Petting our small cuddly companion is one of the biggest joys of being a guinea pig parent. It’s completely understandable that we want to pet our guinea pigs as soon as we bring them home, but we must take little steps to first gain their trust. Remember that guinea pigs are prey animals with natural defense mechanisms to survive in nature.
Here are some steps on how to get a guinea pig to trust you.
First step is to give your guinea pigs time to accept you by letting them become familiar with your presence and smell.
You can put your clothes in the cage (ones you don’t mind getting soiled), staying inside or near the cage for long periods of time, and hand feeding vegetables and hay often. Start off with longer vegetables such as a carrot stick or lettuce leaf so that they’re a comfortable distance from your hand. Once they learn to trust you, try moving on to a healthy treat such as pea flakes.
GuineaDad's Pea Flakes Cup is a great option as it’s loved by guinea pigs for its crunchy texture and health benefits, as it contains no preservatives or additives.
Place your guinea pig on your lap with the Premium Liner. Provide some pea flakes whilst having lap time to positively reinforce the experience.
All guinea pigs have unique personalities with different needs and wants. Try different bonding techniques to see which your furry friends react best to. Remember to be patient, take care of your furry friends, and you’ll be rewarded with a special bond!
In our last video we showed you steps you can take to gain your guinea pig’s trust and associate you with a positive experience. Once you feel like you’ve gotten their trust, you should try moving on to petting them. Remember to be gentle and move slowly, using one or two fingers. Approach them from the front, so you let your guinea pig know that you are about to pet them. Avoid petting them while they sleep. We do not want to surprise them.
The easiest place to start is their head right above or between the eyes. Depending on guinea pigs, some will enjoy rubbing under the chin! Try to avoid the feet, belly, and back until you are able to rub their head comfortably. When your guinea pigs become comfortable enough to be petted on the head, you might want to start cuddling them.
You can use GuineaDad’s Piggy Play Package or GuineaDad’s 2x1 Premium Liner to help them feel safe while they’re on your lap. This provides a safe and comfy space for your guinea pigs to enjoy lap time with you.
During your first cuddling session, try not to cuddle for too long. Just have them become more comfortable with your hands on their back or they sitting on your hand. Be patient, and enjoy the journey of bonding with your furry friend!