10 facts about guinea pigs you didn't know before now...

Guinea pigs have fast become a popular pet and any guinea pig owner will tell you, they’re not just for children! In Hannah’s signature watercolour style, guinea pig products continue to grow among our greeting card, giftware and homeware collections, with something for every guinea pig lover or owner to fall in love with.  

Our Creative Marketing Manager Emma is a huge fan of the Wrendale guinea pig range having two handsome piggies of her own. Going by the name of Chip and Nugget, the pair were welcomed home two years ago – and since then Emma has got to know a lot about this unique pet. In true Wrendale style, here’s Emma’s top 10 facts you need really to know about guinea pigs (as well as some super cute photos along the way).  

1. They can see you from every angle (almost!)

I was really surprised to discover that guinea pigs have incredible eyesight. Due to their eyes being located on the side of their face they have an estimated 340 degrees of vision, allowing them to observe anything that is going on (even above and behind them!).  

Despite that, they can’t see directly in front of or underneath their noses, meaning they are unable to see their food while they eat and rely on their sense of smell to determine what snacks are on offer. 

2. The Wrendale Designs ‘Grinny Pig’ design, was inspired by Nugget 

With guinea pig designs among some of our best-selling products, it didn’t take me long to start asking Hannah to paint a portrait of one of my own. Luckily my wish came true, and the ‘Grinny Pig’ design was born, proving to be an instant hit. The design now features across a greeting card, canvas, framed print, pocket mirror, an illustrated wooden plaque and much more and other guinea pig designs also adorn so many of our other products.

Guinea pig gifts including guinea pig socks and guinea pig greeting cards

It doesn’t stop there - his real claim to fame was featuring in our plush character film where he received lots of extra cuddles and parsley for being such a handsome boy.  

Guinea pig plush character collection from Wrendale Designs

3. Guinea pigs have an impressive sense of smell 

Here’s a guinea pig fact that didn’t surprise me! According to studies, a guinea pigs' sense of smell is 25 times better than a human, playing a vital role when communicating, seeking food, and recognising familiar friends. Guinea pigs need lots of stimulation to be happy and providing them with space to forage is great for their physical and psychological wellbeing. Chip and Nugget will always start to ‘wheek’ and sniff as soon as any food enters their cage!

4. They’re extremely vocal animals 

Noisy little creatures, guinea pigs have an extensive vocabulary they use to display their emotions, setting them apart from other animals such as rabbits or hamsters where conversation is limited. A ‘wheek’ can signify they are excited, a shriek could let you know they are in pain and teeth chattering can be a sign of aggression. My personal favourite sound is a guinea pig purr – just like cats they purr when they happy and they even appear to vibrate a little bit as they do so. 

5. Guinea pigs are social animals and love interaction 

It’s a well-known fact that guinea pigs should be kept in groups of at least two to five individuals as they thrive on social interaction and communicate through sound and body movements. With this love for interaction, guinea pigs also enjoy human contact and can be surprisingly affectionate. I am a little obsessed with my pigs, so can't resist a picking them up for a cuddle and this interaction has led to us having a really close bond.

I would be lost without my Wrendale rectangular tin to keep all of my guinea pig care essentials inside which is a great option for guinea pig storage.

Guinea pig storage tin from Wrendale Designs

6. Guinea pigs have four toes on their front feet and three on the back 

Guinea pigs have four toes on their front feet and three on the back making tunnelling and burrowing easy for them. Despite the fact they are not very agile, they are very inquisitive so it's important for guinea pig owners to make sure there are no hazards among the environment, so no injuries occur.  

7. They sleep for short periods 

Often awake for up to 20 hours a day, guinea pigs are known to sleep between 4 and 6 hours. Most of their sleep is made up of short naps of around 10 minutes or less rather than snoozing for extended periods. In the wild guinea pigs were prey animals and to avoid predation they would often sleep with their eyes open and be most active at dawn and dusk. If you are lucky enough to catch your guinea pig with their eyes closed it is usually a sign they are comfortable around you! 

8. Guinea pigs have a vegan diet 

As well as fresh water and unlimited hay, guinea pigs also require fresh vegetables and guinea pig pellets to stay healthy. Fruit or root vegetables can be given as treats and citrus fruits should be avoided. Guinea pig pellets provide much needed vitamin C and hay helps their digestive system to function properly. Guinea pigs are known to have a sensitive digestive system since they have no vomit reflex. As such, it’s incredibly important for uneaten vegetables to be discarded after 10-12 hours or thrown away as they are spoiled. 

As a treat, Chip and Nugget love a bit of fresh parsley (from their Wrendale herb pots, of course!) 

9. Many guinea pigs don't live outside 

It may surprise you to hear that lots of owners keep their guineas indoors as an alternative to a traditional garden hutch. Whether you purchase a purpose built indoor guinea pig cage or get started on a DIY project of your own, they must have enough space. Cleaning out is even easier if you opt for fleece liners instead of saw dust, and as well as being a much more hygienic environment with fleece wicking away any moisture, guinea pigs will thank you for it too – it's super comfortable for their tiny feet.

10. Some pigs have reached social media stardom 

Featuring in reels, instagram and tiktok trends, guinea pigs are taking the internet by storm. Did you know, the guinea pig account on instagram @thelavaempire has over 203k followers and plenty of other social media accounts boast an impressive following too. It’s hard not to resist these gorgeous little critters with their wiggling noses and adorable little faces. @guineapigjungle also recently featured Wrendale over on their YouTube channel which got me quite excited! 

Guinea pig mini keepsake gift tinGuinea Pig Jungle, Youtube Channel

Over on our email newsletter, and social media platforms, we wanted to give you the chance to put your gorgeous guineas in the spotlight. Thank you to everyone who sent us a photograph - there were so many to choose from.

Wrendale guinea pig gifts

Are you an owner yourself or just love this super cute animal? You can shop the full guinea pig gift collection here.  





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