Guinea pigs are mysterious creatures, and they can be very difficult to read and understand properly. There are a few pointers that are usually correlated with happy guinea pigs, and these signs are important to understand when trying to assess whether your guinea pig is happy or not.
So, how do you know if your guinea pig is happy or not?
Let’s look at different signs or behaviors, that can tell you how your guinea pigs are feeling.
1. Being curious
Guinea pigs are curious by nature, and one of the ways to know if they are happy and content, is to see if they are curious about new things or not.
Happy guinea pigs will usually start exploring all new things, and it’s perfectly normal for them to walk in circles around a new house, a new cage layout, and basically anything new.
Some times the curiosity will result in popcorning and zoomies, which is a sign of your guinea pigs feeling excited and energetic.
2. Popcorning and zoomies
Young guinea pigs are usually more energetic than old pigs, and tend to popcorn and zoom around their cage more often.
Popcorning is what they do when they’re overly excited about something. It could be anything from a fresh pile of hay to a new house, but some guinea pigs tend to popcorn occasionally as a sign of being happy as well.
Zoomies is something energetic guinea pigs get from time to time, and they’ll usually just run in circles around their cage. This is very common with young guinea pigs, but adult guinea pigs get zoomies too. Zoomies is a sign of happiness too, and guinea pigs tend to do this more often in a larger cage or play pen, which is why they should have as much space as possible.
Here’s a video of our boy popcorning in their previous cage:
This high pitched sound is usually heard whenever your guinea pigs anticipate food. It’s a special sound, and they don’t make it unless they know something good is coming.
Usually the crackling sounds of a plastic bag sets off our guinea pigs, and they’ll start wheeking whenever we grab something out of the fridge as well. They associate these sounds with getting food, and that basically sets them off like an alarm clock.
This is how it sounds when guinea pigs anticipate food:
Video credit: It’s Pigs!
Not all guinea pigs talk, but if you listen closely whenever your guinea pigs are active and exploring things, you can hear them talk as they move around their cage. This is usually associated with guinea pigs feeling happy and comfortable, which is a good thing.
Please be aware that not all kinds of talking are synonymous with guinea pigs feeling happy. They also “talk” when they feel agitated, but then it’s a more constant stream of talking, and it’s usually heard when you take a guinea pig out of its cage and hold it.
5. Healthy appetite
Happy pigs are hungry pigs. A good appetite is perfectly normal, and if your guinea pigs are happy, they have a good appetite.
One of the most common signs of guinea pigs being happy, is their eating habits. Healthy guinea pigs have a steady routine throughout the day, where they relax, explore, and eat. This goes on day and night.
6. Maintaining weight
One of the most important things to keep track of, are their weights. If your guinea pig is happy and is given a proper diet, it maintains weight.
Maintaining weight is therefore considered a sign of happiness, but also a sign of good health.
An unhappy guinea pig is prone to losing its appetite, and the unhappiness is usually caused by the guinea pig mourning the loss of a friend, feeling stressed, or something else.
So make sure you monitor its weight at least once a week, and if something seems wrong, you should monitor its weight daily.