Maybe you are thinking of getting a guinea pig, and want to know whether you will have enough hang-out time. Luckily, the answer is yes, and plenty. Your Guinea pig will give you hours of fun and won’t sleep all day like some pets. But let’s find out exactly how much do Guinea Pigs Sleep.
How much do guinea pigs sleep: Guinea pigs sleep only 4 hours a day on average. They catch this shut-eye in brief, 6-10 minute naps, and then are again active. This means that your guinea pig will often be alert and attentive.
You are unlikely to have trouble coaxing your energetic little buddy to play or explore. Guinea pigs require plenty of exercise and stimuli.
Still, any living creature requires sleep for their health. Sleep allows us to heal. So, the proper sleep environment for your guinea pig is as important as ever, really.
What does this mean? Guinea pigs are usually awake, so there must be enough to entertain them in their cage. Their cage must also be properly cozy and have quiet hours, to entice the rather high-strung guinea pig to sleep as they require.
Why Do Guinea Pigs Sleep So Often and So Little?
Most animals sleep during the night, or the day, and are solely nocturnal or diurnal. Guinea pigs are an exception to the rule. In the wild, they are popular creatures of prey. And, cute as they may be, guinea pigs are not particularly fast or fierce. Better to stay on the alert, and take cover at the first sign of trouble.
Guinea pigs not only sleep very little, but they also wake up frequently as well. They must make sure that everything is safe. For this reason, they also sleep with their eyes open. Who knew?
Guinea Pigs Are Active Critters
How do guinea pigs stay busy, if they are awake all of the time? In nature, guinea pigs forage for food, play, mate, and groom. Adorably enough, they travel in herds and are happy to socialize. Guinea pigs also chew on things and explore.
So, how can you keep your guinea pig occupied at home?
Always Have Hay Available For Your Guinea Pig To Chew
That guinea pigs eat hay is probably something you already know. Less well-known is that hay is good for their teeth. You see, rodents have teeth that will continue to grow throughout their life. In order to keep this constant growth in line, guinea pigs must chew. And chew.
For this reason, hay must always be available. Your guinea pig is also sure to appreciate some wooden sticks and toys to chew.
Guinea Pigs Are Born To Socialize
At touched on earlier, guinea pigs are sociable animals. They travel in little herds, in which they will forage, play, mate, and groom. Indeed, a solitary guinea pig is a lonely one.
This in mind, it is no surprise that guinea pigs prefer a cage companion or two. You must simply choose these with care.
Not all guinea pigs get along. When pairing them, there are a few things that you will need to know.
First off, you must learn the genders of the guinea pigs in question. The pairs should be the same sex. Groups of 2-3 males or 2-3 females are ideal.
Whilst They’re Awake Give Them Room To Run And Play
Guinea pigs love to run and play. Whilst your guinea pig is awake it will need the space and freedom to run and play and exercise.
You can even guinea pig-proof a room (carefully) to allow them to explore. Make obstacle courses out of empty boxes, butter containers, etc. You may also consider adding to the cage ramps, tunnels, houses, and the like.
Play Music To Your Guinea Pig To Help Them Sleep
Believe it or not, guinea pigs love to listen to gentle music which can also help them sleep better and calm them whilst they’re awake. Here is a Youtube video with some calming Guinea Pig music.
Keep Your Guinea Pig Somewhere Social And Peaceful
Guinea pigs become sad when they are kept too far away from their people.
At the same time, they must not be kept in rooms that are overly-noisy, such as one with a TV. A quiet sitting area is ideal. Your guinea pig should receive attention, yet have the quiet they need in order to sleep and relax.
Bedding Is Ultra-Comfortable For Burrowing and Sleep Alike
Guinea pigs love bedding that is soft and comfortable. This will encourage them to sleep, as it helps them feel safe and at home. The top guinea pig bedding materials are paper and wood shavings. These come in a variety of different forms.
Paper bedding, for example, can be store-bought or homemade. This bedding comes in the form of pulp, shreds, pellets, and more. Paper bedding is soft, absorbent of odor and liquid, affordable, and readily available. Guinea pigs also find it to be wonderfully comfortable. They will burrow in paper shreds with glee. Or sleep peacefully in a nest they have made.
Aspen wood also makes an excellent guinea pig bedding option. Other types of wood tend to have slivers. Some, like pine and cedar, even emit toxic fumes when they come in contact with urine. Aspen wood is soft and odor-free, and the shavings are absorbent and affordable. Finally, aspen wood shavings are super springy and cozy.
We like Kaytee bedding. Click here for prices on Amazon
Final Thoughts: How Much Do Guinea Pigs Sleep?
So, guinea pigs sleep both often, and very little. They are busy fellows and they require plenty of stimulation. This, in the form of company, toys, and the all-important exercise wheel. Their cage must be entertaining as well as safe and cozy. This will create the perfect place for them to play, sleep, and relax.