As a guinea pig owner, you must have noticed at some point, that your little furry friends are sniffing each other’s bums.
This particular behavior can seem pretty weird to us but for these little creatures such behaviors are completely normal. The bum-sniffing behavior of these rodents plays a very important role in rodents.
Guineapigs smell each other”s bottom for gathering data, get familiar with one another & determine if the other guineapig is a friend or a foe. Such behavior is an important part of their social bonding and helps them to establish a social hierarchy.
Here in this article will be exploring the various reasons why rodents like Guinea pigs like to smell each other’s bums.
Guinea pig sniffing bum: Possible Reasons
1. They are communicating through scent
Guinea pigs like many other rodents use their body cents to communicate and interact with one another. This particular behavior is very common in the majority of wild animals including cats dogs, squirrels, and a variety of other animals.
Scent marking is something the guinea pigs use to recognize other members of their herd. They can also relay various kinds of information regarding their health and social status using their body scent.
Guinea pigs can learn about the reproductive status as well as the social hierarchy of other guinea pigs of the same herd by sniffing their bums.
- Female guinea pigs release a particular kind of scent targeting the male guinea pigs when they are in heat and this is their way of letting the guinea pigs of the other gender know that they are ready to breed.
- Moreover, when female guinea pigs are pregnant they will also start smelling different which will inform the male ones about their pregnancy.
2. Showing respect to the other member of the herd
Guinea pigs are social animals and as a result, they always like to establish a social hierarchy within their herd.
Submissive guinea pigs smell the bums of the dominant guinea pigs to show their submission and respect.
3. Using the scent to bond with each other
- Guinea pigs also can determine the overall health of other members in the herd by smelling their bottom.
- The body smell of a guinea pig that is sick or under serious stress will be quite different than the body scent of a healthy one and they can determine this via sniffing each other’s bums.
In the rodent world, the body scent is an important marker to bond with one another.
When guinea pigs sniff each other’s bottoms they are sometimes trying to be social as by sniffing each other’s bottoms they are exchanging scent markers which help in establishing a special kind of social bond between the guinea pigs within that given herd.
Often guinea pigs that have been separated from each other due to some kind of disease or other reasons will again start constantly sniffing each other’s bums to further reestablish their social bond upon their reunion.
By sniffing they can identify members of their species or herd and can develop an understanding regarding their future compatibility.
Important things to remember regarding guineapigs sniffing each other”s bottom
- You need to ensure that there are no compatibility issues with the guinea pigs living in one habitat. Otherwise, the excessive bottom-biting activity can be a sign of aggression caused owing to incompatibility issues.
- There is also a popular belief that same-gender siblings won’t have compatibility problems but that is not right. Guineapigs sharing the same blood can get aggressive with one another.
- You should double-check the gender of the newly arrived guinea pigs no make sure that the whole process is not an attempt related to mating intentions.
Why do guinea pigs bite each other’s bottom?
Guinea pigs are social animals and they often bite each other”s bottoms to exert their dominance over one another.
- The dominant guinea pig will often mount on or bit the back of the recessive guinea pig and such behavior is not considered aggressive behavior but an expression where the dominant guinea pig is trying to make a statement and establish order in the social hierarchy.
However excessive biting can be a sign of aggressiveness and needs to be addressed quickly.
Such aggressive biting can occur due to overcrowding or territorial problems. If you see both guinea pigs attacking each other frequently, it will be a good idea to consult with the vet.
Why do my guinea pigs keep smelling each other?
Smelling is the most important mode of communication among guinea pigs. By smelling each other they can identify each other’s gender, their health conditions and gather loads of different information about each other.
Also, they keep on smelling each other in a way to form a social bond with each other. It is common to see a newly introduced guinea-pig to be regularly sniffed by the old members of the habitat for multiple weeks.
However, if you see that your guinea pigs are suddenly smelling certain other guinea pigs on an excessive basis, it might be a good idea to consult with the vet.
To sum it up
- Guineapigs interact and communicate with one another by smelling the scent of each other”s bottom and it is completely normal behavior on their part.
- This kind of behavior is their form of social bonding and plays a big role in their collecting loads of information about one another.
- Smelling each other”s bottom enables them to know about each other”s gender, health, mood, etc. It also plays a big role in their territory marking and inducting dominance over one another.
- However, if you notice that any of the guinea pigs that are participating in such sniffing activities is acting strangely, are aggressive towards other guinea pigs, are not eating food, or water or not sleeping, or acting restless then you should contact the vet as early as possible.