Some Signs Your Guinea Pig is Unhappy, and What to Look Out For

Wondering whether your guinea pig is unhappy? Look for these signs as you monitor guinea pigs to make sure they are happy

Signs your Guinea Pig is Unhappy

Our previous blog post talked about 4 signs your guinea pig is happy(be sure to read it before or after this one), so today we’ll be talking about signs your guinea pig is unhappy. You might be asking “how to tell if your guinea pig is unhappy?” Well, the main way you can sense unhappiness in your guinea pig is through body language, sounds, and health. Although some of these signs may just signal temporary unhappiness and are no cause for worry, be sure to watch out if one of them happens frequently and extends for long periods of time. Again, all guinea pigs are different so not all of these will apply to your guinea pig. They may only show a few or none at all!

 signs guinea pig is unhappy

1. Sounds

Guinea pigs make a variety of sounds and they each mean something different. Teeth chattering, hissing, growling, and whining are all some unhappy guinea pig sounds that your guinea pig may make when they are in discomfort with another piggie. Teeth chattering is one of the more common unhappy guinea pig noises that you can distinguish between the others. It may be accompanied by showing off teeth as an aggressive “back off”. To remedy this, have enough treats nearby to hand out to everyone. Our GuineaDad Pea Flakes works great for this. This acts as a small distraction to break up the fight so that they may all be friends again afterwards.

guinea pig treats
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2. Body Language 

Sometimes guinea pigs do a little “dance” called rumblestrutting. You may have seen this when your guinea pig looks like he/she is almost vibrating, or rumbling, in both the sound they make and in their body language around another piggie. Why do guinea pigs rumblestrut? Well, guinea pig rumble strutting is known to be a mating dance but can also be seen as an act of dominance. And it doesn’t just happen between a male and female, but can happen with any paired piggie! Another body language to recognize is the raising of a piggie's head and front legs and fluffing up their fur. For example, has your guinea pig ever fluffed up his/her fur while eating delicious veggies next to a companion? It means that they are trying to look aggressive and bigger so that no one will come close and steal their food.


3. Disinterest 

One of the more obvious ways to tell that your guinea pig is unhappy is disinterest in everything, even veggies! If your guinea pig used to love playtime, but all of a sudden doesn’t want to participate, then they may be depressed or have an underlying health problem. If this symptom lasts for more than a day, there is a problem. To be safe, always bring them to the vet to get checked up. The sooner you recognize the problem and get checked, the better it will be for your piggie in the long run.



In the end, we have to remember that most of these unhappy signs are all natural behaviors that guinea pigs make on a regular basis. Most of which aren’t a cause for concern, everyone gets the blues once in a while! Just remember that if these signs happen too frequently, pay close attention to see if there is something wrong with your piggie and their health. The most important way to keep your piggy comfortable and healthy is by just providing them with what they need. A clean home with washed liners, nutritious veggies, and lots of love from you!


guinea pig fleece cage liner

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  • Nicola

    I have two guinea pigs and one of them is the dominant one the other is very shy and I think the older one is not allowing him to sleep in the same bed. Do I get another pig or what ? Please advise as I feel really bad..

  • Jessica

    We had a female for about a year and decided to get a second female! They acted fine but I been about 4 months and now the baby rumbles at the older one constantly! Should I separate them? Idk what to do!

  • Kimberly

    Jamie, did you ever find out what was wrong with him when you took him to the vet?

  • Sarah

    My guinea pig is 2 months old and it doesn’t like me.ive tried everything with jt I dont know what I’m doing worng I’ve had so many guinea pig in but this one doesn’t like anything it popcorn alot It east alot I buy treats for it but it doesn’t like me I try to hold it and pet it all the time and it bites me and tries to escape I hand feed it and take it out but I just can’t get to the problem and I’m concerned about jt i.feel like it might be a health issue but at the same time I don’t really know pleaee help I just want to bond with it.

  • Nancy A Weitendorf

    I just bonded a pair of males. The non-dominant pig seems to be unhappy. He is very still and won’t eat treats. Does this mean that he is very frightened of the dominant pig? If this is the case, should I separate them? They didn’t fight at all during the bonding process, and were eating together and lying near each other, but in their permanent cage (2X4 C&C) the non-dominant pig is just sitting, not moving around at all. I don’t want him to be unhappy! They have only been together one day; should I wait and see?

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