Keeping your Guinea Pig Safe and Secure

Guinea pigs are probably one of the most vulnerable animals of them all.  In every respect they are “the hunted” and all too often “the prey”. However, we can help them in their quest to stay alive with a few simple solutions.

Predators

They can come in varying shapes and sizes.  There are the ones who just take our animals without warning, leaving a few frantic claw marks in the dirt around an empty grass run and a sobbing, guilt-ridden owner.

Foxes

The number one rule is NOT to leave them out after dark, when most foxes are on the warpath, although just lately they have been seen in gardens in the middle of the day.  This is a huge problem as if that is the case, you cannot put your guinea pigs in a run without supervision.

The only other option would be to put the run on concrete and bring the grass to them.  Of course the run should have a secure lid and NO GAPS between the run and the ground.  Other deterrents but not necessarily cures are electric fencing and wild cat faeces on the boundaries…if you know of a friendly zookeeper.

Dogs

Other predators include some dogs, like Jack Russell Terriers.  They are a hunting dog and are normally relentless in their quest to grab a guinea pig for lunch. The only solution we propose, is if you have this type of dog – do not get a guinea pig. If you already have one or a different breed but with the same one-track mind as a terrier, then eventually they will win. Most dogs like this will wait for an opportune moment, when you are not looking, perhaps when you are answering the phone and this is when they dig their way into the run.

Birds

Then there are some birds.  Magpies, Seagulls, Kestrels and Crows would be amongst the top predators.  If your run does not have a lid, in time they will be there and it will all be over in one swoop.  They prefer babies as they are easier to steal but it is not unknown for an adult guinea pig to be taken.

Children

Then there are some children.  Young children should be supervised around guinea pigs and be taught how not to terrorise them to the point of trauma-related death.  This message is aimed in particular at those parents who buy the kids guinea pigs to “shut them up”. A guinea pig is not a toy, it is a sentient being, who feels pain and fear, just as you do.

Reptiles

Lastly there are snake owners.  Beware of advertising your guinea pigs as “free to good home” as some snake owners regularly look out for these adverts to enable them to feed live bait to their beloved reptiles. We advise if you rehome your guinea pig, particularly a baby, check the home out first.

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