Are you wondering how to tame your guinea pig? This involves six simple steps including providing your guinea pig a comfortable home, letting them adjust to their surroundings, talking to them, properly feeding them treats by hand, petting your cavies, and picking them up.
Love and care are two of the key components in having a pet.
New cavies, who are unfamiliar with their surroundings, also need the utmost attention from their owners for their maximum comfort.
However, taming your guinea pig should be done in specific and slow-paced ways to capture your cavy’s trust. (Please read here How to Train Guinea pig)
Luckily, I did all of the research, and, combined with my personal experiences, we are going to discuss the answer to the question today.
This article would provide you brief yet detailed explanations on the said matter. Keep on scrolling to know more!
Why Should You Tame Your Guinea Pig
In the wild, guinea pigs are small creatures that are commonly perceived as prey to larger animals. They have to adapt to their surroundings and other environmental factors to ensure their survival.
Cavies tend to be scared of larger animals, and that includes humans as well. It has been rooted in their biology to have reflexes and responses to react to stimuli that they perceive as “harmful”.
That’s the reason why these little creatures tend to be jumpy, scared, or anxious when they’re in a new and unfamiliar environment.
Taming your guinea pig is a must for them to seek trust within you. This assures their comfort and improves their way of life, knowing that they are living within a safe space.
Ways In Taming Your Guinea Pig
Taming your guinea pig is easy and convenient to do.
In this portion of the article, we are going to delve into the main procedures on how to tame your cavy.
Keep on reading to know how to tame your guinea pig!
Step #1. Provide your guinea pig a comfortable home
No one likes to have a new home that is dirty and uncomfortable, am I right?
If you have a new cavy who’s unfamiliar with your environment, giving them the utmost comfort would convince them to trust their new surroundings.
A comfortable home for a guinea pig is one that is soft and clean. (Please read here How much space do Guinea pig need)
Commonly, their hutches (or cages) should have an abundant amount of soft beddings. My cavies tend to choose softer environments. This preference is prominent within the guinea pig community.
Aside from soft beddings, you could also add soft fleece sheets for your pet to cuddle in.
Pieces of hay should also be present within their home to provide them nutrition. Moreover, give them a source of water to hydrate themselves.
Finally, never forget to put “hiding places” within the cage.
Any hiding place would do whether it is made of recycled cardboard or a soft, wooden/hay tunnel.
The place should be big and comfortable enough for your pet since they tend to hide in these places commonly, especially when they’re new to an environment.
Step #2. Let them adjust to their surroundings
You have a new guinea pig, and I know that you want to touch and bond with it all day.
However, doing so would stress your cavy out. Letting them adjust to their surroundings is a crucial thing to do when taming a guinea pig.
Limit all human/animal contact within their cage for at least two days. Minimize all loud sounds and any bright light around them as these could make them feel uncomfortable.
Moreover, never touch any of the cavies. It’s tempting to do but it makes them uncomfortable and reduces their chance to adapt to new surroundings. (Please read here How smart Guinea pig are)
However, keep on providing them food and water to support their daily nutritional intake.
Do this quickly and softly since any rapid and loud movement could startle your cavies.
If the guinea pigs are already starting to become active and crawling around their home, then it’s time that you should:
Step #3. Talk to your guinea pigs
This may seem an odd thing to do but, trust me, it is very effective.
I once had new cavies and I tried talking to them often after leaving them for a few days. They became comfortable with me and they easily trusted me afterwards!
This habit makes your cavy familiar to your voice, and since you’re the one who’s caring for them, they wouldn’t see you as something harmful.
They would immediately recognize your voice when you enter the room; a good thing to establish a great connection with your cavies!
Step #4. Properly feed them treats by hand
After talking to them constantly, try giving them treats by hand. Most vegetables and hay would be healthy for them.
Doing so would establish a good bond between you and your pet.
But remember! You would want your pets to have a clean and sanitary feeding time. Always sanitize your hands well before feeding your cavies.
If they tend to avoid you when you’re trying to do this, repeat the process on the day after.
Your cavy still needs more time to adjust to your contact with them. Take note that you should never lose hope when they do this! Be very patient with them.
When they start to come near and attempt to nibble the food on your palm, then, you’re doing great, sweetie!
Keep on doing this process so they would associate your hand with feeding time. Your cavy would be comfortable with you in no time!
Step #5. Pet your guinea pigs
Now that your cavy is familiar with your presence, it is time for you to physically interact with them.
Try to pet them by using a finger to gently rub their side.
Never put your hand on or above them since they might see you as a predator. If your cavy enjoys it, pet them for ten minutes straight.
However, they might run away sometimes, and that’s okay! Don’t force or chase after your guinea pigs. Have patience when dealing with them. (Please read here How to catch Guinea Pig)
Next, if they seem to be comfortable with petting, it’s time to take it to the next level:
Step #6. Pick up your cavies
Establishing your pet’s trust finally comes to an end. This is the last yet the most difficult part of taming your cavy. Don’t worry, though. We are here to help!
Under any circumstance, your pet shouldn’t see you as a predator. Try to pick them up by placing your hand in front of them and “scooping” their bottom to support it. (Please read a comprehesive guide how to pick up guinea pigs)
Lift them slowly towards your chest and keep them in a horizontal orientation. Their feet shouldn’t hang and their body should be fully supported.
Pet them and try speaking to them slowly. Place your pet on your lap and give them a treat after the whole process is done.
Finally, gently return the guinea pig to its cage. Do your best to repeat this process several times a day so that they would familiarize their selves with your touch.
However, never hold your cavies back nor irresponsibly handle them when picking them up. Their comfort is still your utmost priority.
Your taming journey ends here!
How Often Should I Tame My Guinea Pig?
Do the entire steps every day. Make it a daily routine so your cavy would quickly become comfortable and safe with you.
Taming them for at least 10 minutes a day is already enough but it still depends on your pet’s habits or comfort level.
Never try to force them to engage in the taming. Let them do it of their own will, and be very patient with them.
This article has discussed how to tame your guinea pig.
It involves providing a comfortable home, letting them adjust to their environment, talking to them, properly feeding them by hand, petting, and picking them up.
Taming requires patience and a lot of affection. After following the said tips, you would soon bond with your pet in the best way.
Good luck and best wishes!
Delbert Curtis is a senior writer at Petcosset, a leading online resource for pet care information. With over 10 years of experience in the pet industry, Delbert is passionate about helping pet owners provide the best care possible. He has written extensively on pet health, nutrition, training, and behavior. Delbert is dedicated to staying up-to-date on the latest research and trends in the pet industry to provide the most accurate and helpful information to Petcosset’s readers. Delbert enjoys spending time with his pets and exploring the great outdoors when he’s not writing.