Why Do Guinea Pigs Yawn?

Have you ever looked into your guinea pig’s cage and noticed that they’re yawning? It seems like when they’re around you or other guinea pigs they start doing it all the time. So why do guinea pigs yawn?

Guinea pigs yawn when they’re trying to show aggression, when stressed, when relaxed, when tired, and when they’re trying to establish dominance.

It’s completely normal behavior and is usually nothing to worry about as long as no actual fights are started.

So because there are so many reasons for this one behavior, it’s best to know why they’re yawning and what situation they’re doing it in. That way you’ll know if there’s anything that you need to do about it.

Why Does My Guinea Pig Yawn?

Guinea pigs have a lot of different behaviors that can seem slightly confusing sometimes, and yawning is one of them.

The reason that their yawning can be so confusing is that it can mean multiple things in different situations.

When a guinea pig yawns it can be because:

  • They’re trying to show some aggression.
  • They’re starting to get stressed out.
  • They’re feeling relaxed.
  • They’re just tired.
  • They’re trying to show dominance.

So if you see your guinea pig yawning and want to know why you first have to look at the situation.

That behavior means something different depending on if they are around other guinea pigs or you.

Guinea Pigs Yawn To Show Aggression

When a guinea pig starts to show some aggression towards another guinea pig they’ll start yawning so that they can show their teeth.

This behavior is usually seen when guinea pigs are starting to get used to each other and trying to establish dominance.

Sometimes though, guinea pigs will also yawn to show their teeth at another guinea pig when there’s some sort of disagreement over something.

This can be over their food bowl, they’re sleeping arrangements, or just when they get mad at each other.

However, if a guinea pig is yawning just to show aggression it can sometimes lead to fighting.

If it does lead to fighting then they’ll have to be separated for a while and reintroduced slowly.

Recommended: Are my guinea pigs playing or fighting

Yawning When They’re Stressed

Stress or frustration can also lead a guinea pig to want to start yawning all the time.

Whenever a guinea pig is in a situation that they don’t like they can start yawning as a way to release some of their anxiety and stress.

The stress can be from other guinea pigs, or them not liking the cage setup they’re in, or even because they’re not fully used to you yet.

The stress yawning will usually stop once they’ve calmed down or once they’ve gotten used to you and their environment.

Guinea Pigs Yawn When They Feel Relaxed

Guinea pigs will also yawn when they feel relaxed enough to lay flat too. You can usually tell when a guinea pig is yawning because they’re trying to relax when you don’t see any signs of stress and they’re generally calm.

It can mean they’re comfortable enough around the other guinea pigs as well as yourself.

When there are no signs of stress or aggression towards other guinea pigs you’ll notice that they’ll be in a relaxed enough mood that they start occasionally yawning.

In this case, it’s usually a good sign and it means they’re calm and comfortable.

Yawning When They Get Tired

Just like humans and some other animals, guinea pigs also yawn when they get tired.

This is easy to spot because you’ll usually notice your guinea pig laying down after yawning so they can take a break.

When a guinea pig feels comfortable enough with their surroundings you’ll notice that they will start yawning and laying down out in the open more often.

They’ll yawn, sleep for a little bit, and then get up and continue to do their other normal activities throughout the day.

So this is another good sign that they are happy and most things are going right in their cage.

Guinea Pigs Yawn To Show Dominance

A guinea pig will start yawning when they want to try to show some dominance over another guinea pig.

They’ll yawn to show their teeth and a little bit of aggression so they can try to establish dominance.

It’s a way for them to try to show that they are the leader of the cage and also a way for them just show they’re dominant over another guinea pig.

Sometimes it can seem slightly aggressive but that doesn’t mean that you should separate them. Guinea pigs establishing dominance is a part of their normal behavior.

Interrupting them can be very bad so they should be left alone so that they can complete this process, even if it takes them a while to do.

Recommended: Guinea pig dominance: How long does it last

Why Do Guinea Pigs Yawn When You Hold Them?

Have you ever noticed that your guinea pig sometimes yawns when you hold them and wondered why they do it?

Guinea pigs will yawn when you hold them if they feel comfortable enough with you to relax.

It’s a good sign that they feel relaxed and secure enough with you and their general surroundings.

This will usually only happen after your guinea pig has had enough time to get used to you and trusts you enough to be a little vulnerable around you.

So if you have your guinea pig outside of their cage and they’re yawning while you’re holding them and show no signs of stress, just know that it usually means they’re comfortable with you.

They feel so secure with you that they’ll relax enough to be able to yawn, so if that happens then you’re doing a good job as their owner.

Is It Normal For A Guinea Pig To Yawn So Much?

If they are yawning all the time, it’s natural to wonder why your guinea pig is yawning so much.

Guinea pigs yawn so much because yawning is a way for them to show some of their different feelings and it’s completely normal.

Because a yawning guinea pig can mean different things, it usually seems like they’re doing it all the time.

Remember, guinea pigs yawn when they’re stressed, relaxed, tired, and trying to show dominance.

So the reason guinea pigs yawn so much is directly related to the fact that it means so many different things for them. That’s why it’s normal to see your guinea pig yawn so much.

Should You Be Worried If Your Guinea Pig Is Always Yawning?

Sometimes pet guinea pig owners will see them always yawning and think something is wrong, but that’s usually not the case.

For example, yawning doesn’t mean that your guinea pig has health issues because when they do they’ll usually show other signs like acting unusually or eating less.

But if there’s something else wrong or you’re still concerned, then the best thing for you to do is take them to a vet to be physically examined.

You also shouldn’t be too concerned if your guinea pigs are yawning at each other when they’re trying to establish dominance.

This is something that they normally do and it’s perfectly normal behavior. However, if they’re yawning leads to actual aggressive fighting then that’s when it’s time to separate them.

Besides that, if your guinea pig is yawning all the time it’s usually nothing to worry about, just let them continue with that normal behavior.


Hey, I'm Guliana. I really love animals, especially small ones. I grew up having gerbils and guinea pigs as pets and know a lot about them. That's why I'm passionate about writing everything I've learned about them over the years.

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