There are times when your cute little fluffy guinea pig nibbles on your fingers. This bite should not hurt at all since they don’t typically put their teeth to use as they do so. But, the moment it starts causing you pain and if it happens too often, you might want to take this as a sign that there might be something wrong.
The big question now is, do guinea pigs bite? Is it possible for you to train your cavies not to bite you?
One thing is clear – a guinea pig bite is possible but it can happen very rarely. The process of training is quite simple. You can let your pet know that you are a friend then follow it with treats to convince them that they shouldn’t be biting your fingers.
Now, it is time to know why a guinea pig would bite you and what you can do about this.
Is your guinea pig really biting you?
Before anything else, you have to be sure that your cavy is really using its teeth. There are instances when what is happening is the so-called mouthing. It means that your guinea pig is only curious about what your taste might be. This is not something you should worry about.
This mouthing may also take place if you love to feed your tiny fluffy friend by hand. You can almost consider it a mere excitement but If teeth is already involved and these bites become more frequent, it might be a way of your guinea pig to tell you something.
Why do guinea pigs bite
There are actually several reasons why a guinea pig might develop this kind of behavior.
A guinea pig is a docile creature by nature. These animals are generally easy-going and friendly. However, remember that every guinea pig has unique personality features that make each of them special in their own way.
The best and easiest way to know all the basics about your cavy is to ask that person from whom you adopted your pet. It will also help to talk to other guinea pig owners like yourself and do some research online for you to get a good idea of the kind of behavior that you can expect your pet to have.
Of course, there is nothing that can beat spending more time with your cavies and seeing how they will interact with you, with other animals, and even the world around it.
To know what causes your guinea pig to bite you, there are a few questions that you might want to ask yourself:
Is your guinea pig afraid?
One of the strongest factors that can affect the behavior of any animal is none other than fear. So, be sure that there is no reason for your guinea pig to be alarmed.
There are few things that can instill fear in your pet.
Most of the time, this can be the smell of other pets, specifically dogs and cats. If you were in close contact with a dog or a cat before you handled your guinea pig, your little pet might get anxious because of the lingering scent of these two animals that are predatory by nature. If this is the case, your guinea pig might bite you in an attempt to escape or defend itself.
The best way to be sure that you don’t cause fear in your guinea pig is to wash your hands right after you pet the cat of your neighbor or that sweet dog you met on the street.
One more thing that can lead to a nervous behavior that can cause biting is a noisy environment. Your guinea pig might also be threatened if there are other pets around.
Most of the time, there is no need for you to train your cavy but you have to take the necessary precautions and eliminate or limit any possible causes that can instill fear.
If it seems that your guinea pig is afraid of you, this might be because it is still young and not used to having people to handle it. However, it can also be the result of the way you treat your cavy. Always be sure that you give your pet enough space. Never interrupt their potty or feeding time and make sure you watch for any noisy element inside the house.
Is your cavy in pain?
Your cavy might only have a few ways of communicating with you. If your pet is in pain, the fastest way to inform you about it is to show you its feelings using its teeth.
Make sure that you don’t squeeze your guinea pig excessively to the extent that it can cause discomfort. If it is not because of how you hold your pet, it could be because it hurt itself or incurred an illness. If the bite has become frequent without other potential causes, make sure you take your pet to the vet right away.
Is your guinea pig happy?
Many guinea pigs are actually social animals, which mean that the best way to be sure that your pets will have the best of time is to have two guinea pigs.
Sure, it is always great to be able to spend time with you and it might already be enough for some guinea pigs. However, if you noticed that your pet starts to show some signs of being lonely, such as biting the cage bars for instance, it might mean that your pet wants a friend. This certain behavior can become even more prevalent in pets that are not neutered yet.
It is already a given to provide a lot of space. However, you shouldn’t forget enrichment such as puzzle treats and toys, all of which can make your guinea pig happier.
How to train guinea pigs not to bite
What to do if guinea pigs bite you? There is a need for training if your cavy starts to bite because it is afraid of you. For the rest of the causes, the potential solutions were already discussed.
The best way to make sure that your cavies are not afraid of you is to be kind and to show affection. Follow it with treats and they will know that they can actually trust you.
Also, controlling your behavior can help deal with a guinea pig that seems a bit feisty. Always wash your hands, don’t stick your fingers inside the cage and always remember all the pointers discussed above to save yourself from a guinea pig bite. As long as you keep your guinea pig happy and contented, you can be sure that it will never bite you hard.