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Thread: First-time owner jitters

  1. #1
    Cavy Slave Wolfess221's Avatar
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    Unhappy First-time owner jitters

    Hi everyone. I've had my 2 girls for about a month now and they're just fine, still warming up to me as I expected. I know it takes time for them to come around and I am a patient person when it comes to animals (I once had a hamster who took at least 2 months to even let me pet her, let alone pick her up). They were from a shelter and are about 3 years old. What I'm creating this thread for is to ask if anyone else has ever had the feeling that you regretted adopting them, not due to selfishness on your part but just feeling that guinea pigs were not the pet for you. I am a first time guinea pig parent, I've thought about adopting a couple for a long time and have done my research, so it wasn't a spur-of-the-moment thing. Most of the time I'm fine and know it'll be a great experience with them, but now and then I get this feeling and it's killing me inside.

    I guess I just want advice and reassurance. I do not plan on giving them back, I do not believe in that and it would not be fair to the girls. Please, no rude comments, I'm being very open and honest here; I do not want to be ripped apart.

  2. #2
    Cavy Slave Guinepig's Avatar
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    Re: First-time owner jitters

    Just give them time. I have had three boars for about three months and they are still warming up to me. The first couple of weeks I had them I barely got any sleep I had a flashlight in my hand and I kept turning it on to check on them. I had a fish that had died a few nights back before I got my guinea pigs and I didn't want anything to happen to my precious guinea pigs

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  4. #3
    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner pinky's Avatar
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    Re: First-time owner jitters

    Try and teach them some tricks. Once you see how quickly they learn and are receptive to commands, you'll probably enjoy them more. I've found that the more you interact with them, they more they bond with you.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: First-time owner jitters

    I've had my pig for a little over 2 months now and he is still warming up to me as well. It takes a lot of patience. I got my pig unexpectedly because my neighbors let him go outside because they did t want to care for him, which meant certain death but he showed up in my back yard luckily. I haven't felt a lot of regret about it because I feel personally responsible for raising him now. He is just a defenseless animal who probably didn't even know what was going on. I have a lot of pets already so sometimes money is tight and I feel bad because I want to give them the world but other than that I just couldn't leave the guinea pig and I don't like giving away animals to other people because I don't know what they will do with them or how well they will be taken care of.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: First-time owner jitters

    Our cat had to be put to sleep a couple of months ago, and I got my guinea pigs not long after. I often have those thoughts, I'm pretty sure it's normal. I sometimes wonder if I got them to replace what was missing after losing my kitty...and as I also suffer from severe bouts of depression I do also have times where I feel like a terrible pet owner because I may not be as interactive with them on those days. Luckily I have very understanding and supportive parents who step in to help with the piggies when I'm like that.
    I'm sure the thoughts you are having will go away eventually...I remember having them when I first got my dog 3 years ago....now when it comes to him the only thought I have is "when will he stop barking?", .

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    Cavy Slave miniver's Avatar
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    Re: First-time owner jitters

    I completely understand. I've had mine for two months and I still worry that the novelty will wear off. That I'll lose interest. That I will discover I've made a mistake. Part of me knows I'm probably over reacting but part of me is still fearful. However, everyday I feel more confident in my choice of pet and everyday they grow on me a little more.
    I choose to see it as the glass is half full. It's a good thing to re-examine your decision. More people should be willing to question their decision, after you get them home, not just before. I think it would get these lovely animals out of bad homes and give them better lives.
    I agree with the other posters. Give it time. If you decide you need to give them up, I'm sure you will do so in manner that is best for them as well as for you. It's not the end of the world and it doesn't make you a bad person.

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  12. #7
    Cavy Slave barbaramudge's Avatar
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    Re: First-time owner jitters

    Gosh I hope that is a natural feeling. I can't remember ever having any living thing to care for when I didn't feel like "oh gez, what have I done". It's stressful to care for something else. It's even harder when that something else doesn't seem so sure about you either! They really do take time to warm up. I got Paprika in June and he is just now acting like he's interested in me for more than just food. Mostly still food though Be patient with yourself.
    Using Tapatalk

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: First-time owner jitters

    This is a totally natural experience, I've gone through it with all of my pets (and other permanent decisions!) and I definitely went through it with my piggies. I adopted them shortly after my oldest rat passed so I was also dealing with that. I remember being about two months in with them, telling them they're sure difficult animals to bond with and now a year later I could never imagine life without them. They still hate to be picked up but they do enjoy being pet now and they get excited whenever they see me. As someone else mentioned, try teaching them a trick. Our go-to is to get them to stand for a meaty/fluffy piece of hay. Spin is also pretty easy.

    Good luck!

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: First-time owner jitters

    I am in the same boat as well. I get the same feelings quite often, but I keep telling myself to not give up. These feelings arises only when I feel rejected by the pigs; like they don't like me when I pet them or when I try to pick them up. I read and read about how it takes a long time for them to adjust to you as they are prey animals. So, I just try to take it slow and be gentle with them; feeding them and conservatively petting so they don't get too annoyed.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: First-time owner jitters

    Oh heavens, even people who adopt children can feel that way in the beginning. (And again when they're teenagers, ). Second thoughts and even some measure of panic are natural reactions to making any life-changing decision. It doesn't mean it was a bad decision. It means you're a human being with a mind capable of imagining alternatives.

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    Cavy Slave Wolfess221's Avatar
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    Re: First-time owner jitters

    I want to thank all of you for being so supportive and kind. I've been spending more time with the girls and I'm happy to say that my jitters are gone. I finally love them and wouldn't have them anywhere else. It really helped when last night I had the girls out for some floor time and I took Owena into my lap for some cuddles. At first she did what she always does, whines a bit and just stands still, but then something wonderful happened: she turned around and snuggled into my lap! I was sitting cross-legged on the floor and she lied down and was like that for at least 10 minutes. Willa still has her hot-and-cold attitude towards me but I'm coming to accept that Owena is the more friendly one and Willa, well she has attitude Again, thank you so much everyone!

  20. #12
    Cavy Slave pigger123's Avatar
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    Re: First-time owner jitters

    That's awesome that you're starting to bond with them! It's just the most special feeling when a piggy snuggles up with you.

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    Cavy Slave Wolfess221's Avatar
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    Re: First-time owner jitters

    It sure is I took a bunch of pictures and a video; I'll post them ASAP.

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    Moderator CavyMama's Avatar
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    Re: First-time owner jitters

    I think what you are feeling is not regret but anxiety. I felt that same thing when I brought home my first pig. Even though I researched extensively before I got him, I didn't feel like I knew enough to take good enough care of him. I didn't want to make any mistakes but as time goes on, things start to feel more routine.

    Tell you what though, you do have one thing going for you that I did not. I had not yet found this site so I had very little in the way of resources for asking questions or getting information. You are going to be just fine. We were all where you are at one point. Just don't be afraid to ask questions. There are many folks here with plenty of guinea pig expertise to help you through the rough patches.

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  24. #15
    Cavy Slave Wolfess221's Avatar
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    Re: First-time owner jitters

    Thank you so much @CavyMama, that's very reassuring. You're right about the site; I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have all of you to rely on! Now that I think about it, I was definitely suffering from bouts of anxiety. But those are over now, thank goodness ^_^

  25. #16
    Cavy Slave kanojochan's Avatar
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    Re: First-time owner jitters

    I always feel that way at the beginning with a new pet. It seems to be pretty common with a lot of pet owners. Some types of pets require more of an adjustment phase than others; fish require minimal adjustment period, whereas mammals can require much more. I wouldn't stress too much about it :]

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