Why Do Guinea Pigs Lick? (You, Themselves & Others)

Has your guinea pig started licking you or other guinea pigs in the cage? Maybe it’s got you wondering why do guinea pigs lick?

If so this article is going to answer all your questions. But just to start off with, there’s no need to worry! Cavy’s lick for a lot of positive reasons, and it’s nothing to worry about.

With that being said here are all the different reasons your guinea pig may lick!

Why Do Guinea Pigs Lick?

Guinea pigs lick for a number of reasons including:

  • They’re washing.
  • Grooming each other.
  • Showing affection.
  • Licking salt off your hands.
  • They can taste food you’ve recently prepared.
  • Because they’re happy.

That’s the short reason, but let’s go into a little bit more detail.

Why Do Guinea Pigs Lick Themselves?

The number one reason that your guinea pig may be licking themselves is that they’re washing. Piggies are extremely hygienic and like to be clean all the time.

And because they don’t like to get wet, they have no alternative but to lick themselves. While there are times that you’ll need to wash your guinea pig, for the most part, washing themselves is all they’re going to need.

Why Do Guinea Pigs Lick Other Pigs?

When you notice one of your guinea pigs licking another one, it’s because they’re grooming each other.

On the surface, this may just seem like a nice thing to do, but it’s actually a little bit deeper than just being nice. When they’re grooming each other, they’re showing they’re happy in each other’s company.

So if you have a whole herd of guinea pigs that lick each other, then you know they’re extremely happy with each other, as well as the environment that they’re in. So you can give yourself a pat on the back.

(Does your guinea pig smell? Find out if you should worry, and how to reduce the smell!)

What Does It Mean When A Guinea Pig Licks You?

Lastly, you may be wondering “What does it mean when a guinea pig licks you?” There are actually a few different reasons behind why they may be doing this, and here they are.

They Like You

As previously mentioned, when guinea pigs like each other, they often ended up licking one another. And this behavior is also going to extend to you as well.

So if you notice that your guinea pig is licking you, it could well be because they like you and want to groom you. And remember, this is a very affectionate gesture, so you should be very happy.

They’re Licking Salt Off Your Skin

Your skin can often taste salty, especially if you’ve been sweating or crying. And some guinea pigs absolutely love the taste of salt.

If you notice your guinea pig licking your skin, it may be because they like the taste of salt on it. This is a little snack for them, and there’s no more to read into it than that.

When you notice that your guinea pig licks you more after you’ve been exercising, then this may be the cause.

To Taste What You’ve Been Cooking

If you’ve just been cooking, your guinea pig may try to lick your hands to taste some of the ingredients. And in some cases, as well as licking they may get a little bit too carried away and try to nibble your hand as well.

This is one of the reasons you need to make sure you’re washing your hands thoroughly before interacting with your piggie.

And also remember that some food that’s fine for you could be poisonous to your guinea pig.

(Are you curious whether your guinea pig can swim, and more importantly, whether they like water?)

Sometimes, It Doesn’t Mean Anything

And lastly, sometimes it doesn’t mean anything at all. Your guinea pig might just be licking for the sake of licking and there’s no other meaning behind it. Whatever the case is, if you notice your guinea pig licking, you don’t really need to worry at all.


Now you know all the different reasons that your guinea pig is licking. Whatever the case may be, you don’t need to think into it too much. And remember, some guinea pigs like to lick and some don’t. So even if your guinea pig doesn’t lick you, it doesn’t mean they don’t like you.

If you liked this article make sure you check out the rest of the website! Otherwise have a great day!


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