If you have a guinea pig at home, you know they are pretty social creatures that thrive on time and attention from their people. But what else can you do with them if you’re exhausted and don’t want to play?
Turning on the TV and settling in for some snuggle time with your piggies sounds tempting, but do guinea pigs even like to watch TV? Do they get spooked by the sounds and motions on the screen?
Many guinea pigs enjoy the bright lights, colors, moving images, and sound from television screens but do not see the pictures with details. They do not understand the context and purpose of TV shows but they are often entertained by the movement and lights.
While guinea pigs may not understand what they are watching, they can be quite intrigued by what they see on the screen. Keep reading to learn about what guinea pigs see when they watch TV, what they like, and whether or not you should your piggie watch it.
What Do Guinea Pigs See On TV?
Guinea pigs have lateral eyes and can see up to 340 degrees around themselves and 33 images per second. This means they can see things quickly and almost everything except directly behind them and below their nose.
But this doesn’t mean that they see everything clearly. Guinea pigs may have a wide range of vision, but they lack depth perception due to the position of their eyes. This means that they can only see up to 3-5 feet away from them.
Without depth perception, guinea pigs cannot see small, fine details, so tv screens appear as blurs of flashing lights and colors, especially green and blue.
So your piggy may be looking at the screen, but the picture isn’t clear, and they won’t understand precisely what they’re seeing and hearing.
What Do Guinea Pigs Like to Watch?
All guinea pigs are different, so they may not like to watch the same things. If you aren’t sure what your guinea pig likes, choose various programs and test them out to see how they react.
However, guinea pigs are often more likely to be interested in fast-paced movies that change scenes often. This is because they can see up to 33 images per minute and are born to detect motion and changes in their environment to protect themselves from prey.
So if you want to find a TV program your guinea pig likes, try something with the following options:
● Bright lights
● Colors – especially blue and green
● A low volume
● Quick moving images
Remember, every guinea pig is different, and some may not enjoy the quick changes in lights, colors, and sound on the TV. It all depends on their preference and how easily startled your guinea pig is.
Try different videos and see what your guinea pig likes the most. Some videos to have your guinea pig watch are:
● Nature videos
● Music videos
● Animal encounters
● Screensavers with quick, dynamic transitions
These videos will have colorful images and bright lights to attract your guinea pig’s attention. Just be sure to keep the volume low and watch your guinea pig to be sure he is comfortable and happy.
If you’re watching YouTube videos, try looking up some videos of other guinea pigs squeaking and running around happily. Often you’ll get a positive reaction from your guinea pig from these types of videos, as piggies are very social and respond well to the noises of other happy guinea pigs.
Can Guinea Pigs Get Scared From Watching TV?
Guinea pigs are instinctually skittish creatures, especially to unknown surroundings and loud noises. So can they get scared from the TV?
While it all depends on the individual guinea pig, it is possible that guinea pigs can be frightened by the television. They can be frightened by loud, abrupt noises, sudden movements, and unfamiliar sights on the TV screen.
If you allow your guinea pig to watch TV, be sure to keep the volume at a low level and monitor them for signs of distress and anxiety. If they begin to hide, stare, or run, turn off the TV and provide them with a calm and familiar environment.
Should I Let My Guinea Pig Watch TV?
Your guinea pig can watch TV as long as they do not show signs of distress. Just like humans, we need to do things in consideration and cannot replace exercise and quality time with a screen.
Excessive noise can cause ear damage to your guinea pig, and it may cause too much stress if they are not comfortable with the sights and sounds from the television.
So be sure to limit your piggy’s time in front of the screen. If you don’t know if your guinea pig likes TV, place him in a comfortable area around you, pick an ideal video, and monitor him for any signs of discomfort or nervousness.
If your guinea pig shows signs of anxiousness, turn off the TV, place him in a comfortable environment, and respect his preferences.
Not all guinea pigs like to watch TV, and this is perfectly fine! There are many different ways you can bond with your guinea pig and provide enrichment in their life. For example, floor time, cuddles, and teaching your guinea pig tricks are all great ways to strengthen your bond and do something fun with your piggy.
Alternatives to TV For Guinea Pig Entertainment
Although TV is a good way for humans to relax, it isn’t always the best entertainment for guinea pigs.
If you are looking for ways to spend time with your guinea pig but relax at the same time, then try some of the following options:
● Create a treasure hunt – hide treats around the cage!
● Use toys – guinea pigs love toys like treat balls or chewable hay woven tunnels.
● Make cardboard mazes – this idea is an easy and fun way to reuse cardboard packaging.
● Give playpen free time – guinea pigs love to explore outside their cage in a guinea-proofed area.
● Give treats and cuddle – Most guinea pigs love veggie treats and feeding some of their favorite treats is a great way to cement your bond.
Guinea pigs are active creatures and are usually quite easy to entertain. All you need are some treats, toys, and some recyclables!
Create a maze on the floor with cardboard or bristol board and place treats throughout it for your guinea pig to find. Then stay close as your guinea pig runs through it, searching for his treats! This is an easy way to show your guinea pig you love him and keep him entertained at the same time.
You can also give your guinea pig free time with toys on the floor while you sit nearby. In this case, your guinea pig can roam and spend time with you as he pleases.
Guinea pigs are a bit like cats in that they are usually happy with even simple activities and basic DIY toys. You can find even more related ideas on our guinea pig enrichment page.
So, remember, even if your guinea pig likes TV, it’s a good idea to mix it up with some other activities that will get them up and moving too. Guinea pigs are prone to obesity, so regular exercise is crucial for them!
Guinea pigs may enjoy a TV screen’s rapid motion and bright lights, but they can’t see the whole picture. Therefore, they won’t understand or see the small details of the show. Additionally, some guinea pigs are more sensitive to loud noises, so be sure to watch your piggy and put them back in their cage if they seem distressed at any point. Regardless, all guinea pigs are different, so it all depends on what yours is comfortable with.