ASK THE EXPERTS: Why do two of my pigs trust me, but the third does not?

Why do two of my pigs trust me, but the third does not?

I would say that having two piggies being trusting and another not, is down to personality mostly – just like us some of us will be more anxious and wary, where as others more outgoing. I tend to see this in my own piggies. Some breeds also seem (from experience) to be more outgoing or confident but this is a very much generalisation.

– Abi Eddis

Expert, Qualified Registered Specialist Exotics Species Veterinary Nurse, Foundation degree in vet nursing, Certificate in Nursing Exotic Species. Kept and rescued for many years.

Like humans guinea pigs have different personalities. Some are more open and courageous and others shy and hold back. Timid piggies can be easily traumatised and their prey instincts will be stronger. It also plays a role how stressed their mother was during her pregnancy and the baby time; some babies can internalise a high stress level as their default setting. It often takes a long time to work past that. Using guinea pig whispering tips to invite your piggy as a member of your group and telling it in their own language that you love them can go a long way to build up trust, as does avoiding behaviours that can trigger prey animal instincts. You may find our piggy whispering article in issue 30, helpful to bring your shy piggy out. But please respect it if they will always be at the back of the queue and if they never come to be a big cuddler. There is an interesting personality to discover if you go and meet them on their own terms.

-Wiebke Wiese-Thomas

GPM’s Piggy Whisperer, Forum Moderator, GPM Rescue & Adoptables Co-ordinator.

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20 Fun Facts About Guinea Pigs!

Brought to you by HayPigs!®

Here are 20 fun facts you may, or may not know, about guinea pigs:

1. Guinea pigs are NOT pigs! (They are rodents.)

2. Guinea pigs eat their own poo……What?! Yes, as well as the poos you will see in their enclosure, they also produce special soft poos. They eat these to ensure they absorb all the nutrients they need.

3. Guinea pigs don’t sweat.

4. Guinea pigs don’t sleep for long periods of time, they just take lots of short naps.

5. A guinea pig is also called a ‘cavy’. Their official title is ‘Cavia porcellus’. They belong to the family ‘Caviidae’, which is made up of rodents found originally in South America. Capybaras are also part of this family!

6. Guinea pigs need to take on extra vitamin C every day (just like humans do too!).

7. Guinea pigs are vegans.

8. Baby guinea pigs are born fully formed with fur and teeth and are ready to run around after a few hours!

9. When guinea pigs are excited they might ‘Popcorn’. This is when they jump up in the air and often do a little twist too.

10. Guinea pigs have teeth that are constantly growing. This means they need to munch on food lots and lots to grind their teeth down.

11. Guinea pigs need lots of space. They love to run around and explore, especially if they have lots of tunnels and safe places to hide away too.

12. Guinea pigs are often confused with hamsters. This is very frustrating for people who have guinea pigs. And probably also for people who have hamsters. Guinea pigs and hamsters are really very different!

13. Guinea pigs are very sociable animals and are happiest living in a group. They should not be kept on their own as they get very lonely.

14. Guinea pigs can learn tricks! They are really smart and can learn to do tricks if you are patient and use food as a reward!

15. A male guinea pig is called a ‘boar’ and a female is called a ‘sow’. Baby guinea pigs are called ‘pups’.

16. Guinea pigs make lots of noises. The most well-know is the ‘wheek’! This is a sound they only make for their humans, usually to remind them to bring some food!

17. Guinea pigs need to eat lots of hay and forage. This should be 80-90% of their diet. They can also have a small portion of vegetables and dry pellets each day. Fruits and herbs are special treats.

18. Guinea pigs secrete a white substance out of their eyes that they use to wash themselves!

19. Guinea pigs have 4 toes on their front feet and 3 toes on their back feet.

20. The oldest guinea pig officially recorded lived to be 14 years and 10 months old. Wow!

To find out more about HayPigs!® and our range of enrichment toys and feeders for guinea pigs and other small furries, head over to our website at and follow us social media.