Confused as to why your guinea pig is biting you? Is it just being aggressive or if something is genuinely wrong with it?
No need to worry about a guinea pig bite as it is quite common.
There are several reasons as to why a guinea pig would bite you, the primary reason being identity crisis or you smelling like their food.
But how to stop your guinea pig from biting?
Wash your hands religiously and try to understand the nature of the problem.
There are several factors which cause your guinea pig to bite you, and if you don’t make an effort in understanding these factors, then there’s nothing that can be done.
13 Ways to Get Your Guinea Pig to Stop Biting You
So, here are 13 ways to get your Guinea Pig to stop biting you.
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 thus there is a high chance that your guinea pig is biting you because of a particular smell from your hands.
Do not forget to 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.
In short, wash your hands to get rid of any scent before picking up your guinea pig if you want it to stop biting you.
2. Loud Noise can cause your guinea pig to bite you
Extremely loud noises such as those of a vacuum cleaner or an ambulance tend to frighten a guinea pig.
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 which has 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.
It feels pain when you try to pick it up or carry it around, and that is why it ends up biting you.
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.
Swinging it around and giving it to other people creates nothing but fear in your guinea pig, and hence, the obvious discomfort is what makes it bite you.
Avoid carrying your guinea pig from place to place, and don’t give it to kids, keep in mind that your guinea pig needs to feel safe.
Remember to be extra gentle and calm while picking up your guinea pig.
5. Buying Another Guinea Pig
Do you have two guinea pigs? Then you should certainly 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.
It is understandable if you can’t be with your pet guinea pig 24/7, but there are other ways which can make it feel less lonely.
You can get another guinea pig to keep your current guinea pig some company.
Although interacting with it daily will make it feel less lonely, adopting or buying another pet is a better option.
If you’re buying a new pet, here’s my take on guinea pig vs. hamsters
6. Letting Your Guinea Pig Run Around the House
Animals are born to roam wide open and putting them in a cage makes them bored, irritated, and aggressive.
Guinea pigs are no different.
Your guinea pig may be biting you because it feels unproductive in its cage.
Let it run around your house so that it can make peace with the home and its surroundings.
In fact, if you have a new guinea pig, I’d recommend you to let it out and play as 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.
However, there’s no denying the fact that it’s unsafe to keep guinea pigs outside their cage for long. Buy a high-quality cage and make sure your guinea pig is inside it whenever you’re not there.
Need a cage? Here are my favorites.
7. Check For Bruises
If your guinea pig is biting you even after ensuring its comfort, you need to check if it’s hurt.
It is not rare for a guinea pig to hurt itself while playing.
You need to look out for any defects in the cage or any thorns in your backyard.
There is a high chance that your guinea pig has hurt itself, and when you try to pick it, it winces in pain and bites you.
Check for any bruises on its body and if you find any, tend to it by consulting a vet.
Moreover, make sure that the cage door is not very small.
8. Large Cages for Guinea Pigs
As I have already mentioned this before, one of the reasons why your guinea pig is biting you is related to it suffering from anxiety and being uncomfortable.
One of the steps you can take to make your guinea pig feel comfortable is putting it in a large cage rather than a small one.
Humans can get bored with their surroundings then so can animals, and if spending some extra money ensures your pet’s happiness, then why not.
The only difference is that your guinea pig shows the frustration of being uncomfortable in its small cage by biting you.
Monitor your guinea pig’s behavior after making this change and see if it works.
9. Too Many People Can Trigger Biting in Guinea Pigs
A guinea is not exactly the most friendly pet out there.
If it sees plenty of people, then it gets scared and looks for a hideout.
So, don’t make the mistake of taking your guinea pig out to meet a lot of new faces as that will make it highly uncomfortable.
If you have already done that then congratulation, you now know why your pet has been biting you.
Always remember that the comfort of your guinea pig comes first.
10. Let Your Guinea Pig Pee
Picture this in your head. You were cuddling with your guinea pig, and all of a sudden it bit you and you have no idea why.
You put it back in the cage, and it went straight to urinating.
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, perfumes, or 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 which leads to biting you.
12. Make It Feel Safe
A pet guinea pig is like a baby.
It will react to negative vibes and harsh behavior by biting people as it is a defense mechanism for keeping one’s self safe.
If you talk loudly or harshly in front of your guinea pig, then 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 don’t want to get bitten in the future.
Once your guinea pig starts being fearful of you, it will not be easy to establish a loving relationship with it. Self-analysis is crucial.
13. Open Spaces for Guinea Pigs
You may not know this, but a guinea pig is naturally shy and thus more anxious as compared to other animals.
It takes time for a guinea pig 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 discomfort and anxious behavior 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.
Guinea pigs are small indoor pets that 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.
However, 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 won’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 makes you 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
If you own a pair of guinea pigs, then watching them fight with each other is no big deal.
However, fights can turn nasty, and they might end up hurting each other.
You might want to take some precautions in order to stop these fights.
- Put both of them in separate cages
- Give both of them toys so they can get their anger out on it
- Bathe them together so they can bond again. However, you’ll only need to bathe them once a month or so.
It doesn’t matter if you have guinea pigs of the same sex or not if they want to fight they will.
The least that you can do is not get in the way as their fights can get pretty rough and bloody.
You will 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.
Accept the fact that they don’t like each other and separate their cages.
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?
Interestingly, guinea pigs have a unique sleeping schedule.
Unlike humans, a guinea pig has irregular sleep activity.
Here are some facts related to guinea pig sleeping patterns.
- They sleep for longer periods than other animals as they use up their entire energy.
- They take more than 30 naps a day which ranges from 6 to 20 minutes.
- A guinea pig can sleep with its eyes open
- They have no fixed time to sleep.
With time, your guinea pig may adopt a sleeping pattern similar to yours and start sleeping at night.
Can my Guinea Pig make me sick?
No, your guinea pig will not make you sick unless it is itself sick.
Keep in mind that a guinea pig may be sick and exhibit no signs of it at all.
It is essential to get monthly checkups for your guinea pig to keep yourself and it safe.
Are Guinea Pigs aggressive?
Majority of guinea pigs are docile.
It is rare to come across a guinea pig that is aggressive.
Although a guinea pig may show signs of aggression when it is scared or feeling anxious, it does not mean it is aggressive.