Guinea pigs are small animals that can easily get lost and be a task to find if such a thing happens. However, compared to other rodents like gerbils and hamsters, they are not used to escaping from their cage.
This does not mean that it cannot happen. Your gentle pet could climb out of their cage if it’s open and get lost into thin air.
Guinea pigs are naturally curious animals. Whether they live indoors, outdoors, or are just out for their daily exercise, your guinea pig may get adventurous and wander away when you are not looking.
This is bound to make you worried sick as you are unsure whether they will come back or not. Read on to find out more.
Can guinea pigs find their way home?
Guinea pigs cannot find their way home. If your guinea pig just got lost, it will be up to you to find them. They do not mark their paths like dogs or have time to mark their surroundings while escaping making it hard for them to come right back. You will need to put in a lot of effort to bring them home like searching relentlessly, asking others to help in your search, visiting nearby animal shelters and vets, and trying to lure your pet back using food.
What can make a guinea escape
First, it is good to know what made your guinea pig escape in the first place. As we have seen, guinea pigs will not actually plot their escape like other rodents, they are content enough to stay caged.
So, what would make a guinea pig escape?
Cage left open
Man is to error and you could accidentally leave your pet’s cage open. This makes it easier for them to get out and begin wandering around which could lead them to get lost.
If the cage is indoors, you can find your pet somewhere inside the house. If the cage is outdoors though, it will be harder to locate your pet as they could have gone anywhere.
Guinea pigs are prey animals. They are always alert to predators.
They are not big enough to fight off their bigger sized predators so their survival instinct is running away to hide.
If your pet feels threatened by a predator, they could escape from their cage in search of safety. The predator could be another pet you own like a dog or a snake that snuck into their housing.
What to do if your guinea pig escapes
A dog can easily come back home even after a day but we cannot have the same surety with a guinea pig. If you notice that your guinea pig is missing, you should begin searching for them right away.
If your pet was indoors, you should close all the windows and doors to prevent them from getting out. Guinea pets are small and they could have gotten stuck in some small space.
You may need to turn the whole house upside down in your search because they could be anywhere. Begin with where you saw them last.
Look everywhere and in everything from cartons, to closets, to under the couches and stove. You can check where your guinea pig likes to hang out too. Chances are, your pet is somewhere in the house.
If your pet got lost outdoors, it will be tougher but you can still find them. Begin by looking all around your home and just outside the fence.
You should also check for holes in the ground as they could have hidden in there.
If you don’t find them, tell your neighbors. Describe your pet to them, use a picture, and ask them to help you search.
Your pet could have easily wandered into one of your neighbor’s compound.
Talk to the nearest animal shelter and vet. Someone could have come across your lost pet and taken them there.
If none of these is bearing any fruits, you can print out pictures of your pet and circulate them in the neighborhood with your contacts in them so that if anyone sees them they’ll bring them to you.
Social media is another great way to spread the word. Post a pic of your pet with the place, time, and date they got lost and ask people to share.
Sense of smell and hearing
Another way of finding a guinea pig that just got lost would be to use their familiarity with you and their home. This will work if your guinea pig had been with you for a while because new and baby guinea pigs have not yet mastered the scents of their homes.
You can use their favourite treats to lure them. Scatter them around your home and nearby so that they can follow them and come home.
You can also try to play music that they are used to. Guinea pigs can hear from afar which could make them hear the music and come in its direction.
Always leave their cage open and some treats to lure them right in.
Can lost guinea pigs survive in the wild?
Guinea pigs that have already been domesticated would have a hard time while out in the wild and very low survival chances.
This is because they are used to being pampered and showered with affection. They always have a well-balanced diet provided for them, a safe home, warm beddings, toys, and a vet is always a call away whenever something is slightly wrong with them.
If they were to wander out into the wild, they would be faced with many hazards that would significantly lower their chances of survival.
They would be faced with dangers like traffic, harsh environments, infections and diseases, rodent traps, food changes, and starvation.
Guinea pigs are unable to find their way home if they wander far and get lost. This would make it your job to look for them and help them come back.
If your pet gets lost, you should look everywhere even in the tiniest of spaces, because they can squeeze themselves into small places where they would have trouble coming out of.
Have neighbors help you and visit the nearby animal shelter or vet in case someone took them there.
In general, you should ensure that your pet is safe and secure by closing all doors, windows, gates, openings, and keeping an eye on them at all times whenever you let them out.
Also, keep other pets away from your guinea pig as they could scare them and have their cages securely locked always.