Guinea pigs are interesting, smart, and when cared for properly they become amazingly friendly.
So it’s often tempting to cuddle and pet your guinea pigs, especially when you bring them home for the first time. Unfortunately, doing that may not be as easy as it sounds.
You may have to wait a little while before your new pet settles in and gets used to you and their new environment. So if that’s that case, how long does it take for a guinea pig to get used to you?
It can take a guinea pig anywhere from three days to as much as three weeks or more to get used to their new owner.
While that can sound like a long time, try not to get too discouraged if your guinea pig takes that long or even longer before getting used to you. It’s normal for them to take a while to warm up to new people.
Why Does It Take Some Time For A Guinea Pig To Get Used To You?
Guinea pigs are prey animals, so that means they’ll usually get scared by new people and unfamiliar environments.
They can feel like potential targets for predators and that can cause them to always be on high alert.
That mentality means that even though they’re starting to get used to you, they’ll still run or withdraw when they get scared or feel even slightly uncomfortable.
So that’s why it might be a while before they feel comfortable enough to explore, familiarize, and get used to their new settings.
That being said, guinea pigs are all different and usually have their own unique personalities.
So while some can act very shy, others can be naturally approachable. Guinea pigs are known to be pets that get scared very fast and it won’t take much before you see them running away and even hiding.
Even well-adjusted ones can get startled quickly, so it’s easy to see why it can take a while for a new guinea pig to get used to you.
How To Tell Your Guinea Pig Has Bonded With You
Although it may take a while for guinea pigs to settle in, once they do, they’re quite friendly as long as they’re feeling comfortable.
That’s why it’s actually really easy to tell when your guinea pig has started to get used to you. You can tell your guinea pig is starting to get used to you when:
- They feel comfortable when you hold them.
- They’ll readily eat food and different treats from your hand.
- Your guinea pig non aggressively nibbles on you.
Like I said before, guinea pigs are naturally skittish animals. So if you notice that they allow you to hold them and they seem relaxed and happy when you do, that means they’re starting to get used to you.
In most cases, you can have this unique bond just by caring for them properly and giving them enough attention.
Just like with most other pets, feeding your guinea pigs and giving them some treats by hand is a great way to get them to bond with you.
That way, they get used to your scent and familiar enough with your hands and start to comfortably feed from it.
So if they are already doing this, then it’s a sign that they’re starting to bond with you and can even be a sign of affection.
Light nibbling is also another sign your guinea pig is starting to getting used to you.
When you hold them, they might start to nibble on your hand gently, which can be a sign that they like you.
Sometimes, they may even produce a nonstressful squeaky sound while they nibble on you to show affection.
Good Ways To Get Your Guinea Pig Used To You
It’s always important to build a good relationship with your guinea pig. That way if they trust you enough, you’ll create a lifetime bond with them.
So if you want your guinea pig to start getting used to you, try these useful ways that can work really well.
Properly Feed Your Guinea Pig And Give Them A Lot Of Treats
The fastest way to your guinea pig’s heart is usually right through their stomach.
So try to give them a balance of food with good nutritional content and food that they like that also tastes good.
Also, give them treats that they like as a reward for something or just because.
Guinea pigs have around 17,000 taste buds, so giving them food and treats that taste really good will help create a lasting bond.
Give Your Guinea Pig Enough Time To Adjust
After you bring your new guinea pig home give them some time to adjust to their new surroundings.
Try not to bother them too much when they’re trying to get comfortable in their new home.
They’ll need some time to familiarize themselves with their new surroundings.
So just try your best to be really patient and gentle when you’re around them.
Give them a few days or weeks to explore their new home and get used to it before you start regularly interacting with them and coming up to their cage.
Give Them Enough Companionship
Guinea pigs are really social animals. So once they’ve starting to get used to you, try to be around them on a regular basis or just more often.
Guinea pigs really do enjoy and thrive when they’re around their companions.
So along with being their companion, also try to have other guinea pig friends for them to play with.
That way it’ll help them feel more comfortable and happy in their cage and while you’re around.
Learn Your Guinea Pig’s Behaviors
A little attention goes a long way when trying to establish a relationship with your guinea pig.
Besides just feeding them, you can regularly check on them and sit alongside their cage quietly as they explore their new home and get used to your presence.
Additionally, watch your guinea pig closely so you can learn about their personality and behaviors.
Try your best to speak softly when you’re around them and regularly give them some snacks.
Giving your guinea pig proper care and attention will help them with their constant anxiety and eventually they’ll start enjoying their time around you.
Once they’ve started to get used to you, that constant interaction with your guinea pig will help them get comfortable with their new surroundings.
So being compassionate with them can help your guinea pig with getting used to you, and you’ll be able to start handling them in no time.
Will A Guinea Pig Always Get Used To You?
Guinea pigs are social and friendly so in most cases, they will be able to get used to their new owners.
That being said, guinea pigs are naturally scared animals and even once they’ve gotten used to you it’s still very normal for them to get easily startled and run away or hide.
The best thing you can do is to try your best to gently bond with them over time and have a lot of patience while you’re doing that.
Watch them so you can learn your guinea pig’s normal behaviors that way you can help ensure that they feel comfortable around you and their living situation.
Generally, you can expect your guinea pig to be cautious when they’re around you, that’s just one of their natural characteristics.
But even if that’s the case, it’s still up to us as pet guinea pig owners to provide them with a calm and happy life, and usually, after a while they’ll start trusting more.
So as long as you have a little patience while you give them some time to adjust, eventually they’ll start to warm up to you.
The more you regularly feed and visit your guinea pigs at the right time, and the gentler you act around them, the easier and quicker it gets for your guinea pig to get used to you.