Guinea pigs themselves do not have an unpleasant odor.
Cage or stable, on the contrary, can downright stink. Even shortly after a complete cleaning, the stench of excrement often spreads again.
What you can do against the guinea pig or stable smell, you will learn in this article.
Proper size of the cage
Guinea pigs are social animals that should be kept at least in pairs.
For two animals you should plan at least two square meters of floor space, so that they can run if necessary.
Unfortunately, many of the commercially available models are significantly too small.
This does not only mean an attitude that is not species-appropriate. Urine and feces also accumulate more concentrated. Due to the body heat of the animals, the excrement begins to ferment, which in turn smells strongly and can even attract insects.
In addition, guinea pigs can become more susceptible to disease.
A large floor space can prevent this and is good for the animals. However, it alone is not enough to prevent foul odors.
Bring in toilets
Toilet corners are not used by all guinea pigs, but some do like them.
If you use removable bowls or small, low tubs for this purpose, they can be easily removed and cleaned daily. This saves litter and effort. In addition, of course, it prevents bad odors from developing.
Suitable are, for example, toilets for kittens or trays from office supplies. These are cheap, easy to clean and low. For larger stalls, normal cat toilets can also be used.
Choosing the right litter
One of the most crucial factors in creating odor is the absorbency of the bedding.
Spelt litter, hay and straw, for example, do not or hardly absorb urine. Instead, the liquid runs directly onto the floor and begins to smell. Depending on the size of the stable and the number of animals, a strong stench may have reappeared just one hour after cleaning.
Better are normal wood shavings.
These can also be found in flavored versions that smell like fresh lemon, for example. They are very absorbent and in addition extremely cheap.
Hay and straw are best placed in piles within piles. This way they will not be contaminated by excrement.
For the toilets of your guinea pigs and the floor of the cage you can also try absorbent pellets or cat litter made of wood. They act like a sponge and absorb urine.
Numerous owners of guinea pigs make the mistake of putting the litter in much too low. However, the less bedding there is, the faster odor builds up. In addition, the animals sit on a damp floor, which can lead to health problems.
Therefore, keep the litter at least five to ten centimeters high. This provides a much larger capacity, so that the liquid can be distributed better. This also means that you will have to clean the hutch or cage less often.
Tip: If you are afraid that your guinea pigs will scrape out the litter or that it will fly out of the cage when they run and play, you can attach Plexiglas panes from the outside.
Regular cleaning of the guinea pig cage
The nuts and bolts of preventing odor is, of course, to clean your guinea pigs’ quarters regularly and properly. Old and especially damp litter can mold, ferment and decompose. The stench then comes not only from the excrement, but also from the processes that occur during decomposition.
Depending on the size of the cage and the number of animals, the bedding should be changed once a week. If there are many guinea pigs and small cages, the measure may be necessary more often. On the other hand, for very large accommodations and few animals, the periods may be longer. You should clean frequently used toilet corners and the area under the sleeping house more often.
However, even when cleaning, mistakes can be made so that you do not eliminate all sources of odor.
Therefore, the following procedure is important:
Remove all litter.
Clean bowls, toilets and drinkers.
Wipe out the floor tray.
Clean sleeping houses, grids and toys if necessary.
Do not add fresh litter until everything is dry again. Thoroughly cleaning all components will eliminate odor to the maximum.
Use suitable cleaning agents
In order to destroy the excrement and bacteria responsible for the stench, the right cleaning agents are required.
At the same time, they must not be dangerous for your guinea pigs. Animal-friendly enzyme cleaners from the pet store are therefore suitable.
Spraying or briefly soaking with the cleaner can increase the life of the floor or floor pan and provide a fresh scent.
Choose the right material for the floor pan
Floor pans made of plastic are ideal.
These are easy to clean and do not take on odor as quickly as, say, a stall with a wooden floor. However, in the long run, they too will become scratched and may begin to smell. Regular replacement as needed is therefore unavoidable.
Remove fresh feed
Another possible source of odor is fresh food, which can quickly go bad or even start to mold, especially in the summer.
If this is “lost” in the litter, it can not only stink, but also pose a health risk to your animals.
Therefore, make sure to remove all leftovers quickly and thoroughly. What has wandered into the bowl in the morning, should be removed at the latest in the evening. If leftovers remain more often, you must reduce the amount and offer more frequent meals if necessary.
Sleeping houses, toys and stairs made of wood take on unpleasant odors comparatively quickly.
They stand or lie on the litter and therefore also absorb urine, for example.
If the above measures do not work for you and the cage still smells unpleasant even after cleaning, you should therefore check the furnishings and replace them if necessary.
You have tried everything and still you notice an unusual smell? Then visit a veterinarian. Because for unusual smelling urine can also be responsible for various health problems.
My name is Mark and the senior editor
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