To get your guinea pig out of hiding, you need to calm their fear by showing them you are not there to harm them. You can build their trust and get them out of hiding by providing them with food.
Guinea pigs make great family pets. They are funny little animals with unique personalities. They also make a variety of cute sounds, from whistles to chirps.
Guinea pigs are definitely fun for kids and grownups alike. However, one thing most guinea pigs have in common is they are often skittish and like to hide.
It can be disappointing when you bring home a new family pet and all they want to do is hide in their hut. This is especially true for the kids in the family, as they are often very excited by the newest addition.
Luckily, understanding these natural habits will help you learn to get your sweet little piggy out of hiding.
What You'll Learn
A Guinea Pigs Natural Instinct
Hiding is a natural part of a guinea pig’s behavior. Although guinea pigs have been domesticated for thousands of years, they still maintain their instinct to hide.
In the wild, guinea pigs were prey animals and naturally looked for ways to protect themselves. Given their small size, running and hiding were a natural defense against predators.
While you may think that you are not there to prey on them, put yourself in your guinea pig’s place for a moment. They are quite small, even compared to a child. To them, you are a scary giant.
If you were to come across something that much bigger than you, you would likely run and hide as well. This is especially true for new family pets. Not only are they in an unfamiliar place, with unfamiliar sounds, but a giant stranger is staring at them through a cage. Remember, it takes time for new piggies to adjust to their new homes.
How to Convince Your Guinea Pig You Are Not a Predator
While it may be natural for your guinea pig to want to hide, you can help them gain the trust to come out. With a little patience, you will have a happy, friendly piggy who loves to spend time with you.
Using food is a great way to help your guinea pig learn to trust you. Remember to go slow and offer it in a friendly manner. Give your piggie time to approach you. Don’t rush them and don’t shove food in their face.
Your best bet is to hold some food in your hand and sit there until your piggie feels safe enough to approach you. This may take time and may take more than one offering of food. However, in time, your little piggies will realize you aren’t there to hurt them.
A great way to encourage them is to use guinea pig-friendly veggies. Try some bell pepper, spinach, or zucchini. You can also try some timothy hay which guinea pigs love. Another option is to pick up a bag of guinea pig treats from the pet store to help lure them out.
Calm and Quiet
Remember that rushing them won’t make them learn faster. Make sure you feel calm and move slowly so you don’t scare them. It’s important to make sure the room they are in is calm and quiet. Sudden or loud noises will scare them, and they will likely take longer to come out.
This may be difficult for young children who are overly excited about their new pet. However, it’s important to sit with your child and help them stay calm and move slowly.
Spend Time With Them
Another great way to bond with your guinea pig is to just spend time with them. Again, keep the room and yourself calm and quiet. Just sit with them and let them explore.
You can offer them food if you would like, but it isn’t necessary. Just being in the same room with them and speaking to them in a quiet voice will help with bonding.
Guinea pigs have a very developed sense of hearing. In the wild, they need to hear predators coming so they could run and hide. Let them hear your voice, but remember to keep it calm and quiet.
Also, guinea pigs have a good sense of smell, which also aids them in identifying predators. Use this to your advantage as well. Sitting with them will allow them to slowly get to know your scent.
What if My Guinea Pig Still Won’t Come Out of Hiding?
In time, most guinea pigs will eventually start coming out more. They will still run and hide if they hear loud noises or are startled. Remember, this is their natural instinct to protect themselves. However, some guinea pigs may still be hesitant to come out. If so, try a few other strategies.
It’s important to remember to not rush your piggie. Have patience and understand that your guinea pig isn’t hiding just to disappoint you. Just as some people are more shy than others, you may have a shy little piggy on your hands.
Forcing your guinea pig is a sure way to scare them even more. This will force them even further into hiding.
Instead, spend some quality playtime with them. At first, this might just mean letting them explore a room or safe space while you just sit on the floor with them.
As they slowly start to trust you more, you can spend time with them in your lap. Let your piggie get comfortable and just sit in your lap for a while. This will help strengthen your bond with them.
It can feel disappointing when your guinea pig seems to just want to hide all day. But if you employ a few of these strategies, you will build a trusting bond with your sweet little piggy.