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Do Guinea Pigs Close Their Eyes When They Sleep?

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Tim Rhodes

Are you wondering if guinea pigs close their eyes when they sleep?

Guinea pigs have plenty of little quirks that have helped to earn them the love and affection of people across the world.

Some of the more noticeable quirks have to do with their eyes while guinea pigs sleep.

Do Guinea Pigs Close Their Eyes When They Sleep?

Guinea pigs rarely close their eyes, even when they sleep.

Guinea pigs are usually asleep if their bodies look still and peaceful.

Guinea pigs sleep with their eyes open due to evolution and the need to survive..

Many people have found themselves staring at their furry guinea piggy and wondering whether or not they were sleeping.

So what’s the truth?

Do guinea pigs sleep with their eyes open?

What is with the way guinea pigs behave?

Read on to learn the answers to these questions on sleep and understand the expression on your new pet’s face!

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Last update on 2021-07-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

A History Lesson

The first thing you need to remember when dealing with guinea pigs is the sort of creature they are and when or how they sleep.

Most animals in the wild can be divided into two categories, predators and prey.

Bears and deer, sharks and guppies, the food chain are what drives evolution and animal behavior.

This is true for all animals, but the results are especially vivid in the way guinea pigs may behave.

Guinea pigs are prey creatures.

Guinea pigs are used to being on the bottom of the food chain, serving as food for creatures like felines, canines, birds of prey, and even human beings, and as they rely on sight they have to have their eyes open most of the time even when they sleep.

This is something guinea pigs have experienced for millions of years as a species, to the point where it may has seeped deep into their DNA.

Even a guinea pig that has come from a long line of household pets will naturally look at the world around it as a dangerous place, filled with potential threats.

Because guinea pigs were prey creatures the pigs had to learn to be as alert as possible, as often as possible, and that’s why they have different sleeping schedule and sleep differently.

On top of eyes evolving to see as much as possible, the animals may also need to adapt so that they rarely need to close their eyes even when sleeping.

Every moment spent with eyes shut best means information that isn’t getting into the guinea pig’s brain.

And when you’re dealing with predators as swift as hawks it only takes a split second to go from living a happy and peaceful life to being someone’s dinner.

One of the reasons that we really love guinea pigs is because they are so small and the way they sleep.

Small things are cute to us as humans and small pets are also easier to raise in urban environments.

But while we may love having smaller things around us we need to remember that size differences can have a big impact on the psychology of different creatures.

Animals instinctively know that they are at the whim of creatures that are bigger than them.

This is the reason that you probably act a little more cautiously around a tiger than you would around a house cat.

As humans, we don’t have to deal with many animals that are as big as us and almost never have to deal with animals that are larger than us.

Things are the exact opposite for guinea pigs, who are smaller than most of the animals they are around.

This is something that helps to explain many of their behaviors, including their sleeping habits.

A Natural Outlook On Guinea Pigs

Research has shown that there is a marked difference between the way predator and prey animals view the world but also the way they sleep and their sleeping schedule.

The differences in sleep are so noticeable that scientists can look at the eyes of a creature and deduce what sort of place it has on the food chain.

One look into the eyes of a guinea pig is all a scientist would need to know that it is a quintessential prey creature.

Guinea pigs are creatures that always need to be on the alert for predators since they are so tempting as prey animals even when they sleep.

Even when they are asleep they need some form of protection, which their open eyes offer them.

Predators that look at them can’t instantly decide whether or not they are awake the way that they can with animals that close their eyes to sleep.

The open eyes also allow visual information to filter into the guinea pig’s unconscious mind while it sleeps, giving it a chance to react to changes in the world around it faster than other animals can.

Are Guinea Pigs Unique?

The fact that guinea pigs can sleep without closing their eyelids makes them seem like freaks of nature, but the truth is that this way of life and sleep is more common than you might think.

If you look at all of the living creatures on this planet you’ll find that only a minority have eyes that operate the way that the human eye does.

It is strange for mammals to act as guinea pigs, but most of the lifeforms on this planet aren’t mammals.

To begin with, insects are some of the most common lifeforms on this planet and they don’t have eyelids and their eyes are open when they sleep.

You’ll also find that fish don’t have true eyelids either and also sleep with their eyes open.

After all, we may need to blink because our eyeballs start to feel dry, but that’s a problem that no fish will ever have and they still have their eyes open all the time.

You’ll also find that snakes and many lizards don’t have the sort of opaque eyelids that we do.

So you see, the guinea pig might seem strange to us as humans, but if other animals, fish, and insects could talk they might say that we humans seem weird to them.

They would be amazed that a species could shut itself off from the dangerous world around them so tightly every night, unable to take in the unknown world that surrounds us.

Something to think about next time you watch your guinea pigs sleep with its eyes open.

Can Guinea Pigs Close Their Eyes?

So now that we’ve answered the original question and determined that guinea pigs sleep with their eyes open, we find ourselves faced with a new question.

Can guinea pigs close their eyes?

Whenever people notice that an animal tends not to do something the question pops into their mind as to whether or not they’re even capable of doing that thing.

So what’s the deal with guinea pigs sleeping?

Can guinea pigs close their eyes, for sleep or otherwise?

The answer to this question is yes, guinea pigs can close their eyes.

Here is one video where you can clearly see a guinea pig sleeping with its eyes closed.

Guinea pigs might have evolved so that they don’t feel the need to close their eyes as often as other animals, but that doesn’t mean that they’ve given up on shuteye all together.

The fact that guinea pigs still have eyelids should make the answer to this question clear enough, but it’s still worth answering.

So while guinea pigs don’t often close their eyes, they still can.

You shouldn’t do anything to try and force your guinea pig to close its eyes, but you can keep your eyes open and watch to see whether or not you can catch your pig letting down its guard.

What Does It Mean When a Guinea Pig Sleeps With Its Eyes Closed?

So if you have a guinea pig that never seems to sleep because you can’t catch it with its eyes closed, you don’t need to worry.

A guinea pig can get restful sleep and be comfortable with eyes open without having to close its eyelids.

It’s something that is very difficult for humans to imagine about guinea pigs, but that’s understandable.

Now that humans have become a sort of apex-predator that was almost unimaginable just a short time ago, it makes sense that we’d have difficulty understanding creatures like guinea pigs that are pretty much purely prey.

But if you own a guinea pig you should try and take the time to try and see things their way.

If you can understand why guinea pigs are so afraid then you’ll have an easier time empathizing with them and putting in the work necessary to calm and relax them.

Maybe your guinea pig will never completely calm down and shut its eyes, but if you can make your guinea pig feel safe around you then you’ll have a much more affectionate and satisfying relationship with your pet.

So if you see that your guinea pig seems to be sleeping even though its eyes open then you have no reason to be alarmed.

But the same goes for seeing your little guinea pig pet sleeping with its eyes closed.

While it’s common for guinea pigs sleep with open eyes that doesn’t mean they can’t sleep with their eyes closed.

You can actually see it as a serious compliment if your guinea pig gets some real shut-eye around you.

That sort of behavior of a guinea pig shows a high level of trust and relaxation.

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Last update on 2021-07-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Final Thoughts

It may be good for you to learn the sleeping schedule of your guinea pigs and the active hours during the day of your pet guinea as well.

You may also want to know the place where they like to sleep, whatever it is in a cage or with anyone from your from your family that the guinea pig feels comfortable with.

If you can get your guinea pigs sleep with their eyes closed around you then you can feel confident that you’ve made your precious pet feel as safe as possible.

This doesn’t mean you should feel bad if your guinea pig won’t close its eyes around you, but if you never even catch it blinking then you might want to look and see if there is anything else you can do to help calm it down and not have his eyes open at all times.

After all, a calm guinea pig is a happy guinea pig.

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