How To Potty Train a Guinea Pig?
Much like other animals, guinea pigs are cute, adorable little creatures that supply us with an ample amount of affection, especially with their constant nibbling tendencies.
It is not a secret that they eat whenever they can, which implies that they also need to litter very often. If you allow them to excrete wherever they want, their cleanliness may be affected, and as an owner, you would not want that.
To ensure maximum cleanliness of their home and yours, know how to properly train your guinea pig to potty!
Advantages of Potty Training
The benefits of a properly trained flurry guinea pig in terms of potty training are a lot. Though, the most fundamental advantage is keeping a clean environment and therefore, ensuring that any health risks are off the premises.
It also gives you less time on your cleaning session with your cage and pet, as they won’t get too filthy due to the litter staying at one place. Also, a neat cage ensures a lively guinea as they run around in a safe but fun space.
There is also an added factor in saving money, as you can spend less on buying floor coverings. You need to change their floor covering or bedding often if they litter on it and with those that are trained, you do not need to do this as many times as before.
Keep in mind that the process of potty training would not be perfect on the first try, that is why accept if your little pet commits errors in doing so and better luck next time.
Potty Training Accessories
Before training them, at first, you need to know how the training is done. It is to ensure that all of the accessories used are correct, and would not cause any problems for your little pet.
The things that will be used and should be prepared are as follows;
Of course, you will need a container or any form of storage to store their poop and urine, otherwise known as a litter box. You would need a tray that fits perfectly to the spot where your little pet usually does its job, and should also be accessible and comfortable.
Keep in mind that it should not be too small. Instead, it should have enough space for him to sit and potty.
Usually, you can buy these little trays at your local pet store and warrant that it is best suited for your guinea pig.
Litter Box Lining
Your litter box needs bedding to welcome your little pet implying "this is where you need to urinate and defecate." At first, it may seem confusing as to how to do this, since communicating with animals isn’t easy, but it can be done through conditioning.
Simply take the bedding where your furry little creature already urinates or defecates and put it in the box. Also, provide new bedding to the overall cage for him to be able to smell his scent in the box and think "I need to litter at that spot."
You can use the same bedding used for his cage, specifically hay, straw, aspen, litter pellets or wood pulp. Do not apply corn cob or cedar as bedding, for it is too toxic for your furry animal. Also, consider putting a little amount of eating straw in the box so he can munch while he is doing his job.
A Five-Step Guide To Successfully Potty Train Your Guinea Pig
Not having the correct guidance to train your guinea pig how to potty can lead to the delay of your little pet learning to eat. It may be because of poor observation, or your movements that may make your little animal seem doubtful or anxious.
To properly guide them, here is the step-by-step process to train them;
1. Step One: Based on Observation
Observe your guinea pig in their natural habitat. Before you apply the litter-box in his cage, see where he usually defecates. They typically like to put their scent in their territory, so a spot or two may already be chosen by your little one.
Though it does not mean that he will always do his job there, it holds high probability that he might choose it again.
Also, never put the litter box near the area where he eats. They may feel cautious when you attempt this, for they do not like to urinate at the same spot where they eat their dish of the day!
2. Step Two: Be Mindful Of Their Behavior
Once you place the litter-box, see if they want to use it. Since their scent is all over the box, there is a high possibility that they will.
If they do not, take out the box from their cage and inspect it, there must be something wrong with it such as failure to get inside, the material of bedding, or any hazardous materials that you failed to notice.
In case the sides of the tray seem too big for his liking, you can cut some of the edges off using scissors or a small knife. This will serve as his little entrance to get into the box.
3. Step Three: Clean Properly
You should clean the litter box every three days or more. Though, you should only wash the tray itself once a week. Keeping a litter box that is too clean may not engage them to do their business there.
To clean, you can dump the previous bedding that was used to introduce them the spot and leave their new litter. Keeping his smell intact would likely mean that she would prefer to litter there again.
4. Step Four: Be Patient With The Training
Do not rush your guinea pig, for the preparation takes time depending on your pet. Some never learn how to use it, but that does not mean that you should give up. Always keep trying, and if he does not use it all the time, allow errors for your little one and be patient with him.
Never scold, punish, or yell at your guinea pig. This behavior does not work on them. The animals do not understand why they need to potty at one spot, which is why they encourage and praise them if they can do so. This is called positive conditioning, and it works wonders on all domestic animals.
5. Step Five: Train Them In Your Home
After getting used to the acquired training in the cage, they are now ready to be trained on an open space in your home, especially for their daily playtime escapades.
To do this, you need to start with a small area and make sure that there are not any holes or vents where he may use to suddenly escape. You can use a bathroom or hallway as the starting area. Then, pick an area for the litter tray that ought to be under the shade and in any corner of the room.
Since the litter-box has its scent, he will be able to find it anywhere in the house. Though, if you want, you can let him loose at first, to know which area he prefers to potty.
Cover up the remaining corners so that they seem restricted for the pet. If there are no other dark corners, he will surely choose the one with the litter tray.
If you want things to be cleaned up easily in case he has a "little accident," then you can place newspapers around the room. When he is getting used to the area, expand it little by little, but of course, be mindful of the potential holes and hazards.
Piggy Potty Pad
Piggy potty pads are pillow-like flooring that is composed with at least two layers of premium fleece, with antimicrobial characteristic depending on the brand. It provides comfort for your furry one while promoting a fast flow of urine from its batting fibber to the bedding below.
It dries quickly and is designed for cushiony relaxing capabilities. You can use one side for at least a day or even a couple of days depending on how often your guinea pig litters and the other side can be used when you flip it over.
This can be their mini litter box all around the cage, especially in areas where they chill around and mostly have fun. This can also help you monitor their urinating patterns and see if there are any types of blood or unwanted particles visible in the discharge.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Should I use a different type of bedding for the litter box, so that they do not mistake it for the bedding inside their cage?
Using the same bedding as those that are in their cage is fine. They will not be confused by it since the litter box will contain their scent which implies that it is where they should potty.
However, make sure that the beddings on the cage are clean, and immediately take out the spot where your pet accidentally urinates or defecates to avoid confusion.
2. Is it normal for my guinea pig to potty more than three times a day?
Yes. Since they are grazing creatures and eats whenever they can, they also tend to litter more often than you think. If you see that they appear to be at discomfort or they seem to be anxious, contact your local vet immediately.
Getting Used To The Training!
Teaching your guinea pig how to potty is one step forward into helping them learn how to be a responsible little pet. The purpose of potty training is for their cage to be as neat as it can be, and so does the pet itself.
This also prevents the “little accidents” that your guinea pigs might make while conducting your playtime adventure.
To have a successful training, it is important to have a lot of patience and perseverance. Since your furry little creature, although adorable, can be frustrating to deal with at times, especially when they do not understand what you want.
To get started, go to your local pet store and purchase the essentials now!