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Thread: Guinea pig chews on pouch when held

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    Cavy Slave
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    Guinea pig chews on pouch when held

    So, when I adopted my guinea pig Willow, her foster specifically told me not to feed her while I was holding her, because she'd be hard to hold onto if she started to expect food whenever she was held.


    When I moved into my apartment at college, I told my roommates the same thing. But they broke that rule enough times that Willow now starts chewing on the fleece pouch I hold her in as soon as she's picked up. She's bitten me through the fleece a couple times, and she's very difficult to hold onto.


    I'd like to be able to cuddle with Willow for longer than ten seconds at a time. What's the best way to retrain her so that she doesn't chew on the pouch anymore?

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    Cavy Slave PeanutnCookie's Avatar
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    Re: Guinea pig chews on pouch when held

    Maybe try feeding her right before you take her out so she will start to think that food means she gets to come out. and she might get full before, so she won't expect stuff outside the cage. Also, just for a little bit, use something other than the pouch to hold her, maybe a towel in a cardboard box?, so she won't connect the pouch and food together.

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    Moderator foggycreekcavy's Avatar
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    Re: Guinea pig chews on pouch when held

    Deja vu. I just answered this question at GL!

    Guinea pigs that chew on pouches/towels/cuddle cups/clothing while being held are generally just nervous. I find that giving them a treat helps them to see being held as a positive experience.

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    Re: Guinea pig chews on pouch when held

    Quote Originally Posted by foggycreekcavy View Post
    Deja vu. I just answered this question at GL!

    Guinea pigs that chew on pouches/towels/cuddle cups/clothing while being held are generally just nervous. I find that giving them a treat helps them to see being held as a positive experience.
    It was probably mine. I start to get anxious if it takes a while for people to respond (even though that doesn't make any sense), and posting on two forums instead of one seems to help with the anxiety for some reason. Maybe it convinces me that I'll get a response faster.

    Anyway, I gave her treats while I held her the first few times after I got her so that she'd trust me, but her foster told me she'd start squirming and be difficult to hold onto if she expected food while I was holding her, which is why I've been sticking to feeding her when she's in her cage or out for floor time. She'll stop eating from her hay bag to take whatever piece of hay I'm holding out for her, which is kind of funny. But I've had Willow for over four months now, and she only started chewing on the bag about three weeks ago. So if it's because she's nervous, I have no idea what she's nervous about.

    I'll try holding her without the pouch and see what happens, I guess.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Guinea pig chews on pouch when held

    And forget what your foster told you. The best way to bond with your guinea pig is to hold it in your lap and feed it yummy treats (veggies, not store-bought ones).

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    Re: Guinea pig chews on pouch when held

    I managed to hold her outside the pouch without her chewing, and she only started squirming when she had to go to the bathroom. So I guess it has to do with the pouch. Until recently she seemed to like being held in the pouch better than being held directly in my hands, so either that's changed or she just wants to chew on her pouch for some reason.

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