Got a guinea pig who seems afraid of you and the environment or is a bit difficult to handle or bites? Cavyfan has created some relaxation techniques for guinea pigs that just might help you and your guinea pig overcome the problem. Try them out; you may just end up with a very mellow guinea pig! Thanks, CavyFan, for sharing your techniques with everyone.
CavyFan's Relaxations Texhniques:
- Lie on the floor with her beside you (you can put a pillow under your head), holding her close so that rather than feeling trapped, she feels protected.
- Breath slowly, not directly onto her face but so that she can feel your chest rising and falling. If she can feel your heartbeat that's even better.
There are a variety of ways to try to bond guinea pigs. In the past I used to put them in a pen on the floor that was covered with towels along with some hay and vegetables. Currently I use an empty bath tub lined with a towel with some hay and veggies added. I watch for signs of aggression, such as yawning and major chattering or a full-out fight. Normally if they are not going to fight they will just sniff each other and may try to do some dominance mounting. Some will bond immediately and some take some time. Even if they seem like they are buddies I keep them in the pen or bath empty bath tub for a few hours. When I feel that I can trust them alone together then I will clean and rearrange the cage that they will be put into and add the guinea pigs. I still keep an eye on them since some will fight overnight or the next day. I do not allow any fighting, blood drawn, or injuries. If there are problems I will separate them and possibly try them separately with another guinea pig. Some people have used buddy baths but I have not since I want to keep the bonding experience as positive as possible. [Many guinea pigs do not like water.]
- Relax yourself and she will relax.
- Slowly let go of her and see if she runs away. If she doesn't, that's good. If she does, stay still, you don't want to chase her. (By the way, in case she does run you should probably make sure that she can't get caught behind anything or chew on any cords. Possibly "secure the area" beforehand so that she can't wander too far.)
- If she doesn't walk away, keep lying there. She may walk away and come back. Mine do that sometimes.
- When you are getting up, do so very slowly. When you are lying down you are not much bigger than her (in her view), if you suddenly become "huge", she will be scared. I usually crawl when I'm with my piggies if they are on the floor.
You can also do this with her on your stomach or chest. If she can feel your heartbeat it will probably make her happy as animals are reminded of when they were in their mother (human babies like ticking watches because it sounds like a heartbeat). When she begins to settle you may feel her heartbeat if she's relaxing, because she'll be up against you.
Don't make any sudden movements or noise when you are with her. Guinea pigs will startle at sudden noises. Guinea pigs hate the sound of kissing. It startles mine very much.
- "Biting" may not actually be biting. If she nibbles you and you jerk away before she can take a bite you do not know if she would actually bite. One of mine loves licking people, she may be trying to lick you. If you don't pull away, she will probably lick your finger and you will feel her tongue. You just feel the teeth as they get their mouth around the end of your finger.
- Getting her used to the sound of your voice is good, when you have done the above activity, you can also do it while talking quietly to her. Your tone of voice is more important than the words you use.
Written by Cavyfan
Sophia Katharine & Porky Pie
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