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Guinea Pigs' Munching

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LizzyHoy

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Does anyone know why guinea pigs munch even when they aren't eating? They seem to do it when contented.
 

juls65

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Hi, guinea pigs chew food and then keep it in their cheek pads & finish eating it later. They don't have pouches or store food like hamsters do though :)
 

Freela

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It just takes them a long time to chew their food. When they are chewing away without having recently eaten, they are probably just chewing what is left over from the last time they ate. It's part of the reason why it's hard to see their molars at the vet's when they need checking- there is generally a good deal of chewed up food still sitting back there, even if they haven't eaten for awhile!
 

LizzyHoy

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Thanks for the responses. Sometimes when I stroke them they will time their munching with the movement (munching when I'm stroking them and pausing when I move my hand). So maybe it has an additional purpose as well as eating?
 

Freela

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Thanks for the responses. Sometimes when I stroke them they will time their munching with the movement (munching when I'm stroking them and pausing when I move my hand). So maybe it has an additional purpose as well as eating?
I think it shows that they are comfortable. I know when they are outside, mine will chew away, but will stop as soon as they hear an unfamiliar sound. Once they are no longer on 'high alert' they will resume chewing. I think they are just demonstrating that they find your pats very relaxing and when you stop, they are anticipating you starting up again!
 

LizzyHoy

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That's a good point - munching does seem to be a 'default mode', as long as they are feeling secure. Good to know they enjoy my stroking them :)
 

Lilly

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How nice - they are comfort munching! I have 2 boys who sometimes suddenly stand up at the bars & start munching on nothing when I am stood in front of their cage saying hello. I swear they are trying to show me they want food!.
 
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