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Thread: New Guinea pig owner

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    New Guinea pig owner

    Hello there,

    I thought I would join this forum as it looks like a very helpful and friendly community. I?m a new-ish guinea pig owner and I guess I?m having what looks like new owner anxiety.

    I had to say goodbye to my best friend of five years three months ago, my adopted lop rabbit and last week I finally decided to make the difficult (but positive) step of finally letting him go so that I can invite another animal into my life and that?s where my two new babies just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

    I got an instant good feeling the minute I held them both and after a day of addressing that final stage of my grief I decided to take them both home. I?m pro-adoption, however, the area I am in rarely gets guinea pigs in for adoption and this is the first time I have bought a pet straight from a store.

    Part of me felt that these guys might have not had a great start and I wanted to show these two beautiful creatures who gave me the gift to love another animal again the gift of a forever home. In future I know to continue to adopt but with them being the last two boards of their herd I was willing to make an exception under the circumstances.

    They seem to be settling in perfectly. I?ve given them both names, mocha and cinnamon and I have an overall good feeling about them. Mocha has taken food from me a few times, has sniffed my fingers and is now wheeking when I give them both food in the morning which I take as a very good sign mocha trusts me.

    Cinnamon has also taken food from my hand once, but hasn?t approached me yet, though he does like to watch me from a distance.

    They both come out into the open whilst im in the room and sit with intent watching me and listening to my voice, but they often run away from me if I make sudden movements and catching them to hold is almost near impossible. I?ve been trying to tell myself that it is only early days, it has only been three days and that they are just babies and it?s nothing personal but I can?t help but feeling a little hurt they don?t trust me. I was wondering if this is normal for guinea pigs and normal feelings associated with new ownership? How can I earn my new piggies trust?

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    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: New Guinea pig owner

    Welcome to the forum!

    You are correct, is IS quite early. Guinea pigs are prey animals and are naturally skittish. Some pigs come around to their hoomans fairly quickly, most take some time. Some never do, so don't beat yourself up over it.

    The best things you have on your side are time, and yummy treats. Give them a week or two to become accustomed to their environment, and then set about holding them. If you do attempt lap time, at first try it from low level (sitting on the floor) so that they don't panic as much.

    And treats, treats, treats. The way to a piggies heart is through it's stomach. They will never learn to trust or enjoy lap time with you if you don't do it, and treats are the way to make them enjoy it and get used to you.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: New Guinea pig owner


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    Re: New Guinea pig owner

    Thank you for the kind replies! I am feeling a bit better about things but I know it’s going to take time, kindness and patience. I also had a slight feeling that there might be that chance they might never fully come around, but that’s okay, because the most important thing is just making sure all their needs are met and that they are happy and live good healthy lives knowing they are safe.

    With guinea pigs they also fit nicely into my routine and budget so they will always get to see me popping in, topping up their vegetables, hay, treats, doing a bit of spot cleaning and on the long days where I’m out for longer or end up with a 9-5 routine they will still have each other’s company.

    So far I’ve worked out that they REALLY like kale. They like carrots too but I’m careful not to give them too much of those and I have tried them both with cucumber but they aren’t too keen on that. I also make sure to clean away the old leftover vegetables for when I put fresh new ones out.

    They also like fleece bedding so I’ve put down a puppy training pad in the cage for just now to work out where they are most likely spotting to see what I can possibly do to their living space.

    I do have a massive run which I can set up for during the day whilst I’m out and I can invest in a ramp and put down more fleece bedding and pads so that they can have access to a play area and then I’ll just gradually start sitting down with them. I know their current cage set up with them just being babies and settling in is fine for now but when the run is added they get an area the size of a king size bed to play, eat and sleep in.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: New Guinea pig owner

    Be careful of the kale. It's REALLY high in calcium, and excess calcium has been implicated in bladder stones. It's better reserved for small amounts occasionally.

    They need bell pepper. It's the best source of vitamin C for them, and like people, they can't manufacture their own C. One of those links I gave you has a veggie chart with nutritional values. You can download the excel file and sort it by various columns.

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