Recognizing behavioral problems in guinea pigs

As a rule, behavioral disorders in guinea pigs can be traced back to mistakes in keeping them. Healthy, happy mermaids are alert, run around curiously in their enclosure and talk to their fellows while squeaking softly. If the little animals seem remarkably fearful and shy, you should get to the bottom of this behavior.

This guinea pig appears curious, alert, and alert — all-around healthy behavior — Shutterstock / Dev_Maryna

This guinea pig appears curious, alert, and alert — all-around healthy behavior — Shutterstock / Dev_Maryna

If the unusual behavior occurs suddenly or only recently, a visit to the vet is recommended to be on the safe side – your guinea pig may be ill. This is especially true for Meeris, who appear apathetic and listless. Otherwise it is very likely that the keeping conditions are not optimal.

What are behavioral problems in guinea pigs?

Guinea pigs that are stressed or scared will often become very still. They fall into what is known as a state of rigid fear. This happens, for example, when a Meeri is stroked or picked up. It is also a sign of fear when adult pigs snuggle up against each other. While relaxed guinea pigs will lie close together so they can see and smell each other, physical contact is less common.

Sometimes stressed Meeris can be recognized by the fact that they knock over the furnishings in the enclosure with their heads. Other behavioral disorders can include nibbling on the cage bars and enclosure edge and eating fur. The animals gnaw the fur of their conspecifics. Aggression is rare among the peaceful rodents and usually only occurs in the context of fights for hierarchy and other quarrels with their animal roommates.

A guinea pig hates being alone – Shutterstock / photos2013

10.05.2016 – 18:01

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Common Causes

If your guinea pig is physically healthy, the behavioral problems can be traced back to improper keeping. Common mistakes when keeping guinea pigs are too small an enclosure, too few employment opportunities and too few shelters. You need at least 0.5 square meters of exercise space per pig. The cages from the pet shop are often too small. Remember that in addition to the exercise area, you also need space for the shelters, shelters, food and water bowls and toys.

Without toys and other furnishings suitable for guinea pigs, Meeris quickly becomes bored, which can lead to gnawing on the bars, for example. Boredom is even worse in animals kept alone. Guinea pigs must always be kept in pairs, preferably in larger groups. It is also important for the well-being of flight animals that they always have the opportunity to run away and hide when they feel like it.

If the enclosure is set up appropriately, but your piglets are still behaving strangely, it may be due to the composition of the group. The animals may not get along with each other. In our guide “Guinea pigs fight: what to do?” you will find a few tips on how you can help your fur noses in this case.

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