Say What? Guinea Pigs are Trying to Tell You Something

Learn About Guinea Pigs and their Unique "Language" at Petco™'s "Meet the Critters" Event

Feb 12, 2013, 06:00 ET from Petco

SAN DIEGO, Feb. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Doctor Dolittle had the fascinating ability to understand what animals were saying to him, but can this really happen? It may not be as easy as the Doctor makes it seem, but guinea pigs are a great example of pets that use sounds as their main means of communication, from "clucking" to "chattering," they're sure to let owners know how they're feeling. Understanding their language can be a way to ensure guinea pigs are happy as can be because their physical, mental, social and emotional needs are being properly cared for. During Petco™'s "Meet the Critters" event February 16 and 17 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., guests can get hands-on with the animals by holding them, learning how to care for them, what accessories can be used to customize/decorate their habitats and, most importantly, what they're "saying!"

Sounds are very important in maintaining social rank when around other guineas because they are herd animals by nature. But these vocals can also benefit pet parents because knowing what these pets are trying to say can be a great way to be an even better pet parent.  Some sounds include:

  • Grunting: "I'm so happy you're home!" A friendly greeting, amicable gesture, a common sound for excitement and anticipation. 
  • Clucking: "Today is a great day!" Guinea pigs use this sound to communicate that they're feeling playful and happy.
  • Squealing: "Feed me! Feed me!" Squealing is used to let their owner know they're hungry.
  • Whimpering: "Is it time to play yet?" We all need attention, especially guinea pigs! This sound is made to express the desire for attention. 
  • Chattering: "Today is just not my day." This can be a prelude for aggression, but mostly likely just expresses irritation. This can also be associated with claiming dominance in a group.

The "Meet the Critters" event can expand on guinea pig vocals and help pet parents understand ways to keep their guinea happy. For more information on the event, please visit

About Petco
Petco is a leading pet specialty retailer that provides the products, services and advice that make it easier for our customers to be great pet parents. Everything we do is guided by our vision for Healthier Pets. Happier People. Better World. We operate more than 1,200 stores nationwide and in Puerto Rico, including more than 50 Unleashed by Petco locations, a smaller format neighborhood shop, and  The Petco Foundation, an independent nonprofit organization, has raised more than $100 million since it was created in 1999 to help promote and improve the welfare of companion animals. In conjunction with the Foundation, we work with and support approximately 8,000 local animal welfare groups across the country to help find homes for more than 350,000 animals through in-store adoption events every year.

Holly Hitchcock