Posted: August 13, 2008, 5 a.m. EDT
Q: I have two male guinea pigs in a cage together. One is about 1 year and the other is a baby. They really seem to like each other. When I take the baby out all he does is squeak. I was wondering if this is normal. I have had the baby for about two weeks. I read somewhere that they need to have time to get used to you. Is that correct? Is there anything that I can do to stop him from squeaking all of the time when I have him out of the cage?
A: Sometimes it can take up to three months before a guinea pig of any age adjusts to a new environment and new owners. The baby guinea pig has become very attached to the 1-year-old, calling out to it as if the older guinea pig were its mom – feeling separation anxiety. This will pass with time.
Approaching the cage with a small reward – carrot, treat, whatever is this little fellow’s favorite – will endear it to you. The baby guinea pig will know your voice, it will respond to its name. The fellow guinea pig roommate will do as well if you use this approach on it.
Start out slow, keeping the baby guinea pig’s time away from its roommate to 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, and so on and so forth. Offering a small reward when picking up the baby guinea pig will instill its trust. You will be able to stop the rewards and hold it in short order. Again it is just a matter of winning the baby guinea pig’s trust with patience. Guinea pigs are very food motivated, so it will be your pal in no time.