We all love our little critters – that’s why we take care of them, after all. But unfortunately, not all guinea pigs are affectionate towards their owners.
In this article, we discuss how to get your guinea pig to love you.
How to get your guinea pig to love you:
You can get your guinea pig to love you by creating a safe space from him, doing your best to understand his behavior, providing him with good food and yummy treats, keeping him clean, giving him lots of hugs, engaging him in conversation, and of course, paying attention to him.
Then again, how affectionate your guinea pig is, depends on its individual personality, and it just so happens that some are more touchy-feely than others.
But sometimes, it’s fairly obvious when a guinea pig isn’t very trusting of its owner yet. If that’s the case, then here are the best tips to get your guinea pig to love you – fast!
Table of Contents
7 Steps To Get Your Guinea Pig To Love You
- Create a safe space
- Understand their behavior
- Give them yummy treats
- Clean them well
- Don’t be scared to get touchy
- Tell them about your day
- Pay attention
1. Create A Safe Space
The very first step to having a guinea pig that loves you is to create a safe, warm, and comfortable space for them to do whatever they want without any threat of danger.
It doesn’t matter what material the actual space is made of, just make sure that it’s suitable for your pet. I’ll give you a hint: those overpriced cages you see at most pet stores marketed specifically for Guinea pigs? Not suitable. Shocker, huh.
There are, of course, plenty of good brands out there that create amazing cages, but if your only choice is a generic pet store cage, you’re better off creating your own. It’s not even that hard. If you have a dog, you can even reuse its old cage when it was just a puppy.
Nevertheless, here are three important things to consider when creating a guinea pig cage:
- Area size. Guinea pigs love moving around, so keeping them in a small, cramped space isn’t good for their health. If possible, keep them in a cage that’s at least 7 sq ft. This will give them plenty of space to play and move around.
- Bedding material. Guinea pigs need bedding in their cages to stay comfortable. They enjoy nesting and burrowing during their free time, so it’s best to add lots of bedding all around the area. While many pet stores recommend wood shavings like cedar and pine, the better choice would be paper-based products or even fleece.
- Toys and entertainment. A bored guinea pig is an unhappy guinea pig. If you want your little critters to love you, you should provide them with lots of toys and entertainment. You can put ramps, tunnels, caves, – anything you can think of! Letting your guinea pig go on grand adventures in the safety and comfort of his own home will certainly make him love you even more, in no time at all!
2. Understand Their Behavior
Loving someone means understanding their behavior, doesn’t it? This means knowing every little quirk, every little habit, every little thing that makes them, them.
Popcorning is one unique behavior that you will see guinea pigs perform. Read all about Popcorning in guinea pigs here.
Show your guinea pig your love and get love in return by doing your best to understand its behavior. How does it react to certain noises, smells, sights?
What’s its favorite food? Does it like being cuddled? Does it shake when it’s scared? How does it react when you rub its tummy?
Guinea pigs are extremely smart and sensitive creatures, so understanding their behavior and knowing how to respond, is a must for any guinea pig owner.
3. Give Them Yummy Treats
What’s one thing all animals have in common, regardless of how cute or fierce they are? They all love treats!
Similarly, guinea pigs love yummy treats, and they’ll certainly love you too for providing them with those treats. Some of their favorite treats are sweet foods like fruits and vegetables.
Try giving them little pieces of apples, bananas, and grapes. Like humans, they have food preferences too, so you’ll have to experiment with various foods to see which ones they like best.
Also, don’t be scared to feed them out of your hand and to call their name while you’re giving them the treat.
Eventually, they’ll learn to associate you with yummy treats, which will make them love you even more.
Of course, treats can’t compensate for their regular nutrition too. Always make sure that they have an abundant supply of staple foods like hay and pellets in their cages.
Here’s a list of suitable vegs & fruits for your guinea pig
|Carrots||Cauliflower leaves and stalks||Celery|
A good quality staple core food is essential for your guinea pig to love you. A healthy diet is the key to their health and happiness.
Here’s the basic staple food we feed all our Guinea Pigs: Kaytee Complete Guinea Pig Feed
Don’t just take our word for it on how good this food is. Click the link above and read what customers on Amazon had to say about it.
4. Clean Them Well
Nobody likes staying filthy, so it’s only natural that guinea pigs don’t like being dirty either. Although it’s in their natural instinct to keep themselves clean, licking can only keep them clean for so long.
If your guinea pig gets dirty for any reason, you can give it a short bath in the sink. Don’t forget to put a warm washcloth on the porcelain so that your guinea pig’s paws won’t feel too cold.
First of all, use only lukewarm water for bathing. You can use shampoo if you like but only use a very small amount.
Preferably organic or made specifically for pets, so that it won’t have any adverse effects on your guinea pig.
Wash only his body and not his head, you wouldn’t want to get any in his eyes. Thoroughly rinse the suds off with water then pat your guinea pig gently with a soft towel.
One bath every three months is already fine for most guinea pigs unless it gets too dirty from playtime, that is.
5. Don’t Be Scared To Get Touchy
Many people think that touching animals can stress them out, but this isn’t true for many domesticated species. Guinea pigs are an excellent example of this. They are extremely social creatures and they adore being touched.
In fact, you can even cuddle them every single day without fear of them getting stressed out. Physical interactions are very important for guinea pigs, whether from other guinea pigs or humans.
Did you know that guinea pigs love playing hide and seek? You should let your guinea pig out of its cage every now and then and allow him to explore the bigger area outside.
Just make sure to keep an eye on him at all times since they’re very good at hiding in the best places.
Do take note that there’s a proper way to hold these furry little critters. How exactly do you hold a guinea pig properly?
The best way would be to use two hands to support him gently, one hand under his tummy and another hand under his bottom.
Always hold him comfortably against your body so that he won’t be in any danger of falling.
If he feels like he’s falling every time you’re holding him, he’ll be less likely to enjoy you holding him.
Make him feel secure at all times and you’ll get your guinea pig to love you even more than he already does now.
6. Tell Them About Your Day
Guinea pigs love having conversations. If you’ve got a couple of guinea pigs in one cage, you’ll be able to see them having random conversations with one another.
The truth is, this is how they bond, apart from playing and tumbling around with each other.
Read all about Guinea pig language here in one of our recent blogs.
Want to bond with your guinea pig too?
Try this one: every time you go home, tell your guinea pig about your day.
Go on, share with him all your frustrations, be it about your bossy co-worker or that quiz you failed in school.
Celebrate your joys with him too – he’ll certainly want to hear about your crush accepting your prom invitation. Don’t hesitate to share even your embarrassing secrets.
Ever wanted to learn Korean or French? You can even practice language lessons with your guinea pig and they won’t judge you, no matter how many grammar or pronunciation mistakes you make.
It may not seem like it, but guinea pigs are amazing listeners and they enjoy being held and talked to.
Your guinea pig will love the attention so much, he’ll start going to you automatically the moment he sees that you’re home. Don’t forget to use his name every now and then so that he can get used to it!
7. Pay Attention
When was the last time you paid attention to your guinea pig? And we mean actually paid attention, and not just briefly dropped by to replace his water or provide more food.
Guinea pigs are suckers for attention. An isolated kind of life is not good for any guinea pig. Most, if not all, prefer their cages to be placed in busy areas such as the living room, for example.
They enjoy seeing people and even other animals going up and about their daily lives.
As with most animals, they even have their own language that they use to communicate with their fellow guinea pigs.
Guinea pigs will also tell you when they’re not feeling well. Learn what noises to listen out for here in one of our latest blogs.
Just watch two guinea pigs together in the same cage and you’ll see what we mean. Do your best to understand this language and you’ll be unlocking a whole new world of fun with your baby.
Conclusion: How to get your guinea pig to love you
Guinea pigs may seem harder to comprehend than dogs or cats, but like all animals, all they want is a comfortable place to sleep, good food, and lots of love.
That may not seem like much to us, but from the perspective of our furry little friends, that already means the world.
If you consistently show your guinea pig just how much you love and care for him, you’ll see that your guinea pig will start trusting you and opening up to you more.
And of course, nothing feels better than knowing that your beloved pet loves you too!
- Do Guinea pigs like to be cuddled? Yes, Just like humans a cuddle releases stress and make them feel wanted and loved.
- Do Guinea pigs bond with their owners? They definitely recognize and respond to their owners and are very interactive.
- Do Guinea Pigs need human interaction? Guinea pigs are very sociable creatures and love interaction with their owners. It has to be said that you can go too far. So limit your interaction to 30 minutes a day.
- Do Guinea pigs get lonely? Yes, Guinea pigs are herd animals that live in small groups. Therefore they need to be with others to feel safe and secure.
- Should Guinea pigs be petted? They like to be petted and it makes them feel loved. Choose a quiet location and sit them on your lap and gently stroke them. Word of warning! They hate their fur being stroked the wrong way.