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

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

(Updated 2023.06.21)

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 that your guinea pig is unhappy. 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.

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. 

Advertisement for GuineaDad pea flake, treat your guinea pigs to wheeks

Here's a short video summary on unhappy guinea pig sounds.

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.

Here's a short video summary on unhappy guinea pig body language.

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. 

Watch the video below for the last of our three part series on signs why your guinea pig may be unhappy.



main ways to tell if your guinea pig is unhappy is through body language, sound, and health

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 piggies 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!

guineadad original liner ad make bonding time easier
Back to blog


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 my.life 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.


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?

Nancy A Weitendorf

Your guinea pig is lonely. Give her another guinea pig.


We have had Pigs for over 10 years. We have two brothers now. 1 yr old. They will rumble strut t each other but no harm. I agree w the teeth chattering.
Our pigs are very active and out of the cage each day.

Patrick Youells

Is it bad to pick up a pig while it is rumblestrutting? Do make guinea pigs go through “heat”?

Brittany Nicole

Leave a comment