As most people can attest, feeling stressed is no fun whatsoever. However, if you are a pet guinea pig, stress can be even worse because you are essentially helpless. Guinea pig owners should learn the signs of guinea pig stress so that they can help their guinea pigs to feel comfortable and healthy again.
The first sign of stress is the wrong size guinea pig cage. One guinea pig: should have a 30″ x 36″ for it to live comfortably. Two guinea pigs should have around 7.5 square feet (minimum), but 10.5 square feet is best. Overall 30″ x 50″ is a good size for the average guinea pig
Oddly enough, many signs of a stressed guinea pig are similar to that of a stressed person. Most notably, you may find that your guinea pig is sleeping much more than usual. If your guinea pig takes excessively long naps, or seems indifferent to your attempts at interaction, it is very likely that he is not feeling up to par. He may be experiencing physical stress, mental stress, or both.
Even if he is not sleeping, your guinea pig may spend more time than usual in his nest box. This is another way that stressed guinea pigs let their owners know that something is wrong. The poor animals stay in their nest boxes, avoiding other contact or interaction.
Your guinea pig might not be sleeping more than usual, but he still might show other signs of stress. For example, he may be particularly irritable. If your guinea pig becomes a nipper, or just downright grumpy, stress may be to blame. Additionally, your guinea pig may be very nervous and on edge. General discomfort or unease is another sign of stress in a guinea pig.
You might notice more physical signs of stress, like a lack of appetite. Your guinea pig might even lose some of his hair. It is important to talk to a veterinarian when you notice any of these signs, especially if they persist after a couple of days.
Most likely, it is something in your guinea pig’s environment that is causing him to feel unwell. Try to keep your guinea pig in a calm and quiet area of your home, away from other pets and loud people.
Be sure that you are feeding him a high quality diet. You may even want to consider providing him with a companion guinea pig. Your veterinarian can help you decide which plan of action is best for your specific stressed guinea pig.