Dogs are adorable and sweet but can be pretty gross animals to live with. They like to eat dog poop, cat poop and poop from all kinds of other animals, including guinea pigs. I’ve seen many internet articles telling people not to worry if their dog ate guinea pig poop, but as a veterinarian, that’s not the way I see it…

I advise my clients NOT to allow their dog to eat guinea pig poop. There are many parasites, bacteria and viruses that can be passed from guinea pigs to dogs. Even if the guinea pig seems healthy, they could harbor disease-causing organisms. If your dog gets sick, they might spread disease to humans.

Can Dogs Get Sick From Eating Guinea Pig Poop?

Although dogs and guinea pigs are different species, there are plenty of parasites, bacteria and viruses that can pass between them. It’s not uncommon for a guinea pig to be infected with an organism and not show any symptoms at all. But if a dog eats the infected guinea pig’s poop, they can still get very sick. 

Dogs are likely to have close contact with humans (especially kids) by way of licking, biting, sharing food, sleeping with them, etc. So it’s very serious if your dog contracts a disease from a guinea pig that can be passed to humans! 

Among the diseases a guinea pig can pass to a dog (or human), there are a few that are more likely to cause problems. Here’s a list I compiled from various scientific papers and other authoritative sources…

1. Bacteria

  • Salmonella spp. (1)
  • Campylobacter jejuni
  • Atypical enteropathogenic Escherichia coli  
  • Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (5)

2. Protozoans

  • Blastocystis sp.
  • Cryptosporidium spp.
  • Entamoeba spp. 
  • Eimeria caviae
  • Giardia lamblia
  • Trichomonas caviae

Protozoans are single-celled organisms and the ones on this list are parasites of guinea pigs. Giardia and cryptosporidium are the most concerning as they can be passed to other species, including dogs and humans and often cause illness. (3)

4. Worms

  • Balantidium caviae
  • Eimeria caviae
  • *Hymenolepis nana 
  • Hymenolepis diminuta
  • Paraspidodera uncinata

*Hymenolepis nana infections in guinea pigs are a concern because these worms can be transmitted to other species, including humans. (4) The others likely won’t cause illness in dogs but could show up on a fecal test if they eat an infected guinea pig’s poop.

4. Viruses

  • Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus (1)

Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus can be carried by rodents (including guinea pigs) and passed to dogs and humans. Infection with this virus can cause meningitis and/or encephalitis in humans.

Chihuahua and guinea pig (dog ate guinea pig poop)
Dogs and guinea pigs can share friendship as well as diseases!

Diagnosing Parasite Infection in Guinea Pigs & Dogs

If your dog is eating guinea pig feces, the best thing you can do is consult your veterinarian about running a fecal test for parasites on both animals. 

A fresh stool sample from both the guinea pig and the dog (but kept separately) should be delivered to your veterinarian. It’s OK if there is a small amount of bedding, grass or dirt stuck to the stool sample. Try to collect at least about a teaspoon of poop from each animal. 

You can keep the sample in a clean, dry plastic or glass container enclosed in a zip-top plastic bag in your refrigerator for up to 8 hours. But fresh is best for diagnosing parasite infections.

In fact, your vet may want to examine a very fresh sample of stool microscopically. In that case, a sample that is less than a couple of hours old is best. 

Got a pet question for Dr. T.? Click here to ask it!

Treatment for Common Guinea Pig Worms & Other Parasites

Worm infections can usually be treated with common veterinary antiparasitic medications like fenbendazole, praziquantel, sulfadimethoxine and metronidazole. (4) Your vet will know which one to choose and the proper dose to give each animal for the best outcome. 

Please let your vet help you with this! Improper dosing or treatment regimen could fail to get rid of the infestation. The medication could harm your dog or guinea pig if overdosed. And guinea pigs are so small, that a miscalculation in dose could be disastrous.

How to Keep a Dog from Eating Guinea Pig Poop

The best way to prevent diseases from passing between dogs and guinea pigs by way of feces is to keep your dog away from the guinea pig’s poop. Place the guinea pig cage in a place the dog can’t get to-either a closed room or up high enough to be out of reach to the dog. 

You should also clean the cage frequently to prevent the accumulation of guinea pig poop that might tempt your dog. When you clean out the cage, take the dirty bedding directly outside rather than putting it in a trash can indoors where a dog might get to it. Keep any outdoor trash cans away from where the dog might get into them or lock them closed with a lid.

If you let your guinea pig run around the house, you can either keep the dog in a separate area until you can clean up all guinea pig poop or have the dog wear a basket muzzle to prevent poop eating. 


While it’s unlikely that a dog will get sick after eating a couple of pieces of poop from a healthy guinea pig. But dogs eating guinea pig poo is something to take seriously and prevent whenever possible. Even healthy guinea pigs can carry diseases that can be passed to dogs by way of eating poop. Humans can also catch some of these diseases from either the dog or the guinea pig. 

Related Posts provides content for informational and entertainment purposes. You should always seek care from a veterinarian to diagnose and treat your unique pet. Visit the Privacy Policy and Terms of Use section of this site to learn more.


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Small Mammals. Www.Cdc.Gov. Retrieved April 15, 2022, from
  2. González-Ramírez, L. C., Vázquez, C. J., Chimbaina, M. B., Djabayan-Djibeyan, P., Prato-Moreno, J. G., Trelis, M., & Fuentes, M. V. (2021). Ocurrence of enteroparasites with zoonotic potential in animals of the rural area of San Andres, Chimborazo, Ecuador. Veterinary Parasitology: Regional Studies and Reports, 26, 100630.
  3. Johnson, D. (2019, October 23–26). Parasites in Your Pocket (Pets): Companion Mammal Parasitology [Presentation session]. Wild West Veterinary Conference, Reno, NV, USA.
  4. Mencke, N., Bach, T. (2007, January 13–17). Managing Gastrointestinal Helminth Infections in Small Mammals [Presentation session]. Eighth International Parasite Control Symposium/NAVC, Orlando, FL, USA.
  5. Vasco, K., Graham, J. P., & Trueba, G. (2016). Detection of zoonotic enteropathogens in children and domestic animals in a semirural community in Ecuador. Applied and environmental microbiology, 82(14), 4218-4224.

Pin Me!

dog ate guinea pig poop Pinterest graphic