People love to dress up their pets. They often put sweaters or dresses on their dogs, tie a bow around their cat’s neck, or dress them up in costumes for a holiday or special event.
We all love to make our pets feel like part of the family, including dressing them up in fun clothes. However, if you have a guinea pig you may be wondering if it is safe for them to wear clothes.
Before you start dressing your cavy in costumes or letting them wear a harness, there are a few things you should know. It is important that you properly care for them so they stay happy and healthy.
You do not want to dress them up or give them something that will hurt them. Keep reading to learn all about guinea pig clothes and dressing them up.
Can you dress up your guinea pig?
While you technically can dress your guinea pig up in different clothes or outfits, it is usually not a wise idea. Clothing can irritate their skin or fur and possibly produce an allergic reaction, I’ve owned a lot of piggies over the years and this is a great resource when you have questions.
They do not wear clothes or accessories in the wild, so they are not properly equipped to wear clothing in your home.
If you do choose to dress them up, only let them wear clothes for a short period of time. Some pet owners choose to dress their cavy in costumes to take photos.
This may not be so bad for them because they are only in the outfits for a few minutes at a time.
Always monitor their behavior while they are wearing clothes. If you notice your pet is scared or anxious, immediately remove the articles of clothing.
Extended periods with garments will cause your pet to be extremely distressed. Some cavies do not like to wear clothes at all, for example, my little cavy Kim doesn’t like to do this.
If your pet resists when you try to dress them, stop. You should not put clothes on them if they dislike it.
Guinea pigs are naturally skittish creatures. They are easily startled by loud noises, bright lights, and changes to their environment, check out my premium guide to learn some nice tips & facts about the piggies.
Putting clothes on them may cause too much stress. It can make them distrustful of you or cause other health issues commonly associated with stress. Clothing may restrict their breathing or confine their arms and legs, making it difficult to move.
I see that some cavy owners choose to make clothes for them by hand. If you are creating a garment or outfit for your pet, there are some unsafe materials and practices. Avoid these things when dressing up your piggy:
- Rubber bands or elastic fasteners that could get tangled in their fur
- Paint that is not safe for pets and can cause an allergic reaction or other health issues
- Do not cover their head or block their ability to breathe in any way
- Burlap material that will cause them to scratch or itch
It is usually best to consider a safe alternative to dressing them up, especially for photo shoots or family photos. You can put a lightweight flower on their head for decoration or surround them with flowers.
These are unlikely to scare them or cause them to become too anxious. You can also take their picture in a unique setting or use props.
Create a backdrop for your piggy and put different items in the set, such as stuffed animals or other toys. Only use items that are safe for them to be around, and do not leave them outside of their crate for too long.
Can guinea pigs wear harnesses?
It is not safe to have your guinea pig wear a harness. They have very delicate spines that do not bend like other animals. You may walk your dog with a harness and leash, but this could seriously damage your cavy’s back.
While you may find harnesses for them sold online, you should avoid using them with your pet. For that reason, I will not share any clothes Items Amazon link in this article.
Harnesses can easily become too tight for them and cause them to chaff. They may damage their neck, fur, or back and irritate their skin over time. Tugging on a leash that is attached to the harness can also do significant damage to their spine and could possibly lead to death.
There is no need to ever walk your piggy on a leash. If you take them outside, you should monitor them at all times and set up boundaries to keep them from running away.
If you want a big enough playpen for your cavies to stretch their legs you can check this cheap one on Amazon, it comes with 12 panels, zip ties, and a wooden mallet. The amazing thing is that you can see through the panels to check your cute cavy.
Walking them on a leash will cause their spine to move out of alignment. Also, most guinea pigs do not enjoy going on walks. You cannot train them to walk with you on a leash, as you may do with your dog.
Most harnesses are not equipped to safely protect cavies. They can easily slip out of the harness and run out into the street. Using a harness often provides the exact opposite result you want for your pet.
It is always best to let them get regular exercise indoors. You can make sure they stay fit with the following tips.
- Section off a part of a room or hallway in your house to safely let them run around. Remove any electronics or places they could hide to keep them safe.
- Set up a wire pen or cage on the floor to let them run in a larger area.
- Make sure their cage is big enough for them to comfortably run. Consider adding an additional guinea pig run to give them even more space. I wrote a post about The Best Large Guinea Pigs Cages Buyer’s Guide you can check it to get a good decision.
- Keep them separated from other pets. Dogs and cats may accidentally harm your pet if they are left out together.
- Provide adequate food and water even if they are outside of their crate. They will need to stay hydrated and fed while they are expending energy.
Can guinea pigs wear diapers?
Like all animals, guinea pigs need to use the restroom on a regular basis. A lot of pet owners put a litter box or other area in their pet’s crate to keep the space clean.
If you let them roam around your house or you hold them frequently, you may want to prevent messes.
You should not put a diaper on your guinea pig. You may find different types of diapers being sold online, but most are unsafe.
They do not like having items cling to them and diapers are very similar to clothing. They can restrict your cavy’s movement and make them uncomfortable.
Guinea pigs also do not like being so close to their urine or feces. They are used to using the restroom in the same spot of their crate. Forcing them to wear a diaper will make them very anxious and upset.
When it comes to your piggy, it is best to let them remain natural. While it may seem like a fun idea to dress them up in clothes, they probably don’t like it very much.
Consider using props or backdrops instead if you want to snap a fun picture of your pet.
Also, harnesses and diapers are largely unsafe for them to wear. It is best to let them do what is natural and normal for them, instead of forcing them to wear these items.