Guinea pigs are the second most popular rodent kept as pets coming in just after hamsters but guinea pigs have seen a solid spike in popularity recently managing to close the gap between them and hamsters.
With the increased number of people brand new to keeping guinea pigs recently, we have noticed a spike in the number of people reaching out and asking a wide range of different questions.
On thing that many people have been asking about is their pet guinea pig hooting like an owl with many people being confused about the cause of the unique sound.
In most cases, you will usually find that your guinea pig is hooting due to some type of issue with its respiratory system.
Try not to worry as many of these problems are very easy to fix and a guinea pig hooting like an owl does not always mean there is something seriously wrong with your pet!
Why Is My Guinea Pig Hooting Like An Owl?
It is not normal for a guinea pig to make a hooting sound and if your pet guinea pig is making this noise then it is likely suffering from some kind of respiratory issue.
The three main reasons for a guinea pig hooting like an owl are due to some type of irritation, infection or allergies.
We will go into more detail about each of these issues below but it is important to keep an eye on your guinea pig if it starts hooting like an owl and to get it seen by a vet if the problem persists.
The most common cause of a guinea pig hooting is scented candles or other types of diffuser systems in your home releasing scent particles that your guinea pig is sensitive to.
As guinea pigs have such a strong sense of smell, it does not take much for them to start having an adverse reaction which is why we recommend avoiding using any type of scented candles or diffusers in your home if you have a pet guinea pig.
If you are unsure what is causing your guinea pig to hoot like an owl, you can try removing any scented candles or diffusers from your home and seeing if the problem persists.
Another common allergen that can cause a guinea pig to hoot like an owl is dust mites.
Dust mites are tiny creatures that thrive in dusty environments and they are known to be one of the most common allergens in the world.
In addition to being a potential allergen, dust mites can also act as a parasite to your guinea pig if it inhales them into their nose.
As your guinea pig tries to force the dust mites biting its nostrils out it can make a hooting sound.
In addition to dust mites, actual dist or microscopic fiber particles can also be a leading cause of breathing issues in guinea pigs.
Many people still use unsuitable bedding and substrate for their pet guinea pig that is dusty.
These dust particles can then end up in the nose of your guinea pig causing it to hoot like an owl.
The best way to prevent this from happening is to use a suitable bedding for your guinea pig that is dust-free and there are plenty of options out there these days.
One of the more serious causes of a guinea pig hooting like an owl is a respiratory infection.
Respiratory infections are relatively common in guinea pigs and they can cause a wide range of different symptoms including wheezing, sneezing, and hooting.
If your guinea pig has any other symptoms of a respiratory infection then it is important to get it seen by a vet as soon as possible.
In most cases, a course of antibiotics will be required to clear the infection and your guinea pig should start to feel better within a few days.
As we briefly mentioned above, allergies are also a leading cause of guinea pigs hooting like an owl.
There are many different things that your guinea pig could be allergic to including dust, pollen, and certain types of bedding.
If you think your guinea pigs allergies might be the cause of its hooting then it is important to get it seen by a vet so they can prescribe the appropriate treatment.
In some cases, a change in diet may be all that is required to help your guinea pig feel better but in other cases, medication may be necessary.
As you can see, there are many different reasons why your guinea pig might start hooting like an owl and it is important to get to the bottom of the problem as soon as possible.
If the problem persists then we recommend getting your guinea pig seen by a vet as they will be able to provide the appropriate treatment.
Another potential cause of a guinea pig hooting like an owl is if the humidity in its environment is too high or too low.
Guinea pigs are very sensitive to changes in humidity and they can start to experience respiratory problems if the levels are not ideal.
If you think the humidity might be the problem then we recommend investing in a hygrometer so you can monitor the levels in your guinea pig’s enclosure.
The ideal level of humidity for a guinea pig is between 30% and 50%.
In some rare cases, cancer can also be the reason why a guinea pig starts hooting like an owl.
There are many different types of cancer that can affect guinea pigs and they can cause a wide range of different symptoms.
If your guinea pig is hooting like an owl and it has any other symptoms of cancer then it is important to get it seen by a vet as soon as possible.
Although pollen can come under the allergy section of this article, it is also a general irritant and can cause issues in the nostrils of your pet guinea pig if it is inhaled.
Due to this, we wanted to give pollen its own dedicated section to try and make sure that you are aware of the potential problem.
You can check the pollen count in your local area to see if it has recently spiked to help you get an idea if this is the potential cause.
Heart disease is another leading cause of a guinea pig hooting like an owl and it is something that you should be aware of.
Guinea pigs are susceptible to a wide range of heart conditions and they can often start to experience symptoms such as wheezing and hooting.
If your guinea pig has any other symptoms of heart disease then it is important to get it seen by a vet as soon as possible.
In most cases, heart disease can be treated with medication but in some severe cases, surgery may be required.