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Why Do Guinea Pigs Sleep With Their Eyes Open?

Why Do Guinea Pigs Sleep With Their Eyes Open?

Guinea pigs are the most interesting pets. The more you get to know them, the more fascinating things about them you discover.

One of the fascinating things about them is that they sleep with their eyes open.

You wouldn’t necessarily notice this feature about them if you didn’t spend time observing them.

In fact if you only saw them during the day time, you might assume that they do what we do when we go to sleep.

But this is not the case.

Guinea pigs sleep in cycles, in short bursts of sleep throughout the day and the night. They have no particular period which they sleep.

They sleep when they need to sleep.

So along with this is the fact that they can sleep with their eyes open.

Why Do Guinea Pigs Sleep With Their Eyes Open?

The reason guinea pigs sleep with their eyes open is that it is a natural defense for them to keep an eye out for predators.

Over time they have learned to keep their eyes open at all times so that they remain alert to predators.

This is even the case when they are asleep.

Although the may look awake, a guinea pig can go into a state of sleep.

However, it also means that they can make a move in a split second even from a sleep state.

It is a quality that has kept them alive and are able to survive throughout the centuries.

Combining this with sleeping for short periods keeps them alert and ready to move when they need to.

So is there any occasion when they close their eyes to sleep?

Do guinea pigs close their eyes at any time?

Guinea pigs do close their eyes to go to sleep. But only rarely.

They only tend to do this when they feel really comfortable and at ease in the environment that they are in.

You can actually tell when a guinea pig is really relaxed when they close their eyes to sleep as it means that they sense no danger around them and feel completely at ease to close their eyes.

They feel that they are not going to be attacked.

It is a great compliment to you when they do this, that you have created an environment that they feel relaxed enough to do this. So well done if this is so!

It is right up there with them licking you, and purring in your presence as a sign that they like you and trust you.

can guinea pigs see?

Can guinea pigs see?

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.

can guinea pigs see?

Image: flickr

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