Guinea Pigs in My Bed: Cute Idea or Cautionary Tale?

Many things in life may seem like a good idea at first but aren’t. These include stepping outside your car during a carwash or riding down the stairs in a box. Having your guinea pig in the bed with you while you are sleeping is right up there with skydiving without a parachute. No matter how well-intentioned you are, disaster is sure to follow.

Your guinea pig should not sleep with you. The risk of injury or death is too high. Besides possibly rolling onto it, the animal could fall off the bed. Cavies urinate and poop a lot, so bed-sharing with them is unhygienic. Piggies need to eat often and may also chew your hair while you are asleep.

Although you may imagine a magical scene of you and your soft little piggy snuggled up and drifting off to dreamland together, the reality would be quite different. There are many persuasive reasons why bedsharing with a guinea pig is a terrible idea.

Can My Guinea Pig Sleep In My Bed With Me?

Your guinea pig can sleep in your bed with you so long as you are awake and sitting upright, cuddling your piggy as it takes a short, supervised nap. If there is any chance that you may fall asleep, put the fragile pet back into its cage, where it will be completely safe.

Although that may not sound as fun as you and your piggy sharing your bed to sleep, it is the only way to guarantee the animal’s safety. Imagine how guilty you would feel waking up to find that you had accidentally rolled onto the little pet or that it had overheated during the night.

In addition to the safety risks of sharing your bed with your cavy, there is also the practical issue of hygiene. Guinea pigs need to use the bathroom much more frequently than a cat or a dog. Since they go on average every 15 minutes, after a whole night, that’s a lot of pee and poop that will be spread around in your bed!

10 Reasons Why Your Guinea Pig Should Not Sleep With You

By now, you have probably realized that letting your cavy sleep with you is a bad idea. In case you’re still not convinced, let’s take a closer look at all ten reasons cavies need their own sleeping quarters.

  1. They need to eat and drink continuously. Unlike humans, who can eat dinner and then fast at night, piggies are basically small eating machines. To keep their digestive systems working effectively, they must be able to nibble continuously throughout the day and night.
  2. They may fall and get injured. Cavies are non-climbing animals. Part of their charm is their portly little bodies, but their eyesight lacks depth perception meaning they could easily tumble off the side of the bed. Injuries from falls are common and often serious.
  3. You cannot supervise them while you are asleep. In the same way that you would not let a human toddler loose in your bedroom while you are sound asleep, having a free-roaming piggy is also not a good idea.
    While you are in dreamland and oblivious to your surroundings, your little rodent friend could be sampling electrical wires, toxic plants, or even meeting up with your other pets. Just like small children, piggies must be carefully supervised at all times when they are outside their cages.
  4. The cavy may nibble on your hair. In 2021, a Kentucky woman had her hair chewed off by her pet cavy while sleeping. Even if you are happy to entrust your hairdo to your piggy while you sleep, eating too much human hair could result in a gastric impaction which can be fatal for your little stylist.
  5. Guinea pigs pee and poop a lot! There is a good reason why piggy cage bedding needs to be super absorbent. Your bedding and mattress will never be the same again if your guinea pig spends the night in your bed.
  6. You could accidentally squash the fragile animal. Cats and dogs are very agile and can wriggle away when their human moves around at night. Guinea pigs would naturally try to burrow under the blankets, so they may be unable to move when you roll over while asleep.
  7. It could become entangled in the bedding. Cavy bedding is soft and fluffy. It is easy to walk over and crawl through. Human bedding could get wrapped tightly around the piggy, and it may suffocate.
  8. A piggy under the blankets could overheat. Cavies are incredibly sensitive to temperature and are only comfortable up to 75F. While you may feel warm and cozy under your blankets, your guinea pig could develop heat stroke.
  9. They don’t sleep in big chunks like humans. Although you and your cuddly pet may settle down and drift off together, in less than 30 minutes, your piggy will be done sleeping and ready to eat, play and explore. While you are fast asleep, your bedmate will be wide awake outside its cage and completely unsupervised.
  10. The guinea pig could get lost. In addition to all the dangers it may encounter while exploring the house unattended, there is also a chance that it could hide under a piece of furniture. It would be frightening to wake up in the morning and realize your piggy is missing.

Can I Sleep In The Same Room As My Guinea Pig?

Keeping your guinea pig cage in your bedroom is much safer than co-sleeping with the animal in your bed. Your piggy will be able to eat, play and explore in the safety of its cage throughout the night while you sleep.

Although there are benefits to keeping your piggies nearby, there are a few drawbacks to sleeping in the same room as your cavies. These include:

  • The artificial lights may bother the animals and disrupt their natural day-night rhythm.
  • Cavy cages should take up quite a lot of space. Remember, bigger is always better. Unless you have a large bedroom, having a guinea pig cage on the floor may make the room feel cramped.
  • Some people get allergies from things inside the cage, such as hay or bedding.
  • Piggies can be noisy at night, and it may disturb you. As mentioned earlier, they don’t sleep continuously overnight like humans. They are crepuscular, so they move around, eat and socialize with one another during the night, but especially at dawn and dusk.
  • Guinea pig cages can quickly become smelly, which can be bothersome if it is in your room. If you plan to keep the cage in your bedroom, invest in quality absorbent bedding, and have a strict cleaning schedule to keep things fresh.
  • You will need to limit your use of strong-smelling products. These include perfumes, scented candles, essential oils, and body sprays. Piggies have a highly developed sense of smell, so a slight scent to you may be overpowering for your little roommates.

Conclusion

Your guinea pig can sleep near you in its own safe cage but not with you in your bed. Even though piggies are cute and cuddly, risks and hygiene issues make sharing your bed with them impractical and dangerous. If you want to have your little pet near you while you sleep, keeping the cage in your room is best.