Where do Guinea Pigs Like to be Pet? Tips to Avoid Scaring

Where do Guinea Pigs Like to be Pet? Tips to Avoid Scaring

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As you were feeding your beloved guinea pigs, you couldn’t resist the urge to pet them, but to your disappointment, they refused to let you even if you’ve tried for a long time. It’s a little disheartening and frustrating, isn’t it? Well, you’re not alone. Many people, including me, have trouble petting their guinea pigs without them running away like a hurricane is coming. Where do guinea pigs like to be pet? Why is my guinea pig running away when I try to pet it? So many questions…

So I did a lot of research and in this article, I’m going to tell you many things.

A list of reasons and mistakes that will result in your piggies running away from you and how to fix it, where do guinea pigs like to be pet, how to pet them, tips, and more.

In the end, I’m going to show you a little trick I use to pet my potato-shaped furballs without scaring them. 

Now let’s dive in.

Do guinea pigs like to be pet?

The short answer is yes. The long answer is they usually do.

Studies show that petting your guinea pig can help reduce stress and build trust with them. Cuddling is also a great bonding activity.

But while they may appreciate a good cuddle and petting, bombarding them with too much affection can cause them a lot of stress. A study from Science Direct titled “The effect of human interaction on guinea pig behaviour in animal-assisted therapy” found that guinea pigs experienced increased stress levels when subjected to excessive handling or petting.

Another big factor is their personality too. Like humans, some guinea pigs like to be touched and some don’t. 

Where do Guinea Pigs Like to be Pet? Tips to Avoid Scaring

Why is my guinea pig running away when I try to pet it?

Okay. There are a couple of reasons why your guinea pig is not letting you pet it, and we have to go over them to know how to solve this problem. A lot of people, Including me, didn’t realize this until much much later. Here’s a quick list:

  • they are prey animals
  • you are looming over/behind them
  • they are not comfortable being touched yet (ex. you haven’t bonded with them well enough)
  • they have trauma
  • you are petting the wrong places
  • they just don’t like being touched

First, hopefully, we know that guinea pigs are prey animals, so they are a lot more afraid of being touched compared to other animals like dogs or cats.

So observe yourself. are you looming over your piggy when you’re trying to pet it? We humans sometimes do this unconsciously because our potato-shaped fur balls are so small and they’re below us.

But this is very scary for your piggies. I mean, just imagine a giant hovering on top of you, trying to touch you. Running away is the best thing to do in that situation, right?

do guinea pigs like to be pet

So what do I do?

It’s hard not to hover on top of your guinea pig when you’re petting it, but getting down to your guinea pig’s level, especially if they’re on the ground, helps a lot. Another tip is when you’re trying to pet it, instead of giving your hand on top, try putting your hand slightly more in front.  

Petting from behind

As the title says, the second mistake is petting your guinea pig from behind. I’ll just say it straight up, it scares them. A lot.

Picture this: you’re innocently strolling up to your guinea pig, hand outstretched for a friendly stroke, when BAM! You’re met with a lightning-fast dash for freedom. It’s like trying to pet a ninja. Okay, one that’s shaped like a potato, but still.

As I said, Guinea pigs have survival instincts to avoid danger from predators, so coming at them from the rear will trigger their flight response. 

Now that we established where not to approach them, your guinea pigs should be completely down with you petting it, right? Right? 

Um, in our dreams. 

 There is a huge factor so important that if not, the previous two tips may not work at all. And that is…

where do guinea pigs like to be pet

Your bond with your guinea pig needs improvement

Did you and your guinea pig develop a bond? Going back to using the human analogy, we tend to be cautious and not allow strangers to hug us without getting to know them first, shaking their hands, or talking to them. Of course, it depends on the culture, but I hope you understand what I’m trying to say.

Building trust and bonding with your piggy is the key. As they grow more comfortable and secure with you, their affection for you will too. And it’s not hard to build trust with your guinea pig. Here are some tips to bond with them fast.

Where do guinea pigs like to be pet? 

There are several places where guinea pigs love to be stroked and petted.

Generally, guinea pigs like to be pet on the head, behind their ears, under the chin, and on the back. Don’t pet your piggy on the bum or eyes.

My piggies also love being gently stroked above the nose here too. Keep in mind that your piggy’s preferences will differ. For example, One of my guinea pigs called Coffee doesn’t like chin rubs. I polled 207 people online asking where their guinea pigs like to be pet the most and here are the results. 

where do guinea pigs like to be pet most?

Most guinea pig owners found that their guinea pigs like to be pet under their chin the most (31.1%)

Do guinea pigs like belly rubs?

Yes, some guinea pigs do enjoy belly rubs! Keep in mind though, just like humans, every guinea pig has its own unique personality and preferences.

While some may find belly rubs relaxing and enjoyable, others may not be as fond of them. That’s why It’s important to observe your guinea pig’s body language and reactions to determine if they enjoy belly rubs or not.

If they seem relaxed, with their eyes half-closed and making relaxed noises, it’s likely they’re enjoying the attention. However, if they tense up, try to move away, or vocalize in distress, it’s best to respect their boundaries and avoid belly rubs. Here are 8 common sounds guinea pigs make and their meanings.

Always approach them gently and let them guide the interaction. And remember, not all guinea pigs are the same, so what works for one may not work for another! Especailly because belly rubs go against their survival instinct.

So if your guinea pigs enjoys belly rubs, it’s a good sign that they love you and trust you.

Guinea Pig Petting Tips

Moving on, we’ll speed through 4 tips and tricks to pet your guinea pigs. 

  1. Approach your piggies slowly and speak softly to avoid startling them. It makes them feel more at ease and less stressed.
  2. Start by letting them sniff your hand to get acquainted with your scent.  Letting them approach and sniff your hand gives them a sense of control over the interaction and shows them, hey it’s me, you don’t have to be scared.
  3. Pay attention to their sound and body language. Actions speak louder than words sometimes. If they show signs of discomfort or run away, stop petting them and wait a moment before petting them again.
  4. Offer treats as positive reinforcement for your potato’s good behaviour. Guinea pigs will do anything for veggies and treats. It’s like the phrase “The way to a guinea pig’s heart is through its stomach”. Take advantage of that. 

Bonus: How to make your guinea pig not scared of you when you pet it

Finally, the little trick or the way I like to pet my guinea pigs, especially ones that are easily startled like Coffee. It’s a whole process but it helps to get you started.

  1. First, give your guinea pig a small treat. An emphasis on small, because if you give a new guinea pig a big treat, they will run away with it so no one can steal its treasure.
  2. Next, talk in a soft voice while extending your hand to him. After that, Don’t touch him yet.  Just make the petting motion above his head.
  3. Gently lower your hand towards him while doing the petting motion, moving it closer until finally, softly stroke his head. Remember to keep calm and be relaxed, your guinea pig can sense it.
  4. At this point, it’s much much easier to stroke your piggy on other parts like their nose and back.
  5. Congratulations, you have petted your guinea pig, and more importantly, your piggy is voluntarily staying!

Remember, practice makes better and the more you pet your piggy, the more your guinea pig will be comfortable with you and grow to love you. Be patient, you got this. 

Let me know in the comments where your guinea pigs like to be petted the most!

Cute and funny guinea pig memes that will make you laugh

Why does my guinea pig jump when I touch him?

Guinea pigs may jump when you touch them when they are startled. Sudden movements can frighten these sensitive creatures, making them ‘popcorn’ or jump in surprise. It’s a natural response that signals their need for safety.

That’s why it’s so important to approach your guinea pigs slowly and calmly.

Final Thoughts

Petting your guinea pig can strengthen the bond between you and your potato. Over time, as you spend more time together and provide gentle affection, your guinea pig will show lots of love for you.

Remember, understanding your guinea pig’s behaviours and sounds is very important. Hopefully, this article has given you some valuable insights into how to pet your guinea pig, even if they are skittish.

For further exploration, consider exploring the seven signs that your guinea pig loves you, which can offer additional reassurance and understanding in your relationship.

And if you’re keen to dive deeper, check out the 7 signs that your guinea pig truly loves you. It’s a fun way to gain more reassurance and insight into your special bond!

Remember to feed your piggies!

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