Do Male or Female Guinea Pigs Smell More? What Causes Smell?

One of the most frequently asked questions about Guinea pigs is whether or not they smell. If you are looking to adopt a piggy pal, you might be worried too.

After all, you would not want to mess up your house or constantly deal with foul odors from their cage.

If you are wondering, do Guinea pigs smell?

Here’s your answer!

Generally, Guinea pigs don’t smell, especially when properly groomed. Although they might have a slight odor, it usually isn’t intense or overpowering.

However, they develop unpleasant odors in an unhealthy or dirty environment. A dirty cage is the most unsuitable place for your guineas.

These little critters quickly fall sick and even develop foul odors when kept in polluted areas for a long time.

Male and Female Guinea Pigs: Which Smells More?

As much as they are not smelly, certain conditions can make them smell. Research shows that male Guinea pigs smell more than their female counterparts.

This may not come off as a surprise given that male Guineas are the most active and, therefore, prone to getting messy.

Boars smell more than the sows due to an oil-like buildup in their greasy gland. This oily buildup is secreted when the boars are exhibiting their territories traits.

Guinea pigs are territorial, especially the males. To show their dominance, they secrete an oil grease which produces an unpleasant scent.

This secretion occurs around the tail. If not properly cleaned up at regular intervals, it starts to smell. In addition, it might lead to a series of infections after a while.

What Causes Guinea Pigs to Smell?

Since these little piggy pals are not naturally smelly, there must be a reason behind it. If your new pet recently became smelly, you might wonder what the cause is.

Here are the reasons your Guinea pig smells:

1. Dirty Cage

1. Dirty Cage

A dirty cage is prone to accommodate smelly Guinea pigs. On the contrary, a clean environment keeps your Guinea pigs healthy and free from unpleasant odors.

Once you stop sweeping, cleaning, and even washing your pets regularly, they develop an odor. From their drinking troughs to their feeding bottles, you should keep their beddings clean at all times.

2. Sickness

2. Sickness

If you have always maintained good hygiene for your critters and they suddenly develop a foul odor, it could be they are sick.

3. Non-spacious Environment

3. Non-spacious Environment

Whether you own one Guinea or two of them, you must have enough accommodation. A single boar needs space just as two or more Guinea does.

A small cage tends to smell more than a spacious cage because there is barely enough; enough makes the smell concentrated. A smelly cage is not suitable for Guinea’s lungs.

The recommended cage size for your Guinea pigs is 7.5 (square feet) for a single Guinea and an extra 2.5 for each addition.

4. Uneaten Food or Hay

4. Uneaten Food or Hay

It’s one thing to feed them, and it’s another to monitor their eating habits. A Guinea may refuse to eat due to sickness or lack of appetite.

If these fresh veggies or hay are left uneaten for a long time in their cages, it begins to smell. The upside is that these fresh veggies end up underneath the ground. At this point, it starts to develop mold.

To avoid this. Ensure to check on your Guinea pig a few hours after leaving their food in the feeding troughs. If there is any leftover, dispose of them as quickly as possible.

5. Poor Diet

5. Poor Diet

Your Guinea can smell as a result of a poor diet. Guinea pigs are herbivores and love to feed on fresh veggies and hay. This should always be available as it encourages them to eat more.

Also, you could add a small quantity of pellet food to their diet and vegetables with Vitamin C constituents.

Now, it is unhealthy to feed your guineas with colored pellets or a mixture of shells and seeds. These contain sugar and other preservatives that are not healthy for your Guinea.

Additionally, avoid processed food, iceberg lettuce, and other diary products for your Guinea. Guinea pigs develop diarrhea from excessively watery vegetables.

Therefore, once their poop starts smelling or becomes soft, that’s a sign to reduce how much they feed on veggies and fruits.

How to Stop Guinea Pigs from Smelling?

These are simple ways to keep your Guinea clean at all times and free from unpleasant smells.

1. Quality Bedding

Excellent and comfortable bedding helps keep your Guinea pigs clean. Here are a few factors to consider when choosing to bed for them;

  • Quality
  • Non-toxic
  • Odor resistant
  • Water absorbent
  • Comfortability

Suitable options are available, such as; paper, fleece, or cloth bedding. On the other hand, avoid using newspaper, pine, or straw for your Guinea as it might lead to health problems.

2. Clean Up Their Cage

Guinea pigs poop and pee regularly, which might cause unpleasant smells if unattended. To avoid this, you should clean up their cage daily and throw away their poo.

If not, their pee starts to smell, and they might even soil themselves with poop.

3. Change Their Bedding Regularly

Getting quality bedding is one thing; keeping them clean is another. It does not stop at buying absorbent bedding; you must clean up and change as many times as possible.

If you have more than one Guinea, you must change the bedding as often as possible. This way, their odors are kept at bay.

4. Throw Away Uneaten Food

Leftover or uneaten food starts to decay and causes their cage to smell. If left for a long time, it might get buried underneath or forms a mold.

All these make their cage smell. To avoid this, throw away any leftovers before they start to smell.


Naturally, Guinea pigs don’t smell. But when left in unhealthy conditions, they are prone to develop an unpleasant smell.

A proper diet, a clean and spacious cage, and a regular change of bedding help keep the odors at bay. If you have one or more of these piggy pals, then it’s essential to maintain proper hygiene.

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