Guinea pigs don’t go missing as often as outdoor rabbits, and they don’t tend to escape and run around the house as often as hamsters. But, they are intelligent and generally quite curious little animals so there is a chance that yours might escape. Depending on the location of the cage, and whether any doors are open, it is possible that an indoor guinea pig has got outside the house.
Below are 12 tips to help you try and quickly locate a lost guinea pig.
The 12 tips to help you Find a Lost Guinea Pig Fast
In The Home
If your guinea pig lives indoors, it is most likely still somewhere in the house. The size of guinea pigs means that they should be easier to find than hamsters and gerbils, but a scared guinea pig can be very good at hiding out of the way.
1. Close Doors and Windows
Ensure that the front, rear, and side external doors are closed so that you can confine the search to the interior of the house. You should also close bottom opening windows in case your intrepid pet finds a way onto windowsills.
2. Check Every Room
Once you have secured the main doors, it is time to start searching. Guinea pigs can manage to climb up some types of stairs and can certainly hop down them. You may have to expand your search to the other floors of the house. Take it one room at a time and when you’re sure that you’ve thoroughly checked every corner and under every surface of a room, exit the room and close the door behind you.
3. Secure Pets in One Room
You will need to remove cats and dogs from the search because a darting guinea pig is a temptation too far for most larger pets. Ideally, keep hold of them until you’ve searched the first room, or let them out in a secure garden or another area. Once you’ve searched the first pet-safe room, put your other pets in there and close the door. It will make the hunt easier.
4. Use Food
Use your guinea pig’s favorite treat and put it in an easily accessible area of a room that you believe the guinea pig is in. You will have to keep an eye out so that you can throw a towel over the guinea pig and catch it when you spot it.
5. Search at Night
Guinea pigs are nocturnal animals, which means that they are active during the night and tend to sleep during the day. This means that your search will be more fruitful if conducted at night. Your guinea pig will be more likely to snuffle out the seeds you’ve left for them.
6. Use a Towel
Catching a charging guinea pig isn’t always very easy, especially if they are scared and panicking. You may find that simply lunging and grabbing makes matters worse and sends your pet into even more of a panic. Get a clean towel and, when you see your little furry escapee, throw the towel over them before quickly gathering up the towel and the guinea pig.
Outside The Home
Whether you keep your guinea pig indoors or it has had open-door access to the outside world, there is a chance your cavie has made its way outdoors. If this is true, the hunt will be more difficult, but you shouldn’t give up hope straight away. The key to outdoor searching is enlisting the help of others.
7. Speak to Neighbors
Visit your neighbors and tell them your guinea pig has gone missing. If you have a picture, take that with you so they know what to look for. Otherwise, give as accurate a description as possible. Ask them to have a quick look in gardens and outbuildings, and to keep an eye out over the next few days. Local children can prove very helpful because they are inquisitive and like to play outdoors.
8. Contact Vets, Shelters, and Rescues
If somebody has found a lost pet, they will usually contact a vet or a local rescue. Even if that organization doesn’t take the lost animal in, they will usually keep details of the animal itself and contact details of the people that found it, which could be all you need to be reunited with your pet.
9. Leave the Gate Open
Once your guinea pig has had enough of roaming the streets, it may decide to return to its home. Although guinea pigs don’t necessarily have the same navigational skills as a lost cat or dog, it is possible that a guinea pig has only gone as far as the bushes on the other side of the road before returning to its own garden. Leave your gates open to allow a safe return.
10. Post on Social Media
Most towns and neighborhoods have their own social media pages. Join the groups and post details of your lost guinea pig. You will usually find that such posts get shared between neighbors, enabling you to enlist the help of many people in your area without having to visit them all.
11. Canvas the Neighborhood
Print lost leaflets and deliver them through doors. The recipients will be able to clearly remember what the guinea pig looks like if they have a picture, and they will be better able to remember who to contact if they do see a guinea pig in the streets.
12. Put Up Flyers
Another good use of your best cavie photo is to create flyers or posters. Put them on lampposts around the neighborhood and ask if you can put them in local shop windows.
Guinea pigs do not go missing as often as other pets like dogs, cats, or even rabbits. Hopefully, if yours has gone missing, it will be in one of the rooms of your house and you will be able to find it quite quickly. You can use your guinea pig’s appetite to your advantage, by putting out its favorite food as bait, and then use a towel to help you get your cavy before it bolts again.
If you do need to expand your search outside the home, enlist the help of neighbors and even your local vets and animal shelters, who will let you know if there have been any local sightings reported to them.
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