Sunday, March 9, 2014

Understanding What Those Piggy Sounds Mean

You've probably noticed that guinea pigs have a wide vocabulary.  If you're able to translate their language, it will help you know what your guinea pig is feeling and strengthen your bond.  Here are some of the many sounds you may hear your guinea pig make, and what they're believed to mean:

The Wheek- This is the best sound!  It is guinea pig excitement at full red alert.  This means they've heard something that sounds like veggies are coming or they want your attention.  This wheeking/whistling can get quite loud and it means they're familiar with their surroundings and excited.

The Soft Wheek- This wheek/whistle is how the full wheek usually starts.  They think they hear something exciting, so they start with a softer wheek, but when they are certain something exciting is coming, it will quickly turn into a full red alert excited wheek.  I love how some guinea pig's ears will start flapping when they get this excited!

The Purr- This sound is made when your guinea pig is happy.  Dan makes this sound when he's on my lap being petted.  It's a long soft rumble.  Guinea pigs will make this sound when trying to attract a mate by swaying side to side as they purr.

The Whine-  Also a very familiar sound when someone is taking someone else's veggies.  It's a higher pitched guinea pig faced paced whimper/whine, but it isn't very loud.  I've find that when they do this, there's no real cause for concern, it's guinea pigs being dramatic.  They are simply complaining.

The Chatter- When you hear your guinea pig chatter is teeth, he is very annoyed.  This can be combined with the whine.  If you are introducing new guinea pigs and hear this sound, keep a close eye in them, it may or may not soon erupt into a fight.

The Scream/Shriek- This loud, long, urgent sound does mean trouble.  It may mean guinea pigs are fighting, and someone is in distress.  You should always check on your guinea pigs if you hear a loud urgent call for help.

The Chirp- I have not heard this sound personally, but I understand that guinea pigs can chirp like birds.  It's believed to be happy sound.

The Low Short Rumble- This sound is similar to the purr, but it's much shorter, firmer, and deeper sounding. This sound typically means they do not like something.  When you're petting your guinea pig and you touch his belly or something that he doesn't like, you may hear this sound.

There are many, many different sounds guinea pigs make.  I encourage you to listen close, pay attention to the visual ques your guinea pig is giving, and learn to interpret what your guinea pig is trying to tell you.

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