How to Keep Your Guinea Pig Cage from being smelly!
No matter how much we love our pets, most guinea pig owners will admit that sometimes they do have a bit of a smell. Nobody wants to have a smelly guinea pig cage, so today we’ll be walking through seven easy tips to get rid of guinea pig urine smell in your guinea pigs’ cage, fleece, and pet space in general.
Especially if you keep your guinea pigs in a main part of your house or a bedroom where you spend a lot of time, you want to keep any smells from your guinea pigs as reduced as possible.
These tips will help you keep their space clean and fresh smelling – let’s get into it!
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- Why Does My Guinea Pig Cage Smell?
- Why Reducing Urine Smell is Important
- 7 Tips to Get Rid of Guinea Pig Urine Smell
- Final Thoughts on Getting Rid of Guinea Pig Cage Smell
Why Does My Guinea Pig Cage Smell?
Guinea pigs are generally clean animals. Most of them keep their fur tidy through regular grooming (though long-haired piggies may need some human help!). Guinea pigs themselves don’t have a smell unless they have been living in an unclean environment for a while.
It’s good to keep in mind that some guinea pigs are going to smell more than others. Female guinea pigs especially tend to spray pee when they get into dominance issues, so sometimes guinea pig pee may end up all over another pig.
Most of the time, the smell in a guinea pig cage is going to come from the piggy’s urine. One of the main reasons is the high concentration of ammonia in their urine. Ammonia is strong-smelling and can create an unpleasant and overpowering odor.
Luckily, it’s really only the guinea pig’s urine we have to worry about. If a guinea pig has healthy poop, they are going to be pretty dry and not have much scent at all. If your guinea pigs do have very wet or strong smelling poops, it’s a good idea to take a look at whether they are eating a healthy diet. A poor diet can lead to digestive issues that result in poops with a foul smell.
Regardless of what type of cage or bedding you have for your guinea pigs, they are going to be peeing somewhere in their cage. How – and how often – you take care of the wet spots is going to determine how smelly your guinea pig cage will be.
Why Reducing Urine Smell is Important
By reducing guinea pig urine odor, you not only provide a healthier environment for your pet but also create a more pleasant and inviting space for yourself and others.
A home with a bad smell can be embarrassing when guests visit. You aren’t even going to want to hang with your guinea pigs if their area always has an overpowering smell!
Taking guinea pig urine odor is not just about creating a pleasant living environment; it is also vital for your pet’s health and well-being. The strong smell of ammonia in their urine can be harmful, especially when inhaled in high concentrations, and can easily cause respiratory infections in your pet.
Living in an environment with a strong odor can cause stress and health problems for your pet, affecting their happiness and quality of life.
So, let’s get into the tips!
7 Tips to Get Rid of Guinea Pig Urine Smell
Here are my top 7 tips on getting rid of guinea pig smells.
1. Spot clean daily.
This is the #1 way I keep my cages tidy and smell-free!
Spot cleaning involves picking up poops, taking out wet or old hay, and removing any wet bedding from the cage. If there isn’t anything smelly in the cage there won’t be any smell!
If you use fleece bedding with your guinea pigs, spot cleaning needs to be done every day to ensure your piggies’ cage stays clean and dry. Since your guinea pig’s pee is being absorbed into the bedding, you don’t want a lot of wet pads sitting in the cage as this will definitely build up the pee smell!
If you don’t want to be doing everyday cleaning with your pets, make sure you are choosing the right bedding for your lifestyle. Check out this article to learn more about how to use fleece bedding for guinea pigs.
Even if you use paper bedding or shavings in your cage, spot cleaning every day or two will help keep your cage fresh. Since guinea pig urine is really where the smell is coming from, the more often you remove the wet spots the better.
2. Use a Vinegar and Water Cleaning Solution.
If you’ve never heard of it being used before, white vinegar makes a fantastic cleaning product! I use a 50/50 water and vinegar solution as my main cage cleaner for my pets.
It’s totally safe to use around your guinea pigs. It does a great job getting urine stains and smells out the bottom of the cage, litter box, and plastic hidey houses. You can use it on just about anything that you want to get smells out of!
Vinegar does have its own (strong) smell, but it goes away very quickly and won’t bother most guinea pigs. You can always wipe things down with plain water after if the smell bothers you.
3. Have a large cage.
Housing your guinea pigs in the appropriate size cage will help reduce foul odor as well.
Basically, having a larger cage keeps poop and urine spots from being in a more concentrated area and means less of the bedding is going to be wet.
Think about it – if your guinea pig only had 4 square feet of space that you cleaned once a week, that would result in most of the cage floor being covered in pee-soaked bedding. This will make the entire cage smell and will probably result in a smelly guinea pig since they will only have wet spots to lay in.
If you had an 8-square-foot cage, there would be a lot more clean bedding throughout the cage at the end of the week. This will mean a less concentrated smell and a healthier environment for your guinea pigs.
4. Use an air purifier near your pets.
Air purifiers are meant to remove smells and dust from the air, which makes them great for use in pet spaces. Having one in the same room as your pets can make a huge difference in the freshness of the air in the space.
I have always had an air purifier in my pet room to remove any smell – and also to keep my allergies in check! Since air purifiers remove particles from the air, an added bonus is they will keep hay dust, fur, and any other allergens from floating around all the time.
You can get air purifiers relatively inexpensively – this is a great option for a small room or if you’re on a budget. I actually use this larger industrial one; it’s more expensive but it does a great job for my large pet room!
5. Use Vinegar in the wash with fleece bedding.
Sometimes cage smell can come from lingering urine smells in fleece liners.
Luckily, there’s a pretty easy way to eliminate this! When you are doing your fleece bedding laundry, add a cup of white vinegar to the load along with your free and clear laundry detergent into the washing machine. As I mentioned before, vinegar works great for cleaning and getting urine smells out of just about anything!
I have found the noticeable smell will come from my fleece when I get it out of the dryer. If you notice that your dryer is sort of “locking in” urine smell, definitely try the vinegar method next time you wash.
Bonus tip – you can also try hang-drying fleece instead of using the dryer if the heat is making the smell worse!
6. Clean the cage often enough.
The best way to make sure your cage doesn’t smell is to clean the cage often enough. Some guinea pigs are messier than others and may need full cage cleaning more often than others. You almost want to be putting down fresh bedding before your cage needs it.
Most owners tend to do full cage cleans once a week. But if you are constantly finding that your cage is extremely smelly by day four, you might want to bump up your schedule to clean the cage twice a week instead. Not only will this cut down on the smell, but it will keep your piggies happier and healthier as well.
Every few months I also do a deep cleaning of my cages where I wipe everything down with hot water and vinegar so I have an extra clean cage. I found it’s one of the best ways to make sure my cage has no lingering bad odor.
7. Bathe your guinea pigs as needed.
Guinea pigs do not need regular baths and shouldn’t be given them for no reason. But sometimes piggies can get a bit smelly or dirty and a bath is needed.
Especially with long-haired guinea pigs, baths often end up being a required part of grooming. I give my long-haired pigs baths of just their bum and hind leg areas every few months when they start to look a bit dirty and sticky.
If you’re tried all the other tips on this list and still find your guinea pig or their cage has an unpleasant smell, a bath might be the thing to try!
Final Thoughts on Getting Rid of Guinea Pig Cage Smell
Test out these tips to keep your guinea pig cage clean and avoid any unpleasant smells. A hygienic cage environment will keep your guinea pigs from getting health issues and make you want to spend more time with them!
Let me know if you have any other tips down below in the comments!
Want to learn more about guinea pig housing?
- How to Use Fleece Bedding for Guinea PIgs
- Guide to Washing Guinea pig Fleece Bedding
- How to Build a DIY Guinea Pig Cage
- How to Bathe a Guinea Pig (the Right Way)