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Dr. Matt
Dr. Matt, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 5798
Experience:  13 years of experience including dogs, cats, and pocket pets
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we just brought home a new male guinea pig...any tips on keeping

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we just brought home a new male guinea pig...any tips on keeping the odor down? more than one person has done the "ohhh... you got a male?! they STINK!" & now my daughter is heartbroken that her room will reek.
Hello - I am Dr. Matt - I would be glad to help you with your question.

Do you have just one Guinea Pig or more then one male?

What type of bedding are you using with Copper?

How often are you spot cleaning his cage?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.


we just have the one male. the bedding is carefresh confetti (it comes in colors but we opted for the dye free). so far I have only scooped it out once since he has only been with us for about 24 hours.

Thank you for the additional information.

Male guinea pigs definitely can have more of an odor mostly due to the testosterone that they produce which causes their urine to smell differently then a female guinea pig. Controlling this odor can be challenging since guinea pigs do urinate quite a bit compared to other rodents. The absolute best way to reduce this odor would be to have Copper neutered. Neutering him will remove his source of testosterone and should prevent him from having should a potent odor. Now I can understand that the cost and placing him under anesthesia to have this procedure performed are not always practical and necessary though this is the only true way to reduce the odor that you are noticing.

Other then neutering him, the other way to reduce the odor would be to clean his bedding and blanket out more frequently. I have two male guinea pigs (both are neutered) and I completely remove all bedding and replace with fresh bedding every week and this seems to help quite a bit. You can also try different types of bedding to see what works best. I originally used the carefresh also but noticed that after even 4-5 days that the bedding had a slight odor to it. I then tried the other safe bedding for guinea pigs which is aspen shavings and actually feel like the odor is much less with the aspen shavings.

Overall if you really do not like the smell, I would talk to your vet about neutering Copper which should help quite a bit. Other then neutering, I would remove all of the bedding every week to keep it fresh. Trying some aspen shavings would be another suggestion if the carefresh continues to have an odor even with changing it every week.

Hope this helps to answer your question - if not or if you have any more questions please feel free to reply by clicking on the "reply to" button. Thank you for your question!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Will neutering eliminate or reduce the need to clean his grease gland as well?
I have already looked into setting up an appointment but was holding off because I wasn't sure it would make a difference in smell & my daughter is afraid he won't like her if we "hurt him" with surgery.

Yes, if he is neutered he will have less of an issue with the discharge around his glands. Neither of my guinea pigs seemed to show any behavior changes after being neutered. I have also not seen any behavior changes with other guinea pigs that I have neutered before also therefore would not expect Copper to show any changes either.

I do think that neutering will help with the smell quite a bit though.
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