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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.

should guinea pigs go outside

Should Guinea pigs go outside?

Having space for guinea pigs is a must for any owner.

There are many guinea pigs who live in very cramped conditions where they just don’t have the space to run around and explore.

This can cause problems for a guinea pig and severely affect their quality of life.

There are many owners who are very opposed to keeping guinea pigs outside because of the conditions they will experience.

They consider it cruel and not something that should be imposed on a piggie.

I can see their point.

Why keeping a guinea pig outside is not a good idea

There are many places on earth where keeping a guinea pig outside which would harm their quality of life.

The sheer temperature range that they would experience would mean that they would not experience a comfortable experience outside.

The perfect temperature range for guinea pigs

The temperature range that guinea pigs are comfortable in ranges from 65 degrees Fahrenheit to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

So if it gets colder or hotter than this then your guinea pig will likely be feeling uncomfortable in that environment.

This is why certain owners are not comfortable with their guinea pigs outside.

The temperature where they live can be too inconsistent or it may just be unbearable for a guinea pig to live in.

Whether too hot or too cold.

Beware of predators trying to get at your guinea pigs

There are also things they might experience outside such as predators which may scare them or attempt to kill them.

Guinea pigs are attractive prey for animals such as birds of prey, cats, dogs, foxes, snakes who will do their best to get into their home.

Keeping guinea pigs inside is the ideal situation

Because of this, keeping your guinea pig inside is the preferable option.

The temperature will be consistent inside and they will be free from the attention of certain predators who will be looking to attack them.

There is also the great opportunity for them to spend time with you and your family.

Guinea pigs love to spend time with people.

They are social creatures and enjoy the company of others either of their own species or humans.

They will become tamer and more trusting the more time they spend with you.

Why many owners consider ‘outside’ the only option

But for some owners, I understand that this is just not possible.

Although it is not preferable to have them outside there is nothing stopping them from doing so.

There isn’t the space inside a home or you may have a partner who does not like them inside the house.

This is a problem that many face around the world.

Keeping your guinea pig in an out-house

The next best option is to keep them in an outhouse where is is at least dry.

Guinea pigs do not handle getting wet well as they can’t dry their coats very well.

Damp can also cause a lot of problems for a guinea pig and is a big killer for many piggies.

Keeping them in an outhouse like a shed or barn will at least keep them dry and mean that they can keep out of the elements such as rain, sleet, and snow.

They also don’t like direct sun rays and will hide away from the heat when it gets too hot for them.

What if there is no other option but to keep them outside?

However, if the only option is to keep them outside then this is possible and something many owners do due to space restrictions they may have in their home or even if their partner doesn’t approve of such a thing.

Keeping a guinea pig outside is possible but there are certain things it is recommended that you do when you keep them outside.

This will ensure that they live a good a life as you can provide for them.

Keep their run secure.

Make sure their run is secure and is safe for them to run about and not be at risk from being attacked by predators.

This may mean getting a run that is totally covered so that nothing else can get in.

Have many guinea pigs.

Having two or more guinea pigs together means that they can keep each other warm.

They do this by warming themselves against each other and the warmth that comes from the blood flowing through their bodies.

Keep them well sheltered.

Keeping them out of the wind and rain is important.

They are not good at drying each other and dealing with being wet and damp.

It is likely to make them ill as their fur merely absorbs the water.

Put a waterproof covering over their home to ensure it is well covered so that any snow, sleet or rain has no chance of getting in and their home stays nice and cosy.

Spend lots of time with them.

Spending time with your guinea pigs means that they get to know you, they get to understand your voice and what you are like as an

owner. You will also get to understand them better as well.

This can only improve their quality of life as a result.

Keep them well fed and watered.

Keeping their food stocked up and their water bottle consistently refilled means that they will never go hungry or thirsty.

Keep their hay pile filled up as well so that they always have hay to chew on.

That won’t stop them wheeking at you, whenever you walk by them.

Keep their housing insulated

Their housing can be kept waterproof from the elements, as stated above.

But underneath the waterproof covering, you could put some extra layers on the roof such as an extra blanket which will keep some of the heat that they generate in.

Make sure the blanket is kept totally covered though so it does not get damp.

An extra layer will make quite a difference to them as well.

For more ideas about keeping guinea pigs warm, check out this 18 ways to keep a guinea pig warm