The question of whether guinea pigs can see or not has been intriguing owners for years.
I don’t know about you, but I tend to automatically assume that animals can see the things that we do, but this often isn’t the case.
How do guinea pigs see things?
Because of the way their eyes are positioned, they can see what is around and in front of them without moving their eyes .
This is quite unlike our eyes that need to move to see around us and makes them very typical of a prey animal as most prey animals have a similar field of vision to see around them.
Because they are prey animals, they also rely on memory to guide them, and they can recall where tracks and tunnels are in order to escape predators. This also helps them get around their homes.
How far can guinea pigs see?
They can generally see a metre in front of them but they will struggle to see anything beyond that. This is where they rely on smell and sound to sense when something is approaching them.
How do guinea pigs see food?
Guinea pigs cant however see beyond their nose, and have to rely on sense and smell to find food.
Guinea pigs are great at smelling and hearing as they can tell when food is due. In fact, they can often hear the footsteps of the guinea pig owner coming to meet them.
When they do receive the food, the way they identify it is by the smell of the food through rather than seeing it.
A guinea pig generally has poor vision, however they can see a full range of colours without any problem.
Can guinea pigs see in the dark?
There are many who say that guinea pigs have night vision and can see in the dark. This maybe true but it hasn’t been absolutely proven.
However there are some factors that prove that guinea pigs are very comfortable with the dark.
- They are part of the rodent family and most rodents have night vision
- They don’t mind being in the dark and are more likely to settle in darker places than lighter places. Just watch where they sleep to learn about this.
- They will have had to have learnt to move around in the dark to escape predators, as they would have needed to have negotiated dark tunnels and paths to get to safety.
How to tell if your guinea pig is blind?
Although most guinea pigs have poor eyesight, some are blind, blind because of their age or born blind.
Here are some ways you can tell if your guinea pig is blind;
- You can tell if your guinea pig is blind by checking the way they behave in a place they don’t know, or by moving around the objects in their cage and seeing how they react to them being in different places.
- A blind guinea pig will scare more easily
- If you shine a light into the guinea pig’s eyes it may reflect white rather than the usual red that you see in a normal eye.
If you do find that your guinea pig is blind, then this need not be a deal-breaker.
Blindness is something that most guinea pigs get over and find a way to adapt to. What you can do to make their lives easier is to put their food, water, and play things in the same position and not move them around.
I hope this has been a helpful analysis on the vision of guinea pigs. If you have any comments, it would be great to hear from you