Guinea pigs are prey animals that get scared easily by the slightest of movements and sounds. They are always alert to spot predators.
Their defense mechanism is running away to hide as they cannot stand up and fight for themselves. They are naturally timid and many things that seem potentially harmless could be terrifying for them.
So do they fear loud noises too? Let’s find out.
Are guinea pigs scared of loud noises?
Guinea pigs are scared of loud noises. They have excellent hearing capabilities that can hear very slight sounds that humans would hardly notice. This high sensitivity of sound makes loud noises deafening to them. They include high volume music, fireworks, thunder, sirens and they could all be fatal to guinea pigs.
Loud noises that scare guinea pigs
Guinea pigs will get scared by loud noises like:
- Sudden thunder.
- Loud banging.
How to know if a guinea pig is scared?
A guinea pig cannot speak so they communicate through a variety of sounds and body language. When scared they will have these signs:
- Run away to hide.
- Groom themselves more than usual.
- Shake and shiver.
- Throw their head up in the air.
- Anxiously bite on cage bars.
- Freeze and stay in one place.
- Move around in circles restlessly.
- Have a change in feeding and bathroom habits.
What to do about a scared guinea pig?
If you live in a place that’s prone to loud noises or it’s just that time of the year when loud noises are the norm like during festive seasons or special celebrations, below are measures you can take to make it all less scary for your pet.
Bring them indoors
If your guinea pig lives outdoors then you might have to rethink that. Generally, it’s always noisier outside and the noisier an environment your guinea pig stays in, the more stressed they get.
Guinea pigs do not like noise. It hurts their delicate ears. So bring them indoors. Find that place in your house that’s mostly quiet and place their cage there.
Keep them safe outdoors
If you have no space in your house to bring them in, there are steps you could take to make it safer for them.
First, turn their cage away from your compound and let it face the other side towards the fence. This helps them not to notice light flashes when there is lightning or fireworks.
To minimize the noise, cover their hutch using a thick covering like a blanket but make sure that they can breathe. Leave enough space for ventilation.
Minimize sound volumes
Whenever you have the television set on with movies or music playing on the radio, it’s tempting to raise the volume as high as possible. This is harmful when guinea pigs are in the house.
High volumes will irritate them and they will become anxious and stressed to the point of depression. To avoid this, always keep volumes to a minimum.
You can even use headphones or earphones whenever your guinea pig is close by like during lap time. For them, hearing none of it is better than listening to something loud.
Provide lots of bedding
If it’s noisy with thunderstorms and fireworks or something beyond your control, try to give your guinea pig more than enough bedding so that they will burrow under it.
Guinea pigs instinctively hide away to feel safe. This is why you should always have a hiding place in their cage.
Use cardboard to create boxes and fill them up with hay. Make a hole or two in them so that they’ll get in and out easily.
Guinea pigs will always feel safer while hiding inside them.
Entertainment is a good form of distraction for your guinea pigs for any loud noises out there. Play some soft soothing music for them.
You can find plenty of guinea pig music on YouTube that’s specially crafted for your furry pets. Play some for them to soothe and calm them down.
Television is another form of entertainment. They’ll not understand what’s going on but they will be fascinated by the flashes of light on the television.
Talk to them soothingly
Guinea pigs enjoy it when you talk to them as you will be near them and they love your presence. Having conversations enables them to get used to you and shows that you care.
When they are scared, it will help a great deal if you began talking to them gently and calmly. Try to reassure them that everything will be alright.
You can hold them on your lap as you do this and pet them slowly. This will help them to relax and get rid of their fear.
Play some games
Guinea pigs love playing games and running around. When they are scared by loud noise it would be a great idea to distract them with their favorite activity.
Take time to play games that will make them not think too much about the noise. Pass a small ball to them and watch them pass it back.
You could play more mind stimulating games like mazes. Let them find their way through the mazes and give them a treat when they reach the end. This should ease them up.
Close windows and doors
It goes without saying that shutting all windows and doors will shut out some of the loud noises outside. Do drape curtains too.
You should ensure that as you put your guinea pig indoors, you do not put them close to windows or doors.
Can guinea pigs die from fear?
Guinea pigs are those delicate pets that can die from fear. Sudden loud noises are a big trigger for them. Always try to identify things that scare them and keep them safely protected from them.
Guinea pigs are scared of loud noises. Keep your pet in a quiet place in your house and if they are outdoors, take adequate measures to minimize the noise getting to them.