There are several myths that we’ve seen floating around on the internet about guinea pigs, and some of them are a little bit silly! Many of them have to do with guinea pigs and their senses, or their bodies and how their biology works. We’re here to debunk them, and tell you just how strong their senses are, and how in some ways they’re even better than humans!
Myth: Guinea pigs are deaf
This isn’t true, and you would know this almost immediately as a guinea pig owner! Sometimes you can’t even eat your own salad in peace even if you’re in another room.
Guinea pigs actually have quite a keen sense of hearing! In fact, in some cases guinea pigs can hear better than humans.
You may have noticed that they’ll start to wheek or yell if they hear you washing veggies or chopping them! They recognize the sound, and associate it with the act of you feeding them the veggies. They wouldn’t be able to do that if they couldn’t hear you!
Many guinea pig owners have experienced their guinea pigs wheeking and yelling in excitement as soon as they come home, almost like some built in home security alarm! They hear the door opening, and instantly they’re up and ready to greet you after a long day at work.
In our personal experience, we’ve even opened a salad in another room before, and we hear the guinea pigs wheeking excitedly, as if the veggies are for them! It’s always so funny when that happens.
Myth: Guinea pigs are color blind
This is also untrue!
Guinea pigs not only can see colors, but they can see colors pretty accurately, more than some of their fellow pets.
There have been studies to attest to this! For example, scientists put some lettuce into a colored bowl and mixed it in with some other colored bowls. They chose lettuce because it’s less likely to be detected by smell, since guinea pigs have such a great sense of smell.
Even when they rearranged the bowls the guinea pigs still sought out the same colored bowl with the lettuce in it. They saw the colored bowl and they recognized it each time.
The color blind perception also causes another myth as well!
Myth: Guinea pigs are blind
Yet another myth about their eyesight! Not only do some people believe that guinea pigs are color blind, but they believe that they’re blind in general, or that they don’t have good eyesight. Of course, that’s untrue.
(Especially with the amount of nutrients they get from the carrots they eat, there’s just no way, right?)
In fact, their sense of sight is better than humans! Guinea pigs can see 33 images per second while humans can only see 22. Now imagine those of us humans who don’t have 20/20 vision—that’s a little embarrassing! Another amazing thing about their eyes, they have a 340 degree range of vision!
Myth: Guinea pigs smell
This is also a myth that can be debunked! Guinea pigs actually don’t naturally give off much of an odor at all. The only thing that smells may be their urine and their poop!
If you find that your guinea pig’s living area is getting a little smelly, we recommend changing their bedding more often and spot cleaning as often as you can!
We recommend trying out the GuineaDad Premium Liner, which is designed to combat things like smelly living environments and inhibiting bacterial growth, which is part of what causes the smell. The GuineaDad Premium Liner utilizes AirCell™ technology, which is an air pocket within the liner that helps with quick drying of the absorbent layer and all fibers are coated in an antibacterial agent that prevents the bacteria growth that can cause odor.
Myth: Guinea pigs have a weak sense of smell
This is also untrue! Guinea pig's sense of smell is about 25 times superior to humans. Think about how wild that is! They can detect smells and odors that we wouldn’t even be able to notice with our own sense of smell. In fact, they’re only a little bit behind dogs in that sense as well.
What do these myths tell us about guinea pigs?
These myths tell us not only are guinea pigs a lot smarter and more capable than most people make them out to be, but they’re also better than humans in some ways! Our piggies are just as amazing as we’ve always thought they were, and in some ways, even more.
If you'd like to learn some more fun facts about guinea pigs, you can check out this article!