Causes of destructive behavior in guinea pigs
|Pulling Out Fur
|Eating A Lot
-Lack of exercise
-Lack of stimulation and play
|-Not enough access to hay
-Not enough chew toys
-Not enough exercise
Chewing is a favorite activity of guinea pigs. When they chew excessively and start destroying carpets, furniture, and other things in the house, it becomes a problem.
The most concerning aspect is the possibility that guinea pigs would gnaw on electrical wires and cables, which will place them in an indirect position where they could receive an electric shock.
To avoid an incident like this occurring, make sure that your guinea pigs do not have access to any of the wires, and moreover, ensure that any electrical lines are protected by protective cables in the event that they do gain access to them.
Guinea pigs get a kick out of chewing on rubber, so make sure to keep the remote controls for the television out of their reach.
In certain instances, guinea pigs who are kept in cages have a habit of chewing on the bars of the cage as well as other objects that are kept in the cage.
It seems risky to do that because the guinea pigs might potentially soil their enclosure.
If you are able to recognize this fact at an early stage and provide them with a plenty of hay, amusing toys, and some form of exercise, you can reduce their destructive behavior to some extent.
If they are not securely secured, guinea pigs have a propensity to get out of their cages and explore the rest of the room, including the belongings of other animals. Because of this, there is a significant possibility that the area around the cage will be completely destroyed. Guinea pigs will inevitably chew on anything that they can get their teeth into. This behavior is unavoidable.
In point of fact, almost all of the guinea pigs who reside inside have favored sleeping spots that they have chosen for themselves.
Invest in a blanket or a towel for your guinea pigs so that when they do find a comfy place to rest their heads, they have something soft to lay their bodies on.
This will prevent your guinea pigs from chewing on the fleece hideouts and bedding that you have supplied for them and instead ensure that they will only gnaw on the blanket.
You should not make an effort to prevent your guinea pigs from entering and exiting the area in which they are resting down. When animals are having trouble reaching their target, they will start chewing at the ground to make more room for themselves to move through the environment.
Apart from that, guinea pigs find great entertainment in the act of chewing on various wooden things, such as the legs of a table. In most cases, this takes occur once they have landed on the ground.
In addition to this, they supply them with some other attractive amusement, such as a piece of apple or willow wood, to avoid them from ruining your furniture. This is done to prevent them from doing so.
The next step, in the event that it doesn’t stop them from nibbling, is to cover the spot where they do it with duct tape, cardboard, or a piece of wood tube.
They will have a wonderful time if you let your guinea pigs dig holes in the carpet for them. To prevent them from digging in the places you want to protect, cover such areas with a blanket or a piece of cardboard. However, they will start nibbling at the coverings as well as the rest of the home once they are inside.
Age and Gender
To a greater extent than their male counterparts, female guinea pigs enjoy the activity of digging holes. Despite this, there is still a chance that male guinea pigs will show indications of destructive chewing at some point in their lives.
When they reach the age of two years old, guinea pigs should be spayed or neutered in order to prevent them from developing aggressive and destructive tendencies against one another and other things in their habitat. This may be accomplished by undergoing either procedure.
If you have just spayed or neutered guinea pigs and they continue to gnaw on their nails after the procedure, you will have to wait some time before you can release them. It is possible that it may be some time before their hormones recover to their usual levels.
It is far less probable that your adult guinea pigs would indulge in such damaging behavior once they have reached adulthood. On the other hand, if your guinea pigs have been spayed or neutered and have reached maturity, but they still chew, it is probable that the chewing behavior is not the result of hormonal shifts.
Table of Contents
Nature of the Guinea Pig
It’s conceivable that your guinea pigs are trying to get your attention by nibbling on random items they find around the house.
The most of the time, this occurs when you only have one Guinea pig or when you have more than one cage in which to keep your guinea pigs. Nevertheless, it may also occur when you have many cages in which to keep your guinea pigs.
Generally speaking, bright, clever, caring, and affectionate characteristics may be found in guinea pigs who like chewing. They are propelled by powerful needs to be recognized and admired.
If, on the other hand, you find that you are unable to give your guinea pigs the amount of attention they require, you should look into other ways to keep them from being bored. Is it feasible that if they were to locate a companion for themselves, it might help them avoid becoming bored?
Guinea pigs consider eating to be a type of therapy for relieving boredom, which they employ in order to get rid of the condition. Hence, if you place food in front of your dogs, they will eat it since they do not have anything else to do but nibble because they are bored.
Because of this, it can lead to problems like as weight gain and obesity, particularly if the diet consists mostly of dry pellets, veggies, and sweet fruits. This is especially true if the individual consumes a lot of sweet fruits.
It appears that guinea pigs do not have the same issue as rabbits do when it comes to consuming too much hay. As a consequence of this, it is recommended to give them with an ample amount of hay so that they may satisfy their nutritional requirements and preserve the condition of their teeth.
Even if you are giving them pellets to eat as a reward for excellent behavior, choose pellets made of timothy grass rather than other types of grass. Hay is considered to be a low-protein diet since it typically only contains around 14 percent protein and does not include any animal fat.
Guinea pigs are herbivores, and as such, they are capable of leading quite healthy lives if they are given with a enough amount of hay and vegetables in an environment that is well managed to meet their requirements.
Grooming a lot
It would appear that guinea pigs take great pleasure in grooming themselves, as demonstrated by the fact that, on average, they do this behavior multiple times each day (see photo).
The fact that the fur they collect after grooming is often safe for them to consume is of utmost importance to them.
Nevertheless, if your guinea pigs groom themselves an excessive amount due to boredom, this can lead to the formation of hairballs, which can have a bad effect on the digestive system of guinea pigs.
A healthy and happy guinea pig may be maintained by giving it lots of hay to chew on and a variety of chew toys to play with. Also, this will aid to keep their digestive system in healthy operating condition, which is quite important.
Fulling the fur out
According to the findings of the study, it has been found that intact female guinea pigs that suffer phantom pregnancy pull at their fur.
This condition, often referred to as a phantom pregnancy, can affect many female guinea pigs, including those who are kept by themselves. During this stage, which lasts for 16 to 17 days, your guinea pigs may engage in destructive behaviors such as digging and ripping their fur out.
It’s called “barbering,” and it happens when guinea pigs are stressed out or bored and start chewing on each other’s fur.
Hence, in order to avoid this from happening, you should get your guinea pigs spayed or neutered, give them with an adequate amount of hay, toys, and pleasant activities, and work to alleviate any boredom or stress they may be experiencing.
How to stop destructive behavior in Guinea Pigs?
The seemingly insurmountable issues caused by their damaging activity can, in fact, be circumvented by a variety of uncomplicated means.
You may keep your guinea pigs from entering a destructive state by utilizing the following strategies:
Provide enough Hay and Veggies
Not only do guinea pigs do it because they find it enjoyable, but they also do it because they have a physiological need to have something to chew on.
The teeth of guinea pigs continue to develop forever after birth. Hence, not chewing can result in growing teeth, which can be damaging to the mouth and jaws of guinea pigs, causing them to become deformed. This condition can also lead the teeth to become crooked.
Guinea pigs can suffer from a dangerous medical condition known as overgrown teeth, which can cause the animal great discomfort. So, it is in your guinea pigs’ nature to chew excessively in order to prevent overgrowth teeth from developing. This behavior may be observed when you watch them.
The absence of an appropriate quantity of hay for the animals is the most prevalent cause of destructive chewing activity in guinea pigs. Your guinea pigs need to have access to at least 100-150 grams of hay on a daily basis in order for them to remain healthy.
Even though it may look like a lot of hay, guinea pigs should consume 70–80 percent high-quality hay on a daily basis. This may seem like a lot of hay. It is strongly advised that only minimal quantities of pellets, vegetables, and fruits be provided to the animal.
If you find that your guinea pigs will not consume the same sort of hay on a regular basis, you may want to experiment with giving them access to a wider variety of hay.
Nearly all authorities agree that Timothy hay is the best food option for guinea pigs. If you want to keep costs down, you may provide them hay from a variety of suppliers, each of which specializes in a certain kind of grass. There is also the possibility that certain guinea pigs are selective eaters when it comes to the hay that they ingest.
To help you deal with the chewing tendency of your guinea pigs, you should provide them some toys to play with. This technique is just too uncomplicated and inexpensive to be useful in any way.
You may also build temporary toys for your guinea pigs at home and offer them to them as a reward. They will enjoy playing with them. If they are permitted to do so, your pets will have a greater desire to play, rather than chewing on objects that are kept in their cage, which will reduce the risk of injury.
Try out some Boredom Buster Ideas
Many guinea pigs have been seen to chew far more than they normally would due to boredom. Your guinea pigs will either devour vast numbers of pellets, vegetables, and fruits, which will lead to obesity, or they will nibble on anything that comes into touch with them. Hay is the most effective substance to use if you want to make sure that your guinea pigs chew continually throughout the day.
Giving your guinea pigs with a stimulating environment can not only stop any chewing problems they may be having, but it will also prevent future chewing problems. Within this setting, your guinea pigs will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of other pleasurable activities, which will be helpful to them.
It is extremely easy to create a stimulating habitat for your guinea pigs, and in some instances, you could even be able to accomplish it for no cost at all, thanks to the fact that you can make use of commonplace objects such as cardboard boxes and plastic storage containers (cereals, noddle, tables).
Place these boxes in an area or room where your guinea pigs will be able to forage through the newspaper or hay that has been crumpled and placed within the boxes, and then fill the boxes with pieces of crumpled newspaper or hay.
The happiness that may be had from playing with this DIY toy can be multiplied by two if one places snacks within the cardboard filler. Your guinea pigs will destroy the box in an attempt to get at the treats that are buried in the hay on the inside. Playing with empty paper rolls that have been packed with hay is another enjoyable and entertaining pastime that guinea pigs may take part in.
Ensure that there are lots of toys for your guinea pigs to play with inside their enclosure at all times. The following items are wonderful and viable replacements: garments made of soft cotton, plush toys, and cardboard boxes cut with one side cut off to enable for simple access for your guinea pigs while entering and exiting their home.
Be sure that the toys that the guinea pigs play with are not made of hay or paper, as these materials can provide the guinea pigs with a source of sustenance.
You should take care to prevent your guinea pigs from coming into touch with outdated towels or towels that have loose threads, since this may result in stomach problems for your pets.
Continue reading for more information on how to ensure the happiness of your guinea pigs:
Spaying or Neutering your Guinea Pig
There is a possibility that an imbalance in hormone levels is perhaps the root cause of excessive chewing. When guinea pigs reach the age of six months, they should be neutered or spayed, after consulting with a veterinarian beforehand, in order to prevent them from behaving in a hostile manner. This will keep them from reproducing.
In addition to this, ovarian cancer can manifest itself in female guinea pigs before or beyond the age of 5 even if they are not pregnant or nursing. You may help avoid this from occurring to your guinea pigs by having them spayed. This will also help your guinea pigs develop a more relaxed attitude.
Be patient and allow your pet some time if they are still exhibiting indications of chewing after you have recently had them spayed or neutered and if you have recently had your dogs spayed or neutered.
Within a few weeks of being neutered, virtually all guinea pigs will break the behavior of excessive chewing that they had developed prior to being spayed. Young guinea pigs have a lot of energy stored in their body, similar to the way that kittens and little puppies do. Because of this, young guinea pigs are more inclined to chew than an adult guinea pig would be.
Provide some floor time daily
When the weather improves to a point where it is bearable and the neighborhood is free of hazards that may harm guinea pigs, you should feel comfortable letting your guinea pigs run about outside while keeping a close eye on them to ensure that they do not get into any trouble.
Instead of keeping them confined in their cages, it is preferable to give them the opportunity to run and jump around outside, where they will receive the most benefit from having their minds continually energised and engaged.
Guinea pigs can become more self-reliant if they are let to dig, chew, and do anything else they like when they are outside. Chewing gum will take the place of actual chewing once they get back home from playing since they will need to eat and sleep shortly after their time out.
Safe play Area
It is essential to keep in mind that guinea pigs cannot withstand temperatures that are quite high for an extended period of time. If you are unsure what temperature is best for your guinea pigs, it is best to discuss the matter with your pet’s doctor.
According to the findings of many pieces of study, the average temperature of a guinea pig’s body falls somewhere in the region of 102 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
Nearly all guinea pigs can be harmed by mercury levels that are higher than 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and this can cause some of them to suffer from heatstroke. It has been shown that longer-haired breeds of guinea pigs are more likely to become overheated during the warmer months of the year.
If you do not have a room in your house that is adequately ventilated, cool, and shaded, it is not essential to keep your guinea pigs outside during the warm summer months. Invest in a thermometer so that you can monitor the temperature both within and outside the protected region at the same time.
To ensure that your guinea pigs are able to have fun and feel safe while they are doing so, provide them with adequate hiding areas and make sure they feel protected while they are playing. The act of hiding may be made more fun for guinea pigs by providing them with a safe haven. This can be accomplished with something as simple as a box with a cutout on one side or a cage with one door left open.
It is important to secure them so that they cannot dig beneath the fences that you have erected around your garden. Guinea pigs should not be allowed to escape their enclosure by digging, thus these fences should be installed such that they are six inches underground, starting from the top.
These barriers should also be used to keep predators like cats and dogs away from guinea pigs. Examples of such predators are dogs and cats. The absence of anxiety and the sense of security that they will experience as a result of this will be beneficial to guinea pigs.
You can choose to restrict your animals in their playpen as an option if your garden does not have any walls or barriers. Instead, you can take your animals and their playpen to a park in the neighborhood.
Keep a close check on your guinea pigs at all times, regardless of whether they are in your garden or in a pickable playpen in the park. Your guinea pigs may get into trouble in a matter of minutes no matter where they are placed, so you must always be vigilant.
Guinea Pig proof your room
There is not necessarily something terrible that will happen every time your guinea pigs gnaw on something. When obtaining a guinea pig, owners need to make sure that they have adequately prepared their houses for the new pet.
Follow the steps below:
- Put duct tape or cable covers over all of the wires that run electricity, or just do your best to keep your dogs from getting near the wires in the first place.
- On the legs of the table or other wooden objects, place a cardboard box to act as a protection.
- To prevent your guinea pigs from chewing on the carpet, just cover the affected areas with a towel or cardboard boxes.
- Let your guinea to explore freely but prevent it from reaching things it may gnaw on, like as wires, by using a tiny fence or playpen.
- Put things that can be chewed on about the house, such as old books, baskets, and so on.
- Give them some apples with a bitter taste so that they would quit munching on other things. But, not all guinea pigs will respond well to it.
- You can keep your guinea pigs occupied by providing more spots around furniture for them to gnaw on and dig in.
- Because guinea pigs adore chewing on wicker furniture, you should consider alternative types of furniture than wicker furniture if you are in the process of redecorating your home.