Can guinea pigs see in the dark? Do they need light at night?

As you might have learned by now that your guinea pigs are equally active during the night as they are during the day. So, do they need a night light or can guinea pigs see in the dark? There were a lot of questions boggling my find so as a curious guinea pig owner I did some research and here is what I found out:

Guinea pigs cannot see in the dark; however, they can still navigate around their enclosure with no problem at all. It is possible because they have a sharp memory and they can remember tunnels, pathways, etc. pretty well. Most researchers also point out that their strong smell and hearing ability aids them in navigating through the night. 

Do guinea pigs need a light at night? No, they don’t need a night light. Having an intense light on during the night might confuse their body clock that it’s still day time which can be bad for their health. However, many people leave a small light on in their room, but certainly, it is not required. You may choose to do as you feel right.

Guinea pigs are Crepuscular animals. Which means they remain active throughout day and night. They sleep in small laps and can even sleep with their eyes open. Thus, many people think that they will need a light at night, which is actually not true.

If you want to learn more about guinea pig sleep cycle and some interesting facts about the same I would suggest you go ahead and read our article on the same:

Guinea pig sleep: Fascinating facts to learn about them!

Before you read further, Here are some of our popular books that provides you great value. You don't want to miss them out!

Guinea Pig Diet Plan For Beginners
  • In-Depth Understanding Of All Aspects Of Their Diet
  • List Of Vegetables And Fruits Guinea Pigs Can Eat
  • Types Of Hay+ How To Choose The Best One
  • Importance Of Vitamin C and Calcium+ How To Balance It
  • Toxic Food To Our Guinea pigs
  • Water For Your Guinea Pig (How It Can Lead To Bladder Stone)
  • 4 Complete Diet Chart To Follow With Veggie List
Guinea Pig Care 101: A Definitive Guide
  • Learn All About Setting Up Perfect Living Environment
  • An Overview Of A Guinea Pig's Diet
  • Understand Common Behavior And How To Deal With It
  • An Insight On Common Health Problems And What To Do About It
  • A Complete Care Guide To Keep Your Guinea Pig's Healthy and Happy
  • Covers All The Practical Aspect Of Keeping Guinea Pigs
Guinea Pig Coloring Book: Let Your Anxiety Go Away!
  • 50 Unique Coloring Designs
  • Only One Design Per Page
  • Printed On Good Quality White Paper With Glossy Cover
  • Sized At 8.5x11, A Perfect Size To Color And Frame!
  • Hours Of Fun And Relaxation For Adults As Well As Kids
Please note: Guinea pig 101 is reader-supported. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases made by our readers with no extra cost added to you all! Some links in the post are affiliate link and I get commission from purchases made through links in the post.

Do guinea pigs prefer the dark or light?

Guinea pigs prefer to remain in the dark during night time. See, you need to understand that guinea pigs are prey animals and they are continually trying to look out for predators and hide from them.

So, having a pitch dark environment can help them calm down their stress and relax for some time as they feel a little more secure in the dark.

Guinea pigs have a reasonably broad view but poor depth perception. That’s one of the reasons for poor eyesight in them.

If you have ever tried lifting them without having a solid surface below their feet, you might have noticed they will get stressed out of fear. That’s because of the lack of depth perception in them.

They cannot judge the distance and height as accurately as we can. However, they have an excellent memory which helps them to overcome this obstacle.

In the wild guinea pigs run around tunnels and grasses to reach their hiding places and food. Even if the predator is chasing them, they can move around pretty fast as they can remember routes and locations very well.

The same trick helps them in navigating through their cage, even in darkness. Also, they have a good hearing and smell ability to aid in moving around the space.

Also Read:

Do guinea pigs like to sleep in the dark?

Yes, guinea pigs definitely like to sleep in the dark. Guinea pigs are crepuscular animals, and they sleep in small laps of 3-10 minutes usually.

However, if you can provide them a dark and quiet environment, they feel much more secure and can take a longer nap compared to what they take during the day.

But does that mean they don’t sleep during the day? No, they definitely sleep during the day time as well.

They do sleep in smaller laps during the day. Also, If your guinea pig is used to the environment and feels secure enough, they might even doze off for a while during day time.

guinea pig sleep

If you have ever noticed your guinea pig well, you will find they will move towards the darker area of the cage or snuggle inside beddings or hideout before they go for a nap. This is their natural behavior as they feel more secure this way.

For more info you can read our following articles:

Other senses they rely upon:

Hearing:

Guinea pigs have an excellent sense of hearing. They can hear higher frequency as compared to humans. It’s a unique ability which not only helps them in finding direction but also keeps them well aware of the environment and threats nearby.

How important is a sense of smell to guinea pigs

However, if you have some loud noises in your house where you house your guinea pigs, then they might get stressed out due to the same. I would recommend you reading this in detail How Well Do Guinea Pigs Hear?

Smell:

Guinea pig also has a highly developed sense of smell. The sense of smell is a vital part of the guinea pig as it helps them recognize and communicate with other guinea pigs and humans as well.

It is said that they can smell and find their food as well. Having such a great sense of smell is an excellent aid to the vision of guinea pigs as they cannot see everything with such depths.

Also read our related articles:

Related questions:

Recommended Supplies For Guinea pigs: Our Top Picks!
Before you learn more,here are some hand-picked supplies for your guinea pigs that you must add to your wishlist today:
Guinea Pig Coloring Book: Halloween Theme
  • 50 Unique Halloween Theme Coloring Designs
  • Printed On Good Quality White Paper With Glossy Cover
  • Sized At 8.5x11, A Perfect Size To Color And Frame!
  • Hours Of Fun and Relaxation For Adults As Well As Kids
  • A Perfect Gift Item!

How Far Can Guinea Pigs See?

Guinea pigs are shortsighted and can only see up to 3-5 feet. Anything further will remain blurred, and thus they have to depend upon their other senses to cover up the obstacle. But how did we concluded this?

See if you have ever tried walking near your guinea pig from a distance, you will notice they will spook out when they see you approaching even if they are familiar to you.

Why? Because guinea pig has a blurred vision after 3 feet and thus it’s tough for them to see things until they come near.

Do guinea pigs see straight or sideways?

The guinea pigs have a 340-degree vision. That means they can literally see everything around them.

Even if they have their back facing towards you, still they can clearly see what you are doing. Guinea pigs have a long slender body and have their eyes sideways, which gives them an all-round view.

Although they cannot look right below their nose area, which means when they are served with the food, they cannot see it. Thus, they pretty much depend upon the taste and smell to identify and consume the food.

Can guinea pigs see color?

Yes, guinea pigs can definitely see colors. In fact, studies show that they have a dichromatic color vision.

That means they can see color but not as well as humans can. Studies show that they are more sensitive towards one color than others.

Like most guinea pigs have a green color sensitivity which means they can identify green better than others. However, there is no concrete proof regarding what they can see and what they can’t.

Product we loved personally

PawHut Rolling Metal Rabbit, Guinea Pig, or Small Animal Hutch Cage with Main House and Run, 35" L
  • ✅COMFORTABLE SIZE: This small animal cage has a comfortable living space,...
  • ✅STEEL CONSTRUCTION: Our guinea pig home is built with steel wires for...
  • ✅A TRUE HOME: Featureing a door with latch to keep your bunnies safe and...
  • ✅EASY MAINTENANCE: The roof can be opened for quick cleaning, maintaining...
Small Pet Select 12-Pound 2nd Cutting Timothy Hay Pet Food
  • The Highest Quality - Premium Timothy Hay For Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, And...
  • By & For Small Animal Owners - We'Re Passionate About Our Pets, So We...
  • Delivered Fresh & Minimally Handled - Direct To Your Door In A High...
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee! - For You And Your Pets.
GuineaDad Crunchy Condo Hideaway Hideout (Pack of 3) | Guinea Pig Hidey | Accessories and Toys
  • SUPER POPULAR AMONG GUINEA PIG ENTHUSIASTS – Due to the popularity and...
  • VERSATILE PLAYHOUSE – HIDE, CHEW, SLEEP, RUN! Crunchy Condo is an...
  • CHEWABLE GUINEA PIG HIDEOUT – GuineaDad Crunchy Condos are made from...
  • EASY ASSEMBLY – The windows and doors are perforated for easy assembly.
JanYoo 3 Pcs Rabbit Guinea Pig Pillow Accessories Sleep Mat Pad Toy Cushion (Thick,Small)
  • 【ADVANTAGE】Hamster sleep mat made of cozy soft Chenille cotton filling...
  • 【DESIGN】Double-sided material,Chenille fabric on one side and short...
  • 【Size】About6.7"x4.7"x2.8"( Length x Width x High)
  • 【MULTIBLE USE】Better size guinea pig sleeping mats for hamsters,sugar...
Sale
Kaytee Super Sleeper Cuddle-E-Cup With Bag, Color May Vary, 10"l x 12"w x 5.5"h
  • Perfect for guinea pigs, rats, chinchillas and other small animals
  • Cozy and secure small animal bed
  • Padded floor with foam-free filling
  • Dimensions: 10”L x 12”W x 5.5”H
Fresh Grass Mat for Your Guinea Pig, 12 x 9
  • Real grass for your guinea pig to lounge on!
  • Grass is all natural and can be used indoors or outdoors
  • Perfect for other small animals like hamsters, rabbits, and hedgehogs!
andwe Hay Feeder Less Wasted Wooden Food Feeding Rack for Rabbit Guinea Pig Chinchilla - Standing Pet-self Feeding Hay Manager
  • One of must have - Accessories for rabbit cage, rabbit needs hays all of...
  • Easy to Fill Hay & Stand Base - Designed a removable top cover to fill hay...
  • Bottom Table - Less Wasted and help to keep tidy in cage or hutch or...
  • Big Storage Space - Big enough to fill one day's hay for your pets. Size...
Cage Cleaner for Guinea Pigs, Cats, Hedgehogs, Hamsters, Chinchillas, Rabbits, Reptiles, and Other Small Animals - Cleaning Tool Set for Animal...
  • Firm brush bristles to easily clean up any mess
  • Flexible dust pan lip for maximum surface contact while sweeping
  • Great for cleaning in and around your pet's cages or litter box
  • Dust Pan Size: 9 x 6 x .75 inches | Brush Size: 8 x 5.25 x .75 inches
JanYoo Guinea Pig Toys Chinchilla Hamster Roller Rat Chews Toys Bunny Rabbits Exercise Wheels Molar Wooden for Teeth(Pack of 7)
  • 【FUNNY TOYS】-The guinea pig toys are made of natural wood,...
  • 【7 PACK】- Rat toys gift set:Watermelon Balls+Small Bell Roller+Bell...
  • 【APPLICABLE】-Wooden chinchilla toys gives your small rodent the prefect...
  • 【CHEW TOYS】-Pure natural apple sticks with sweet taste, organic,no...

Conclusion

To sum things up, I would say guinea pigs have decent eyesight. Although their sight is not the best out there; however, their hearing and smelling ability do compliment things pretty well.

Guinea pigs have an all-round view of 340 degrees which means they can see if some predators approach them from above, sideways, or even from the back.

Although they do lack depth in the vision; thus, they cannot see anything beyond 3-5 feet clearly. They also have a sharp memory which helps them remember their environment pretty well, which in turn helps them in navigating even in pitch-black darkness.

They prefer to take a nap in the dark and thus don’t require any night light at all. Also, they remain active throughout day and night their body has got accustomed to the environment, which helps them in navigating in the dark.

Also read:

Source: NCBI

Saurav

Hello, I am Saurav the founder of this blog that's all about guinea pigs. I am an Animal Nutritionist by education but a pet blogger by profession. My motto with this blog is to help guinea pig owners understand their pets better so they can provide them with the life they deserve.

Medical Disclaimer
Our site intends to provide you with the most accurate and updated information about guinea pigs.
However, our site doesn’t provide you with any medical advice for your guinea pigs. For any medical assistance and advice, it is recommended to consult a licensed veterinarian.
You can refer to our Medical Disclaimer page for more information.

Recent Posts