Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Ask A Guinea Pig: Are Guinea Pigs Afraid of Thunderstorms?

It's time for another installment of Ask A Guinea Pig, where we answer your questions from the comments section! riordan77piglove asks: "Do guinea pigs get scared from thunder and lightning? I'm pretty sure that it is a little scary."

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.
These tips are also applicable to fireworks, by the way. (I wish we had answered this question before July 4th!)

How does your guinea pig react to thunderstorms? Does anything calm help them down? Let us know in the comments section!


  1. Thanks for doing my comment! Another question. Does the food that I give to my guinea pigs have to be sliced up?
    Wendy & Ashley's owner

    1. It depends on the food. Small, soft berries like blueberries can be fed whole. Celery definitely needs to be sliced up, though, because you don't want the stringy parts to get caught in our throats.

  2. Also, big news! Our humans just got us the Snak Shak! We love it! at this rate, it'll be gone in a week! (Just kidding) Thanks for the great reviews!
    Ashley & Wendy

    1. We're still a little concerned about the pine wood shavings in Snak Shaks, but it's a relatively small amount, so it's probably safe. We're glad you like our reviews! :-)

  3. We're not afraid of thunderstorms! Or sneezes, for that matter. (We think it's pretty funny that our great big cat-brother Finn is scared of sneezes. He runs and hides under the bed!)

    -- Jasper and Oliver

    1. We sometimes get a little scared from thunderstorms, but generally not too scared. Every piggy is different, though.

  4. Thank you for an interesting read. I have always brought G-Man and Ziggy inside when it's nasty weather. I just assumed because I'm scared of thunder that they are as well. Lol

  5. That is really helpful and is helping myself to. I am scared of thunder storms as well as my guinea pigs.

  6. Drunning a thunderstorm I placed a small blanket over there house's to try to mufful the sound. We have only had ares for a week and this is the first time we have ever had any animal like guinea pigs.idk if it was the right thing to do or not. When we got them we had to get everything new and from what I have read the cage they sold us is to small for 2 piggie the are brothers and have been with each other there hole lives but they have been fighting alot ever since we brought them home. I don't have the money to get a bigger cage it was every upsetting that they said this cage will work its 3feet buy 2 feet maybe a few inches bigger what size cage should 2 piggies should have.