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A guinea pig makes a very good pet. There is no doubt that the guinea pig looks extremely adorable and cuddly. It is also a very friendly animal that gets adjusted to humans very easily. They are active animals and you will enjoy having them around the house. The guinea pig can be a nervous animal. You need to handle it properly. Once you have tamed it then you can have hours of fun and playtime with it. The key here is taming the guinea pig when you get it home. The article tells you how to tame a guinea pig in an easy and effective way.
Getting a guinea pig
If you have decided that you want a guinea pig, buy it from a good source. While buying a new guinea pig, keep the following in mind:
- Guinea pigs live for five to seven years. They don’t live as long as cats and dogs. This is something you need to know.
- A guinea pig is a very social animal. It would prefer to be with others of its own kind. A single guinea pig will be very lonely. If you are buying, preferably buy as a pair. Buy two of the same sex to avoid the problem of breeding. Better get two from the same litter or two babies. Sometimes two adult guinea pigs may not get along and create problems.
- It is best to buy a guinea pig when it is a baby.
- You must know, like humans, the guinea pig cannot make vitamin C on its own. You need to provide sufficient vitamin C through its diet.
Give it a home
Before going into how to tame a guinea pig, you need to understand how to make it settle down. Your guinea pig needs a space of its own. You can get a cage and allow it to settle down in the cage. Here are some considerations to keep in mind while getting a cage for your guinea pig:
- Get a large-sized cage (around eight square feet).
- Guinea pigs are social animals and prefer their own company. Have sufficient space in the cage for two or more guinea pigs.
- The floor of the cage should be wood and not a cage.
- Have different areas like one for sleeping and one for playing.
- The sleeping area can have hay as the bedding. Avoid a regular bed as your guinea pig may chew it up.
- The cage should be in a secluded place initially until it gets adjusted. Avoid places with a lot of light or noise.
- You can keep the cage covered with a cloth for a few days.
- If you don’t want a cage and instead give it a hutch make sure it is in a safe place. If other animals like a dog or cat go near, the guinea pigs could panic and run. If you keep it outside, make sure it is protected from extreme weather conditions.
- Never keep your guinea pig cage/hutch in the garage, the car fumes could kill it.
Make sure you don’t disturb the guinea pig for a few days. Let it get adjusted to its new home. Only then start with taming. If you have kids, ensure they don’t get excited and make the guinea pig scared.
Keep the treat ready
Like most pet animals, your pet guinea pig needs a treat to make it listen to you. The first lesson in how to tame a guinea pig is to keep treats ready. Ensure that it has a proper diet for its regular food. You can feed it hay, fruits, and vegetables like oranges, spinach, broccoli, melons, and cabbage.
You can get a guinea pig mix and use it in the daily food. You can use the mix as a treat or even use carrots. The carrot is the best treat for your guinea pig. You can easily make your pet eat it out of your hands. Your pet will feel comfortable to nibble from one end while you hold it at the other end. This is a good way of making your pet get adjusted to you.
Let your guinea pig know you
Once your guinea pig settles down, start the process of taming. Your guinea pig must be comfortable with you. For the first few days go and stand neat the cage but don’t attempt contact. Stay close so the guinea pig can smell you and realize you are not dangerous. Ensure that you don’t make any sudden noises as your pet can get scared very fast.
The next stage is to allow the guinea pig to come close to you. Put your hand in the cage and don’t move it. Let the guinea pig come close and start sniffing your hand. This makes the process of familiarization easy. Once this is done, then touch the guinea pig and stroke its heads. Hold it gently and allow it to play around your hand. Do this for a few days. Don’t make sudden motions with your hand when it is in the cage. Have patience and proceed slowly.
Pick up your pet
One of the key techniques on how to tame a guinea pig is to be able to pick it up. Once your guinea pig is familiar with you, your touch, and smell it is time to pick it up. First, pick it up in its cage gently. Let it feel comfortable. If it gets nervous, allow it to go back into the cage. Only when it is comfortable in your hands, take your hand out of the cage.
Sit on a chair keeping the guinea pig on your lap. Stroke it’s head and talk to it in a soft voice. Avoid noises or doing anything that can scare it. You can even sit on the floor so that if it gets scared and jumps off it won’t be hurt. Do this every day for a few minutes until your pet is comfortable. The guinea pig is a gentle animal, but if scared it can bite. So be careful handling your new pet.
Get playthings for your guinea pig
Your guinea pig loves to play. Make sure you keep enough things in the cage or hutch to allow it to play. Here are a few things you can give your pet to play:
- The cage should have separate shelter spaces for the guinea pig. This can be in the form of a tunnel or an enclosure. Guinea pigs love such places. Whenever it feels scared, it would treat this space as a shelter to hide.
- You can make a pet tunnel yourself or buy one. The tunnel should have sufficient space for the guinea pig to go in and out.
- The best plaything for your guinea pig is a wheel. Your pet will love to run on the wheel. This not only helps in play but gives your pet sufficient exercise. You can even use it while taming. Take the wheel out and let the guinea pig play in your presence.
- You can give it chewable toys that it can chew on safely. Even a toilet roll will do. You can get chewable toys made of rice pops. They act as a treat and also give your pet something to chew on and strengthen its teeth.
- Never put your guinea pig in a ball. It can hurt its spine.
Tips on taming your guinea pig
- Holding the guinea pig properly is very important. Hold with both of your hands. Never pick it up by its neck. Place your right hand on the shoulder. Put your right thumb below its front legs. Put your left hand below the bottom. Pick it up in this way so you don’t hurt it.
- Once you pick your guinea pig, bring it close to your chest, and talk softly to it. This will avoid it being scared.
- If the guinea pig struggles on your hand, don’t hold it forcibly, gently bring it down and place it on its bottom.
- Your mood can affect the guinea pig. If you are angry, feeling irritable, or upset avoid going near your pet. Your pet can be scared easily.
- Once your guinea pig is tamed, you can teach it some tricks. You can offer it a treat and hold it above a box. Your pet will then learn to jump on the box. You can also keep a pet tunnel on the floor and train it to come through the tunnel to collect a treat.
The article on how to tame a guinea pig told you all you need to know about taming your pet. A guinea pig makes a great pet. It is a quiet animal that is extremely lovable. You can have many hours of fun with your pet once you tame it. Take your own time to tame your pet. Don’t do things in a hurry. Once your pet is adjusted, you can have an enjoyable time with this cute and lovable furry animal.