Guinea Pigs generally only nibble and lick their owners. There can be several reasons for their licking or nibbling, like showing you affection or grooming you. Sometimes they can also bite you, but normally it will be light and not hurt much if at all. A Guinea Pigs bite will rarely if ever break your skin or cause bleeding. The bite may not cause pain to you but it can definitely hurt the soft skin and emotions of children.
A Guinea Pig will only bite you hard if they get irritated by something. This type of bite can be strong enough to break your skin or cause bleeding.
Why Do Guinea Pigs Bite?
If your Guinea Pig bites you often, it can be both irritating and sad for you as an owner. There could be certain things that you are doing that are causing your Guinea Pig to think it needs to bite you. Understanding what is making your Guinea Pig bite will help you reduce or stop their biting.
Common reasons for Guinea Pig biting:
They Don’t Want To Be Handled
Sometimes the Guinea Pig may nibble you when you are carrying them around the house or handling them. They may not like being petted in some areas or being held in a particular way. The Guinea Pigs usually also don’t like to be carried around and prefer to walk themselves on the floor. Carrying them around can sometimes cause your Guinea Pig to feel insecure or scared. If it becomes very stressful for them, their nibbling can turn into biting. They will start biting to inform you that they don’t like what you are doing.
They Want to Urinate
Guinea Pigs need to urinate often because of their high metabolism rate. If they get the urge to pee when you are handling them, the Guinea Pig may nibble or bite you. It is how they can communicate to you to put them back in their cage. If they run to the litter tray immediately after you put them back, you will know for sure why they wanted to be put down.
Wants to Go Back to Their Cage
Their cage is your Guinea Pig’s home and they feel safest when they are inside. If you have taken your Guinea Pig to a different room the Guinea Pig could be feeling afraid of the new place. They may nibble or bite you to let you know that they want to go back to their cage.
Loud noises caused by music or thunder can also scare them. If they hear these noises they will almost always want to get back to their cage. Bringing them back to their cage should make them feel safe.
If your Guinea Pig doesn’t like grooming they can get irritated if you need to bathe them or trim their nails. Using a shampoo that itches their skin could also be a source of irritation for them. In these situations your Guinea Pig could bite you to let you know that they don’t enjoy what you are doing.
Sometimes the nibbling or biting could happen just out of curiosity, especially in younger Guinea Pigs. Young Guinea pigs like to explore things and may nibble the cage, toys and sometimes even your hand. The biting should usually stop when they get older but for some Guinea Pigs it can continue even as an adult.
Skin conditions like mites and itching can cause severe discomfort in your Guinea Pig. Holding them or petting them could increase irritation especially if they have a rash. This can lead to your Guinea Pig biting you to be put back down. If you see them scratching or biting their skin you may need to take them to a vet and have them checked out.