determined by the living environment in which they live and the cleanliness of their enclosure.
If you don’t spot clean the cage every day and deep clean the cage once a week, your cage will most likely stink up the room and make you feel uncomfortable.
Good quality bedding and regular cleaning of their cages, on the other hand, will help to keep the smell at bay to the greatest extent possible.
Yes, there may be a slight difference in the smell of the room if you have a pet in the house with you. Most people, on the other hand, will not find it uncomfortable.
What happens if you don’t clean your guinea pig’s cage?
No one wants their house to smell like a stinky fish, but if you leave your guinea pig’s cage uncleaned, then you shouldn’t expect anything less.
Apart from the smelly room, not cleaning their cage also have an impact on your guinea pig’s health.
An unhealthy living environment and ammonia buildup in the cage can lead to some severe health problems in guinea pigs. Some of them include:
- Respiratory problems: According to a study, ammonia buildup in the cage due to untidy living conditions and pee buildup can slow down the respiration rate in guinea pigs. It can also lead to Upper Respiratory Tract Infection(URI) in guinea pigs.
- Missing patches of fur: If your guinea pig’s bedding is wet, then their hair might remain soaked in the same. This can lead to bald patches in their fur and also increase the chances of flystrike in guinea pigs.
- Bumblefoot: Urine soaked bedding can also lead to bumblefoot in guinea pigs. It can be dangerous for their health if they remain untreated.
- Urinary Tract Infection: Guinea pigs can suffer from UTI if their living environment is not maintained correctly. It can be life-threatening for our guinea pigs.
- Stress & Discomfort: Guinea pigs are clean animals, and an untidy living environment can lead to stress in guinea pigs. A stressed-out guinea pig can harm themselves by pulling out their fur, biting the cage bars, and more.
How often should a guinea pig cage be cleaned?
If you want to keep your guinea pig’s cage smelling fresh, you’ll need to clean your guinea pig’s cage regularly.
We often hear this advice from everyone. But what does “regularly” mean for you? Well, you can simply put it this way.
A guinea pig’s cage with a pair of guinea pigs will need to be spot cleaned daily, followed by a deep clean once a week.
You might need to spot clean the cage more than once if you have more guinea pigs.
The process of cleaning involves the following:
- Use a Dustpan & Brush or a hand-held vacuum to spot clean the poop around the cage. (Do it daily)
- Remove any part of heavily soiled bedding and replace the patch with fresh ones. (Do it 1-2 times a week especially in the food area, below water bottles, etc.)
- Once a week, you need to get rid of the bedding entirely. Do not keep parts of it even if it seems clean.
- Using a brush or sponge, clean the base of the cage. Get rid of any debris collected at the corners.
- You can also use some baking soda and vinegar to clean the cage. It also helps in getting rid of the odor.
- Also, remove all the hideouts and toys and wash them too. You can dry them out in the sunlight as well before placing it back.
- Once the cage is dried out, you can put back fresh bedding followed by all the other supplies like food bowls, water bottles, toys, etc.
Don’t put the cage back together when the base is damp. It can make the cage moldy. If you are looking to buy the best supplies for your guinea pigs, then check out our Essential Supplies Checklist.
Cleaning products safe for guinea pigs
Choosing the right cleaning products for your guinea pig’s enclosure is the key to getting rid of the bad smell.
The product you choose must be strong enough to get rid of the bad smell of ammonia, but gentle enough not to harm your guinea pigs.
So, what products should you use to clean your guinea pig’s cage?
Mild detergents: It can be combined with lukewarm water to wash toys, hideouts, and more. Make sure you choose the one that doesn’t have a strong smell.
White Vinegar: A mixture of 1-part vinegar to 1 or 2-part water works like a charm while disinfecting the cage. It also helps in getting rid of bad odor from the cage. If your enclosure has a white sludgy residue(calcium) of urine, then the same can also be effectively removed with the help of this mixture.
cage Wipes: Cage wipes are an effective way of cleaning, disinfecting, and deodorizing your guinea pig’s habitats. You can use this fantastic Zoo Med Wipe Out for the same.
cage Deodorizer Spray: The deodorizer spray can be used to clean your guinea pig toys and other accessories in the cage. It is also useful in cleaning the urine stains and getting rid of the strong smell from the cage. Try this fantastic Kaytee Clean Cage Deodorizer Spray for incredible results.
Avoid using bleach, scented cleaners, and other disinfectants to clean the cage. Most of these leave a residue behind that can be harmful to our guinea pigs.
In contrast, vinegar and some commercial cleaners discussed above are entirely safe and effective in cleaning and getting rid of the odor as well.
Odor control guinea pig bedding
You can stop the guinea pig’s cage from producing any kind of odor if you choose the bedding wisely.
There is a wide range of bedding available for your guinea pigs, but some of the best ones to go for are:
- Fleece bedding: Some Commercial liners or other fleece liners that are custom made for our guinea pigs enclosure works excellent. I personally recommend either Guinea Dad fleece liners(amazon) or Custom cage liners(Etsy)
- Paper Bedding: There are a wide variety and brands of paper bedding available in the market. However, not all of them are on par when it comes to quality. You should always go for Carefresh paper bedding.
- Aspen bedding: Aspen bedding is also super absorbent and odor-free. You can go for Small Pet Select Aspen bedding for the best results.
I personally prefer fleece beddings as they are easily washable and saves a lot of cost in the long run. However, go for guinea dad fleece liners if possible as these last really long.
Bad bedding for guinea pigs (Must Avoid)
Not all bedding is safe for our guinea pigs. Some bedding options are unsafe, whereas some are really bad when it comes to odor control. Thus, here is a quick list of bedding you should avoid:
- Crystal cat litter: Cat litter are excellent in odor control; however, they are unsafe for our small little guinea pigs. Guinea pigs end up ingesting some part of it that can lead to serious health concerns like Choking, GI stasis, etc.
- Pine/cedar bedding: Pine/cedar bedding might seem like the right choice to you guys, but they definitely aren’t. These bedding are not super absorbent, and thus the pee remains at the bottom of the cage leading to foul smell.
- Hay: Some people tend to use hay as bedding options. Yes, hay can keep your guinea pigs warm, but it definitely will not prevent odor. Always use some good quality aspen bedding below hay to create an ideal environment.
- Puppy pads: Puppy pads are useful for a shorter duration but are not a replacement for bedding. You should go with commercial fleece bedding instead if you want to avoid a stinky cage.
How do I stop my guinea pig cage from smelling?
If you are having difficulty keeping the odor in your guinea pig’s cage under control, you are most likely missing out on something important.
The majority of the time, keeping the cage in proper working order solves the problem.
However, there are times when we need to do more than that to get rid of the smell. Here are a few ninja techniques that you absolutely must know.
Table of Contents
Neutering/Spaying your guinea pigs
If your guinea pig is still alive and well, it is clear that the source of the foul odor in your cage has been identified. Your male guinea pigs may spray or leave a boar glue residue around the cage, which has a musky odor to it on rare occasions.
Furthermore, female guinea pigs go through hormonal shifts that can cause their pee to smell horribly. This is especially true during pregnancy.
If you neuter or spay your guinea pigs when they are young, you can reduce the smell and eliminate the possibility of future medical issues.
Not only does spaying help to reduce the foul smell, but it also helps to protect your guinea pigs from things like unwanted pregnancies, ovarian cancer, and other health problems.
However, you must also consider the financial implications of the decision. When it comes time to neuter or spay your pig, you’ll need to go to the vet, which will cost you a small sum of money depending on where you live in the country.
You should expect to pay between 100 and 150 dollars per guinea pig for the same. It’s also important to remember that neutering or spaying your pet is simply an additional measure to deal with the odor. It is not something that every property owner should be concerned about, however.
A poor diet is often a reason behind a smelly guinea pig. If your guinea pig’s pee or poop is smelling bad, then it might be directly related to your guinea pig’s diet.
To be specific, if your guinea pigs eat a poor low-fiber diet, then they may suffer from various health issues, including:
- Gastro-intestinal diseases
- Wet bottom
- Urinary tract diseases & more
So, to prevent the same, your guinea pigs must be fed with a diet rich in Fiber & Vitamin C. A well-balanced diet for guinea pigs looks like:
- Unlimited amount of hay
- A cup of fresh veggies
- 1/8th cup of pellets
- Some occasional treats
In addition to this, you must also provide fresh and clean water to your guinea pigs at all times.
If you start feeding more vegetables/pellets and less of hay, then your guinea pig’s digestive system might get off-balanced, resulting in diarrhea and other health issues.
Look out for health problems
If your guinea pigs keep smelling even after continuously cleaning their cage, then there might be an underlying health condition behind the same.
Some of the common health conditions that can lead to smelly guinea pigs are:
- GI Stasis: This can lead to diarrhea and wet bottom that produces a foul smell.
- Urine burns: This can make the fur smelly and damp. It might also result in a missing patch and flystrike in some cases.
- Urinary Tract Infections: This can lead to a foul smell in your guinea pig’s urine.
- Dental problems: This can lead to a smelly breath in guinea pigs.
Some of these diseases are caused by a dirty cage or poor diet. Most of them can be prevented by correcting their diet.
Is air freshener safe for guinea pigs?
In order to temporarily eliminate the odor, some people consider using air fresheners to do the job.
Guinea pigs have a keen sense of smell, and using fragrances around them can cause respiratory problems in the creatures.
Even essential oils can be harmful to your guinea pigs if used in excess. So, what are the best alternatives to these two options?
The importance of proper ventilation cannot be overstated. While it may seem obvious, proper ventilation is essential in order to rid the room of its foul odor. It is basically ammonia that is forming in the pee and feces of your Guinea pigs that is causing the smell buildups. It is possible to reduce the buildup of odors if the room is properly ventilated, and your room will never smell as bad again.
Air Purifiers: Using an air purifier to remove pet allergens and odors from the air is one of the most effective methods of removing them. If you purchase an air purifier with a HEPA+Carbon filter, you will be able to eliminate the most offensive odors from the room.
Bathing a smelly guinea pig
It’s understandable that you’d be concerned about bathing your guinea pig if it’s rotting inside. According to experts, you should never bathe your guinea pigs until and unless they exhibit the following symptoms:
- Their fur has become extremely soiled.
- They have a slick bottom and are susceptible to flystrike.
- Your guinea pig is unable to groom himself or herself properly.
If any of the circumstances listed above apply to your guinea pig, a wet bath may be beneficial. Bathing your guinea pigs is simple if you follow our step-by-step tutorial on how to do so.
Here is a summary of what is safe and what is unsafe while dealing with a foul smell in guinea pigs.
|Clean the cage with a mixture of Water-Vinegar or other commercial disinfectants discussed earlier.||Using bleach, scented cleaners or other harsh surface cleaners to clean your guinea pig’s cage.|
|Provide a high-fiber balanced diet. It includes a lot of hay, some veggies and occasional treats.||Providing a lot of vegetables, pellets and treats on a regular basis.|
|Using good quality bedding like fleece, aspen or paper beddings.||Using hay, newspaper and other poor quality bedding in the cage.|
|Ventilate the room properly and use an air purifier if possible.||Using Air fresheners, or essential oil diffusers.|
|Changing the bedding on weekly basis.||Just cleaning the patches of bad bedding and reusing the bedding again.|
Guinea pigs are naturally clean creatures, so getting rid of your guinea pig’s disorder should not be a difficult task.
As you may have already realized, the most effective way to eliminate any odor from your guinea pig’s cage is to keep the pen clean and organized.
Do not make the mistake of dismissing the odor as unimportant. Instead, you must identify and address the underlying cause of the problem. You’ll have healthier and happier guinea pigs as a result of this method.
What if you put baking soda in the bottom of the cage for the Guinea pigs?
Yes, it can be placed at the bottom of the cage. Make certain, however, that a thick layer of bedding is placed on top of it.
Approximately how often should you change the bedding in the cage of a guinea pig?
Once a week, you should change the bedding in your guinea pig’s cage.
What is the frequency with which guinea pigs poop?
Your guinea pigs will be pooping on a consistent basis. They’re similar to a poop machine.
Clorox wipes can be used to clean a guinea pig cage, but are they effective?
No, it is preferable to avoid using such harsh chemicals to clean your guinea pig’s cage altogether. Instead, make a solution of vinegar and water.
Is it possible to clean a guinea pig cage with apple cider vinegar?
You should never use anything other than white vinegar to clean your guinea pig’s cage.
Is it possible for vinegar to kill guinea pigs?
No, vinegar will not cause your guinea pigs to die. Topically applying vinegar to your guinea pig’s skin, on the other hand, is not recommended. It’s also important to dilute the solution before cleaning out their cage.