Pet Owner Club

Potty Training for Guinea Pigs

While there are many reasons why you might want to own a guinea pig as a pet, there are also many reasons why you may talk yourself out of it as well. One of those reasons is the guinea pigs's bathroom habits.?You see, unlike cats, who will always use a litter box if there is one available, guinea pigs may not. So, how can you potty train your guinea pig?Again, not all guinea pigs will take to using a litter box, although many will. It seems to be a matter of personal choice for the guinea pig. There are many things that you can do, however, to make the litter box more attractive to your guinea pig.

Start by placing the litter box in the correct location inside your guinea pigs pen. Like many other animals, guinea pigs will not eliminate in the same places that they eat or sleep. For this reason, you will most likely want to place the litter box on the opposite end of the pen from where your guinea pig eats and sleeps.

Next, realize that you must have a great deal of patience when training a guinea pig to use a litter box. There will be accidents. Also realize that guinea pigs don't like to be forced to do anything. You must be gentle in your reprimands, and you must keep a close eye on your guinea pig. When he starts to eliminate outside of the litter box, you need to be ready to pick him up quickly, and to place him in the litter box.

Use the correct materials in the litter box. You can't use regular cat litter. Your guinea pig will prefer either wooden or paper pellets for his litter box, and you can actually use the same bedding that you use in his pen as well. Training a guinea pig to use a litter box should start shortly after you get him, but after he has already done his business in his pen a few times.

The idea here is to place the litter box in the spot that he has chosen for eliminating inside of the pen. Experts suggest placing some of his own fecal matter in the box, just so that he gets the idea a bit easier. Do not use large, overwhelming litter boxes. A very small plastic box is all that is needed.

When your guinea pig uses the litter box, he should be rewarded. Give him a small treat, and talk sweetly to him. Believe it or not, he will remember this, and this may prompt him to repeat the action for more treats and praise. If you see the guinea pig sitting in his litter box, even when he isn't eliminating, don't discourage him. If you shoo him out of the box, he may become scared of it.

If for some reason your guinea pig turns the litter box into a bed, you should take steps to make his real bed more attractive to him, so that he will stop using what he deems as the more comfortable litter box as a bed. If this continues to be a problem, change the material that you are using in the litter box to something that you are not using for his bedding.

Finally, keep your guinea pig confined to a small space, with the litter box inside, until he is using the litter box consistently, and then widen his space gradually until he uses the litter box each and every time that he eliminates, regardless of how far away the litter box is.

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