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Why Does My Guinea Pig Lick Me?

Experiencing affection from animals is quite a lovely gesture. It reveals the love both of you feel for each other. This is portrayed in several ways, and among them is licking.

Guinea pigs generally love licking themselves up for various reasons. Lucky owners may experience the licking too. This is because guinea pigs take time to get comfortable around new owners or strangers.  

Ever wondered why your guinea pig licks you? Is it good behavior for them to do so? What triggers this behavior from them? Worry not because we got answers for you.

Dive deep through the article for more insights on why your guinea pig likes licking you. The reasons are stirring.

Cute Reptiles as Pets
Cute Reptiles as Pets

What Does It Mean When Your Guinea Pig Licks You?

The guinea pig feels comfortable around its owner
The guinea pig feels comfortable around its owner | Credit: Huỳnh Bin /

If your piggy licks you, it portrays a very affectionate gesture towards you. It is also a good sign that they like you. This shows that they are comfortable around you and are happy to be owned by you.

Guinea pigs are fond of licking their owners. They tend to lick their owner’s fingers/hand, which is typically reckoned as a very affectionate gesture.

Here are some of the reasons explained comprehensively as to why your guinea pig loves licking you;

Reason #1: Sign of Affection and Bonding

Guinea pigs display affection to you by licking you. They also use this to create bonding moments with you. It makes them feel comfortable and happy around you.

Sometimes the licking is a cry for your attention. And this means they need your petting time. You should comply with the pet’s yearning, and it will have a good time with you.

Reason #2: Attempts to Clean You Like They Groom

Maybe the guinea pig just wants to clean you
Maybe the guinea pig just wants to clean you | Credit: Giuse Huỳnh /

In general, guinea pigs like being clean. They naturally lick themselves or one another to bathe themselves.

When your guinea pig licks you, it shows that it appreciates you. And that it has accepted you as a part of their social group, and it needs to see you clean.

Reason #3: Your Skin Smells of Food and Tastes Salty

It mostly happens after handling food or snack then immediately petting the guinea pigs. Guinea pigs have sensitive noses. They easily smell the food and tend to lick your hand to feel the taste.

Your skin might be salty; guinea pigs like the salty taste. They will always lick your skin to enjoy the salty taste they like.

Reason #4: Display Respect in Hierarchy

guinea pig licks you maybe it already sees you as the leader
Guinea pig licks you maybe it already sees you as the leader | Credit: Thắng Gymer /

Guinea pigs are among the animals that experience dominance from each other. The head of the group is addressed and shown respect. This is also done through licking.

Does it mean that your guinea pig is showing the same respect it will give to a dominating guinea pig? Ooh yes, when your guinea licks you, it respects you as the head of their social hierarchy.

Your animal companion respects you and can distinguish you from other humans. Being around you for too long and the fact that you appear nice to the pet boosts your bond together.

Reason #5: Warning When Licking Is Accompanied by Nibbling or Biting

A guinea pig will only bite or nibble if it doesn’t feel comfortable or is scared. These animal pets also tend to bite if they experience physical pain from being hurt or injured.

And this tells you that guinea pigs need care and attention. Sometimes if the guinea pigs are not in the mood for petting, they can bite. It is an indication for you to leave them alone to enjoy their alone time for a while.

Also read: 11 Guinea Pig Behaviors To Help You Understand More About Them

What Should You Do If a Guinea Pig Licks or Doesn’t Lick You?

Well, you have a guinea pig, and it tends to lick you; what should you do? Or you have a guinea pig, and it doesn’t lick you. Should you worry, or is it something typical?

It may seem like an awkward moment for both of you if you don’t know what to do. Let’s get to read on these two mind blowing sub-topic questions, respectively.

What Should You Do If They Lick You Often?

The guinea pig is being held by the owner in his hand
The guinea pig is being held by the owner in his hand |Credit: Icealien /

Don’t show a puzzled look if your pet piggy licks you. The pet likes you and is reveling in licking you. See what you should do if your piggy is licking you more often.

Wash Your Hands After Handling Foods

Guinea pigs like the smell of food. If the smell comes from your hands, they will definitely lick your hands and fingers. To avoid this, always wash your hands before you pet them.

Check them for Physical Injuries

Your pig might get hurt without you knowing exactly which part of their body. Carrying guinea pigs or petting them on the injured part might make them bite. Check on your piggies once in a while to ensure they are healthy.

Guinea Pig Toy for Teeth Care

Neakomuki Hamster Toys 11 Pack Guinea Pig Toy for Teeth Care Natural Wooden Hamster Chew Toys and Accessories for Syrian Dwarf Hamster Squirrels Rats Chinchillas Parrots Gerbils Bunnies
  • The Hamster Chew Toys includes Dumbbell, Unicycle, Carrot, Bell Roller, Pine Cone, Hamster Bridge, Molar String, Wood Cask, Grass Balls and Apple Orchard Sticks.
  • These chinchilla toys are a great way to grind their teeth, boost their brain and exercise their body. Keep cage life interesting by providing plenty of hamster chew toys.
  • With a natural appearance and different textures, the hamster toy could relieve the anxiety and stress of your small pets. PS: The hamster toys are handmade of 100% natural wood, it’s normal that some toys are Irregular.
  • Made from natural wood without any harmful paint, the guinea pig toys are 100% safe for chewing and biting. Prevent your pets from chewing their cages or other furniture.
  • The Chew Toy kit is also suitable for guinea pig, chinchilla, bunnies, gerbils, rats, birds, rodents and other small animals.

Last update on 2022-10-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Spend Time with Them

The more they lick you, the more they like you. Spending more petting time with your guinea pig makes them feel comfortable and happy around you. The licking strengthens the bond between you two.

What should you do if they never lick you?

The guinea pig doesn't like to lick its owner
The guinea pig doesn’t like to lick its owner | Credit: Bảo Nhi /

Ouch! It can be unpleasant if your pet that you adore so much never licks you. No one treasures being distant from their animal companions. So, what should you do if your guinea pig never licks you?

Treat Them with Love and Care

These animal pets have great taste buds and love eating. Giving your piggy a proper meal diet and treats create a good foundation for a new bond. Eating food from your hands is a good sign they are getting comfortable with you.

Another approach would be to get a guinea companion for them. If you have one guinea pig, it is good to get them a companion.

It makes them feel more comfortable around each other. Guinea pigs also don’t get bored and lonely if you are not around.

Also read: Complete Guinea Pig Care Guide

Give them time

Guinea pigs hardly get comfortable around strangers. New owners or strangers might get it hard to interact with them.

Allowing them to get comfortable and familiar with their new surroundings is a good start for them.

Always create some time to bond with them and show them affection too. This enables you to learn and understand their behaviors. It also helps them get comfortable around you as you earn their trust.


Why does my guinea pig lick me then bite me?

Your pig will lick and bite you if it experiences physical pain. It’s a way to let you know they need care and attention. If they feel uncomfortable around you or are not in the mood for petting, they might just bite you too.

Check out: Do Guinea Pigs Bite? – 7 Causes Why Guinea Pigs Bite Suddenly

Why do guinea pigs lick you?

Guinea pigs like you because they trust you and feel comfortable around you. It also means they like your company and want to have some petting time with you.

Do guinea pigs give kisses?

Guinea pigs give kisses by gently nipping you with their lips for just a while. They don’t use their teeth while doing this.

How do you know if your guinea pig likes you?

Guinea pigs frequently lick you to show affection. They get comfortable around you and always want your attention and petting moments. You regularly receive kisses from them.

Oxbow Simple Rewards Baked Treats

Oxbow Simple Rewards Veggie and Hay Blend Treats for Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, Chinchillas, and Small Pets
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  • FORMULATED FOR SMALL PETS: Combines the irresistable flavors of garden veggies and greens with Timothy Hay
  • NO ADDITIVES OR PRESERVATIVES: Oxbow Treats do not contain artificial flavoring, coloring, or ingredients.
  • OVEN-BAKED: Wholesome, crunchy treats that are oven-baked that satisfy your pet's instinct to chew.

Last update on 2022-10-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Being licked by guinea pigs is such a wonderful feeling. Not only the licking but also the bond you both get to develop.

On the other hand, licking is not showing affection since sometimes it’s a warning sign. Understanding these reasons strengthens your pet-owner relationship. 

If your guinea pig has never licked you, don’t get into panic mode. There are several ways to experience guinea pig kisses, including giving treats and allowing more time for the piggy to know you better.

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