Identify behavioral disorders in guinea pigs

As a rule, behavioral disorders in guinea pigs can be traced back to mistakes in posture. Healthy, happy Meeris are woken up, curiously run around in their enclosure and talk to their peers quietly squeaking. If the animals look remarkably fearful and shy, you should get to the bottom of this behavior. This guinea pig looks curious, lively and attentive - all round healthy behavior - Shutterstock / Dev_Maryna

If the abnormal behavior occurs suddenly or only recently, a visit to the veterinarian is recommended for safety - your guinea pig may be sick. This is especially true for Meeris, which appear apathetic and lacking in drive. Otherwise it is very likely that the housing conditions are not optimal.

How do behavioral disorders in guinea pigs express themselves?

Guinea pigs that are stressed or afraid often become very quiet. You fall into a so-called fearlessness. This happens, for example, when a Meeri is petted or lifted up. Even when adult pigs nestle close together, it is a sign of fear. Relaxed guinea pigs are close to each other so that they can see and smell, but physical contact is rather unusual.

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

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Common causes

If your guinea pig is physically healthy, the behavioral disorders can be traced back to improper posture. Common mistakes in guinea pig farming are too small an enclosure, too few employment opportunities and too little shelter. You need at least 0.5 square meters of exercise space per piggy. The cages from the pet shop are often too small. Keep in mind that you need space for the shelters, shelters, food and drinking bowls and toys in addition to the run-out area.

Without toys and other furnishings suitable for guinea pigs, Meeris quickly gets bored, which can lead to nibbling nibbles, for example. Boredom is even worse with animals kept alone. Guinea pigs must always be kept at least in pairs, better still in larger groups. It is also important for the well-being of the refugees that they always have the opportunity to run away and hide when they feel like it.

If the arrangement of the enclosure is appropriate to the species, but your pigs still behave strangely, it may be due to the group composition. The animals may not get along with each other. In our guide "Guinea pigs argue: what to do?" you will find a few tips on how you can help your fur noses in this case.