Why Do Guinea Pigs Sneeze?

Guinea pigs can sometimes expel air from their nose and sneeze as we do. This will sound very high-pitched, but is unmistakably a sneeze. It’s not usually something to be concerned about, as it’s usually the result of dust - many guinea pigs will sneeze when they receive hay (but try to get the least dusty hay possible to try to prevent respiratory tract infections). If your guinea pig is sneezing a lot, then it may be cause for concern, as it could be indicative of an infection or an allergy.

If your guinea pig is sneezing, and has any of the following symptoms then they could have an upper respiratory infection, in which case they’ll need to see a vet as soon as possible:

  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Heavy or laboured breathing
  • Crackling sounds coming from within your pet
  • Discharge from the eyes or nose
  • Semi-closed eyes

Guinea pigs testing out new bedding
Keep an eye out for signs of an respiratory infection or allergy

If your pet doesn’t have any of these symptoms then the cause of the excessive sneezing could be an allergy to something in their home, but it’s wise to get them checked by a vet to be sure that they don’t have an upper respiratory tract infection, as these can be fatal.

Your guinea pig could be allergic to:

Washing liquid/detergent used to clean fabrics used in their home or during handling
  • Aerosols / Air fresheners
  • Cleaning products
  • Aspen bedding
  • Pine bedding
  • Scented body care products like perfumes

Try progressively replacing these things over a few weeks to see if one of these is the culprit.

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Delana, 2 July 2019

I just got a young guinea pig and ever since she was in the car on the way home she has been sneezing

Jenna, 15 March 2019

My guinea pig sneezes but I think she might be allergic to her bedding it’s lavender scented.

Rachel, 7 January 2019

Mine sneezes sorta like a human! She is sneezing a lot but doesn't seem to have other symptomps except she's complaining a ton.

Michael, 31 October 2018

I read in an article that when a guinea pig sneezes it sounds like a high pitched squeal, but mine sounds like how a dog would sneeze. What is this? Is it a real sneeze or what?

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