If you are wondering whether your guinea pig is bored and needs entertainment or are worried about them watching the TV in the same room as you, this article is for you!
Guinea pigs enjoy music, happy sounds, and moving images, making a TV the perfect mix of mental stimulation. Just like anything else, TV time should be limited and in moderation, especially due to their sensitive hearing abilities.
Each guinea pig is different and may need extra time adjusting to a new visual and auditory stimulation; others may automatically adjust and enjoy it more than another guinea pig!
We will discuss the safety of audio and visuals, what to avoid putting on the TV, and if guinea pigs can tell what is happening on the TV!
Is it safe for guinea pigs to watch TV?
Guinea pigs are highly sensitive, especially when it comes to their hearing abilities. In the wild, they rely on their hearing to avoid predators, especially from above, since they are small animals.
Their eyes are on the side of their head, which avoids blurred vision, but too much screen time may become harmful over time.
Does it hurt their eyes?
Guinea pigs’ eyes are positioned in a way that it is difficult for them to perceive things such as what is going on with the TV. They see moving shapes and colors and hear the music and sounds even more.
The light from the TV will not hurt their eyes, but remember to balance the guinea pigs’ screen time.
Limit screen time
Limiting screen time gives the guinea pig a break from the stimulation that could overwhelm them.
Their eyes, ears, and behavior could be affected drastically if they are overstimulated for extended periods.
Everything in moderation
Everything should be done and given in moderation to maintain optimal guinea pig health and happiness. This goes for food as well as activities and exposure to the TV.
Loud sounds can harm their ears, scare them, and cause anxiety. Do your best to limit the volume and visual exposure on a daily basis.
Should I start letting my guinea pig watch TV?
Your guinea pig may be afraid of something new such as the TV noises and visuals, but do not let it discourage you.
Most guinea pigs enjoy moving images and happy musical sounds, and it provides entertainment and stimulation that keeps them from becoming bored and depressed.
Each guinea pig may react differently and seem more eager to want to watch TV. If they present any fear, ease them into it and go slow.
Guinea pigs and boredom
Guinea pigs are social animals; if they live alone, they may need more stimulation than guinea pigs with a cage mate.
When guinea pigs become bored, they may become depressed, and their health can decline.
Giving them toys, treats, out-of-cage time, outdoor time, socializing with you, or even watching TV can make a huge difference in the guinea pigs’ happiness.
Depression in guinea pigs
If you witness any symptoms that your guinea pig may be depressed, contact your vet for additional information and a check-up to ensure there is nothing physically wrong.
Guinea pigs may show signs of depression if they are bored, lonely, sick, or afraid. Having a TV on whether you are home can provide a sense of security and a safe feeling for the guinea pig.
It can make them feel that they are not alone and give them something to take their mind off being depressed.
Depending on what you put on the TV, this could help a guinea pig’s mental health and behavior issues.
Watching TV can be a great bonding opportunity and become an easy part of your daily routine! This is especially true if your guinea pig is new to your home or around new people; watching TV together can be calming and enjoyable!
If the guinea pig is comfortable, they will feel more inclined to watch TV with you, but if they seem hesitant, you can try to give treats and go slow to make them comfortable.
Do not force the guinea pig to do anything they do not want to; patience is important to avoid any fear and anxiety for the guinea pig.
What shows should you put on the TV?
There are many options for music, animated shows, movies, and even other guinea pigs and animals that you can place on the TV for your guinea pig to enjoy!
They may not understand what is going on, but they can tell between happy and sad sounds, fearful sounds and loud bangs, joyful music, and bright colors.
Adjust the volume appropriately
Your guinea pig may not be staring at the TV the entire time, so sudden noises may scare them. Guinea pigs can be sensitive to loud and sudden noises, so be careful to properly adjust the volume as necessary.
Your guinea pig’s instincts may kick in and cause them to run and hide. Once they deem the environment safe again, they will come back out.
You can use this as a test to see what scares your guinea pig and what may be too loud for them to handle.
Music and loud sounds
Guinea pigs enjoy music, especially happy and harmonic melodies. They get stimulation from moving images that go along with music and happy sounds from other guinea pigs or humans!
They can understand the pattern of hearing a certain song or noise, and know what is coming next, either food or play.
This will make them become familiar with the TV and start to like it, especially if it involves giving treats!
Other guinea pigs
You can find a video of other guinea pig sounds, such as their ways of communicating with squeaks, and it can be beneficial, especially if your guinea pig is alone most of the time or does not have another cage mate to play and talk with.
However, be aware of any sudden or loud sounds and angry noises a guinea pig video may make, as your guinea pig may interpret this as a real threat and become afraid.
Guinea pigs love to communicate and thrive when other guinea pigs are present since they are pack animals.
If you only have one guinea pig, try putting videos of other guinea pigs on the TV and see how your guinea pig reacts to seeing and hearing them!
Do guinea pigs understand what is on TV?
Guinea pigs cannot understand human language or anything contextual, for that matter. They pay attention to the moving images of color and sounds, and can tell when it is happy or scary kinds of sounds.
They use their instincts to help them remain safe and away from any potential danger. Observe the guinea pig’s behavior to see what they like and do not like watching on TV.
What a guinea pig sees
The guinea pig will not be able to perceive the TV like we can, mostly due to their eye positioning.
They are unable to have blurred vision because their eyes are far enough apart, so they are only able to see the TV from a certain position.
They take everything for real and cannot tell that what is on TV is not real. This may become a cause for stress if the guinea pig sees something on TV as a threat.
Motion and lights
TVs provide a quick flash of light and color when it pans from scene to scene in a show or movie.
However, videos meant for children and animals have specific colors and patterns of movement that can be calming and get the attention of your guinea pig better than human conversation shows and movies.
Scary noises and sounds
Your guinea pig can tell when a video is portraying a happy or scary scenario based on the sounds.
If there is dark music, loud bands, or even screams, a guinea pig may become frightened and hide away.
If there are happy sounds and music, the guinea pig may even chirp and squeal with joy, especially if it shows another guinea pig doing the same.
Guinea pigs pay attention to their surroundings and use confirmation from other guinea pig sounds that it is safe to come out and play.
Guinea pigs are very social animals and love stimulating sources of entertainment, which a TV can provide.
This extends as a bonding opportunity between you and your guinea pigs, avoiding boredom and depression in your guinea pig, and assisting with any loneliness or inability to have more than one guinea pig.
Guinea pigs pay attention to their environment and enjoy hearing other guinea pigs communicating, happy music, and watching colorful images flash on the TV screen.
Many guinea pigs may be afraid of any new types of stimulation at first, but with some patience and time, your guinea pig will begin to show signs of contentment and joy with watching TV.
Be careful not to expose your guinea pig to too much screen time, or it may harm their health and behavior. Make it a new routine to have your guinea pig join you while you sit and watch TV together!