Each species of animal has its own unique anatomy with body parts that are capable of various actions or tasks. Any behaviors that are different to human actions and activities can fascinate pet owners. If you are a guinea pig owner and you have ever watched your pet, you may have wondered whether your guinea pig can blink or not. Here is some more information about guinea pigs and blinking.
Can Guinea Pigs Blink?
In theory, a guinea pig can blink. They have eyelids that can move, and this means that they are capable of blinking. However, they only blink very rarely. They usually only blink as a way of protecting their eyes from dust or small pieces of debris. Humans blink far more often than guinea pigs as blinking cleanses the retina of a human eye while also protecting the eye from any foreign objects.
Due to the way that the eyelid of a guinea pig retracts, it is rarely visible to their owners. Occasionally, a guinea pig’s eyelid can become infected or irritated by sharp pieces of their bedding. This leads to their eyelid becoming red and swollen. When this happens, the eyelid is far more visible to their owner.
Why Do Guinea Pig Owners Think Their Pet Cannot Blink?
It is common for guinea pig owners to mistakenly believe that their guinea pig cannot blink. So, why would people assume that this is the case? It is because guinea pigs spend most of the time with their eyes open and do not blink regularly like humans.
Most guinea pigs even sleep with their eyes open, unlike most other animals that sleep with their eyes closed. It may appear that a guinea pig is staring into the distance, but they are actually asleep. When a guinea pig owner sees their pet sleeping like this, they assume that their pet does this because they do not have eyelids. In turn, they may assume that guinea pigs also cannot blink.
Keeping their eyes open is possibly a self-defense mechanism as guinea pigs are the prey of many predators in the wild. There are some domestic guinea pigs that do close their eyes when they sleep if they are feeling especially relaxed, and this is a sign that they feel safe and comfortable in their environment.
The Bottom Line
Many guinea pig owners do not believe that their pet can blink, and this is because their eyelids are barely visible and they usually sleep with their eyes open. However, guinea pigs can blink, although this is not something they do often. They blink as and when it is necessary to protect their eyes from dust and debris. As they blink only rarely, many guinea pig owners do not see their guinea pig blink.