Can Guinea Pigs Sneeze? Should you be worried if they sneeze!

kid and guinea pig

Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

Tiny, adorable, cute, friendly, low-maintenance, and calming, all these words perfectly describe guinea pigs, which are undoubtedly the best creatures to keep as your loving pet. However, they can from time to time, just like humans take ill.

Can Guinea Pigs sneeze? Respiratory problems are relatively common among guinea pigs. Frequent sneezing is usually a signal of some infection or allergy among these animals. In mild cases, it indicates a common cold due to an infection in the upper respiratory system; however, in a worse scenario, it may spread to the lower respiratory system leading to pneumonia.

Can Guinea Pigs Sneeze? Should you be worried if they sneeze! 1

This South American rodent is one of the most popular pets which make an awesome addition to your family. There are various breeds of Guinea pigs found in different regions of America. Having this little bundle of joy in your home is truly a fantastic experience especially for children.

Being a pet guardian, you’re always keen to make sure that your pet remains safe and sound. Even small health issues can be a matter of concern.

As much as we want them to stay completely healthy, there are situations where they may develop certain health conditions that require your immediate attention.

We have been asked by some of our readers if Guinea Pigs can and should be sneezing. Is this a sign that something is not right?

Let us take a look at why Guinea Pigs sneeze and if you should be concerned.

Can Guinea Pigs sneeze?


Does your teeny buddy keep sneezing? At most times, it’s not a reason to panic. Like most humans, guinea pigs also sneeze at times to eject any unwanted elements, most likely dust particles that are present in the respiratory tract.

Too much exposure to smoke or dust can lead to such a condition. Usually, since guinea pigs love to gorge upon some hay, dust present in the stacks can easily seep through their nose leading to sneezes. Sneezing once in a while is a natural phenomenon seen among most animals.

Is a lot of sneezing common among guinea pigs?

In most cases, there is an occasional sneeze that takes place due to external factors. Still, if you observe repeated sneezing in your pet Guinea Pig, there is a possibility of some respiratory illness.

Is there a reason to get alarmed?

Respiratory problems are relatively common among guinea pigs. Frequent sneezing is usually a signal of some infection or allergy among these animals.

In mild cases, it indicates a common cold due to an infection in the upper respiratory system; however, in a worse scenario, it may spread to the lower respiratory system leading to pneumonia.

A common cold can turn to severe disease in a span of just a few days. Pay close attention if you feel it’s unwell.

Guinea pigs are sensitive beings. Sudden changes in the weather can cause infections to your pet. If sneezing is a result of the dust or some allergen, you don’t need to worry much.

However, you should keep monitoring your pet. If the sneezing continues seeking medical help is advisable.

Can other symptoms accompany sneezing?

Another critical thing to consider is whether your pet guinea pig’s recurrent sneezing is followed by other unusual symptoms.

There may be only constant sneezing occurring without any other complication in your guinea pig. This happens mostly due to allergies. It’s due to the presence of undesirable foreign particles such as hay, food leftovers inside the respiratory tract, as discussed earlier.

If there are signs of physical issues like nasal secretion, watery eyes, difficulty breathing, drooling, loss of appetite, fatigue, and inflammation around the eyes, there is a need for urgent medical attention. Visit your Vet immediately.

can guinea pigs sneeze

You need to observe the signs which we have discussed elaborately below carefully.

  • Keep an eye on the eyes of your pet
  • If there is any allergy or infection, it will impact the eyes of the guinea pig. You may notice some discharge from the eyes, which can be green or yellow. The eyes can appear crusty and will turn red. It’s usually a result of conjunctivitis.
  • Note the breathing pattern – When you suspect any illness in your guinea pig, notice if your pet can breathe normally or not. If there are noises of clicking and wheezing, it indicates that your pet isn’t able to breathe properly.
  • Look out for nasal discharge – If your Guinea pig gets an infection, you’ll find his nose turns red. It’ll get agitated and try to rub or scratch its nose. This happens mostly if he has got an allergy, which has caused an itchy nose. When there is a respiratory problem, you’ll observe some discharge from the nose. As and when the guinea pig sneezes, its nose releases a yellowish discharge.
  • Unusual Weight loss – If your little pet has fallen sick its overall appearance will deteriorate. It’ll look meek and weak. It’s a result of weight loss, which is caused by the infection.
  • Becomes lethargic – By nature, guinea pigs tend to be enthusiastic and fun-loving. On regular days, you’ll always find them eager to play with you. However, if your pet is down with any respiratory issue or allergy, you’ll find them to be less social. They’ll avoid interacting with their Guinea Pig friends. The guinea pig will look tired and sleepy all the time.
  • Aversion to eating – One of the crucial signs of any respiratory trouble in your guinea pig is the loss of appetite. As your little pet feels unwell, they’ll avoid eating. Carefully check the amount of food they eat if you suspect any health problem.
  • Bleeding nose – It’s one of the most severe symptoms of a health issue in guinea pigs. It’s a sign that there are definite problems with your pet and you need to get them to a vet immediately.

What are the reasons behind frequent sneezing in your pet guinea pig?

The prime cause for most respiratory issues in guinea pigs is a bacterial infection. It’s a result of the spread of bacteria from an infected guinea pig to a non-infected one.

Another factor that can result in respiratory illness is the loss of immunity in your guinea pig. It may be due to increased stress in your pet or an improper diet. The reduced immunity leads to the development of infection in the body.

If there is a lack of vitamin C in the food fed to your pet they tend to fall sick easily. Also, keep the space hygienic and clean. If there is improper bedding, your Guinea Pig can face troubles. Spaying or new surgery can also affect the functioning of the respiratory system.

We are currently testing: Selective Natural Guinea Pig Food

So far, So good and our Guinea Pigs seem to like the taste. It has less powder and residual dust which can help reduce sneezing when eating.

Description: Selective Naturals Grain Free is blended with temptingly tasty Timothy Hay to help promote the good health of guinea pigs. High in fibre and grain-free, Selective respects the natural diet, with this delicious recipe that includes essential forage and garden vegetables.

It supports digestive wellbeing and has all the vitamins and minerals guinea pigs need to help keep them in the very best of health naturally. Kind to teeth with no added sugars or artificial colors, Selective Naturals Grain Free is blended with natural linseed, to help promote clear skin and a glossy coat.

It helps to keep guinea pigs as healthy on the outside as they are on the inside. That’s why vets recommend Selective.

  • Grain Free, Respects A Natural Diet
  • High In Fiber, Made With Timothy Hay
  • No Corn, No Wheat, Rich In Natural Ingredients
  • No Added Sugars Or Artificial Colors
  • With Linseed For Healthy Skin And Shiny Coat
guinea pig food

Which conditions lead to stress among guinea pigs?

sheltie guinea pig
A balanced diet is essential for the health of your Guinea Pig

These tiny creatures are sensitive and get stressed quite easily, with sudden changes in their surroundings. Some reasons which can lead to anxiety in your guinea pig include:

  • An abrupt change in its home. It may not be able to get accustomed to your house.
  • Introducing another guinea pig in the family. Over-crowding and tension among the guinea pigs in your home placed in a confined space can cause stress.

What happens during your guinea pig’s diagnosis?

If you see one or more of the symptoms discussed above, immediately take your pet guinea pig to a good veterinarian. The lesser the delay, the better are the chances of a quick recovery.

There are small animal specialists who possess more significant experience in treating petite animals like guinea pigs. You can visit these vets for better treatment.

For a complete list of vets in the USA click here!

The Vet must know your pet’s medical history before they make a proper diagnosis. Provide accurate details about his present living conditions and past issues to allow the Vet to initiate the appropriate treatment.

The Vet will conduct a proper physical examination of your guinea pig to assess his overall condition. They’ll examine its mouth to find any indications of a dental problem. It’s also essential to measure heart rate. The Vet will assess the lungs and the heart of your pet Guinea Pig.

The other important aspect is to conduct all the necessary tests to detect any major infection. The Veterinarian will do blood tests and even test samples of the nasal discharge to find the type of bacteria and viruses present in its body.

It’s also suggested performing X-rays of the chest and the brain to help the doctor get a clearer picture of your pet’s situation.

Once the doctor gives the exact diagnosis, ensure that your guinea pig takes the required medications timely. A healthy and nutritious diet, as advised by the Vet, is a must.

Can Guinea Pigs Sneeze? Should you be worried if they sneeze! 2
Poor bedding can cause Guinea Pigs to Sneeze

How can you avoid sneezing in your guinea pig?

There are numerous steps you can take to prevent the occurrence of sneezing in your pet.

  • Make sure that the location of your guinea pigs cage is in a well-ventilated room distant from the kitchen where it gets exposed to smoke and dust.
  • Having the correct bedding conditions is also essential. It’s suggested to purchase absorbent bedding which will soak up any mess and reduce smells so that your pet gets adequate rest.
  • Clean the cage of your pet weekly to prevent the growth of germs. Poop training for your pet is also necessary.
  • Guinea pigs love hay. Ensure that you feed your pet superior quality hay, which doesn’t have much hay dust, to avoid various allergies.

Final Thoughts: Can Guinea Pigs Sneeze?

These small measures will surely help in keeping your guinea pigs sneezes under control. However, if your pet still develops any respiratory troubles, please visit the doctor.

Sneezing in your pet guinea pig is usually not a major condition to worry about. Taking the necessary measures will safeguard your pet from any adverse illness. Make a regular visit to the Veterinarian to allow timely detection and treatment of any health trouble.

About the author

Latest posts