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Can Guinea Pigs See In The Dark? Do They Like The Dark?

Your guinea pig loves rummaging around all throughout the day and night. But…

…Can guinea pigs see in the dark?

Key Takeaway:

Guinea pigs have poor vision both in the light and in the dark. They are equally active during the day and night. At night time and during the day, they rely on their good memory, heightened sense of hearing and smell to navigate.

Since they can’t see very well, does this mean guinea pigs need light at night?

You’ll find out the answer to this question and more coming up next in this article. So, let’s get right to it!

a group of guinea pigs in the dark

Can Guinea Pigs See In The Dark?

Guinea pigs are active animals. They always seem to be scurrying around both during the day and the night.

Guinea pigs are crepuscular animals. This means they are most active during dawn and dusk.

But both dawn and dusk are low light times of the day. So, let’s find out more about how they navigate.

Do guinea pigs have night vision?

It might surprise you, but a guinea pig’s vision is relatively poor both during the day and night. They have a wide field of vision but poor depth perception.

The field of vision for a guinea pig is up to 340 degrees. They can see what’s happening above, below, and to the side of them without turning their heads.

Guinea pigs have a far wider field of vision than humans. A human’s in comparison, is up to 180 degrees with both eyes together and up to 130 degrees with just one eye.

Do Guinea Pigs Like the Dark?

A guinea pig’s sleeping patterns are irregular. Your guinea pig will be up at different times of the day and night.

He’ll take short naps no matter what time it is. Since your pet has such irregular sleeping patterns, as a curious guinea pig owner, you’ll want to know what time of the day he’s happiest.

Do guinea pigs like light or dark?

Guinea pigs are not nocturnal animals; they are crepuscular. They are most active during dusk and dawn.

Guinea pigs have poor depth perception and poor eyesight. They do not see particularly well in the daytime or in the dark.

Guinea pigs are equally active during the day and night, so it is not possible to say if they prefer the light to the dark or vice-versa.

They do, however, avoid direct light in the wild as this is safer for them.

Can Guinea Pigs Be in the Dark?

Are you taking a guinea pig home for the first time?

Then perhaps you wonder whether your new pet will be comfortable in his new surroundings.

Should you leave a night light on for him? Or can guinea pigs see in the dark?

Guinea pigs are most active during dusk and dawn, which are both low light times of the day. Your guinea pig will be up during the day and night waddling around his cage.

We cannot say that your pet will prefer the light to the dark because a guinea pig’s eyesight is poor regardless of the light conditions. He will sleep for short periods throughout the day and night and will roam around his cage no matter the hour.

Guinea pigs thrive perfectly in the dark and in the light. They do not need light at night, and the dark will not stop them from doing what they need to do.

Are Guinea Pigs Afraid of the Dark?

One thing you would have noticed about your furry friend is that he startles easily. Guinea pigs are naturally timid animals, and they will hide away when they feel threatened.

But, are guinea pigs scared of the dark?

Although they are timid, guinea pigs are not afraid of the dark. In fact, they view dark environments as great places to hide where they feel safe.

Guinea pigs prefer to eat, sleep, and defecate in areas of their cages that are darker. When they feel threatened, they may run into the dark corners of their cages.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat in the Dark?

You’ve just given your guinea pig his food to eat before turning out the light.

But, will he be able to eat it in the dark, or should you turn a night light on?

There is no need for you to keep your pet’s cage lit at night. Guinea pigs have a highly developed sense of smell and can eat in the dark.

Guinea pigs feel safer in a dark and quiet environment, so they will often carry their vegetables to darker areas of their cage to eat them.

Although guinea pigs will eat in the dark at night, this does not mean they have good night vision. They have a poor perception of depth during the day and night and poor overall vision.

But despite all of this, your guinea pig will always be able to locate his food bowl!

Do Guinea Pigs Sleep in the Dark?

Guinea pigs do not have a regular sleep schedule. They will sleep for short periods during the day and night.

They might sleep for an hour during the day and then be up for several more hours. They do the same at night.

These small animals sleep both in the dark and in the light.

Since they are crepuscular animals, they are most active during dusk and dawn.

How Guinea Pigs Navigate In the Dark

Can guinea pigs see in the dark?

These little animals do not see very well during the day or at night. But even still, they are able to get their way around in the dark without the help of artificial light.

How do they do it?

Let’s find out.

guinea pig in the dark

Peripheral Vision

One thing that helps guinea pigs see in the dark is their outstanding peripheral vision. Thanks to the position of their eyes, guinea pigs see almost 340 degrees around them.

They can see what’s above them and around them better than we can, although their depth perception inhibits them from seeing greater distances.

Depth Perception

Night vision becomes a little bit complicated because of this animal’s limited depth perception.

Your guinea pig’s eyes can only see about 3 to 5 feet in front of them before things get more and more blurry. This is why this little animal will rely on his other senses to help him through the dark.

The other senses he relies on include his great sense of smell and his good hearing. He also has a great long-term memory.


To help a guinea pig measure distances, it has cute little whiskers called vibrissae. Guinea pigs sense the distance between openings and whether they can fit through them using these little hairs.

Although it cannot see in the dark very well, the little whiskers on the guinea pig’s face help it sense when it is getting close to an object.

Other Senses

Guinea pigs are prey animals, so they need to watch their backs all day and all night.

How do their other senses help them do this?

Guinea pigs have an impressive sense of smell; it is 25 times superior to that of humans. Your pet’s sense of smell helps him navigate his way through the dark.

Guinea pigs also have a highly developed sense of hearing. Their sense of hearing is more sensitive than humans at high frequencies.

For example, a human’s hearing range is from 20 to 20,000 hertz. But a guinea pig’s sophisticated sense of hearing ranges from 150 to 50,000 hertz.

Their sense of hearing helps them navigate through the dark and avoid predators.

Sharp Memory

Asides from these other heightened senses, guinea pigs have an excellent memory. So although their ability to see in the dark is not great, they can rely on their sharp memory to help them navigate.

Wild guinea pigs are predatory animals, so they need to remember pathways to food sources and hiding places. Their lives depend on their good spatial memory, which is especially good at retaining information long-term.

Guinea Pig Sleeping Patterns

Have you ever wondered how your guinea pig’s body clock works?

Coming up next, you’ll find out more about your little pet’s sleeping habits. We’ll discuss how long he sleeps, when he sleeps, and whether he needs complete darkness to do so.

How Long Do They Sleep?

Little piggies do not spend half as long sleeping as we humans do. They sleep for about 4 to 6 hours a day.

These animals will not stay asleep for long periods. They like power naps, sleeping for just a couple of minutes throughout the day and then waking up again.

Older guinea pigs will sleep for longer periods, a maximum of about 30 minutes, before waking up again and ready to explore.

When Do They Sleep?

Guinea pigs do not have normal rhythms or allotted times for sleeping like other animals. They sleep for a couple of minutes at a time throughout the day and night.

Guinea pigs are crepuscular or most active at dusk and dawn, so you are less likely to find them sleeping at these times of the day. But even still, their power naps are so short, your guinea pig might have a quick doze at these times and wake up again before you’ve even had time to notice!

Do Guinea Pigs Sleep Better In the Dark?

Guinea pigs do not need a pitch-dark environment in order to get some shut-eye. Whether the sun is shining or it’s the middle of the night, they can get the rest they need.

Guinea pigs will get some sleep for a couple of minutes at a time. So sometimes, they are asleep during the day when there is more light, and at other times they will sleep in darker environments at night.

These small pets do not ever fall into a deep sleep, so it doesn't matter if they fall asleep while it's light or dark. They only begin to sleep for longer periods at a time as they get older.

So you won’t need to worry about turning out the light at night for your furry friend to get some rest!

Do They Close Their Eyes While Sleeping?

Guinea pigs, like other small animals, sleep with their eyes open. This, although it seems strange, is a completely natural behavior.

Not only can they sleep with their eyes open, but also while they are standing upright. The only way you’ll be able to tell that they’re in the land of nod is that they will be standing very still.

These small pets sleep with their eyes open, so they are on high alert for danger even while they’re resting. In fact, they rarely close their eyes and never go into a deep sleep.

The Aid to Guinea Pig Vision

guinea pig in its cage at night

Guinea pigs scurry around all throughout the day and night.

But can guinea pigs see in the dark?

This article has helped us to see that guinea pigs have poor eyesight both during the day and at night. They are especially limited in the depth perception department as objects further than 3 to 5 feet away from them appear blurry.

But although they cannot see very well, they do not need light at night because they rely on their good sense of smell and hearing, and their good long-term memory to help them navigate.

Did you find the information in this article interesting?

At Oddly Cute Pets, we always strive to provide you with the most accurate articles about guinea pigs based on real scientific proof. For more guides on these and other animals, check out our website.

Thanks for reading!

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