There are so many pictures floating around with guinea pigs wearing clothes or some form of a costume out there. This definitely can make it seem like dressing them up is a normal thing to do.
So, can guinea pigs wear clothes? Ideally, you shouldn’t make your guinea pigs wear clothes unless it’s absolutely necessary, and only for a short period of time.
In some cases, they can even wear clothes when taking a quick photo, as long as it’s done safely.
You should never make a guinea pig wear clothes when they’re alone. In other words, these creatures should be under constant supervision when wearing clothes.
If you decide to put any type of clothing on them you have to consider how it makes them feel because every guinea pig is going to react differently.
Knowing that guinea pigs can react badly to wearing clothes and learning the signs that it’s stressing them out can make it easier to tell if they even want to wear clothes.
Does Wearing Clothes Stress Guinea Pigs out?
Yes, most guinea pigs feel stressed when wearing clothes. The main reason is that it doesn’t feel natural to them.
For guinea pigs, wearing any kind of clothing, collars, or leashes can at times feel like something is wrapping around them. When they’re unable to shake free of it, it can cause them to stress out.
To make sure that your pet is not getting stressed you must monitor it all through the phase they are wearing an outfit.
Also, talk to your vet to gather knowledge about the signs that usually indicate that the creature is feeling stressed. The segment below talks about the common ones among them.
What are the Signs Clothes are Stressing Your Guinea Pig out?
To identify the signs that clothes are stressing your guinea pig you will have to be watchful.
Any change in their behavior after wearing a piece of clothing might be an indicator of stress. If you see the little one trying to hide without any reason, there’s a reason to worry.
You must remove their clothes right away so that they can feel comfortable. The same step should be taken even if they start chewing the cage bars.
According to the RSPCA, Other common signs that indicate they’re starting to get stressed include:
- Reluctance in moving.
- Constant circling of the enclosure.
If you make your guinea pig wear clothes for a longer duration you may also notice an alteration in their toileting and feeding habits.
Is it Cruel to put Clothes on Guinea Pigs?
You are definitely acting cruelly if you are not observant of the pet’s behavior after making them wear any form of clothing.
If they appear to be anxious or scared, you should immediately remove all their clothes.
Also, make sure that your pet is not forced to wear clothes. Like humans, guinea pigs also have their own preferences.
If you see your pet show moderate to high resistance as you are trying to dress them, you should drop the idea of making them wear clothes.
Being highly skittish in nature, guinea pigs get startled easily by bright light, loud noises, and even a subtle change in their environment. So, never try to do anything that they dislike. This can sometimes include taking pictures.
Also, be extremely careful when choosing outfits for these rodents. Never make them wear clothing that would confine their legs and arms (making movement difficult for them) or restrict breathing.
If you are looking to make the pet DIY outfits, avoid unsafe practices and materials when making them. Here are a few things you must keep in mind:
- Make sure that you are not using materials that might make your pet suffer from allergic reactions.
- Avoiding materials that might cause itching or force them to scratch is also necessary.
- Never use elastic fasteners or rubber bands when making clothes for your guinea pig. Such items might get tangled in your pet’s fur causing serious injuries.
- Never make outfits that would keep the head of your guinea pig covered.
Can Wearing Clothes Hurt Your Guinea Pig?
If you do decide to have them wear anything, just make sure it isn’t something like a full bodysuit.
That’s because they will need to go to the bathroom at some point and that would result in the soiling of the clothing if it’s a full bodysuit.
Also leaving it on for an extended period of time can lead to them soiling themselves, which can cause infections if left unchecked.
So, even if you decide to go for a full body suit, make sure it features necessary openings for their bathroom duty. The best alternatives for this are a nice fitting cloak or a dress.
Clothing that may look fine but is actually too tight can end up choking them.
Even if it doesn’t choke them directly, it can make it harder for them to breathe and they may start to panic.
That panic can make them breathe a lot harder and also cause their heart rate to rise. That can affect them physically by unnecessarily raising their blood pressure to unhealthy levels.
It can also affect them mentally because now they might be constantly scared of having clothes put on them.
If they had that bad experience then they could become traumatized. The stress of wearing the clothes that hurt them may cause your guinea pigs to be timider around you.
In some cases, it can even make them afraid of you, especially if they now associate you with the bad feeling of wearing clothes.
Should Guinea Pigs Wear Clothes if it’s Cold?
Guinea pigs are susceptible to both extreme heat and cold. This leaves us with the question: can guinea pigs wear clothes to beat the cold?
As we have mentioned that these little creatures should not wear clothes for a long period of time, making them wear sweaters or jumpers when it’s cold is not a good idea.
They can wear such items of clothing only for a few minutes and not more than that.
Before I share with you a few ways of keeping your pet warm during winter months without clothing, I would like to mention that these rodents shouldn’t become too warm.
So, never put them out in the sun or near a heating vent, fireplace, or stove hoping that it would make them feel warm and comfortable.
Tips for Keeping Your Guinea Pigs Warm Without Clothes
Guinea pigs don’t sweat so exposure to excessive heat might result in heatstroke.
That means you should always monitor them while you’re trying different ways to keep them warm.
You can buy a pack of pet-safe heating pads. They are available in all top pet stores and online. This pet heating pad is currently one of the best-reviewed ones on Amazon.
All you have to do is heat one pad in a microwave and place it inside your pet’s cage, it will remain warm for as long as ten hours. It’s non-toxic and doesn’t contain any wires that they can chew on.
Insulating the floor of their cage using straw or newspaper would also be a good idea.
The layer of insulation should be thick. Ideally, you should create a 10 to 12 sheet thick layer of newspaper and then cover it with some straw or shredded paper for extra warmth.
When taking your pet out in the cold, you should look to insulate the enclosure from the outside.
Covering the hutch with an old piece of rug or carpet would do the job for you. Cover the cage in a way so that there’s room for light and air to enter; that’s crucial for ensuring that your guinea pig doesn’t feel suffocated.
Can Guinea Pigs Wear Clothes for a Quick Picture?
I’m sure you’ve seen a bunch of photos online of cute guinea pigs in costumes. There’s so many of them that it may seem regular to do this all the time.
Just know that if you decide to take pictures of them while they are dressed up, make sure you get all the photos you need in a very quick photo session.
Also to be safe, limit the number of times you take pictures of them while they have clothes on.
That being said, if your guinea pig doesn’t have a history of showing dissent when wearing clothes, there’s no harm in having them wear an attractive but comfortable outfit for a quick picture.
However, if your pet guinea pig never seems to be wearing clothes willingly you should look for other ways of making their photos pretty.
Changing the backdrop by adding colorful flowers would do wonders. You can also use props such as toys and stuffed animals to make the frame more eye-catching.
When choosing props, you must make sure that the items picked by you are safe for being around guinea pigs.
How Long can Guinea Pigs Safely Wear Clothes?
You shouldn’t make your guinea pig wear clothes for hours. Ideally, they should wear clothes for a maximum of 30 minutes or so or until they start showing signs of discomfort (which is usually less than 30 minutes).
30 minutes is the max but that doesn’t mean you can safely have them in clothes for that long each time.
It should be used as a time limit that you shouldn’t exceed. Most of the time that number is a lot less than 30 minutes and more like 5 to 10 if it’s truly necessary.
Each time you decide to have your guinea pig wear clothes watch them closely, and always remove the clothing at the first sign of stress.