Guinea Pigs Behavior. Guinea pigs are social animals and they love hanging out with their kind. With affectionate nature and unique personality, they love being around humans. Whilst awake, they are busy grooming, feeding, chewing, and investigating their surroundings. A good characteristic about them is that they are crepuscular, meaning most active during dawn and dusk.
In order to understand your guinea pigs behavioral habits, odd actions, possible needs and moods that your guinea pig is trying to communicate with you, so it is important to learn more about your guinea pig behaviour..
These are some pointed common guinea pig behavior characteristics faced by anyone who has a guinea pig:
How To Pick Up A Guinea Pig
- How to pick up a guinea pig. With one hand supporting their bottom, while using your other hand supporting below their chest.
- Cavies have delicate and fragile bones and if handled incorrectly can cause serious injuries such as broken bones, internal damage and bruising.
Guinea Pig Popcorning
- A Guinea Pig Pop corning. This guinea pigs behavior exhibits jumping up in the air, running around, or quickly turning in another direction and repeating the jump.
- This can be done repeatedly. This can be more common with young guinea pigs when they exhibit playfulness, excitement or happiness.
- Older guinea pigs don’t usually jump as high as the younger guinea pigs as they tend to be heavier, but still tend to popcorn.
Guinea Pig Scared
- Guinea pig scared and sense danger or feels threatened when it hears sudden sound that its not familiar with they will freeze and stand motionless.
- This is a natural reaction which a guinea pig uses they were naturally hunted in the wild by larger predators.
- Freezing is often followed by a short vibrating sound, which also indicates fear.
- This is their Natural defense mechanism which needs to be respected and dealt with patiently.
- Your guinea pig also get scared when they are left alone and during improper handling or grooming.
- So it’s very important that you bond with your guinea pigs from and early stage.
Do Guinea Pigs Close Their Eyes When They Sleep
- When Guinea pigs are asleep they usually sleep with their eyes open due to evolution and the need to survive in the wild
- As guinea pigs used to be wild animals are always on high alert.
- This due to when they lived in the wild and were prey to much larger animals and birds of prey
- It is also said some guinea pigs are even born with their eyes open, but now guinea pigs are bred domestically for pets.
Are Guinea Pigs Territorial
- Are guinea pigs territorial, yes as most animals do guinea pigs use scent to mark their territory.
- Guinea Pigs Behavior will mark their territory by dragging themselves and rubbing their cheeks or hind ends.
- They will mark items as their property and territory by rubbing their chins, cheeks, and hind ends on all those items.
- You might see your guinea pig urinating in various areas around his cage and habitat.
Guinea Pig Dominance
- Fear can cause guinea pigs to show their dominance over other guinea pigs by raising their heads.
- This is their way of showing up to one another, as in guinea pig social circles, the higher the head, the sturdier the guinea pig.
- Or your guinea pig is in unfamiliar surroundings and with unfamiliar guinea pigs.
Guinea Pig Sounds
- Guinea pig sound such as a shorter, apprehensive sounding purr can indicate fear.
- A high-pitched squeak or shriek may indicate scared and frightened
- Hissing sound can also sound like chattering teeth and is a sign of being frustrated or angry.
- Bared teeth are also followed by this hissing sound
They May Fidget While Being Held.
- This maybe a sign that your guinea pig needs to go to the bathroom.
- Or your guinea pig is tired of being held which means it’s time to let them go.
- So it’s recommended that you return your guinea pig to their cage for a moment to recuperate in its natural surroundings.
Why do guinea pigs yawn
- Guinea pig yawning showing their teeth and a little bit of aggression to show dominance to another guinea pigs subtly.
- A Guinea pigs yawning can also provide health benefits, like regulating body temperature and good blood flow.
- When your guinea pigs yawn can also be due to factors such as stress.
- This can be caused by changes to their environment or even aggression as a result of being territorial.
- Yawning can also indicate when your guinea pigs feel safe and secure in their surroundings.
- And showing they are all comfortable and relaxed and happy.
Guinea Pig Standing On Hind Legs
- Guinea pig standing on hind legs is simply a curiosity stance.
- This affords a guinea pig a better view of their surroundings of what’s going on around them.
- Or when your guinea pig smells or begs for a food treat.
Guinea Pig Licking
- Guinea Pig licking of their fur is their way to keep themselves clean and groom themselves.
- Most guinea pigs will like to keep themselves clean, so you likely won’t need to bathe them often, that is unless they get mites or get themselves dirty.
- But that doesn’t mean don’t bathe your guinea pig at all.
- It’s common for guinea pigs to lick their owners fingers or hand, this can be a sign of affection or the taste of salt on owners skin.
- Or the guinea pig might just like the taste of a their owners skin.
Guinea Pigs Biting
Guinea pigs Biting. If they bite, it’s because they are being mishandled or feel threatened by another animal or person. Otherwise, this cavy is very excited and expressive. They show their excitement by squealing when they see their favorite person or food. They easily get bored so things like toys, nuts to chew and play with must be kept for them.
If fear is on their mind, they may bite if you pick them. Go slow if you see them shrieking or hiding as this is a sign that it is at discomfort or is feeling threatened. Purring is something they do when they are happy or angry. If happy they will purr on a low pitch but if angry the purr will sound high pitched. Go slow on them. Be calm. Handle with care. They get jealous of other pigs or beings which is a fact. They may react with anger if neglected for long. Keep good hiding places within their cage to be alone or hide when the need arises. They chatter while angry. This is another behavior pattern to watch out for.
As with humans and most animals, your guinea pigs get the occasional urge to itch.
If your cavy is scratching excessively, check their skin to see if it’s flaky, sore or for any bald patches that may have appeared.
Do Guinea Pigs Eat Their Poop
Do guinea pigs eat their own poop ? Yes it’s a normal process and called Coprophagia.
This can be observed when your guinea pigs ducks their heads underneath followed by munching.
The most common reason for this kind of action is the fact that its poop contains a source of vitamins B and K, produced by bacteria inside the guinea pigs gut.
Sleeping Guinea Pigs
Do guinea pigs sleep ? Yes they do.
Do guinea pigs sleep with their eyes open ? Yes most of the time.
With guinea pigs you may notice that they often do not close their eyes, even when they sleeping.
On occasions they may close their eyes if they feeling very relaxed, even then it is not very often.
This is due to their natural defense mechanisms and alertness from when they were hunted by predators in the wild.
Bored Guinea Pigs
Guinea pigs are smart, sociable animals and they need mental and physical stimulation to escape boredom, just like us.
It is important to provide a relaxed fun proactive environment for your cavies, as being sat in a cage with nothing to do to interest your guinea pig will likely lead to depression and illness.
Your guinea pig should have an appropriate cage, the right food and toys to play with as well as lots of positive attention.
Boredom breakers such as Guinea pigs treat ball and Dandelion Roll ‘n’ Nest can be a good in expensive way to keep then occupied and happy.
This kind of environment will give enjoyment and happiness in your cavy.
Can Guinea Pigs Get Depressed
Yes guinea pigs can get depressed, Is your guinea pig depressed?
How to tell if your guinea pig is depressed.
When stressed or depressed, they tend to hide, keep circling in their cage, chew cage bars, over-groom themselves. Or change their feeding and toilet habits, over drink water, and hesitate to move around.
It’s necessary to handle them with care if they are facing any of these guinea pigs behavior problems. Avoid loud noises. Show affection.
Avoid bothering them when anxious. Do not shout. This makes them nervous leading to further behavior problems to even sickness.
Another natural defense instinct, is guinea pigs can hide their illness.
Again this goes back to when they originally lived In the wild, it’s a survival mechanism against predators picking out an easy prey.
At first try offering your guinea pig its favourite treat. If they show no interest, then take your guinea pig to a vet immediately.
As depression could be a sign to some more serious health problems your guinea pig may have.
Guinea Pigs Fighting
Cavies form good bonds with their mates. Care must be taken to keep matured males away from each other as they can harm other by getting aggressive. Stronger males placed together with females will result in fights
Do guinea pigs fight ? Yes they do fight on occasions.
Keeping females and males separated would be best advised, as Mixing both genders of guinea pigs together can lead to mating fights.
Another way to pair your guinea pig is by introducing them to a much younger one. This way the guinea pigs behavior will establish their dominance much quicker
Why Do Guinea Pigs Fight ?
Another reason guinea pigs fight is when multiple cavies are set into a small, cramped space, cage. or hutch.
With not enough space to run around and play, there is nowhere for one to get away from the other.
They will start to get irritated with each other and start a fight if they are trapped together for too long.
Cages and hutches should also provide lots of space for all your guinea pigs to hide in, such as hideouts.
If you only have one guinea pig hideout in a small cage, there is nowhere for one to get away from the other.
That’s when they will start becoming annoyed at each other and start a fight, which causes this type of Guinea Pigs Behavior.
Stimulating your guinea pig with guinea pig chew toys, hay and something to play with, will help them from becoming bored, restless and uneasy.
It is important to be aware of their behavior patterns and see the difference between their usual and unusual behavior.
Another thing to note is Guinea pigs are very inquisitive and curious by nature. They are creatures of habit, so changes in their daily routine can cause some distress. It is recommended to introduce changes slowly.