Whether Peruvian, Teddy, or Rex, all guinea pigs make excellent pets. If you’re planning to get one or more soon, understand that these cavies are chewers.
They chew on toys, their cage (if it’s made of furniture), paper, and other items.
Regardless of this “bad” habit, are guinea pigs destructive?
Well, guinea pigs are not destructive. However, there’s a chance that they can chew on certain things majorly as a result of stress, and boredom.
Some health problems can also cause your cavies to eat things that are not food.
Once these factors are removed, your guinea pigs will become calm and friendly as always.
Perhaps your guinea pigs suddenly start chewing on stuff. And this might confuse you.
Now you’re probably thinking, why are my quiet pets acting strange? Why are my guinea pigs destructive? Luckily, you’re in the right place!
In this article, we will discuss the reasons your guinea pigs destroy certain things in their environment.
Also, we will provide effective solutions to this seemingly confusing problem.
Now, let’s move forward!
Why Are Guinea Pigs Destructive?
Several factors can make your guinea pigs destructive. Once you notice strange signs in them, it means something is not right.
Luckily, when you get rid of the major source of the destructive behavior, your guinea pigs will start behaving fine.
With that said, here are common reasons guinea pigs are destructive:
As a result of being bored, your guinea pigs can chew on anything they find. Normally, if you don’t provide enough toys for your tiny pets, their environment will become boring.
Then they’ll start chewing your furniture, remote control, and even wires.
Without taking enough care, your guinea pigs may end up hurting themselves. If they eat too much furniture or wires, it will result in indigestion.
Therefore, don’t leave anything to chance!
Guinea pigs are social animals; they love company. Whenever you keep only one of them in the cage, he’ll feel lonely.
Loneliness in your cavy causes stress which then leads to destructive behavior.
One of the ways your stressed guinea pig calls attention is to chew on everything around. In your best interest, add more cavies to the cage.
Most times, guinea pigs like to pick a “personal” space for themselves. That’s one of the ways they show territorial behaviors.
Therefore, they’ll chew on whatever may be blocking their way to the particular spot.
For example, if your cavy has a favorite spot in the sitting room, avoid blocking the passage to the place.
Not taking this step will make him destroy whatever is shutting off the way to the spot.
Around age 2 to 3 years, hormones may cause guinea pigs to show destructive behavior. So, it is advisable to make them neutered before this age to prevent aggression against one another.
Moreover, there’s a chance that they’ll start chewing on objects around them.
Once they are fully mature, your guinea pigs’ destructive behavior will reduce or stop totally.
Also known as phantom pregnancy, false pregnancy in guinea pigs can cause destructive behaviors. It is a condition whereby your female cavy is not pregnant but shows signs of pregnancy.
Apart from increased appetite, and mood swings, your guinea pig may begin to misbehave.
This period doesn’t last for more than 16 to 17 days, which means there’s nothing to worry about.
However, to prevent damage to your items, provide chewable toys for your female guinea pig.
How to Prevent Destructive Behavior in Guinea Pigs?
Under normal situations, guinea pigs are amazing and friendly animals. To prevent them from being destructive, you need to take some actions.
Remember the common saying “prevention is better than cure”.
Follow these simple tips to prevent destructive behavior in your guinea pigs:
Like we said earlier, boredom is one of the reasons guinea pigs show destructive signs. Try to prevent boredom in your cavies by buying toys for them to play with.
To be on the safe side, you can buy chewable toys. Also, consider making the toys at home with cardboard or newspapers.
Create a Spacious Environment
One of the ways to stimulate your cavies mentally is by allowing them to play around. Keeping them in a small cage will likely make playtime very difficult.
So, place them in a large space and allow them to have fun.
Of course, you’ll need to keep watch over your pets so that they don’t get hurt. After playtime, your small pets will likely need a good diet and lots of rest only.
Provide Lots of Healthy Diets
Regularly chewing on things helps your guinea pigs wear down teeth growth. So, your small pets need to keep eating anything chewable to prevent teeth and mouth problems.
Make sure you provide your cavies with enough hay, vegetables, fruits, and pellets. Having these diets in their cage will prevent them from feeding on unhealthy things.
Moreover, it will not allow their teeth to grow longer than normal thereby causing pain.
Hormonal imbalance in guinea pigs can cause them to chew on items like paper, rubber, carpets, and more.
Ensure that your guinea pigs are neutered at 6 months old as it prevents aggression. Seek your vet’s opinion before taking this major decision.
Often, recently spayed or neutered guinea pigs can destroy items in their environment. But a few weeks after the procedure, you’ll see positive changes.
Understand that younger guinea pigs tend to chew on household materials than older ones.
Do Guinea Pigs Chew on Furniture?
Yes, guinea pigs chew on furniture especially when feeling stressed. Also, your cavy may chew on furniture to call attention or wear down teeth growth.
Regardless of the reason for chewing furniture, it is not right!
Try putting cardboard or a wooden hutch in front of the furniture. And if it doesn’t work, change the location of the guinea pig quickly.
How to Guinea Pig Proof Your Room
It is important to protect your guinea pigs from harm if they stay indoors. Proofing your room will allow you to be at rest whenever the pets are playing around.
It is better to be safe than sorry!
Below are 7 simple ways to guinea pig proof your room:
- Keep all cleaning products (detergents, soap, shampoo, and more) in a safe place like a cupboard.
- Always cover your garbage can with a lid or keep it out of reach.
- Hide all wires in the house to prevent exposing your guinea pigs to electric shock.
- Remove everything your cavies can chew on like paper, shoelaces, money, and other items from the floor to a shelf.
- Get rid of sharp objects like nails, pins, broken glasses on the floor to prevent your small pets from getting hurt.
- Store harmful diets like nuts, or raisins in a plastic or glass container with a lid so that your guinea pigs won’t chew on them.
- Check out for all holes, whether small or large, that your guinea pigs can hide in and block.
We have now come to the last part of this article. But before you leave, do not forget the major things we’ve discussed.
First, guinea pigs are calm and friendly pets that may be destructive sometimes.
Causes of destructive behavior in guinea pigs are stress, boredom, hormones, territorial behavior, and other factors.
Secondly, we said providing toys, healthy diets and neutering can prevent destructive behaviors.
Finally, we listed the 7 ways to guinea pig-proof your home for their safety.
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