In the spirit of diversity, many people today have adopted the idea of keeping small mammals as pets, away from the traditional idea of dogs and cats. However much of a responsibility keeping such small pets can be, they still remain as lovely and lively like the rest of the pets are. One of the best options you can have from this category are guinea pigs. Now there’s only one challenge with guinea pigs: they bite, though not all the time. They’re docile pets which don’t just bite anybody and everybody because their teeth is the only defensive tool they have, and it’s through the bites that they communicate.
These bites only come through under three circumstances, that is, if they want to bar unwanted attention, if they want to show dominance or if they need some attention. The only way out is taming the guinea pig, which involves training them to be comfortable around you, but then the question here is how? Read on for some insightful ideas on how to stop guinea pig from biting.
Tips on How to Stop Guinea Pig from Biting
As hinted, guinea pigs only bite with a course, so in the event that you face that form of aggression, it’s evident that you might have done something or the little one could be going through something. In order to unravel the whole idea of how to stop guinea pig from biting, first you need to establish the possible triggers behind the aggression at any particular. Below is a list of the possible things which can push your guinea pig to bite you and the best ways you can handle or avoid such situations.
The main reason why you’re being bitten in the first place is that you paced your hands in the guinea pig’s territory. So, how about keeping yourself safe to begin with? When you stick your fingers through their cage, that little friend of yours will naturally feel threatened and decide to defend themselves by targeting your fingers or hands. When you don’t provoke them, you’ll also be keeping yourself covered, so no one gets hurt either way.
Keep Your Hands Clean
As the owner, you definitely can’t avoid coming into contact with the guinea pig. One of the things which don’t go well with these pets is odour or scents from other pets like cats or dogs. Therefore, if you have a number of animals around you and happen to be handling them at the same time, you can save yourself the trouble by cleaning your hands properly before it gets to the guinea pig’s turn.
Other than pet-related scents, food odours can also drive a guinea pig to your hands because of their insatiable appetite. You can also save the situation by wearing gloves so that no unnoticeable smell gets to them.
Get To Know them Better
Evidently, guinea pigs bite for different reasons, therefore it’s only right if you understand the needs of your pet. This is achievable through proper training and monitoring which help create a bond between the two of you. That way, you can be able to notice anything that might be making them uncomfortable.
We have environmental and biological issues which could initiate biting. Some of these include the following: Pain in the event that they’re infested with pests, the urge to urinate, uncontrollable testosterone levels and lack of attention.
It’s not only your hands which could make a guinea pig feel threated. Any excessive nose is yet another threat, meaning that you have to pay attention to the environment you place them in. These animals appreciate their own space, so ensure that it’s free from any noise, be it electronics, people or other pets around. However, this doesn’t mean that you should entirely leave them alone and lonely for extended hours because that would equally make them aggressive.
Let Them Explore
This mostly applies to those who have just changed homes or if you are trying to cage-train them. With change of environment, the first thing to do is let them acclimate before inviting them for play. When cage-training, you should periodically leave the cage open to create room for the guinea pig to explore and understand that it’s not actually under siege or something, but rather that’s their safe haven. If you notice that yours appears scared to explore, you can entice them by placing some treats around the cage to get them moving around.
As aforementioned, guinea pigs love their own space and it actually takes time for them to get familiarized with new things, including yourself. However much this is not always the case with all pets, I recommended that as you introduce yourself to their environment, you do it in steps.
You can start by sitting around them while in the cage and engaging them from outside before you can extend your hand or finger in the cage. That way, your pet will gradually explore your scent and eventually get comfortable with you making contact.
Once you figure out that the guinea pig is now comfortable, you still have to be gentle to prevent aggression especially when holding them. This also stretches to how well you’re picking them up, which can sometimes leave you training for a couple of times before mastering the art.
The right way to pick up a guinea pig is by using a single hand to hold it around the chest while the other one is supporting its hindquarters. You also have to be gradual with holding them and only start by making contact for a short period of time. Also, if you sense some form of aggression, you should return it to the cage before it bites you.
Train the Children First
The fact that the guinea pig appreciates your presence doesn’t mean that they’ll automatically feel the same about your children too. Unlike adults, children can be impatient which might not go well with both of them, triggering aggression from either side. After being conversant with all it takes to handle the pet, you can now proceed to training the children and anybody else around your home the same.
It’s equally important to be on the standby rather than leaving them all by themselves. Other than that, you should also limit the number of people who can handle the guinea pig at any particular time to avoid confusion.
Don’t Be Physical
The thing is, at one time, you’ll have to punish the guinea pig when they’re doing something on the extreme, just like the rest of the toddlers around your home. However, at no particular time should you hit them, even after the bit comes.
This will ruin the progress you had made in training them and will only make them afraid and uncomfortable around you. It’s better when you learn the pig’s body language and act sparingly, rather than hitting them.
Lastly, it’s just right to appreciate your guinea pig if they’re well-behaved. The only challenge here is when you go on the extreme end because that way, your pet might also react aggressively if they don’t see the treats coming.
So while at it, reward them sparingly, so that it doesn’t look like a bribe to have it your way. Similarly, not all guinea pigs will appreciate such treats considering that sometimes they could be biting you for different reasons which treats will definitely not solve.
Evidently, all the tips on how to stop guinea pig from biting resolves around properly-training them and while it, you have to be gradual, gentle and patient. You should also pay attention to what could possibly trigger a negative reaction so that you handle the situation before the guinea pig bites.
Now, if you get all the right things in place and the guinea pig still happens to be aggressive, it might be something else which needs the attention of a vet. At the same time, these pigs are different, meaning that yours might take longer to adjust and be comfortable for them to stop the whole biting thing. So there just a single way out; patience.