If you are a guinea pig enthusiast or a guinea pig owner, you probably have loads of questions regarding their behavior. Guinea pigs are very unique with many strange habits, one of them being staring.
It is not uncommon to find your guinea pig staring at you countless times. The vast majority of guinea pig owners wonder whether this behavior is a cause for concern.
Additionally, these little and adorable pets have a slightly unusual sleep pattern and will typically sleep with their eyes open. But what causes your guinea pig to stare? Is it a good sign or should you be concerned?
This article explores the staring behavior of guinea pigs and seeks to answer why they keep staring at you.
Why Does Your Guinea Pig Stare at You?
It is not surprising if you have never seen your guinea pig close their eyes. While this may feel uncomfortable and seem like a cause for concern, it is normal behavior and there are many explanations for that.
One reason why your piggy may be staring at you is that they are sleeping. Interestingly, these pets rarely close their eyes while sleeping. They were likely taking a quick nap those times you thought they were staring at you. Nonetheless, there are times when they close their eyes while sleeping, especially if they feel relaxed, comfortable, and safe in their environment.
Another reason that they may stare is that they are seeking your attention. A guinea pig may gaze if he is hungry and wants something to eat. In this case, they will stand at their hind leg and stare at you. Oftentimes, they will get annoyed when you don’t pay attention to them, so they will gaze at you to try and get your attention.
If you see your guinea pig freeze and stare, then they may be on high alert of their predators. A sudden freeze is more like a stress-response to show that they are not relaxed and comfortable in their environment. They also use this defensive measure to warn other guinea pigs of a potential threat.
Another possible reason why your guinea pig may be gazing at you is happiness and satisfaction. A happy and relaxed guinea pig will stare at the owner in most cases. It means that they are feeling relaxed when they lie down and stare at you.
On the other hand, it may be possible that they are staring at you because they are feeling sad. They may be annoyed by something you are doing if they start hissing and gazing at you at the same time.
Your guinea pig can take a deep stare at you if they detect that you are ill. Because of their increased sense of smell, it is believed that pets can detect human illness and change the mood. While this is mostly seen in dogs, some Guinea pigs can also feel the change in your behavior and try to figure out the cause. If you are likely, they will seek ways to cheer you up.
If your Guinea pig wants to be petted, then expect them to stare at you for an extended period. They can try to get your attention by nipping their nose and using the nipping technique. Also, when you notice your guinea pig nudging his head, then he is probably asking you to touch his head right away. This is a common behavior, particularly for the dominant Guinea pigs.
So, they may use their hierarchy status to demand petting from you. Other than superiority, your guinea pig can also nudge its head as an indication of affection. Therefore, it is very crucial to learn how your Guinea pig acts in various situations and pay attention to it.
Is Your Guinea Pig Sleeping with Their Eyes Open?
Since Guinea pigs rarely close their eyes, most owners think that they are staring most of the time. But did you know that sleeping is connected to guinea pig staring?
These pets have a unique sleeping pattern and open their eyes wide even when sleeping. This is especially true if you find them staring for a particular time during the day.
Usually, most Guinea pigs sleep for about eight hours each day. However, unlike humans, they do not sleep for eight hours straight. They rarely sleep for extended periods unless they go into the REM stage.
Instead, these pets can take small naps of about 10 to 20 minutes during the day. After the sun has set, they may nap for an extended period of about one to two hours, at most, at a particular time.
Since Guinea pigs are prey animals, they are always on the lookout for predators. They are typically on the bottom of the food chain and serve as food for different creatures like canines, felines, and birds of prey. This is unlike carnivores that sit up the food chain and don’t have to worry about predators.
Therefore, they try to remain active and on high alert even when they are sleeping so that predators cannot sneak upon them. This sleeping behavior is instinctual for these pets and it helps them stay alert and ready to flee at any moment. This is also likely to happen as they age and have developed a stronger bond with the owner.
Nevertheless, your guinea pig can close their eyes on very rare occasions if they feel completely relaxed. To ensure this, you can create a small, comfortable, and cozy hiding space with a stack of hay for their enclosure.
Also, just like humans, one Guinea pig may be different from another. Some will just be more naturally relaxed than others and close their eyes during naps. However, others will still hold on to the reflection of prey status and will never close their eyes while sleeping.
Do Guinea Pigs Recognize Their Owners?
Like most pets, guinea pigs recognize their owners if they have known them for a while. For new pet owners, it may take a while before your guinea pig can recognize you.
If you are wondering whether your guinea pet recognizes you, you can look out for various signs. They will make noises in a calm voice to show that they like you and are happy. They will lick your fingers, run towards you when you get in, and obey you.
Being prey animals, it is completely natural for guinea pigs to be skittish. Before they can completely trust you, they need to first access their environment to make sure that they are safe with you and in their new habitat.
As a guinea pet owner, you need to put in effort so your new friend can trust you. Guinea pets are social creatures and they interact with other piggies and human beings. However, you need time to bond and interact with your guinea pig, especially if you just adopted them. Companionship is essential when it comes to keeping your guinea pig happy and healthy.
As you spend more time with your guinea pig, they will explore your scent and get used to your voice. Try having conversations with your pet as much as you can even if they don’t respond. It takes effort and time to form a new relationship with your pet. Therefore, you need to be patient.
Don’t get offended or take it personally when your newly adopted guinea pig flees when you try to pick them up. Their fleeing instinct is what helps them survive in the world. For this reason, it may take a while before they can fully get comfortable and relaxed in their new environment.
With time, you will be able to bond and gently cuddle your new friend without them fleeing. As your guinea pig begins to feel at ease, hold it close to your chest and use gentle strokes to cuddle them. Another way to create trust with your piggy is by feeding them their favorite food treat.
Make sure that you feed them with enough hay in their diet, without forgetting fresh vegetables and fruits. Besides, hand feeding them makes it a great opportunity to create a closer bond and make them feel safe.
Another tip to make your guinea pig recognize you is to allow you to be part of your family. Do not always cage them. Include them in your family time and show them, unconditional love. Also, avoid shouting and yelling as this can make you frightened.
Why Does My Guinea Pig Stare at Me While Eating?
If your Guinea pig is staring at you while eating, it’s probably because it wants some food on its plate as well. When begging for food, your piggy will most probably stand its hind legs and stare at you. Taking this pose is more like them begging for food.
For some reason, guinea pigs crave more food. Just like most pets, they need adequate food all the time. This is because they tend to get very active both during the day and at night. Oftentimes, not getting enough food can make your piggy troubled while sleeping.
Every guinea pig owner needs to feed their pet an adequate and proper diet to keep up with their active lifestyle. Otherwise, they may start making noises and wake you up at night.
Make sure that you give them enough of their favorite foods like a pile of hay, carrots, and vegetables. These foods are packed with vitamins and minerals, which can be beneficial for your piggy. Pellets are also essential and you should give your pet a quarter cup daily.
Although guinea pigs eat throughout the day, most love to feed on snacks and vegetables in the morning and evening. This is because domestic guinea pigs usually feel safe during those hours.
Their appetite increases in the morning and evening, making it a great time to feed them. You can also notice an increase in their appetite during springtime.
You meet their appetite needs; ensure that you supply an endless amount of hay each day. It is recommendable to give at least 80% of hay to your guinea pig. Hay is not only great for their health, but it also helps to keep them full throughout the day.
Just make sure that the hay is free from herbicides, pesticides, and other treatments. Also, don’t forget to give them a balanced diet of leafy greens, pellets, fruits, and other treats.
Why Does My Guinea Pig Stare at the Wall?
Have you noticed your piggy staring at the wall and you are wondering why this could be so? Well, they may be staring at a potential threat. Guinea pigs are known for their exceptional hearing and smell ability than humans. The average hearing range of a guinea pig is between 360 to 42,000 Hz, which that of human beings is between 64 to 23,000 Hz.
This means that they could be hearing or smelling something that their owner cannot. This works for their advantage because they can identify their predators before they sneak on them. Therefore, if your guinea pig has suddenly frozen and is staring at the wall, chances are they are hearing possible threats from the other side.
If your guinea pig is also shivering their nose, they could smell something that is out of the norm. In times of danger, they use this technique and their hearing ability to spot out the possible danger. Also, they may stare at you to see your response. They want to know if you hear or smell what they smell.
Just like any good pet owner, it is normal to want to know why your guinea pig is behaving the way they do. Staring is a common behavior in every guinea pig, and it may be prompted by different things. They stare when they are happy, taking a nap, want food, curious, have spotted a potential threat, or out of love.
Were you confused about your guinea pig staring If so, we hope that this article has been helpful. As long as they are eating well and are healthy, it should not be much of a concern if they keep staring or if you don’t notice them sleeping. Also, you need to understand their body language to identify with most of their behaviors.