Great question! Yes, guinea pigs can get scared from thunder and lightning, just as we would from any loud noise. Sometimes, one of the humans will sneeze or cough, and we'll immediately run for cover! They don't understand what the big deal is, but keep in mind that we're pretty small and defenseless in comparison to a human. When they make sudden loud noises, our instincts kick in and we bolt!
In terms of loudness, sneezes are perhaps 90 decibels, while a thunderclap can be as loud as 100 to 120 decibels. Some other things that fall within this decibel range are motorcycles, power saws, and rock concerts. In addition to being louder than sneezes, we may have to put up with lots of thunderclaps in a row, which we wouldn't have to do with sneezes (unless the human is having a sneezing fit, in which case, you should leave the room and stop scaring your poor piggies!).
We found that one person claimed, "I have heard of pigs literally getting scared to death," although we haven't been able to find any evidence of that actually happening. (Another person speculated that they would probably have to have a preexisting heart condition for that to be possible.) Keep in mind that reactions may vary. Some piggies aren't phased by thunderstorms, while others will huddle together, shaking in terror.
So what can you do to keep your piggies calm during a storm? Here are some tips:
- Make sure your guinea pig has at least one piggy companion. We tend to feel safer in numbers.
- Make sure we have a pigloo, or other enclosed space where we can hide. We tend to find it comforting if we can put distance and covering between us and things that make scary loud noises.
- You could try feeding your guinea pigs vegetables and/or holding them if they like being held. (Buffy doesn't like being held, and wouldn't find this comforting.)
|Hey, we can't all hide from loud noises in the log! Someone is going to have to pick another hiding spot.|
How does your guinea pig react to thunderstorms? Does anything calm help them down? Let us know in the comments section!