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Home > Guinea Pigs > How to Calm Guinea Pigs During Fireworks: 5 Vet Approved Tips

How to Calm Guinea Pigs During Fireworks: 5 Vet Approved Tips

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Dr. Lorna Whittemore

Veterinarian, MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Firework season might be fun for many people, but it can be a nightmare for pets. Loud bangs, flashing lights, and smoky air can send your pet guinea pigs into a major panic. Disruption sensitivity varies from pig to pig, but fireworks are almost always a stressor for them.

Making simple changes to your pets’ environment will help them weather the holiday without undue stress.


How to Calm Guinea Pigs During Fireworks

1. Bring Outdoor Guinea Pigs Inside

If you have an outdoor hutch, bringing your guinea pigs inside can be a major game changer. Even bringing your hutch from the backyard to the garage can help muffle noise and block flashing lights. The best place to bring your hutch is near the middle of the house, in a quiet space without a good view through the windows. If moving your hutch inside isn’t an option, consider turning it around so that the open face of the hutch is facing a wall.

Teddy guinea pig nestled in hay
Image by: PHOTO FUN, Shutterstock

2. Cover the Cage

Covering your guinea pigs’ cage will also reduce disturbances to their environment. Close the cage’s curtains if it has them. If not, drape a blanket over the cage. If you expect noise, several thick blankets can muffle sound and make them less distressed, but be aware of ventilation. If putting several blankets will impede airflow or make your cage hot and stifling, it’s better to stick with one lighter covering. They must have adequate air flow into the hutch.

3. Provide Plenty of Hiding Space

guinea pig in a wooden small house
Image by: Elya Vatel, Shutterstock

Guinea pigs like to “dig down” during stressful situations, and giving them hiding space can help. Make sure that your pigs have several inches of bedding to burrow into if desired. Hiding places—even something like a small cardboard box—can also give your pet pigs another place to retreat. By giving your pet multiple choices for hiding spaces, you’ll help them deal with their stress in a way that they know best.

4. Consider Playing Music or TV

New noises, in general, can be tough for guinea pigs, but loud, sudden booms are especially scary. Putting on the TV or radio can fill in the silence and distract from firework noises. However, it’s important to be cognizant of what’s playing—blaring music or an action-packed movie might make the environment more stressful, not less. The best choice for background noise should be something relatively calm and constant.

5. Get Ready Early

Change can be stressful! If you plan on trying any new calming techniques this year, consider “practicing” in the weeks leading up to a holiday so that your guinea pig is used to them. For example, if you plan to play calm music during your local fireworks show, start playing music on occasion beforehand when your piggy is relaxed already.

In some cases, moving a hutch or cage to a better location for more than just the evening is impractical or unsafe, but if you can make a big move a day or two before, that will let your guinea pigs settle into their new location. Getting ready in advance is also helpful if neighbors start setting off fireworks earlier than planned—you’ll be ready to test drive your plan right away!

guinea pigs inside their cage
Image by: StineMah, Shutterstock


Last Thoughts

There’s not a lot of focus on how small pets are affected by fireworks, but guinea pigs are just as likely to be scared and stressed as dogs and cats. It’s unrealistic to try and protect your guinea pigs from all noises, but that doesn’t mean they have to suffer through a frightening evening, either! Making a plan to minimize lights and noise will go a long way toward helping them feel safe and secure.

Image Credit: Ocskay Mark, Shutterstock

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