Whether you’re a human potato chip or not, your guinea pig just wants to demonstrate its affection towards you in its own adorable way. Dogs aren’t the only animals who lick out of affection.
Cavies will lick for a multitude of reasons, some for personal care and out of love for their owners who take good care of them.
A licking guinea pig might be a more uncommon or weird thing to envision, but as animals are limited in what they can do, licking is a perfectly normal thing to do on a daily basis.
Striving to have Self Care
One of the many joys in owning certain animals is the fact that you don’t have to bathe them all the time. Guinea pigs are similar to cats in the way that they will lie down and start grooming themselves for hours.
Of course, if your cavy gets mites in its fur, or somehow lands themselves in a sticky situation, you will have to give them a bath. Other than that, a guinea pig will go through a licking routine that gets their little body as clean as saliva gets.
Guinea pigs will even stand on their hind legs to help reach those harder to get areas of their fur. Most owners have seen their cavy effortlessly appear to twist in some complex yoga position to reach some parts of their body.
If there are more than one in the same cage, cavies will take turns grooming each other.
Of course, if one guinea pig has found love at first sight, they will show their affections by nibbling gently on their so-called partner. If this happens fairly often, you can easily tell that the two are very comfortable with being around each other.
Why does my guinea pig lick me?
Cavies have no way of communicating words like, please or thank you. While we know that animals have no complex method of verbally expressing their manners, they can tell us more than we think through their actions.
Guinea pigs will lick you for multiple reasons: They do have manners and want to express gratitude for the things you do for them. Similarly to how they show affection to their other furry companions, you might be considered as their friend! This is a great little guide to read before getting guinea pigs.
Like your dog, a cavy is inclined to lick things that taste good. Because we eat salty things like potato chips and crisps, or pretzels, our sodium intake is well off and we don’t have a need to find something salty and lick it.
Cavies, on the other hand, lead to basic nutritional lives. They receive their vitamins from their fresh vegetables and pellets but no access to anything with sodium or that tastes salty.
We may not always realize it, but like our tears and sweat, these things we produce naturally are salty-tasting— including our skin. Your guinea pig is more than likely attracted to this unfamiliar salty flavor and may start coming back and licking your hand, even after all the food is gone.
What are other signs of guinea pig expression?
Besides licking, cavies are very social creatures. Being able to communicate for themselves and express their feelings is important. They manage to maneuver around the obstacle of not being able to speak in languages that we understand, making cavy communication very special indeed.
Feeling the need to nibble
Guinea pigs are known to be licking their owner’s hand, and then yikes. All of a sudden, the peaceful interaction you were having with your cavy came crashing to a halt when you felt the presence of teeth in your palm. I’ve owned a lot of piggies over the years and this is a great resource when you have questions.
Nibbling can be a habit out of several reasons. They may have a feeling that something is wrong and are feeling nervous or scared.
Maybe he senses that someone is coming into the room and wasn’t expecting it. Sometimes you might be stroking them or holding them in an uncomfortable position and nibbling is just a way of notifying you that you’re doing it wrong.
On some occasions, you could be just sitting there with your little cavy in your lap when oops. Nature is calling and he wants to get out of lap and fast.
The little nibbles may be nothing more than a request for you to set them down or thus become a potty site.
Perhaps you’ve also been in contact with some food yourself, and the remnants of those snacks you’ve been eating are still on your fingertips.
A cavy, if you haven’t realized, is very food conscious. They may take your fingers as food and will attempt to nibble a bite in for themselves. You can prevent this from happening by thoroughly washing your hands before and after you pick up your guinea pig.
Guinea pigs squeaking and squealing
We all have a voice, and like certain people, we may know, some guinea pigs are just as unafraid to use them. For all the same reasons, guinea pigs will chatter their teeth, squeak, or make happy noises that show their pleasure in being around you… or your food.
On the occasion that they feel seriously threatened, your cavy may start making other noises that are rapid and louder than their typical happy song.
This is a signal of fear and never hesitate to hold them closer and try to reassure them that everything is alright.
Guinea pigs are social creatures with humans and furry friends alike. They will show pleasure by licking gently and affection by licking each other.
Cavies will also maintain a certain state of cleanliness by licking themselves all over. And of course, don’t forget that food is always on the brain of a guinea pig. Say hello to the feeling of now knowing that your pet sees you like a salty snack.
Lydia King is a huge animal lover and has always been fascinated with learning about the animal kingdom. She enjoys writing about anything animal related from scientific information about rare species to animal references in pop culture.