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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.

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

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:

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

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

Customer Images

Sneezing Penny
White black and brown guinea pig on a fluffy mat with sawdust
Guinea Pig
Hello, my name is Angous


Becca, 1 August 2021

After observing our sneezing piggie very closely, discovered his sneezes predominantly occur when he is eating. He gulps his food sooooo fast that he sneezes! Doesn't matter if it's hay, fresh veggies or a treat. Almost had me convinced to rush to vet because of URI. I've done all the allergy "troubleshooting" and this is what I came up with! Isn't sick. NO other symptoms pretty funny now that I'm relieved he actually is NOT sick at all. Lol ????

Muze, 15 September 2020

Ohhhhhh so that’s why my one of my guinea pigs always sneeze when my mom puts on perfume near the cage to use as a air freshener he is allergic to it!

Olivia, 30 April 2020

One of my young guniea pigs is sneezing 3 or 4 times a day while my other one is completely fine. He has a stuffy nose and running eyes some days and the others he has no psychical signs, just the sneezing. I can't afford vet bills and my parents won't take him to the pet so if anyone has ideas please tell me!

Nina, 18 April 2020

My 3 year old ginea pig is coughing quite often but we went to the vet and she said hes fine so i dont know what to do!

Julia, 9 April 2020

My little girl is sneezing so much! I think the allergies may be a option because she has eye discharge. I will look into this.