Guinea pigs are a great pet to have. They are cute, full of energy, and easy to care for. If you play with your cavies often, you may wonder about their eyes. Most animals blink, but do guinea pigs blink?
Do guinea pigs blink? Yes, guinea pigs do blink. Unlike humans, they don’t blink that often. This creature will blink a few times to keep its eye moist. Also, they may blink if there is something in their eyes and they need to get rid of it. Other than that, their eyes will remain open, even when they are sleeping.
Why Do Guinea Pigs Keep Their Eyes Open?
Guinea pigs are at the bottom of the food chain. These creatures are small and don’t have claws or teeth to protect them. This makes them easy prey for predators to catch.
Therefore, guinea pigs are constantly on the alert and keep their eyes open. These creatures will even keep their eyes open when they are sleeping.
However, for guinea pigs in captivity, you may see them close their eyes more often. If you provide them with a cage and a hiding place, they will feel safe.
Do Guinea Pigs Have Eyelids?
Guinea pigs do have eyelids, but due to their size, you won’t be able to notice it. Also, they rarely will close their eyes completely.
Their eyelids are useful to help clear and remove dirt and other debris from the eyes.
Guinea pigs are one of the fastest animals to blinks. These blinks are found to be faster than rabbits and humans.
How Often Do Guinea Pigs Blink?
Guinea pigs don’t blink very often. In a day, they may blink a couple of times and that’s about it.
The blinking is usually caused by something irritating their eyes. This can be foreign materials entering their eyes, dust in the air, and dry weather conditions.
During the summer when it’s usually hot and dry, they may blink throughout the day. This is a way to keep their eyes moist.
Other than that, guinea pigs will not blink. This is a natural instinct to avoid predators and dangerous situations. Just a blink could mean life and death for them.
Do Guinea Pigs Blink When They Sleep?
Guinea pigs do blink when they sleep. When they are sleeping, they will keep their eyes open. Keeping their eyes open is a survival instinct to avoid being eaten when sleeping.
As they sleep, they will blink less often. Their eyes will get dry much slower than when they are awake. For that reason, blinking will happen less frequently.
Another reason you may notice them blinking when they are sleeping is to remove dirt and other particles from their eyes.
Guinea Pigs Blinking A lot
Sometimes you may notice that they are blinking their eyes more often than usual. This will usually be the result of something in their eyes.
If you notice your guinea pigs blinking a lot, the first thing to do is check their eyes for problems. See if there are any specks of dirt or foreign materials in and around their eyes.
If something is irritating their eyes and they are unable to get rid of it, it may turn red and swollen. If this happens, you’ll need to take them to the veterinary to help remedy the problem.
For the most part, guinea pigs are able to remove any particles from their eyes by blinking.
Below are some of the things to look for:
Hopefully, you won’t ever need to give your guinea pigs a bath. These creatures are great at keeping themselves clean on their own.
If they do need a bath, make sure to not get any soaps into their eyes. Even a small amount of soap can cause severe irritation to them. For that reason, they will start blinking a lot.
When giving them a bath, use a shampoo that is safe for guinea pigs. This will minimize irritation and keep them from blinking. Below is what we recommend:
Some type of bedding can irritate your guinea pig. Cedar is a popular material to use for bedding and it’s known to cause irritation for guinea pigs.
While there are plenty of other materials you can use for their bedding, the best and safe bedding is aspen.
Aspen is a safe wood bedding that is soft and doesn’t have a lot of dust. Below is what we recommend:
This is something that usually isn’t an issue for guinea pigs. Most scents can be tolerated by them.
However, each guinea pig is different. While one doesn’t have a problem with a scented product, the other could be bothered by it.
Below are some of the items to look out for if you’ve noticed they are blinking quite often:
- Scented sprays
- Oil diffusers
This could be another reason why guinea pigs blink frequently. If they are suffering from a minor eye injury, you may notice them scratching their eyes and blinking often.
If it’s a major eye injury, you may hear guinea pigs cry and frequently blink.
Below are some of the signs of eye injuries:
- Eye discharge
If you never see your guinea pigs blink, it’s not something to worry about. They will blink only when they have to. Other than that, their eyes will stay open. The only time when you should worry if they blink often. This will usually mean something is bothering their eyes and you should check for any issues that could cause it. If after looking at the causes above and you can’t still seem to find the problem, it’s best to take them to the veterinary for further examination.