Soft, tiny and cuddly, guinea pigs make some pretty good pets.
Of course, there are other reasons why people choose to keep these rodents as pets. They’re hardy, easy to care for and get along well with kids.
But one question that a lot of guinea pig owners ask is how to know if your guinea pig likes you.
In case you’re wondering, here are 8 signs that your guinea pig loves you.
1. They nibble your shoes or hands
If your guinea pig has a tendency to nibble your shoes or hands, this is one indication that they like you. Like other animals, these rodents groom each other.
The way they achieve this is by digging into their partner’s fur with their teeth in an attempt to remove bugs, dirt and any other element that might irritate the skin.
If your guinea pig loves you, they’ll try and groom you too through nibbling.
That said, there may be other reasons why your guinea pig is nibbling. Apart from the display of affection, it could mean that they’re hurt, scared or hungry.
So before you conclude that they’re expressing their affection, ensure they’re well-fed and have a nice shelter.
2. They allow you to hold them
Though guinea pigs are mostly social animals, they can be quite shy initially, especially if they’re still adjusting to their new home.
However, if your pet is already used to your presence, they shouldn’t protest when you try and pick them up. They should accept readily, and this is another sign that they like you already.
Still, you should be careful when handling your pet. To pick them up, approach them with two hands.
You’ll need to use one hand to stop them from moving forwards and the other to stop them from going back.
Next, put your hand on their chest and abdomen and use the other hand to support their weight. You can then pick them up as gently as you can.
Prop them up against your chest to make them feel comfortable and secure.
3. They eat from your hand
It’s not unusual that, initially, your guinea pig will be hesitant to eat from your hand. Start slow and build trust with them first before you try hand-feeding them.
This means that for the first few days, you should feed the usual way by leaving a container with food in their cage. Give them the freedom to determine when and how they’ll eat.
Once they’re well-acquainted with their environment, you can try and feed them from your hand.
If your guinea pig comfortably feeds from your hand, it means that they trust and feel comfortable around you.
4. They enjoy your company
This is the most obvious sign that your guinea pig loves you just as much as you do.
Essentially, if they’re always following you around the house, staying by your side when you rest and they want you to caress or pet them constantly- it’s a clear indication that they like you.
Like most animals, guinea pigs won’t really understand you when you speak to them. But they’ll become familiar with the tonal qualities of your voice.
Hearing your voice in addition to seeing you will enable them to feel secure.
5. They don’t bite you
Guinea pigs aren’t known to bite their owners.
So when they do, it’s an obvious sign of their discontentment, unhappiness and as a way of defending themselves.
For instance, if an individual who has mishandled them before tries picking them up, they may protest by biting.
However, if they allow you to hold, hand-feed or pet them without biting back, this shows that they trust and love you.
To err on the side of safety, avoid sticking your fingers through their cage, especially if you’re not sure of how they’ll react.
6. They climb on you happily
As we mentioned earlier, some guinea pigs are quite shy and they’ll avoid any form of contact with their human counterparts.
So if your guinea pig does the exact opposite- climbs over you and sits on your lap or chest- you can rest easy knowing that they really like you.
7. They communicate constantly
Even though they can’t speak, guinea pigs communicate by making a variety of sounds. Depending on the sounds they make you when they see you, you can tell whether they like, hate or are afraid of you.
If they like you, there’s a good chance that they will wheek. This will sound like an extended and really loud squeal or whistle.
Apart from being a sign of their affection, this is an indication that they’re very excited or that they’re anticipating something nice like foods and treats.
However, if your guinea pig always chatters their teeth or hisses when you approach them, this is proof that you’re not their favorite person.
So you might want to look for ways to build more trust with your pet.
8. They’re playful around you
Also known as popcorning, this happens when your guinea pig hops up in the air, runs around, quickly makes a turn and repeats the jump.
They can do this multiple times until they tire out or get your attention. If your guinea pig ‘popcorns’ a lot, this is a sign that they’re comfortable around you and they love you.
Guinea pigs are cute and adorable creatures that make for some really charming pets. But like any other pet, they need a fresh supply of food, water, and proper care if they’re to live a happy and healthy life.
If you’re providing all the basic necessities but are not sure whether your guinea pig loves you, there are a couple of signs you can look for.
For one, they’ll nibble your shoes or toes. They’ll allow you to hold them and eat from your hand.
They’ll also follow you constantly around the house because they enjoy your company and they won’t bite you.
You can also tell if your guinea pig loves you depending on the sounds they make. Usually, hissing and teeth chattering are indications that they’re upset.
But if they produce a wheeking or deep purr, they’re happy to be in your presence.