Guinea pigs are lovely creatures that make great pets. They are social and can learn to be friendly with humans. But what about their fears?
Do they have any phobias? Are guinea pigs afraid of the dark?
Quick answer – No, normally guinea pigs are not afraid of the dark. In fact, they like hiding in dark areas so that they can hide from their predators.
Since guinea pigs are shortsighted, they mostly use their sense of hearing and smell for safety reasons.
So we can say that guinea pigs love the dark because it makes them feel more comfortable.
Now that you know guinea pigs aren’t afraid of the dark, you might as well wonder whether they prefer the dark. They are also very curious creatures so they will investigate any new noise or movement in the dark.
Keep reading to find out how they behave in the dark.
Do Guinea Pigs Prefer the Dark?
Yes, guinea pigs prefer dark spaces. These pets are actually crepuscular, which means they are most active during twilight hours.
Their daily schedule requires periods of activity and rest similar to humans. Guinea pigs require both darkness and light in order to engage in healthy behaviors like eating, drinking, and exercising.
While it is true that they are technically crepuscular and prefer to spend their time in the dark, they do not have a preference for being in complete darkness.
In fact, both natural sunlight and artificial light from lamps are important for guinea pigs to engage in proper behaviors.
What About In The Wild….
In the wild, guinea pigs engage in most of their activity during twilight hours when it is dim but still light enough for them to see. Guinea pigs need light as much as they need darkness.
Both of these must be present in order for them to have a healthy life.
Guinea pigs may also get inactive if there is too much light during the day, which will cause them not to eat. This can all lead to an upset stomach.
Can You Leave Guinea Pigs in the Dark?
It depends. You can only leave them in the dark when it’s time for them to sleep. However, you should never leave them alone in the dark for more than 12 hours.
Guinea pigs are crepuscular, which means that they are most active at dawn and dusk. They need light just like humans do.
Additionally, guinea pigs have poor night vision so being put in the dark for too long can cause disorientation resulting in accidents.
Keeping your guinea pig in the dark for a few hours allows them to have uninterrupted time sleeping. This is especially helpful if you’ve had an active day with them and need some time for yourself.
However, guinea pigs need to have access to light during the day to be healthy and happy.
If a guinea pig isn’t exposed to light, it won’t properly regulate its hormones and will end up not being as healthy as possible.
Do Guinea Pigs Need Light at Night?
The answer is no, they do not, but you should provide a source of very dim lighting for them during their sleep cycle.
If there is too much darkness in a room or cage, then your guinea pigs will not sleep as well.
They need to be able to see the light dimly shining in an area where they are sleeping.
You can get a small night light for this purpose or use very dim lights that do not produce much heat. It will help your guinea pigs sleep better at night.
This is when their room is dark, but they have some source of illumination. The illumination provides just enough darkness for them to rest in peace without having the anxiety of being in complete darkness.
It can be especially bad if they are trying to nap or rest because they won’t get any sleep when too much activity is happening around them.
It’s important to understand this to know how best to take care of their guinea pigs.
READ ALSO: DOES GUINEA PIGS BITE?
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some commonly asked questions about guinea pigs and the dark:
Can Guinea Pigs See in the Dark?
No. Guinea pigs have very poor vision in the dark. However, they can still manage to move around in the dark due to their sharp memories.
Through those memories, they can easily remember routes and passageways so well.
Guinea pigs also have a strong sense of smell and great hearing ability. With such characteristics, they can easily navigate at night.
Guinea pigs’ eyes are similar to human eyes because they both have certain cells called cones and rods.
However, there are different types of cones between guinea pigs and humans. Human beings have three types of cones.
These cones help them see color. Guinea pigs only have two, which means they can see some colors but not all.
For this reason, guinea pigs will often squint when they move from a brightly lit area to one with less light. Their eyes cannot adjust fast enough to the lack of light initially.
READ ALSO: DO GUINEA PIGS LIKE TO BE HELD AND PETTED?
What are Guinea Pigs Afraid Of?
Here are some of the most common fears among pet guinea pigs:
Guinea pigs are sensitive to loud noises. Anything big and loud will scare a guinea pig, too, such as lawnmowers, washing machines, and vacuum cleaners.
The television or stereo can also frighten a guinea pig if the volume is turned up too loud, and they may try to hide in the corner of their pen.
Like humans, guinea pigs fear new things because they do not know what these new things are or how they will react to these items.
If your guinea pig looks scared when you introduce him to a new place for the first time, he’s probably just afraid of the new environment.
Guinea pigs are very intelligent animals that notice any changes in their environment. If one night you decide to change the position of his cage, then your guinea pig is probably going to be afraid of this.
A lot of guinea pigs have been abandoned by their owners at some point in their lives, especially if the previous owner didn’t know what they needed or how to take care of them.
This abandonment causes them great anxiety because they still seek that sense of security that they used to feel back at home.
Guinea pigs are afraid of being alone, so it’s important not to leave them alone for long periods, especially if you have other pets such as cats or dogs in the house.
Being Held or Picked Up
Not all guinea pigs like to be held or picked up. They feel as though they’ll fall and hurt themselves if you pick them up. This causes them to struggle against you.
At such times, they’re not cute. They’re just scared that their life is in danger, much like when children get scared by masked men after watching scary movies at a sleepover party.
However, some of them are okay when held.
READ ALSO: DOES A GUINEA PIG MAKE A GOOD PET?
Guinea pigs, like most other animals on the planet, are not afraid of the dark. They rely on their senses to find food and avoid predators in low light conditions.
Guinea pigs don’t fear the dark. They should, however, need to be kept in a well-lit environment so they can see their surroundings and predators coming from all sides.
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