If you go ahead and have a staring competition with your guinea pigs, I bet they are going to win it every single time. There are hardly a few moments I can count when I found my guinea pigs blinking or closing their eyes. So, I was keen to learn if they can blink or not. I did some research on the same, and here is what I found out!
Guinea pigs do blink sometimes. Unlike human beings, they don’t blink that often. However, if you live in a very dry environment you might find them blinking a few times just to keep their eyes moist. They also blink sometimes to clear unwanted dust particles or foreign objects from their eyes.
Guinea pigs lie at the bottom of the food cycle and are surrounded by predators most of the time.
You will find your guinea pigs are always alert and will rarely close their eyes even when they are sleeping.
If you have provided your guinea pigs with a comfort zone in their enclosure then you are more likely to see them sleep with their eyes closed.
If you have not yet read our article on Guinea pig sleep then I will encourage you to go ahead and do so. You will get to learn more about their sleep cycle, position, etc…
Do guinea pigs have eyelids?
Guinea pigs do have eyelids but you are hardly going to notice that. Guinea pigs will rarely close their eyes completely so determining if they have an eyelid or not can be tough for guinea pig owners.
However, they shall use their eyelids to clear away dust or other particles that enter their eye sometimes.
Another reason that you might never notice them closing their eyes is they blink very fast.
According to an article called “Behavioral Effects on Cavia porcellus in an Environment” Guinea pigs link were found to be faster than that of rabbits and humans thus noticing them closing their eyelids is fairly challenging.
How often do guinea pigs blink?
Guinea pigs don’t blink often. Most of the time the blinking behavior is accompanied by a certain situation initiating the blink.
These situations can be dry weather conditions, foreign objects or particles entering the eye, etc…
In general, Guinea pigs don’t blink because blinking disrupts the vision for a short interval of time which can be dangerous for them. They try to remain active and alert most of the time.
The Oculomotor system regulates the blinking behavior and suppresses it when it can be most disastrous and initiates the blinking when it is least disruptive for vision.
Is it normal for Guinea pigs to Blink?
It’s completely natural if you find your guinea pigs blinking their eyes. Guinea pigs do blink their eyes as and when needed but they do it so fast that we cannot catch up on it.
However, most of the time they remain active and alert and you will hardly notice them blink their eyes.
They do close their eyes or blink sometimes when they feel completely comfortable and secured. Unline humans guinea pigs have a very controlled ability to blink their eyes.
Guinea pigs don’t have a good vision and are often short-sighted thus a vision disruption even for a small time can be fatal for their lives.
This is the main reason why over the period of time they have developed the ability to suppress and control their blink.
Guinea pigs blinking alot their eyes
Sometimes you might notice that your guinea pigs are blinking their eyes very often. This can be a result of foreign particles like hay dust or something that has got into their eyes.
Guinea pigs eyes are located on either side of their head. Their eyes are prone to bedding debris and hay dust which can be a reason why your guinea pigs might be blinking too often.
If you find your guinea pigs are blinking their eyes very often yet they are unable to clear the debris out then it might be a good idea to take them to vet. Often times large debris can cause red and swollen eyes in guinea pigs.
Do not attempt to use any eye drops unless and until recommended by the vet. Many people make the mistake of using different eye drops when they find something unusual in a guinea pig’s eye.
This might cause serious damage to our guinea pig’s eyes thus should be completely avoided.
Guinea pigs blinking only one eye?
Yes, Guinea pigs can blink only one of their eyes sometimes. As we discussed earlier, guinea pigs have control over their eyes blinking, and if something is bugging one of their eyes, they may blink only that eye.
Often times debris or dust particles entering their eyes is the main reason for them to be blinking their eye.
So, if one of their eyes has some foreign material into it then they are more likely to blink that eye more often than usual.
Do guinea pigs close their eyes?
Yes, guinea pigs do close their eyes. Although, this will happen only in rare moments.
Guinea pigs are active animals which remain alert most of the time.
However, if they are provided with a good living space where they feel comfortable and secure then taking dozing off is not something unusual for them.
If you have got your first guinea pig and they are introduced to a new environment then you might find that they are always active and will rarely close their eyes.
However, if your guinea pigs are accustomed to you and they love to be petted and cuddles by you then you might notice that your guinea pigs do close their eyes when they are with you.
Coming to the conclusion do guinea pigs blink? Yes, they do blink sometimes but their blinks are not spontaneous like the human.
Guinea pigs can suppress their blinks so that their vision is not disrupted even for a short amount of time. This helps them in running away and hiding when there are any signs of predators attack.
Guinea pigs do have an eyelid and its completely normal for our guinea pigs to be blinking their eyes.
However, if you notice that your guinea pig is blinking more often than usual then it might be the time to look closely for the same.
There might be something in their eyes causing irritation and thus triggering the blink.
You will also notice that if your guinea pigs feel very comfortable and secured then they might close their eyes when you are around.
Although this happens only when you have to build a good bond with your guinea pigs.