In pet stores we find again and again guinea pig accessories, which is anything but humanely and sometimes very dangerous for the cute rodents. Animal protection products, whether they are furniture or toys, can pose a serious threat to the health of guinea pigs.
It is often very inconspicuous things that turn out to be dangerous for guinea pigs on closer inspection. Therefore, it is not always easy to identify which guinea pig accessory is unsuitable. Below is a selection.
The sleeping house is one of the most important furnishings in the guinea pig cage. However, if this is made of plastic, it can be dangerous for the fur balls for several reasons. So you should keep in mind that guinea pigs are rodents and consequently nibble a lot. If you gnaw out and swallow plastic splinters, it can have a negative impact on your health. Another risk factor is the heat in summer. Since there is little air circulation in houses made of plastic and the heat builds up, it quickly gets too warm inside. In addition, moisture can form and as a result of this also mold.
For similar reasons, plastic tubes are not recommended at all. With the tubes or tubes to a "lifelike" habitat to be simulated - in retail, in addition to single tubes and mazes or systems made of plastic tubes. Especially in long tubes, there is no adequate air circulation and especially in the summer threatens a heat stroke. In addition, they are difficult to clean, so that lung problems due to mold and bacteria development can occur. In addition, some offered pipes are also just too small, so that the animals can get stuck in it. Natural alternatives made from materials such as bamboo, cork or clay are the better choice.
No animal likes to walk over bars. However, the trade always offers stairs, floors and bridges made of grids. Fatal, as the guinea pigs can quickly slip off the smooth metal or get stuck between the rods. The result is bruising, broken bones and compression. Floors made of wood, Plexiglas or cork, for example, are much better suited.
An impeller as a guinea pig accessory is generally not a bad idea. However, you must make sure that the wheel is pet-friendly. So many wheels are too small, which can quickly lead to serious back problems, as the animal is bent while running. The rule of thumb is: The radius of the wheel equals the length of the animal.
Another danger point with the impeller is the structure. Sprouts or holes are taboo, as the guinea pig paws can quickly get in between. The tread must therefore be closed continuously. In addition, it must have no sharp edges and should be free of tripping hazards such as struts.
Running balls or running balls are a bad habit and absolutely animal protection. These are plastic bullets, into which the guinea pigs are locked up, and then roll through the apartment. The animals suffer from enormous stress inside and quickly panic as they can not leave the bullet by themselves. In addition, there is a risk of cracking hard against furniture or walls. The rodents can not see much through the bullets, even if they are transparent. What looks like happy running around, is in truth a horror trip for the guinea pigs.
Fragrance litter and cage deodorant
Bedding with fragrance additives and fragrances for the cage (cage deodorant) may smell pleasant to us humans, but are massively disturbing for the Meeris. They can not perceive their own scent marks because they are superimposed by the chemical scent and the respiratory tract is sometimes irritated by the scents. Animal-friendly guinea pig accessories and artificial fragrances do not belong together.
"Look how cute the little ones are on a leash!" - unfortunately a brutal mistake. It may look cute when a guinea pig is on a leash, but it is a torment for the animals. Guinea pigs are flight animals and do not like it at all if they are held back by a leash. They panic and can hurt themselves by pulling on a leash.