For a human, it is not easy to understand non-verbal cues produced by their pet friends.
Although, geniuses like guinea pigs are born with an ability to clearly communicate their emotions, needs and wants through non-verbal cues but not every pet owner can understand them.
If you own a guinea pig, here are some behavioral patterns that may seem a bit strange to you but are absolutely normal:
1. Popping like a popcorn
Guinea pigs look super-duper cute when jumping up and down.
For many, their excitement may seem quite common, but upon a closer look, you’ll observe a certain pattern in their jumping that not only is hilarious but unique in its own way.
Their signature move includes running, jumping in the air, landing on their four legs, jumping up high again and landing with their faces turned the other way.
Because their moves look like “popping popcorns”, hence labeled as “Popcorning”.
Why do they dance around?
Whenever a guinea pig is super happy or excited, they jump up and down to showcase their enthusiasm and emotions.
2. Guinea Pigs sleep with their eyes open
You think your guinea pig is a hefty thinker?
Always staring in blank space while lost in its own world?
Well, then you’re surely in for a surprise!
Guinea pigs sleep with their eyes wide open.
Yes, even when taking quick catnaps, these little buds do not close their eyes.
This is because guinea pigs are prey animals, carrying a natural instinct of hunting and survival.
Keeping their eyes open all the time gives them a sense of alertness.
If you own this adorable pet who now closes its eyes for quick catnaps, it means this little buddy feels safe and secure around you.
But that’s not the only weird guinea pig behavior relating to eyes and eyesight. It’s considered by some that Guinea Pigs can’t see normally. Here’s my detailed article on whether guinea pigs see in color or not.
3. The Guinea Pig squeal
It can be a bit irritating if your guinea pig’s squeaking all the time.
Unlike pigs, they have softer squeals but guinea pigs definitely squeal A LOT!
Although, guinea pigs are prey animals which should make them as quiet as possible, they are the total opposite of it.
Each squeal that they produce is meant to express a different emotion.
When they are hungry or like a foodtype that they are being fed, guinea pigs squeal as loud as they can, displaying excitement and joy.
And when they want to be petted, rubbed and loved, they’ll lie down making softer guinea pig squeaking sounds paired with bodily vibrations so you can know what needs to be done!
Guinea pigs are HERBIVORES who love eating vegetables and hay.
If your experiencing sharp and shorter guinea pig squeals, know that it is in pain and needs to be taken to a vet immediately.
4. Guinea Pigs Play Hide and Seek!
Because the hunting instinct is wired inside their brains with some kind of a long-lasting glue, guinea pigs have a habit of running away and hiding.
Even before you’re able to take one step further, they’ll run away and hide in a jiffy, leaving you standing there in shock.
When living in the wild, open forests, guinea pigs are usually preyed on.
Their small sizes make them an easy catch and so, with an urge to survive, these piggies run away and hide.
If you try getting closer to your friend and he runs away, do not stress out because this is absolutely normal for it to do.
No, your pet has surely not lost its mind, neither is this abnormal guinea pig behavior, simply running around all day is a part of your guinea pig’s exercise routine.
Do Guinea pigs Love Being Petted?
When you own a pet, you wish to develop a strong, never lasting bond with it.
Like most animals, guinea pigs are friendly and social by nature.
Although, they adapt to the new environment easily but may not trust you completely with them.
Even though it may take some time for you to tame your pet guinea pig, but at the end of the day, they’ll welcome you with all warmth and love.
Once these rodents know of who you are, they’ll jump into your laps, lick you and ask to be petted.
Handle these little fluffy friends with care.
Grip them a little harder or rub them longer than they ask for, and they’ll turn evil!
All set to bit you, so if you start hearing that chattering sound while petting them, leave them immediately!
Apart from this, guinea pigs are easy to care for.
Is your Guinea Pig Stressed?
Sudden changes in the environment can make a guinea pig uncomfortable.
If you see your pet being restless, annoyed and irritated all of a sudden, know that it is stressed out.
When it comes to expressing their emotions, these hairy rodents may not be vocal about it but can clearly convey through their body language.
on occasions when your little piggy is lazy, low on energy, not hungry and irritable, remember to check for any recent environmental changes that may have taken places.
Although guinea pigs are good at adapting to new surroundings, but sudden changes can make them restless, scared and stressed.
Too much stress can make them fall ill to an extent that you might have to seek medical help.
This is why, people owning guinea pigs at the moment, and should work hard to maintain their environment with which they are familiar with to avoid stress and annoyance.
The Hunger Move
Forgot feeding your shaggy partner?
Worry no more because guinea pigs will never let you miss out on their feeding time.
These clever rodents when hungry stand on their hind legs and sniff their surroundings, indicating they are hungry.
Feed them hay, freshwater, and some pellets and they’ll be content.
Remember, feed them food items rich in vitamin C because, for guinea pigs, their bodies cannot produce this vitamin itself.
Without which, you won’t have a healthy pet for your companionship.
Is it necessary to understand Pet Guinea Pigs Body Language?
When you bring in a pet, you wish to develop a great bond with it.
A bond where love and trust is shared mutually.
But with animals especially guinea pigs, creating this bond is not only time taking but requires great efforts as well.
Although guinea pigs are social animals, but it may take them a little time to trust you with them.
These rodents are prey animals who are meant to live in the wild and survive, and so when trying to be tamed or petted, guinea pigs may feel threatened and react.
In order to gain its trust, observe and learn the behavior of your pet.
Understanding what the guinea is trying to communicate through its behavior and body language will help makes thing easier for you.
If you see the cute rodent dancing inside the cage, the first thought that’ll strike you is to feed it.
Or maybe it just wishes to urinate?
Guinea pigs like chatting with fellow rodents.
Guinea pig chirping and purring sounds show they are relaxed and happy with their friends.
Behavior can help ease out things, making you more capable of taking care of your guinea pig.
Abnormal Guinea pig Behavior: When to worry!
If your guinea pig has all of a sudden started behaving weird, it is time to observe him.
Abnormal behavior may include excessive chewing, producing grunting sounds, hiding away or not feeding properly.
Watching such behavioral changes in your pet can be quiet alarming.
These symptoms actually hint towards the little rodent being unconformable with the current environment.
Has there been a new person in the house?
Does the guinea pig feel distressed and lonely?
Did you include something new in its feed that is upsetting its stomach or may he does not like it at all?
Behavioral changes need to be monitored closely or else the consequences can be disturbing.
Once you get hold of the cause that is “triggering” the guinea pig’s abnormal behavior, try improving the situation and making the animal comfortable.
Remember, guinea pigs can be easily triggered at slightest of environmental changes including the entrance of a new house member or a noise.
If so is the case, try making them familiar with the new entrants, tame them and make them feel comfortable.
Guinea pigs are smart, social animals and overly active.
Even with no words to express their thoughts, they can be quite vocal about what they want.
It may take you some time to develop a bond with your friend but once you achieve it, the love definitely lasts for infinity.
If you plan on adopting cute little guinea pig soon, remember to be a close observer of their behavior because their body language tells a lot about their feelings, state of mind and needs, making it easier for you to take care of them.
Do guinea pigs bite and scratch?
Not every time! Mostly, guinea pigs are known to be very friendly and social creatures who love being surrounded by people. They have a happy-to-go nature but if irritated or held with tightly for long periods of time, they do become angry and bite.
So, if you want your guinea pig to remain calm and content, handle it with care!
Can guinea pigs understand what you say to them?
Guinea pigs are quick learners. They may not understand the words you use but are quick at learning gestures and noises.
Like whenever it is time to feed them, ring a bell or whistle so that within a span of a few days, they’ll know what the noise indicates. Associate certain gestures and noises with things that you want them to do and they will learn, once familiar with it.
How to know if your guinea pig is in pain?
A guinea pig may suffer from an illness or problem long before it is visible. If there is a change in its normal behavior like all of a sudden it has lost its appetite, is low on energy and is making chattering or whining noises, know there is some problem.
If things do not seem to improve over the period of a few days, take your guinea pig to a vet so that the problem can be assessed by a professional and treated accordingly.