Can Guinea Pigs See in the Dark? {Are They Blind In The Dark}

Have you ever wondered if guinea pigs can see well in the dark?

Well, this is a question that I’ve wondered myself, so I decided to share what I found from my research on the subject.

Can Guinea Pigs See in the Dark

Guinea pigs have relatively poor night vision compared to some other nocturnal animals. While they can see in low light conditions, they are not well adapted for seeing in complete darkness.

Guinea pigs are diurnal animals, meaning they are most active during the day and have evolved to see well in daylight. Their eyes are designed to perceive colors and detail in bright or moderate light. However, their vision becomes less effective in dim or dark environments.

In low light conditions, guinea pigs rely more on their other senses, such as their sense of hearing and smell, to navigate their surroundings. They may also use their whiskers and sensitive vibrissae to feel their way around and detect objects or obstacles.

In this post you will find several interesting facts on the subject of guinea pig vision in the dark. Also, do not forget to check out the answers to the related questions that are at the end of this post.

Can Guinea Pigs See at All?

Some people believe that guinea pigs can’t see at all. They claim that the smell and hearing senses of guinea pigs help them navigate themselves, but not their eyes. Claiming that the guinea pig is as primitive as a tapeworm, is exactly what these people do.

To those who claim the above statement to be true, I wonder if they have ever seen how fast a guinea pig can get to its burrow out in the field when being chased by a predator? They are rodents for god’s sakes! Their life relies one hundred percent on their vision.

In spite of that fact, if people continue to believe that they can’t see, then I guess Charles Darwin is waiting at their doors. And he’s probably very mad at them for claiming his Theory of Natural Selection to be false!

Do Guinea Pigs See Well in the Dark?

If you do own a guinea pig, I’m sure you wouldn’t have any troubles believing in the theory that guinea pigs can see in the dark. Note that I used the word “theory” rather than “fact”. This is because it’s not “scientifically” proven whether they actually do see in the dark.

But, let me tell you some actions of guinea pigs that could potentially imply that this theory is true. You can notice that when fed and let alone to sleep at night, they go to the darker side of their cage before falling asleep.

Okay, so you are now probably going to ask “even we humans fall asleep in the dark, it doesn’t mean we have night vision, so why would guinea pigs?”.

Well, my answer is, they don’t just go there to sleep. If you wake up in the middle of the night and go check on your guinea pigs, you can see that they are probably still playing around with their wooden blocks or their ping-pong balls. Even without any lights on!

On top of that, it is not like they have been in your home’s cage ever since their species were created. They have been roaming in risky habitats where they become a hawk’s lunch or a snake’s brunch any minute. At night, their burrows may even be raided by snake squads! Do you really think God is that cruel as to not give that poor little rodent at least night vision as opposed to its predator’s deadly venom?

If these are not enough evidence to substantiate the theory that guinea pigs can see well in the dark, I do not know what else will be.

Other Guinea Pig Vision Facts

While we are on the subject of a guinea pig’s vision, here are some other intresting facts about guiena pig vision.

1. Guinea Pigs Have Worse Vision Than Humans

The vision of a guinea pig is definitely not as good as the vision we humans have. Researchers have noticed that they can see well within a range of one meter. Beyond that, their sense of smell and hearing are their two eyes.

2. A Guinea Pig’s Eyes are Placed on the Side of Their Head

The eyes of a guinea pig are placed almost facing away from each other. This means that they have a wider vision like that of other prey animals in the natural food web. That is true for any animal that needs to keep itself safe from predators that approach from all around.

Here’s a picture of the eye placement of a guinea pig:


As you can see this eye placement makes the guinea pig more alert of what’s going on around it, not just straight ahead.

3. Guinea Pigs Have a Great Memory

This might seem a bit of topic for this article, but guinea pigs have a very sharp memory. While we are struggling to remember 4 items that we are asked to buy from a supermarket, a guinea pig can remember complex routes made through burrows to reach its safe house. With all their senses, including vision they can quickly remember where there’s a safe place for them to hide.

This creature is remarkable! Guinea pigs sees wide in the open, and it sees what is around it clear enough in the narrow burrows too, with the same eye! Which is cool. Guinea Pig Intelligence is another topic we cover that we think you will enjoy. Check it out here.

Related Questions

How to say if your guinea pig is blind?
Guinea pigs are, just like humans, not blind in general. But as you know, some people are born blind, and some people wear glasses just to read as they get old. And the same is true with these cute little munchkins (I’m sorry, I can’t help but adore them!)

When it comes to blindness, unlike most organisms, a guinea pig is able to have partial vision just with its senses of smell and hearing. That is exactly why this question arises. A guinea pig can neither say “Oh human help me I couldn’t see anything”, nor act out in actions.

Guinea pigs can’t see the stuff that lies right in front of their face in a distance of a few centimetres, this means that a healthy guinea pig with vision usually don’t see their food in the cage, but smell it. This means that even blind guinea pigs eat their food by jsut using their smell. What I am trying to convey with this is that you don’t have to worry too much if your guinea pig has turned blind.

I told you earlier that guinea pigs can remember well. So if you want to confirm whether or not your guinea pig has gone blind, check if it has a tough time finding its stuff when they have been moved around from their usual positions. Also, flashing a torch in its eye, you can observe unusually white eyeballs instead of red ones that any normal eye shows.

So be kind to your guinea pig by helping it in its blindness. Always consult a doctor in any health issues. To make it easier for a blind pet, make sure you don’t move around the play items, food, and water.



My name is Anna and I work full time in my local pet shop where we sell many animals that I write about on this site. I love all animals and love writing about them.