It is often very inconspicuous things that, on closer inspection, turn out to be dangerous for guinea pigs. It is therefore not always easy to see which guinea pig accessories are unsuitable. Below is a selection.
The dormitory 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 keep in mind that guinea pigs are rodents and therefore nibble a lot. If they gnaw away and swallow pieces of plastic, it can have a negative impact on health. Another risk factor is the heat in summer. Since there is little air circulation in plastic houses and the heat builds up, it quickly gets too warm inside. In addition, moisture can form and, as a result, mold.
For similar reasons, plastic tubes are not recommended at all. The tubes or tubes are intended to simulate a "lifelike" habitat - in addition to single tubes, mazes or systems made of plastic tubes are also available in retail. There is insufficient air circulation, especially in long tubes, and there is a risk of heat stroke, especially in summer. In addition, they are difficult to clean, so that lung complaints can occur due to the development of mold and bacteria. In addition, some of the pipes offered are simply too small so that the animals can get stuck in them. 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 mesh. Fatal, because the guinea pigs can quickly slide off the smooth metal or get stuck between the bars. The consequences are bruises, broken bones and compressions. Floors made of wood, plexiglass or cork, for example, are much more suitable.
A bike as a guinea pig accessory is generally not a bad idea. However, you have to make sure that the impeller is animal-friendly. Many bikes are too small, which can quickly lead to serious back problems, since the animal is bent when running. The rule of thumb applies: the radius of the wheel corresponds to the length of the animal.
Another danger point with the impeller is the structure. Sprouts or holes are taboo as guinea pig paws can get in between quickly. The tread must therefore be closed throughout. In addition, it must not have any sharp edges and should be free from trip hazards such as struts.
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Laufballs- or Laufbugeln are a bad habit and absolutely contrary to animal welfare. These are plastic running balls, in which the guinea pigs are locked in order to roll through the apartment. Inside, the animals suffer from enormous stress and quickly panic because they cannot leave the ball on their own. There is also a risk of crashing hard against furniture or walls. The rodents cannot see much through the balls, even if they are transparent. What looks like happy walking around is actually a horror trip for the guinea pigs.
Scented litter and cage deodorant
Litter with fragrance additives and fragrances for the cage (cage deodorant) often smell pleasant for us humans, but are massively disturbing for the Meeris. They cannot perceive their own fragrance brands because they are overlaid by the chemical fragrance and the respiratory tract is sometimes irritated by the fragrances. Animal-friendly guinea pig accessories and artificial fragrances do not belong together.
"Look how cute the little ones run on a leash!" - unfortunately a brutal mistake. It may look cute when a guinea pig is on a leash, but it's a pain for the animals. Guinea pigs are escape animals and do not like it at all if they are held back by a leash. They panic and can be injured by the train on the leash.