Can Guinea Pigs Sense Emotions? (Find Out Now)

Guinea pigs are incredibly popular household pets amongst caregivers, and for good reasons. They have so many unique and charming personality traits and are unbelievably loving towards their owners. But, can guinea pigs sense our feelings and emotions?

Guinea pigs are very sensitive. They can sense emotions and would typically stay in tune with their “herd leader’s” (the person it follows) emotions in the wild. But this will depend on the relationship between the guinea pig and its owner.

Perhaps you’re wondering if your precious guinea pig knows when you’re having a bad day, or maybe you’re considering a guinea pig as a lovable therapy pet. Join us as we discuss guinea pigs, how they sense human emotions, and why they make amazing emotional support animals. 

Can Guinea Pigs Sense Feelings

can guinea pigs sense emotion

Guinea pigs can sense feelings and are talented at picking up on emotional changes. While most domestic animals can sense certain emotions to varying degrees, guinea pigs are blessed with inherent traits that make them prone to sensing emotions. 

Natural Traits

Guinea pigs would generally keep tabs on the emotional state of their dominant leader in the wild. Since they are social animals, they are extremely devoted to supporting and protecting each other and their leaders.  The same goes for domesticated pets.

This trait is translated into their roles as domesticated animals, especially when it comes to interacting with humans. They’re inclined to read our emotions and body language, which makes them extremely effective at sensing our feelings.

Typically, piggies will look to their owners as the pack leaders in a household. This gives them a natural inclination to check on your emotional state.

Guinea pigs are also motivated by the same need for support and protection that comes from looking up to their owners, so they’ll genuinely try to help out in this way too.

They typically use a combination of recognizing tone of voice and overall demeanor to determine their owner’s feelings. By knowing their owner well, they can compare these aspects to normal behavior and identify mood changes. 

⭐Key Takeaway:

Guinea pigs have natural tendencies to sense their owners’ emotional states and will try to help out in this way. Take good care of your guinea pigs and build a strong relationship with them so they remain sensitive to your emotional state.

Can Guinea Pigs Always Sense Emotions?

However, a guinea pig’s ability to sense their owner’s emotions relies on a balance between nature and nurture. While they are inherently capable of sensing their owners’ moods, the bond between the two also influences it.

You have to spend plenty of time your piggies, so that they recognize you as a friend and leader. Take good care of your guinea pigs and build a strong relationship with them so that they remain sensitive to your emotional state.

The more time you spend with them, the better equipped they’ll be to read you as an individual. There’s a much higher chance of the guinea pig sensing their pet parent’s emotional state or emotional changes when there is a strong bond between them. 

If you want more tips and tricks on how to form a strong bond with your piggies, check out this post I wrote: Do Guinea Pigs Recognize Their Owners?: 10 Tips You Need Now and 10 Shocking Mistakes That Make Your Guinea Pig Hate You

How To Tell When Your Guinea Pigs Know That You’re Depressed

can guinea pigs sense emotion

In most cases, it’ll be obvious if your guinea pig has noticed a sudden decline in your mood. Every guinea pig is unique, with varying behaviors, personalities, and habits. But, these are some of the most common ways piggies show you that they care during times of emotional distress.  

Sudden Mood Changes

The most common way to know that your guinea pig knows you are sad is when it’s clear their mood has changed as well. They may become anxious, scared, withdrawn, quiet, or seem sad themselves. You will know your guinea pig best and should be able to tell behavioral changes on their part – this is a clear sign that they know you are sad and empathize with you. 

More Snuggles

When guinea pigs know their owners are sad, it’s quite common for them to become more clingy or affectionate than usual. They might demand cuddles around the clock or follow you around as much as possible. More independent fur babies will stand by and allow their owners to pet them without trying to play or run around. 

Guinea pigs may even choose to jump onto your shoulders or bury themselves in your neck. This behavior may be due to a combination of them wanting to keep an eye on their owner’s wellbeing and knowing that their presence may help their owner feel better. 

Odd Noises 

Although guinea pigs usually make sounds, their sounds are quieter and unique when owners are sad. The type of sound can vary, ranging from chirping to whining. This is generally out of concern, but it may also occur if the guinea pig senses sadness and feels sad themselves. 

Nibbling and Licking

Guinea pigs may gently nibble and lick you when they’re sad. But, it may be similar to a sort of ‘love bite’ that many other animals give their select favorites. They may nibble or lick ears, fingers, toes, and much more!

Depending on the circumstances, if your fluffy companion nibbles or licks you, you can take it as a supportive guinea pig hug

Piggies are known to respond to their owners crying in particular, whether or not you’re loud and frantic.

If you’re crying, your guinea pig may watch you intently with what can best be described as a concerned or worried facial expression. In some cases, guinea pigs may even hurry to your side while you cry. 

⭐Key Takeaway:

Guinea pigs show a variety of behaviors (from making strange noises to giving your extra cuddles) that show that they know you’re depressed.

How To Tell When Your Guinea Pigs Know That You’re Happy

Contrary to their behavior when owners are sad, guinea pigs are typically fun, lively, and energetic little creatures. Depending on your relationship, household, and unique guinea pig’s personality, they may scurry up and down, refuse to sit still, and make adorable, wheeking noises.

Piggies can be class clowns when they’re in a good mood as well. They love to play, joke around, and generally act loony with their loved ones. Happy guinea pigs may refuse gentler cuddle forms, opting to hop up and down the house instead.

Can Guinea Pigs Be Good Emotional Support Animals?

Guinea pigs are one of the most effective emotional support animals for people dealing with various emotional and psychological issues.

You just need one that has the right sort of personality. Some piggies are too skittish or have been mistreated by humans that they are not good emotional support animal candidates.

Due to the combination of their attentiveness and loving nature (when they’ve been tamed), they’re excellent for those overcoming hurdles such as depression or anxiety

Guinea pigs are such renowned emotional support animals that some institutions have conducted further research into practical applications of their natural traits.

Some guinea pigs have even been taken into psychiatric hospitals to associate with people in need of emotional support. It’s become a fairly recognized form of treatment with various patients and has helped many conditions or issues improve. 

In A Nutshell

Some guinea pigs are extremely devoted to staying in touch with your feelings and will provide plenty of companionship and support throughout its life. If you’re lucky enough to find (and bond with) a furry, piggie companion with that trait, you’re in for a treat. 

Because whenever you’re feeling down, make sure to give your guinea pigs lots of cuddles and let them know that you’ll be alright. And if you’re feeling happy, you’ll be pleased to know your furry companions will likely be in a good mood too!

Can a Guinea pig be an emotional support animal? (2021, January 6). ESA Doctors.

Emotional support program. (n.d.). guineapigsanctuary.

Guinea pig sounds. (n.d.). The Anti-Cruelty Society.

Pet therapy: Students increasingly bringing “Emotional support” Animals to college. (2015, November 10). Cal Alumni Association.

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