Confused as to why your guinea pig is biting you? Is it just being aggressive, or if something is genuinely wrong with it?
There’s no need for concern regarding a guinea pig bite, as it’s a relatively common occurrence.
Numerous factors contribute to why a guinea pig might bite, with a primary explanation being an identity crisis or the presence of a scent resembling their food.
However, it is important to stop them from biting and create a more affectionate bond. But how to stop your guinea pig from biting?
Keeping your hands clean as you go near them or hold them and finding out the root of the problem can help you resolve this mystery. In this blog, we will share all the tips that will help you tame your furry little friend and keep them from biting you or others in your household.
13 Ways to Get Your Guinea Pig to Stop Biting You
Following are the 13 surefire ways that could keep your guinea pig from biting you. Let’s dive in.
1. Clean Hands
Guinea pigs are sensitive to touch and smell.
If you’re wondering, “why does my guinea pig nibble me?” then here’s the answer.
Guinea pigs associate different scents with danger, and there is a high chance that your guinea pig is biting you because of a particular smell from your hands.
Always wash your hands after eating or carrying food if you want to pick up your guinea pig, as it may mistake your hand for food.
The idea is to get rid of any scent from your hands before you go near your guinea pig.
2. Loud Noise
Extremely loud noises, such as those of a vacuum cleaner or an ambulance, tend to frighten guinea pigs. Their instincts tell them that something terrible is about to happen, and if a person tries to get close, then they react to the situation by biting that person out of fear.
A guinea pig may flinch or produce a high-pitch whistle when in fear. So, do not pick up a guinea pig if it is afraid because it will definitely bite you.
Take your guinea pig to a separate room if you are about to vacuum your house or use a machine that makes a loud noise.
3. Get Rid of Mites From Your Guinea Pig
You need to make sure that lice or mites do not infest your guinea pig’s fur. Since a guinea pig is sensitive, a mite bite means difficulty in getting up or playing around.
When attempting to lift or carry a guinea pig, if it experiences discomfort, it may resort to biting as a response. If you see your pet guinea pig scratching and biting its fur always, then there is a high chance of mite infestation.
Check for any red bumps or bald patches on its skin and consult a vet to take necessary measures to avoid mite infestation in your guinea pig.
Bathe your guinea pig regularly and change its bedding after a few days. Make sure that the cage where you are putting it is clean and free of dust to get rid of mites.
4. Handle Your Guinea Pig With Care
Do guinea pigs bite hard? They sure do.
A guinea pig feels somewhat insecure, and a sense of fear engulfs it if it is not being handled properly.
It is recommended to use a towel or any other cloth to pick up your guinea pig.
Subjecting your guinea pig to swinging or passing it to unfamiliar hands instills fear, ultimately leading to its biting due to the evident distress caused.
Refrain from moving your guinea pig here and there, and from entrusting it to children. Remember that ensuring your guinea pig’s sense of security is essential. Be extra gentle and calm while picking up your guinea pig.
5. Buying Another Guinea Pig
If you have two or more guinea pigs, you may be worried about guinea pigs biting each other. Every guinea pig has a different personality, but the one thing that is common among them is they are naturally inclined towards living in herds.
It is possible that your guinea pig is biting you because it feels lonely.
And while you can’t be with your guinea pig at all times, you can always get another guinea pig to provide some company.
Although interacting with it daily will make it feel less lonely, adopting or buying another pet is a better option.
6. Letting Your Guinea Pig Run Around the House
Creatures are naturally inclined to explore open spaces, and confining them to a cage can result in boredom, irritability, and heightened aggression. Guinea pigs are no different.
Your guinea pig may be biting you because it feels bored and unproductive in its cage. Allow your little furry friend to run around your house so that it can make peace with home and its surroundings.
In fact, if you have a new guinea pig, I’d recommend you to let it out and play because it will definitely establish trust between you two.
Moreover, this will make your guinea pig more comfortable and cozy with not only your house but also with you.
While there is no denying that it’s unsafe to keep guinea pigs outside their cage for long, allowing your furry pet to roam around under your supervision can create a positive change. Buy a high-quality cage and make sure your guinea pig is inside it whenever you’re not there.
7. Check For Bruises
If your guinea pig continues to bite despite ensuring its comfort, it’s important to investigate the possibility of injury.
It’s not uncommon for guinea pigs to accidentally injure themselves during playtime.
Examine the cage for any defects or hazards, and inspect your backyard for potential thorns or dangers.
There’s a significant likelihood that your guinea pig might be in pain from an injury, causing it to react with bites when you attempt to handle it.
Carefully check its body for any signs of bruising, and if any are found, seek advice from a veterinarian.
Furthermore, verify that the cage door is adequately sized to prevent any issues.
8. Large Cages for Guinea Pigs
As I have already mentioned before, one of the reasons your guinea pig is biting you is because it is suffering from anxiety and is uncomfortable.
One step you can take to make your guinea pig feel better is changing their cage and replacing it with a larger one.
Like humans, guinea pigs can get bored of their surroundings too. All you need to do is spend some money and ensure your pet’s happiness. This way, you can also alter their behavior and keep them from biting you.
Monitor your guinea pig’s behavior after making this change and see if it works.
9. Too Many People Can Trigger Biting
A guinea pig might not be the most inherently sociable pet. When exposed to numerous individuals, it tends to become fearful and seeks refuge.
Therefore, it’s essential to avoid the error of introducing your guinea pig to a multitude of unfamiliar faces, as this can result in significant discomfort for the pet.
If you’ve already committed this mistake, you now understand the reason behind your pet’s biting behavior. Always prioritize the well-being and ease of your guinea pig.
10. Let Your Guinea Pig Pee
Picture this in your head. You were cuddling with your guinea pig, and all of a sudden, she bites you, and you have no idea why. You put it back in the cage, and it went straight to pee.
This is precisely why your guinea pig bit you because it needed to pee.
So, cut the long cuddle sessions short. Let your guinea pig breathe alone if you don’t want to get bitten in the future.
11. Avoid Perfumes
Don’t use body sprays or perfumes or light any scented candle where your guinea pig is present, as it can trigger it.
It may be aesthetically pleasing for you, but it can cause a reaction from your guinea pig.
12. Make It Feel Safe
A pet guinea pig is like a baby. It responds to negative energy and rough treatment by resorting to biting, which serves as a defense mechanism to ensure its safety.
If you talk loudly or harshly in front of your guinea pig, it’s more likely to bite you.
Why? Because it is afraid of you.
So the next time you need to vent out, or you need to express your anger, make sure that your pet guinea pig is nowhere near you if you.
Once your guinea pig starts being fearful of you, it will not be easy to establish a loving relationship. Self-analysis is crucial.
13. Open Spaces for Guinea Pigs
You may not know this, but a guinea pig is naturally shy and more anxious as compared to other animals.
It takes time for this furry little animal to adjust to the environment. This means that your guinea pig may be biting you because it is not comfortable in its surroundings.
And you can prevent this anxiety and discomfort by letting your guinea pig out for a few hours, so it can familiarize itself.
But what happens when a guinea pig bites you? Do you need to worry about it?
Read below to find out more.
Are Guinea Pig Bites Dangerous?
Let’s say a guinea pig bite drew blood. Is that dangerous for you?
Most animal bites are dangerous and, if not tended to immediately, can cause severe problems.
Diseases such as rabies and other infections are known to be caused by animal bites.
But these diseases are mainly caused by wild animal bites or large domestic pets.
Small pets like guinea pig bites do not harm anyone as their bites do little damage to your skin.
According to Wikipedia, small rodents like guinea pigs do not spread rabies.
So, I think it is safe to say that guinea pig bites are not dangerous. These small indoor pets carry no risk for rabies.
In fact, you don’t even need to see a physician for a guinea pig bite because even if a guinea pig bite broke the skin, the most it can do is leave you with a small bleeding wound.
Having said that, it is better to be safe than sorry.
Here is what you can do after getting bitten by your guinea pig, and your wound is bleeding.
Steps to be followed after a guinea pig bite:
- Try to stop bleeding by putting pressure continuously.
- Clean up the wound by washing it
- Use an ointment in order to prevent any bacterial infection
When to Consult a Physician After a Guinea Pig Bite?
You should consult a physician only if:
- The bleeding doesn’t stop
- Red spots appear on infected areas
- Wound getting swollen
- You get fever
Keep this in mind that all of this mess can easily be avoided if you handle your guinea pig with kindness and be gentle with it.
Don’t give it a reason to bite you in the first place.
Guinea Pig Nibbles
A lot of people ask, “why does my guinea pig nibble me?”
A guinea pig nibbling or licking your hand can be considered a sign of affection, which can make anyone go “aww.”
But things aren’t always what they seem.
Sure, your guinea pig may love you in its own way by nibbling you, but that’s not always the case.
A guinea pig nibbles are hard to interpret.
Nibbles usually mean the following:
- It is hungry
- It is licking the salt on your hand
- It is scared
- It is uncomfortable
- Your hand smells like food
- It is exploring
- It loves you
A guinea pig purrs with contentment when it is happy and hisses when it is angry. These sounds can help you identify when your guinea pig needs space when nibbling you.
A key to recognize your guinea pig’s body language is to establish a healthy relationship with it.
Try to spend more time with it, and you will understand what it wants when it is nibbling or licking you.
Guinea Pigs Biting Each Other
Owning a pair of guinea pigs might make you accustomed to seeing them fight. Yet, it’s crucial to recognize that these fights could take a harsh turn and cause harm.
You must take some precautions to stop these fights.
- Put both of them in separate cages
- Give toys to engage them
- Bathe them together so they can bond again. However, you’ll only need to bathe them once a month.
It doesn’t matter if you have guinea pigs of the same sex or not; if they want to fight they will.
The least you can do is not get in the way as their fights can get pretty rough and bloody. You may end up hurting yourself.
But once two guinea pigs start fighting, it is tough to make them get along quickly. It can take months or even years to bond again, so remember not to force them. Separating their cages is the best way to go about it.
Do Guinea Pigs Cuddle?
It’s only natural that you would want to cuddle with your guinea pig because they are so fluffy and soft.
They are cute little cuddle babies whom you can’t enough of. But a newly adopted guinea pig will be shy and protective of itself.
It will hiss and try to bite you if you come near it.
What you can do to make it cuddle:
- Spend time with it and take care of it
- Be super interactive with it
- Once it warms up to you, place it on your lap and shoulders
- Increase their lap hours slowly but steadily
Guinea pigs are very cuddly once they get comfortable.
There is a significant difference between having a guinea pig when it was a baby and having one who is an adult.
The adult guinea pig will take more time than usual to connect with you.
When do Guinea Pigs Sleep?
Guinea pigs sleep in short bursts throughout the day and night, totaling about 4 to 6 hours. They’re most active during the day but may rest more during dawn and dusk.
Here are some facts related to guinea pig sleeping patterns.
- Napping Patterns: Guinea pigs are not heavy sleepers. They take short naps rather than having a long, continuous sleep like humans.
- Daytime Activity: They are diurnal animals, which means they are most active during daylight hours. They might take more significant naps during the night.
- Vigilant Sleep: Even when guinea pigs are resting, they tend to stay somewhat alert. This is due to their natural instincts to be cautious of predators.
- Catnaps: Their sleep cycles are short, ranging from a few minutes to around 20 minutes. This allows them to rest without being fully unconscious.
- Light Sleepers: Guinea pigs are easily awakened by noise, movement, or changes in their environment. This is again linked to their survival instincts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I train my guinea pig not to bite?
Yes, training can help. Use positive reinforcement when interacting with your guinea pig. Offer treats for good behavior and avoid scolding or punishing, as it might increase fear and stress.
What should I do if my guinea pig bites me?
If bitten, avoid jerking away abruptly, as this can worsen the situation. Instead, stay calm and gently remove your hand. Clean the wound promptly and monitor it for any signs of infection.
Can neutering or spaying affect biting behavior?
Neutering or spaying can sometimes reduce aggressive behavior, but it might not directly address biting. Positive handling and training remain important.