[Gpdd] MISC- Reply: Molly & Comforting New Guinea Pigs

Ulrich&Nicole Thomann niculi.stow at comcast.net
Sun Apr 23 10:30:25 EDT 2006

I read Jamie's email about Molly, her new Guinea Pig and the initial
difficulties.  It seems that Mollie is already making progress, and that is
great - thanks Jamie, for giving a new home to a needy pig! The "motor boat"
sound you mentioned is usually an indication of being comfortable.  However,
a short purr is also often made when a guinea pig hears a strange noise
(clinging glass etc.).

I would like to offer some suggestions on how to make a new guinea pig feel
as comfortable as possible.  It is absolutely normal for them to be very
cautious and behaving anxious (off course there are exception to that rule).
We have 6 adopted fur balls - everyone took different times to feel
comfortable and to trust us.
What really helps is to put them into a towel, or even better, a ferret bag
and have them lie on your lap or belly when reading or watching TV.  Do that
every day, even several times per day for 30min to 1 hour (have a second
towel underneath, just in case the piggie has to pee). Talk in a calm voice
and stroke your new pet's nose (I have never met a guinea pig that didn't
like that), stay away from the very back - some react are very sensitive
when they don't know you.
When you put them back into their cage, leave them in the bag or on the
towel, so that they have your "smell" with them.
Another great way of making a new piggy feel "at home", is to have them in
the same room or cage-by-cage with other piggies.  They don't have to be in
close contact (may be later, if they decide to like each other), just near
by, smelling each other, and talking to each other is a wonderful way of
calming them.   
Avoid loud noises and running around the new piggie's cage.  By the way,
classical music in the background is a great calming tool - I have that in
the shelter were I volunteer and it works wonders.

In the shelter, I spend as much time with each shelter guinea pig as
possible, carrying them around, talking to them, etc.  I often see
improvements just after a first "session".  I place their cages next to each
other, so that they can chat.

Always remember:  Guinea Pigs are extremely social animals and not meant to
stay alone and without contact for long. The more tie you spend with your
friend, the more amazing details about their social skills you will detect.

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