Do guinea pigs blink?

Your cute little guinea pigs will undoubtedly triumph in any staring contest you decide to hold with them. There are very few instances when you see your guinea pigs either blinking or shutting their eyes. But it is very interesting to find out whether or not they could blink. Let’s discuss everything about guinea pig blinking behavior.

Do guinea pigs blink?

Do guinea pigs blink?
Do guinea pigs blink?

Yes, guinea pigs are capable of blinking their eyes. Guinea pigs, like most other animals, have the capacity to shut their eyelids in order to both protect their eyes and indicate that they are relaxed. When guinea pigs are happy and relaxed, they will blink very fast.  When a guinea pig is anxious or feels threatened, it may blink rapidly or keep its eyes open, indicating enhanced alertness.

In addition to their ability to blink, guinea pigs have a third eyelid, also called a nictitating membrane, and it provides an additional layer of eye protection. This eyelid has the ability to glide over the eye to shield it from possible irritants such as dirt, dust, and other irritants.

It is vital to closely check your guinea pig’s eye health and behavior since any changes or anomalies may indicate a more serious underlying health problem. If you detect any changes in your guinea pig’s blinking or eye health, you must visit a veterinarian for a correct diagnosis and treatment plan. This will ensure that your pet receives the best care possible.

Do guinea pigs possess eyelids?

Although guinea pigs have eyelids, you won’t notice them until you look closely. Because guinea pigs rarely entirely shut their eyes, it might be difficult for owners of guinea pigs to determine whether or not their pets have eyelids.

However, when dust or irritants/particles get in their eyes, they are expected to use their eyelids to wipe them out.

The fact that they blink quite quickly is another reason you might not even notice when they close their eyes.

How exactly do the eyelids of guinea pigs function?

Guinea pigs are similarly equipped with highly developed oculomotor systems. This system assists them in controlling the movement of their eyes along with the rate at which they blink.

Additionally, oculomotor systems enable them to inhibit the blinking of their eyelids for a significant amount of time when they feel imminent danger.

However, guinea pigs who have been kept as pets or tamed blink their eyelids more frequently than guinea pigs that live in the wild.

A recent study found that the rate at which guinea pigs blink is significantly higher than that of humans and other rodents.

Guinea pigs rely on more than just their eyesight to navigate. They have a keen sense of hearing as well as a strong sense of smell, both of which are in harmony with their weak sense of sight.

Importance of blinking and eyelid movements in guinea pigs

The eyelids’ primary function is to shield the eye from foreign objects and debris. On the other hand,  eyes (covered by eyelids) are remarkable organs in terms of their complexity and use; they are also very delicate.

Have you ever had so much as a flake of sand become lodged in one of your eyeballs? It isn’t easy even to see, but you can certainly feel it. The same is the case with guinea pigs.

Eyelids are an essential part of the guinea pig eye protection system. And by using them, guinea pigs are able to achieve the following two primary effects by blinking:

  • Blinking keeps their eyes moist
  • Blinking helps clear the eye of any debris or foreign particles, such as dust or dirt

How often do guinea pigs blink?

The pace at which Guinea pigs blink is variable, and it is related to both their habitat and their overall health. A guinea pig’s blink rate may increase if it is not feeling comfortable and confident.

In the wild, when guinea pigs spent their lives, every blink of an eye was a potential opportunity for a dangerous animal to ambush them. Consequently, they had a greater propensity to have their eyes open (nearly) always.

Can guinea pigs sleep open-eyed?

The fact that it is so challenging to photograph a guinea pig with its eyes closed may lead you to assume that these animals do not sleep very often.

Since they are prey animals, guinea pigs only sleep for short periods of time and spend much of the day resting.

Guinea pigs typically sleep for four to five hours a day, broken up into naps that last no more than ten minutes, and spend roughly half of each day resting. They are able to keep a watchful lookout for any potential dangers when they are resting.

Guinea pigs have been at the bottom of the food chain for many years, allowing them to develop an exceptional oculomotor system that enables them to control their eye motions even while asleep.

Even though guinea pigs kept in captivity do not have to worry about being eaten by predators, they nonetheless have a natural propensity to sleep with their eyes either completely or half open.

Your pet usually sleeps or relaxes if you find it lying still in its cage with its eyes wide, looking as though it is staring into the distance.

However, it’s not always the case that guinea pigs sleep with their eyes open. You may find that your pet sleeps with its eyes closed on occasion. This indicates that your guinea pig feels secure and at ease with its surroundings.

This is something that will happen to your guinea pig more frequently if it is content with its living environment and if it has been given the time to become acclimated to its surroundings and form a link with you.

If they have companions in their cage, guinea pigs are also more prone to sleep with their eyes closed when they are resting. They will frequently share a bed and snuggle as they sleep, making them feel more secure than when they are sleeping on their own.

Do guinea pigs blink?

What kind of eyesight do guinea pigs have?

Guinea pigs have a 340-degree field of view, but their eyesight isn’t perfect. Their troubled depth perception makes it difficult for them to see things, even food clearly. Because of this, they have a limited range of vision.

Guinea pigs cannot also see fine details with their eyes. It is, therefore, reasonable to assume that guinea pigs have poor vision in general. According to estimates, they can only perceive items around one meter away fr

Outside of this range, they have difficulty seeing well, so they rely on their senses of smell and hearing to monitor any changes that may occur in their surroundings.

On the other hand, they also have a perfect memory, which assists them in navigating their environment while they are out in it.


Guinea pigs are capable of blinking, and their frequency and duration can be. You may learn much about your guinea pig’s state of mind and comfort if you pay attention to and analyze their blinking patterns.

Rick Matthews

Hello, I am Rick Matthews, I have helped raise 100's of pets in my life living with my Father who while we did not live on a farm, raised all sorts of animals to sell them to families. We had so many different pets we all quickly became experts intending to them and helping them stay healthy. Back then we did not have the internet to look up thing on how to take care of their kids. As my kids got older, they wanted pets and of course, I did not want to have as many as we did when I was a child, but wanted to share my experiences. Many of these articles are written to help educate families on what to expect when looking to get a new pet for their children.

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