As far as pets go, guinea pigs make great companions. They are incredibly social creatures that love spending time with their owners. As a loving pet owner, it’s perfectly normal to want to make sure that your pet is doing well at all times. Guinea pigs can be pretty vocal, so it’s easy to tell when they are happy or hungry.
However, how do you know when they are sad? If you’ve got a hunch that one of your guinea pigs may be down in the dumps, keep reading.
Five Signs That Your Guinea Pig Is Sad
While many pets are known for being lethargic and lazy, most guinea pigs tend to be active creatures. They can often be seen running around in their cage and showing excitement when you are around and are feeding or playing with them. However, if your guinea pig seems to be sleeping more often than usual or is just sitting around, chances are they are feeling depressed.
2. Going Into Hiding
Another sign that your pet guinea pig may not be feeling quite themselves is if they are constantly hiding from you. Typically, when a guinea pig gets scared, they go into hiding. However, being depressed can also make them do this. If your guinea pig is quite familiar with its surroundings and is not usually holed up, they may be feeling down in the dumps.
3. Lack of Communication
As mentioned previously, guinea pigs are pretty vocal creatures, especially when they are expressing an emotion. But if your guinea pig has been more quiet than usual, your gut feeling that they are sad may be right.
Guinea pigs are not typically known to be aggressive. But when they are sad, they may act out in this way to their owners and any other guinea pigs living in the cage with them. If you notice that your guinea pig is tossing their head, chattering their teeth, or excessively chewing on their cage, bowls, or toys, there may be something going on with them emotionally.
5. Excessive Grooming
Although it is quite normal for guinea pigs to groom themselves every once in a while, there does come a point where they might be doing it excessively. When they are either bored or depressed, guinea pigs will spend their time over-grooming themselves or other guinea pigs in the cage.
You can tell that a guinea pig has been over-grooming if you find any bald spots or patches of missing fur on them. You may also be able to find little bits of fur all over their cage.
What Causes a Guinea Pig to Be Sad?
If you have determined that your guinea pig is indeed sad, your next step might be to try and figure out what caused this change in their mood. There could be a variety of reasons why your guinea pig is sad, and many of them are reasons that would make just about anyone depressed.
If a guinea pig has bonded with another guinea pig in its cage and they are then separated from one another, this could trigger depression. It may take a few days to get your guinea pig back to their old self again and introducing a new guinea pig into the cage may be the first step to doing so.
On the other hand, if a guinea pig hasn’t been introduced to any other guinea pigs or its owner fails to give it enough attention, it can become depressed. Make sure that you are spending enough time with your guinea pig, feeding it, and giving it the attention it deserves.
Unfortunately, health issues tend to be another common reason for guinea pig sadness. For the most part, guinea pigs are healthy animals, but this doesn’t mean that they never get sick. Common guinea pig illnesses include lack of Vitamin C that leads to scurvy, skin infections, parasites, sores on their skin, and urinary tract infections. If you believe that your guinea pig may be sick, be sure to take them to the vet right away to get checked out.