Adopting a new guinea pig is probably one of the most joyous moment for the new pet owners, but the excitement soon weans away when the pet does not show much affection towards its new home or the owner. Guinea pigs are such popular pets that most of the kids and even the adult dream of getting one at their home.
But what is not so popular a fact is that this cute little piggy does not act affectionately from the very first day. So you need to break the ice and for that, you need a few tips and tricks.
Do guinea pigs bond with their owners?
This question has various answers from various owners. But most of them would answer positively. They love their owners as much as the dogs or cats do. Only this is a time taking process and their affection is expressed in a more subtle way. They can definitely identify their owners and respond to their calls or adorations in several different ways.
They are much sensitive regarding their likings and there are many parameters that may get deviated in their liking or attention from their owners. Harsh light and sound, different types of smell or even the sight cues may make them like or dislike their owners or even the strangers.
How can you bond with your guinea pig?
There are various ways to bond with this small pet. Here we will be discussing a few common ways to bond with this pet of yours in a sure-shot way.
Caring and Spending time with the guinea pig
If you have adopted a pet, you have to spend time with it. You may not give the excuse of too long working hours or hectic schedules as the new creature will need your time and attention to get settled in the new atmosphere. Make sure to have good and comfortable bedding setup, toys for them and mandatory toolkits for care.
Guinea pigs are much sociable natured creatures and they need to be attended for hours. You should not avoid spending time with it and expect it to bond with you all of a sudden. You need to make a schedule of spending time and caring it and that schedule should be followed.
Guinea pigs are genetically designed to follow a routine and thus, if you want it to get accustomed with you, make time for playing games and tricks with your pet.
Talking to your guinea pig
It may sound funny at first but yes, talking or communicating with your pet guinea pig will improve your relation with the pet and the bonding process will be accomplished sooner. Some guinea pigs are shy and they do not act much friendly after newly brought to home. You need to take the initiative and move forward to interact with the guinea pig.
Take the guinea pig out of the cage and make it sit comfortably in a sofa. Make sure that there are no open doors or windows from where it can escape from the house. Talk softly with the pet and address it with the name you have chosen for it. This way it will be familiar with your voice as well as the name that is supposed to be its own.
It is better to make sure that there are no other persons or pet present at that time, as that can distract its attention and may make it confused about the name and your conversation. Guinea pigs do not like harsh light and sound so make sure that the environment is calm and composed.
While conversing, you can pet the little creature to assure it of your presence and make it comfortable about the whole process.
Feeding the guinea pig by hand
This gesture also helps the owner to bond with the guinea pig. However, this practice should start after a few weeks of the arrival of the guinea pig to the house. They may have trust issues at first and may refuse to eat from your hand if you offer them food immediately from the second or third day after it comes to the new place.
Give it some time to feel relaxed and settled in the new environment and then you can try feeding it with your hand. This is a good process of bonding and showing affection. Take small portion of food and offer it to the guinea pig. But do know which food is good or not. Do not force it or chase it if it does not accept the food at the first attempt. Except food, you can also offer treat to it. Toss the item to it when it is showing reluctance to take it from your hand.
Handle it gently
Holding the guinea pig and letting it play on your lap is also a nice and gentle way of bonding with your pet guinea pig. Do not attempt to hold it all of a sudden. Do not grab it from behind. First you should stay for a few minutes after entering the room where the guinea pig is, and then rest somewhere near the pig, but do not approach it.
After few minutes, touch it from a side, and not from the behind, as then it may think of you as its predator. It should be able to see you when you will come near it or hold it. Do not hold it too tightly or it may not like the experience. Hold it lightly and keep it in the same way for a few minutes. Pet it slowly so it understands your love towards it.
You can also lie down on the floor and let the guinea pig explore the area near you. This posture will help it to understand that you are at the same level of it and then it can thoroughly follow your movements. Let it be comfortable around you and also get adjusted with your way of showing love. Then it will gradually come near you and its trust will be built.
How long does it take the guinea pigs to bond?
Not all humans are same and following the same rule, all guinea pigs do not bond with the same attitude and time. You, as an owner of the guinea pigs need to have patience and wait for the pet to act affectionately towards you. Bonding with this little thing may take lesser time than you have imagined or it may take weeks to be friend of yours.
You have to act persistent and never give up hope. Also do not show aggression or disgust towards this cute pet as it would not help the situation anyway.
How will you know if your guinea pig has bonded with you?
If you find your pet guinea pig is not acting differently at your presence and yet is alert of you around it, then you can assume that it has bonded with you. They may not show their affection by any obvious manner. But if it does not get disturbed by your presence and continues to act in the same way, then you can feel that you have won its trust.
It does not feel threatened at your presence, which is normal for a small creature like them. The bigger creatures always give them the vibe of the predators but if your guinea pig is not acting in a scared way or not uttering any weird sound then it trusts you and has bonded with you.
Does the guinea pig love to cuddle after it bonds with you?
Yes, guinea pigs act adorably when they trust and love you. They love to be cuddled and petted by their humans or other family members who are around them most of the time. You can take the guinea pig out of its cage and cuddle it, hold it or play with it.
But do not let any stranger or a sudden guest to handle the pet, as that may confuse the small pet and they may get the predator vibes from the appearance of the strangers. As we have already told that guinea pigs can tell one person from another, they surely would not think any human to be their owner and can surely identify you from other humans.
How does guinea pig show affection when they have bonded with you?
Like dogs, guinea pigs also love to lick their humans. If you prod them with a finger or enter a hand inside their cage, they may try to hold the finger or try to lick it. This is a simple show of affection from their side. Also the can identify the person by licking their skin.
Spending quality time, initiating conversation as well as feeding it by hand are always necessary parts of the bonding process. But there are no rule books to be followed when you are showing affection to the pet. Try your best and show the honest effort as any creature, even the small and chubby guinea pig will understand the emotion of love and the way you show your affection towards it. Bonding with the small pets like this is not a very difficult task if you are compassionate towards it and determined to win its heart by care and adoration.