Are you the new owner of a guinea pig, or maybe even an experienced one? It can be difficult to understand their behavior and why they’re always so skittish.
Sometimes it can feel like your guinea pig is a bit more scared than other pets, which can lead to you wondering why is my guinea pig always scared?
The main reason your guinea pig is always scared is that they are prey animals. The good news is that over time they will become less scared as they get more used to you and their environment.
So if you have a scared guinea pig, don’t let it bother you too much. It’s natural and you can make your pet more comfortable by always carefully approaching them and by giving them gentle attention.
For a deeper understanding of why your guinea pig is always scared, continue reading to find out the common signs your guinea pig is scared and how you can try to stop them from being scared all the time.
Why Is My Guinea Pig Always Scared?
A guinea pig is a prey animal. That means these animals are hunted by larger animals in the wild. The fear is natural since they do not have any defenses to save themselves from larger animals.
That’s why they have a natural tendency to be afraid of everything. It’s not only about larger animals either.
They might be scared of you as well. When compared to guinea pigs we look like giants, and to them, that can be very scary. Even random noises can cause fear in their mind.
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If you want them to overcome that fear, then you will have to develop a better bond with your guinea pig.
More importantly, you need to know any triggering factors so that you can try to minimize them, which will give your guinea pig a great sense of protection when around you.
Guinea pigs are scared of larger animals, people, sharp and loud noise, and even being alone.
You’ll have to try your best to take care of any of these things so that you can create a more friendly and comfortable environment for your guinea pigs.
Guinea Pigs Are Naturally Scared Animals
Guinea pigs are naturally scared animals. They respond with flight rather than fight and will always try to hide and run if they think they can be in any kind of danger.
Sometimes they can sense danger that isn’t really dangerous. That can be you, your kids, or any general loud noises.
So if you notice any of these kinds of behaviors, you shouldn’t be too concerned.
This is their natural tendency and you might need to work a bit harder to make them more comfortable with you and your family.
It will take time for your guinea pig to be familiar with their environment and to build much-needed trust.
Signs Your Guinea Pig Is Actually Scared
These guinea pigs will display distinct behaviors whenever they are scared of something.
First of all, you’ll notice when they’re scared they will try to hide all the time. Guinea pigs love to play hide and seek, and even when they’re comfortable you won’t see them hiding all the time.
They like to roam around and enjoy the environment they’re in. But when they are scared, you will find them hidden all the time.
Another sign is the lack of physical movement. A guinea pig that doesn’t feel scared won’t want to just stay still, they love to move around.
So if you find that your guinea pig isn’t moving as much or unusually quiet, then there might be some problem. Naturally, scared guinea pigs restrict their movement when they feel they’ve made it to safety.
If you notice that your guinea pig is chewing on their cage bars frequently, it can also mean that they are scared.
Occasional chewing doesn’t really matter since guinea pigs love chewing and it is considered as healthy behavior. However, if they’re scared inside of the cage for any reason, your guinea pig might chew the bar a lot.
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Other Signs To Look Out For
Another sign that they’re scared is if your guinea pig seems unusually fussy. When you notice your pet spending a lot of time circling the cage, then your guinea pig might be sensing some danger.
You can also notice some differences in their pooping and eating habits when they are scared.
They will suddenly stop going to the bathroom or eating when they are scared due to stress and fear. Sometimes it can be the opposite and they may actually poop even more from nervousness.
They can make an anxious and short purr in an uncomfortable or fearful environment. They might even stare at you if you approach them.
Your guinea pigs can show some other signs such as:
- Throwing their head around.
If you notice any of the above signs, you should take some time to make your tiny friend calm again. They need your care and support to feel comfortable and secure.
Getting Your Guinea Pig To Stop Being Scared All The Time
Any pet parent should be concerned about their guinea pig being unnaturally scared all the time. It’s important to find the best way to handle these situations to make it easier for both of you.
There are many ways to make sure that your pet is comfortable and safe all the time.
It always starts with figuring out what is scaring them, which means you’ll have to watch them more than occasionally to find out why they’re getting scared all the time.
Once you figure that out, you can work towards making them more comfortable in those situations.
It takes time, so it’s best to be patient and work with your guinea pig the best you can. After a while, they’ll start to understand that loud noises and people cannot, and will not harm them.
Also by engaging with them more, you’ll help them maintain their health. Remember that unhealthy guinea pigs get scared more often.
Will My Guinea Pig Become Less Scared Over Time?
Yes, your guinea pig will be less scared once they get familiar with their environment.
It might take around two months or longer for them to be comfortable in a new environment. It also might take longer if you don’t engage with them often.
You can spend quality time with your pet on a daily basis to develop that bond and trust.
Whenever you notice that they’re uncomfortable or scared, avoid forcing them to do anything. Instead, allow them to react whichever way is natural for them.
You should always try to be nice to your guinea pigs even if they make you frustrated by being so scared and unpredictable all of the time.
Avoid using loud voices when they are around. Also, they don’t respond well to negative reinforcement, so you should never punish a guinea pig. It will only make the situation worse.
Give your guinea pig some time to adjust to their new environment, and once they’re comfortable, you’ll notice a major difference.