How can I tell if my guinea pig loves me?!
HOW CAN I TELL IF MY GUINEA PIG LOVES ME?!
It’s usually pretty easy to tell if a human loves their guinea pigs. They are the one with hay in their hair and random piggy poos in their pockets. They buy their piggies more fresh vegetables than they eat themselves and start salivating at the smell of really fresh feeding hay.
But, how can you tell if your guinea pigs love YOU?! After all…’All you need is love.’ (John Lennon) ‘Love conquers all.’ (Virgil) ‘Love is a many-splendored thing.’ (Paul Francis Webster) Yeah, OK, I know, pass me the bucket….
But how about this one? ‘We need not think alike to love alike.’ (Francis David). Well, I’m fairly sure it wasn’t uttered with guinea pigs in mind. But I hear you Francis David (and I’m going to use it anyway). I think we can be fairly certain that guinea pigs and humans don’t think alike. But can they love like us? Or love us in their own guinea-pig-love kinda way?
I’ve no doubt that people have far reaching opinions on whether animals actually show humans ‘love’ or not. To my mind, it’s not ‘love’ as we know it, but I can certainly see evidence of the trust a piggy has in their human. And trust plays a BIG part in love, right?!
How to tell if your guinea pig (loves) trusts you.
To see if your piggies have trust in you (their human) food is a great way to break down the small mammal vs big mammal barriers.
Give this a try:
1. Get some tasty grub (veggies or herbs will probably have the best effect).
2. Hold it in your hand.
3. If your guinea pig:
A) runs straight up to you and munches the food from your fingers without trying to scarper, then you are scoring high on the trust-o-meter!
B) slowly creeps up to you and whips the food away to a quiet corner, then you’re not doing too badly, but perhaps some more lap time cuddles with their favourite snacks will help them increase their trust in you.
C) won’t even dare to give the proffered nosh a sniff and stays hidden away, then there may be some work to do. Given time, patience and yummy treats(!) one would hope this would improve.
The look of love is in their (eyes) wheeks, squeaks and behaviour!
Guinea pigs are good at communicating their feelings, when you know what to look out for. They use all sorts of sounds and actions to convey how they feel. Once your guinea pig has got more comfortable with taking food from you, you might start to be treated to further signs of trust and affection. For example, they might run up to greet you or come towards you as their name is called. Guinea pigs have great hearing, so if you chat while you are around them, they will begin to recognise you and take comfort in hearing your voice.
Your guinea pigs might also treat you to ‘happy sounds’ if they’re enjoying your company, like ‘chortles’ or ‘purrs’ and, especially if it’s dinner time, you’re unlikely to miss those loud ‘wheeks’ for food and attention!
When you are having some cuddle-time with your guinea pig/s, if they get really comfy, lie down like a pancake and let their little back feet kick out, then you have one relaxed piggy!! This level of relaxation from a prey animal such as a guinea pig is also a sign that they feel really comfortable and have great trust in their human. To top that, if you are treated to a lick, or as we like to say a ‘kiss’, from your guinea pig then you are indeed loved! Piggies can be seen licking other piggies in the herd as a sign of care and affection. If you, the human, are the lucky recipient of this kind of affection then you should feel very blessed indeed.
To top it all off (with some carrot).
So, all in all, the best way to earn the ‘love’ (delete and replace with ‘trust’, as appropriate) of your guinea pigs is through their stomach(!).
If parsley be the food of love, munch on! How’s about THAT Shakespeare?!
Take it slowly, be kind, patient, gentle and always have a handful of tasty treats on standby. I’ll just sign off with this one:
“How do you spell 'love'?" – Piglet
"You don't spell it...you feel it." - Pooh”
― A.A. Milne
Featuring Ludwik of @ludwik_guinea_pig and #XenaWarriorPig of @haypigs