Owning guinea pigs is a special experience.
Their adorable furry and chubby bodies make them endearing pets for all ages.
We all love our guinea pigs and may wonder if they bond with us and get attached to us.
Some people feel guinea pigs and other small pets are not as intelligent or friendly as the average dog or cat.
Pets like dogs and cats are often known for their charismatic personalities and attachment to their owners.
As a guinea pig owner, you may wonder if your piggies will remember you or recognize your smell.
Guinea pigs will remember you and your smell. If you feed your pigs and spend time with them, they associate you with safety and comfort. As prey animals, they tend to seek safety from potential predators. As their caregiver, they remember you and see you as a person of comfort and safety.
Whether you are new to the world of guinea pigs or a seasoned guinea pig parent, your pet will begin to build a bond with you.
We’ll let you know everything about bonding with guinea pigs and how to help your pet remember you.
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Do Guinea Pigs Remember Their Owners?
Guinea pigs do remember their owners.
They may be small in stature, but these fuzzy friends have a good memory for the people in their life.
They will remember who feeds them, makes them feel safe, and scares them.
It’s important to spend time bonding with your piggies, so they remember you.
If you’ve had guinea pigs for a while, you may have noticed them perk up when you enter the room after a long day at work or school.
They are eager to see you back home.
Guinea pigs are social animals and like to spend time with those they love.
If you establish a good relationship with your piggies, they will remember you and get very excited to see you when you get home.
Guinea pigs are prey animals and actively seek safety.
Making your guinea pigs feel safe and cared for helps them bond with you.
They are easily frightened and will look to you or a safe hiding place when they get easily startled.
You may notice your guinea pig licking your fingers or actively wanting to sit on your lap.
They enjoy your company and want to spend time with you.
Check out our other interesting topic on why guinea pigs lick and nibble your fingers here.
How Do Guinea Pigs Remember You?
Guinea pigs remember you as they tend to watch whatever goes on in their surroundings.
If you are the primary caregiver who feeds your guinea pigs, they will perk up when you enter the room.
They love to eat and gnaw on fruits and vegetables.
If you are the person who gives them these tasty treats, they will remember who you are.
Many families with guinea pigs report their pets becoming particularly fond of the specific family member who feeds them.
Regardless of whether or not you feed them more than the others in the family, they may still remember you and bond with you.
If you get your guinea pigs as babies and spend a lot of time petting them, they will remember you and your smell.
Since they are so social and love to cuddle their fellow guinea pig companions, they will also love to cuddle and be pet by you.
While it’s fun to cuddle, sleeping with your guinea pig could be risky so always avoid doing so.
Will My Guinea Pig Forget Me When I Leave?
Some guinea pig parents fear their beloved pets will forget them when they leave for vacation.
If it is only for a long weekend or a week or so, they will still remember you when you get home.
There are a few factors to consider as well:
- How long you have had your guinea pigs determines the strength of their memory of you. If you just got your guinea pig, they may not remember you as you haven’t had enough time for the bonding process to take hold.
- The length of your trip will also impact how well they remember you. If you leave for an extended period, they may bond with whoever is caring for them while you’re away. Some people report guinea pigs who remember their owners years after they’ve seen them. This may be because they had an especially close bond.
- The closeness of your bond will also influence whether or not your guinea pig remembers you. If you don’t spend much time one-on-one with your guinea pig and you’re not the one who regularly feeds them, they may not have a very strong bond with you. In this case, they may not remember you if you go away for a while.
Tips For Bonding With Guinea Pigs
If you want your pet to remember you, there are certain steps to help build guinea pig bonding.
These all play into how your guinea pig sees you.
If they see you as someone who consistently gives them affection, comfort, and safety, they will build a strong bond with you and won’t be quick to forget you if you take time away from them.
Talk To Them
It may seem silly, but most guinea pigs love when you talk to them.
They love to be acknowledged.
Instead of just walking past the cage in the room, be a good guinea pig pet parent and take some time to sit next to it and talk to your piggies.
It feels silly at first, but you’ll notice how much they love hearing their owner’s voice, and they will start to remember you.
Remember to speak quietly and softly as guinea pigs are easily startled and don’t want to scare them.
Use a calming voice or gentle voice to talk to them to help them feel safe.
Speaking of being scared? Check out if guinea pigs have dreams and nightmares.
Give Them Treats
Perhaps the fastest way to a guinea pig’s heart is through food.
They love to munch and are big fans of special treats.
Most fruits and vegetables are great treats for guinea pigs.
They also love different types of grasses to munch on.
Guinea pig pellets are another great treat but tend to be fattening.
It’s important to give them healthy snacks so they do not gain too much weight, as obesity in guinea pigs leads to health problems.
Find their favorite food and use it bond.
Here are some healthy snacks, including guinea pig safe vegetables, to give to your pet to bond with them:
- Romaine Lettuce
Avoid Scaring Them
Guinea pigs are jumpy creatures.
If you startle them, they may remember you as something scary.
As an owner of guinea pigs, it’s important to avoid making loud noises or shouting in front of them as this triggers their flight response, and they may start hiding from you.
Make sure to avoid any behavior capable of scaring your guinea pigs.
Otherwise, they may still remember you but not in a fond way.
Have Floor Time With Them
Having floor time sessions with your guinea pigs is an excellent way to build your bond.
Floortime sessions involve taking your piggies out of their cage and letting them hang out with you on the floor.
There are a few things to keep in mind to keep your guinea pig safe during floor time:
- Make sure all doors are closed, and there is no way for them to escape from the room.
- Avoid keeping your guinea pig on tables, beds, or chairs as they may injure themselves by falling. Guinea pigs have very sensitive spines prone to injury from falling even short distances (learn how far guinea pigs can fall and be ok here).
- Provide a paper bag or box for them to hide in if they get scared. This is especially important for new guinea pigs as they need time to trust you and their surroundings.
- Incorporate some toys for interactive floor time. This will ensure your pet has a fantastic time with you outside of their guinea pig cage.
Don’t take your guinea pigs for a walk with a leash. Learn more in our article at the link.
Make their guinea pig cage as comfortable and luxurious as possible.
Get soft guinea pig bedding and special treats to make their enclosure as pleasant as possible.
Take our tips for guinea pig housing recommendations like incorporating furnishings like a guinea pig hideout location and chewing toys to make it a comfortable and stimulating place for them to live.
Getting a chew toy like this allows your guinea pigs to satisfy their need to gnaw and chew.
This is also important for guinea pig health, and they must chew to grind down their front teeth and keep them at a good length.
What To Do If Your Guinea Pig Is Afraid Of You
If your guinea pig is afraid of you, there are some methods to fix this.
If you just brought your guinea pig home, give them some time to become acquainted with you and their new surroundings.
They do require an adjustment period.
They are skittish animals and will need some time to make sure they feel safe.
If you’ve had your guinea pig for a while and they are still scared of you, you’ll need to assess whether something you are doing is scaring them.
They don’t like loud noises, so if you have been blasting the television or playing loud music near them, it may be scaring them.
Have a peaceful and quiet place for your guinea pigs and see if they start to warm up to you again.
Giving them special treats and spending floor time for fun activities with them may also help gain their trust and make them less scared of you.
It’s important to recognize your guinea pig’s behavior and sounds to know what scares them.
Once you know what scares them, it is easier to avoid doing anything to upset our beloved guinea pigs and keep their mind at ease.