Causes of destructive behavior in guinea pigs
|Pulling Out Fur||-Stress
|Eating A Lot||-Boredom
-Lack of exercise
-Lack of stimulation and play
|Chewing Destructively||-Not enough access to hay
-Not enough chew toys
-Not enough exercise
Guinea pigs enjoy chewing things up. It turns into a problem when they chew excessively and start damaging carpets, furniture, and other items in the house.
The worst part is guinea pigs may chew electric cables and wire that indirectly put them into the danger of getting an electric shock.
To prevent this kind of happening, keep all the wires out of the reach of your guinea pigs and be sure these electrical wires are covered with protective cables in case they get access to it.
Also, guinea pigs find pleasure in chewing on rubber, so keep the tv remotes away from them.
Guinea pigs who live in cages like to chew the cage bars an other items in the cage in some cases.
That seems dangerous because then guinea pigs can mess their enclosure.
Realizing this at an early stage and offering plenty of hay, toys for fun, and some exercise can stop their destructive behavior up to some extend.
Guinea pigs have a tendency to escape from their cages and gain access to other items in the room when they are not properly restrained. Therefore, there is a high risk of devastation in the area around the cage. It is inevitable that guinea pigs will chew on anything they can get their teeth into.
In fact, nearly all of the guinea pigs who live indoors have preferred sleeping areas that they have selected for themselves.
Invest in a blanket or a towel so that your guinea pigs can rest on it when they finally find a comfortable spot to rest their heads.
This will ensure that your guinea pigs will only chew the blanket and not the fleece hideouts and bedding that you have provided them with.
Do not attempt to prevent your guinea pigs from getting in and out of the area where they are lying. When pets have difficulty getting to their destination, they will begin gnawing at the ground to widen the passageway for them.
Apart from that, guinea pigs have a good time chewing on wooden objects, such as the legs of a table. When they’re on the ground, this usually takes place.
Besides this, they provide them with some other enticing entertainment, such as a piece of apple or willow wood, to keep them from defacing your furniture.
Then, if that doesn’t seem to be working, cover the area where they nibble with duct tape, cardboard, or a piece of wood tube.
When your guinea pigs dig holes in the carpet, they will have a great time.. Cover the areas where they like to dig with a blanket or a piece of cardboard to keep them out. They will, however, begin nipping at the covers as well as the rest of the house.
Age and gender
Female guinea pigs are more interested in digging holes than male guinea pigs. However, this does not rule out the possibility that male guinea pigs will ever exhibit signs of destructive chewing.
Guinea pigs should be neutered or spayed before they reach the age of two years old in order to prevent them from displaying aggressive and destructive behaviors towards one another and other objects in their environment.
In the case of recently spayed/neutered guinea pigs who chew on their nails, you will have to wait for a while before they can be released. It may take some time for their hormones to return to normalcy.
Once your guinea pigs reach adulthood, they are less likely to engage in such destructive behavior. However, if your guinea pigs are neutered and mature, but they continue to chew, it is possible that their chewing is not caused by hormonal fluctuations.
Nature of the guinea pig
It’s possible that your guinea pigs are chewing on things around the house in an attempt to attract your attention.
The majority of the time, this occurs when you only have a single Guinea pig or if you have more than one cage in which to keep your guinea pigs.
Guinea pigs who enjoy chewing are generally intelligent, clever, loving, and affectionate, as well as intelligent. They are driven by strong desires for recognition.
However, if you are unable to provide your guinea pigs with the necessary attention, you should try something else to alleviate their boredom. Is it possible that finding a partner for them will assist them in avoiding boredom?
Guinea pigs view eating as a form of treatment for boredom, which they use to get rid of it. As a result, if you put food in front of your pets, they will eat it because they do not have anything else to do other than munch.
Because of this, it may result in issues such as weight gain and obesity, particularly if the foods consist primarily of dry pellets, vegetables, and sweet fruits.
Fortunately, guinea pigs do not have a problem with overeating hay. As a result, it is preferable to provide them with plenty of hay in order to meet their nutritional requirements while also maintaining their dental health.
Choose pellets made of timothy grass, even if you are giving them pellets to eat as a reward for good behavior. Almost all high-quality hay contains only 14 percent protein and no animal fat, making it a low-protein food.
Guinea pigs are herbivores, and they can live a very healthy life if they are provided with enough hay and vegetables in a controlled environment, according to their needs.
Grooming a lot
Guinea pigs appear to enjoy grooming themselves, as evidenced by the fact that they groom themselves several times a day on average (see photo).
More importantly for them, the fur they collect after grooming is usually harmless to them..
Having said that, excessive grooming by your guinea pigs as a result of boredom can result in hairballs, which can have a negative impact on the digestive tract of guinea pigs.
Guinea pigs can be kept entertained and healthy by providing them with plenty of hay and chew toys. This will also help to keep their digestive system in good working order.
Fulling the fur out
As per the studies, intact female guinea pigs who experience phantom pregnancy have been observed pulling their fur.
Also known as a false pregnancy can be experienced by many female guinea pigs, even those who live alone. It lasts for 16-17 days, and your guinea pigs can show some destructive behavior at this phase including digging and fur pulling.
Guinea pigs might chew each other’s fur due to stress and boredom, which is called barbering.
So, to prevent this, get your guinea pigs neutered/spayed and provide enough hay, toys, fun activities, and help get rid of their boredom and stress.
How to stop destructive behavior in guinea pigs?
Their destructive behavior may appear to be major problems, but they can be resolved in a number of simple ways.
You can use the following methods to prevent your guinea pigs from going into a destructive state:
Provide enough hay and veggies
Guinea pigs chew on things not only because they enjoy it, but also because they have a need to chew on something.
Guinea pigs’ teeth continue to grow indefinitely. Consequently, stopping chewing can result in overgrown teeth, which can be harmful to the mouth and jaws of guinea pigs and cause them to become deformed.
Overgrown teeth in guinea pigs are a serious medical problem that can be extremely painful. As a result, if your guinea pigs are chewing excessively, it is in their nature to prevent overgrown teeth from forming.
The most common reason for destructive chewing behavior in guinea pigs is a lack of adequate hay supply for the animals. Every day, your guinea pigs should be provided with at least 100-150 grams of hay to consume.
Although it appears to be a lot of hay, guinea pigs should receive 70-80 percent of high-quality hay on a daily basis. It is recommended that pellets, vegetables, and fruits be offered in small quantities only.
If you notice that your guinea pigs are refusing to eat the same hay on a daily basis, you should try offering them different kinds of hay.
Timothy hay is recommended for guinea pigs by nearly all experts. You could provide them with different types of hay from different companies, if you want to save money. It is also possible that some guinea pigs are picky about the hay they consume.
To deal with your guinea pigs’ chewing behavior, you should provide them with toys. This method is far too simple and low-cost to be effective.
You can even make temporary toys at home for your guinea pigs and give them to them as a treat. Your pets will be more motivated to play instead of chewing on things in their cage if they are allowed to do so.
Try out some boredom buster ideas
Boredom has caused several guinea pigs to chew more than usual. Your guinea pigs will gnaw on anything that comes into contact with them or consume large quantities of pellets, vegetables, and fruits, which will result in obesity. In order to ensure that your guinea pigs chew continuously, hay is the most appropriate material.
Providing your guinea pigs with a stimulating environment will also alleviate any chewing issues they may be experiencing. Your guinea pigs will be diverted to other enjoyable activities in this environment, which will be beneficial to them.
Preparing an encouraging environment for your guinea pigs is very simple and can even be done for free in some cases because you can use everyday items such as cardboard boxes or plastic storage containers (cereals, noddle, tables).
Fill these boxes with crumpled newspaper or hay, and place them in a space or room where your guinea pigs will be able to pick out pieces of the newspaper or hay.
Putting treats into this cardboard filling can increase the enjoyment of this homemade toy by a factor of two. Your guinea pigs will tear the box apart in order to find the gifts hidden within the hay. For guinea pigs, playing with empty paper rolls stuffed with hay is also a pleasurable and amusing activity to engage in.
Make sure your guinea pigs have plenty of toys to play with in their enclosure. The following items are excellent and possible alternatives: soft cotton clothes, stuffed toys, and cardboard boxes cut with one side cut out to allow for easy entry and exit of your guinea pigs.
Ensure, however, that any objects that guinea pigs are playing with are not made of hay or paper so that they do not become a source of nutrition for them.
Ensure that your guinea pigs do not come into contact with old towels or towels with loose threads because this can cause them to suffer from digestive issues.
Keep reading for more information on keeping your guinea pigs happy:
Spaying or Neutering your guinea pig
It is possible that excessive chewing is caused by a hormonal imbalance as well. Guinea pigs should be neutered or spayed when they reach the age of six months, after consulting with a veterinarian, in order to prevent them from behaving aggressively.
Aside from that, female guinea pigs that are not pregnant or nursing can develop ovarian cancer before or after the age of 5. Spaying your guinea pigs can help prevent this from happening and can also assist in developing a calm attitude in them.
In the event that you have recently had your pets spayed or neutered and you are still observing signs of chewing, be patient and give them some time.
After being spayed, almost all guinea pigs lose their habit of excessive chewing within a few weeks of being neutered. A lot of energy, just like kittens and small puppies, is stored in the bodies of young guinea pigs, which means they are more likely to chew than an adult guinea pig.
Provide some floor time daily
Once the weather becomes pleasant and the surrounding area is extremely safe for guinea pigs, you can take your guinea pigs out for a little play while keeping an eye on them for danger.
It is most effective to allow them to play and bounce around outside in order to keep their minds mentally energized and stimulated, rather than keeping them in their cages.
Allowing guinea pigs to dig, chew, and do whatever they want outside allows them to be more independent. When they return home from playing, they will need to eat and sleep quickly, so chewing will be replaced by chewing gum.
Safe play area
It’s important to remember that guinea pigs cannot survive in extremely high temperatures. Consult with your veterinarian to determine which temperature is most appropriate for your guinea pigs.
According to research, the average body temperature of guinea pigs ranges between 102 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit on average.
A mercury level greater than 90 degrees Fahrenheit is harmful to nearly all guinea pigs and can result in heatstroke in some of them. It has been found that long-haired guinea pig breeds are more susceptible to overheating during the summer months.
It is unnecessary to keep your guinea pigs outside during the summer months unless you have an enclosed cool shaded area in your home. Purchase a thermometer so that you can keep track of the temperature both inside and outside the shaded area.
Make sure your guinea pigs have enough space to hide and feel protected while they are playing so that they can enjoy themselves. Anything as simple as a box with an onside cut or a cage with one open door can make guinea pigs’ hiding activity more enjoyable by providing them with a safe haven.
In order to prevent them from digging under the fences you put around your garden, they should be secured. These fences should be fixed 6 inches underground from the top, preventing guinea pigs from digging and moving out of their enclosure.
Predators such as cats and dogs should be protected from guinea pigs by using these barriers as well. Guinea pigs will benefit from this because they will be stress-free and will feel safe.
As an alternative if your garden does not have any fences or barriers, you can confine your animals in their playpen or transport them to a nearby park with their playpen.
Keep an eye on your guinea pigs, whether they are in your garden or in a pickable playpen in the park, because they can get into trouble in a matter of minutes, regardless of where they are located.
Guinea pig proof your room
There is nothing always wrong when your guinea pigs chew on something. Owners should ensure that their homes are guinea pigs proofed before getting a guinea pig.
Follow the steps below:
- Get all the electric wires covered with duct tape or cable covers, or just try to keep them away from the reach of your pets.
- Put a shield of a cardboard box on the wooden objects or table legs.
- Cover the carpet areas with towel or cardboard boxes so your guinea pigs can only chew on them.
- Use a small gate or playpen to allow your guinea roam freely without reaching items to chew like wires.
- Place chewable objects around like old books, baskets, etc.
- Use some bitter apples so that they stop chewing on other objects. Though, it will not work on all guinea pigs.
- Providing other areas for chewing and digging near furniture yo keep your guinea pigs busy.
- If you are renovating your house, try other furniture instead of wicker furniture because guinea pigs enjoy chewing on wicker furniture.