How to Hold a Guinea Pig?

Adopting a new guinea pig is an exciting time. These tiny creatures are adorable and brimming with personality. Most new guinea pig owners are excited about holding and cuddling their new pet. However, this can be a bit more complicated than you may first consider. After all, guinea pigs are relatively small and can run surprisingly quickly.

In this article, well help you figure out how to hold your guinea pig and reduce the risk of injury. Credit: Pezibear, PixabayAfter a few days, you can begin to get your guinea pig acquainted with you.

Image Credit: Mark William Penny, ShutterstockAfter lifting the guinea pig out of the cage, hold them with two hands near your chest. You should sit down while holding your guinea pig to prevent high drops. This makes them associate being held with good things, which will cause them to be a bit more accepting of the process.

Image Credit: Evgeniy pavlovski, ShutterstockYou should always supervise children when they are holding guinea pigs. Guinea pigs may become sensitive when handled by children, as they tend to be a bit rougher and excitable. You may want to keep their sessions with children specifically short to prevent increased stress levels.

She currently resides in Tennessee with four dogs, three cats, two fish, and a lizard, though she has dreams of owning chickens one-day!

Do guinea pigs actually like to be held?

Guinea pigs are social animals and enjoy human interaction, including petting, stroking and playing. However, it’s important you learn how to handle your guinea pig correctly to avoid any injuries. It’s not uncommon for guinea pigs to be skittish around their owners.

Is it good to hold your guinea pig a lot?

Most guinea pigs love spending quality time with their owners, so handling them is enjoyable for all concerned. Once your guinea pig gets to know you, being hand-fed and petted become important parts of their lives. This means it’s actually up to you how much you hold them – you can do so as often as you like.

NOTE: Carrying is not a natural situation for these small animals, so an average new guinea pig is not going to like to be held. Carrying can often induce fear in cavies, especially if not following Guinea Pig Manual Handling instructions. In time your pet will probably get used to be carried, but it is also normal for these small animals to struggle to escape if you pick them against their will even after years of life spent together. Nothing to worry about. Be extra cautious not to squeeze your pet too hard or to accidentally drop it as it struggles.

NOTE : Carrying is not a natural situation for these small animals, so an average new guinea pig is not going to like to be held. NOTE : It is a general recommendation to prevent children from carrying a guinea pig, as they might squeeze too tightly or drop the animal.

It is recommended to spend sufficient time gently talking to your pet and giving it treats so it learns to trust you, showing less and less fear. It is recommended to hold your pet for maximum of 10-15 minutes at a time, as it naturally needs to go to the bathroom: If held for too long, your pet will let you know if it wants to get back to its home (it becomes restless, starts whining and nibbling your clothes) It is normal for a guinea pig to poop on you. Some guinea pigs like to be touched in some spots and not in other spots: Observe and learn from your specific cavy model In most cases, the bum and the tummy tend to be the spots that they do not like to be touched It seems that in most cases all cavies like to have you stroke them on the head between the ears (some vets use this head-stroking to calm down a scared guinea pig) Gentle neck rub, under the chin, is often appreciated

This technique (if done properly) will be especially useful to prevent injuries when someone with lesser coordination, experience or small hands (e.g. children) tries to handle your guinea pig as it will not squirm and/or jump. Depends on your guinea pig accommodation settings; if it has hiding places inside its cage, you have to outwit it: Lure it with food Close its escape exits Pick up its hiding places Do not use excessive force and practice patience It may wine or bite, but in time your pet will get use to being held Prepare to be bitten! If this is not done, boars could try to mount the sow whilst she is pregnant, potentially harming both the mother and the pups.

After 4-5 weeks of pregnancy, prepare a nursery, and remove the sow from all the other female guinea pigs. Alfalfa hay is much higher in calcium, protein, and carbohydrates, and should only be given to pregnant sows and young pups. To prevent traumatic experiences, owner should try to avoid: Loud noises Cuddling Lurking / Looming (this triggers animals instinct to run and hide because owner appear to be a predatory bird looming its prey)

Regarding other household pets, it is recommended to avoid interaction between them and the guinea pig in the first few days; later they can be slowly introduced one by one. Needless to instruct, potentially dangerous, predatory by nature household pets should not be in the radious of 45 miles from your guinea pig.

This article was co-authored by Pippa Elliott, MRCVS. Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS is a veterinarian with over 30 years of experience in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice. She graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1987 with a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery. She has worked at the same animal clinic in her hometown for over 20 years.

HOW TO HOLD YOUR GUINEA PIG Guinea pigs require gentle handling and extreme care to ensure their spine, legs and body are all supported when being lifted to and from their cage. They also have fragile bones and internal organs so care must be taken to ensure you do not squeeze the guinea pig but keep a gentle yet firm hold. Some guinea pigs through trust and handling may become much tamer and will actually stand still and allow you to pick them up. This will also depend on the guinea pigs individual personality and nature. It is strongly advised that if any children are holding a guinea pig that it is only in the presence of adult supervision. When handling a cavy a few simple steps should be followed. SafetyGuinea pigs require their whole body to be supported. When holding a cavy it is important to note that the hind legs and rear should be supported in one hand. The other hand can then be used to hold the back whilst the cavy faces towards you (resting against your chest). Always keep a firm yet gentle hold of your guinea pig, as cavies can jump from your grasp if you do not have your pig secure. It is strongly recommended that children always have adult supervision when handling guinea pigs. Younger children especially do not have the capacity that adults have to control the pressure in their hands and may drop or squeeze the guinea pig by accident. If your child wishes to hold a guinea pig it is advised to have them seated, with a towel on their lap. Bring the guinea pig to them and then they may pet and stroke the cavy softly. If they wish to carry the guinea pig it may be an idea to invest in a piggy pouch or happy sack. The guinea pig then cannot jump out of the childs grasp as they will be in a secure pouch. However they must always be supervised at all times. Please see our Facts and Fun section for sewing patterns on how to make these pouches which can be used to easily retrieve and carry your cavy. It is also recommended that cavies have a good supply of hay or vegetables when being stroked as they require a source of food constantly. Retrieving your Guinea PigCavies are prey animals by nature and may run and hide from you when you approach their cage. Speak to them in a soft, calming voice and approach them from the front where they can see you. Offer them a favourite treat to let them come to you. Gently stroke your cavy and carefully place your hand under their stomach whilst your other hand scoops them up under their rear and hind legs. Place them on your chest keeping one hand on their back and the other under their rear and hind legs for full spinal support. TIP:Cavies will often run into tunnels. It may be easier to coax them into a hidey house or pigloo. Your can then block your hand at the entrance and gently lift them out. A piggy pouch can also be useful. When placing your cavy back in its cage always release them at ground level. Some cavies may struggle and wish to jump into their cage. Please ensure your cavy is positioned on the ground before you release them. Please see our basic guide below on how to handle your guinea pig: 1) Approach your cavy from the front speaking in a calming tone. 2) Offer a favourite treat and let them come to you3) With your free hand stroke you guinea pig softly4) Carefully place your hand under your guinea pigs mid section. 5) Using your other hand lift the guinea pigs rear and hind legs whilst still maintaining your hold on your cavies stomach. 6) Face your guinea pig towards you and rest them against your chest7) Keep one hand on their back and the other under their rear and hind legs8) Always keep a firm yet gentle hold. 9) When placing your cavy back in its cage release at ground level10) Offer another favourite treat when the cavy is back in its cage as this may build your guinea pigs trust with you.

Introduce Yourself

After a few days, you can begin to get your guinea pig acquainted with you. You shouldn’t necessarily take them out of their cage at this point. But you can begin putting your hand in their cage and potentially hand-feeding them. Petting is recommended once your pet seems to be comfortable in your presence.

Pick Up Your Guinea Pig

Your guinea pig will likely try to avoid getting picked up. Luckily, they are in a cage, so it is pretty easy to trap them in the corner and scoop them up. You can also use objects in the cage to get the guinea pig to stand still long enough to pick him up. If there are any tubes in the cage, these are extremely useful. The rodent’s house can also help corner them.Please pick up your guinea pig by sliding a hand under its stomach and lifting it.

Provide Treats

You should provide your guinea pigs a few treats while you’re holding them. This makes them associate being held with good things, which will cause them to be a bit more accepting of the process. Be sure to feed only safe foods.

Keep the Session Short

You should keep the session short, especially at first. You don’t want to stress out your guinea pig, as it can discourage them from wanting to be held again. You should hold them frequently, however. Daily sessions will allow them to warm up to you over time.

How to Handle Pregnant Guinea Pig

Depends on your guinea pig accommodation settings; if it has hiding places inside its cage, you have to outwit it:

About This Article

To hold a guinea pig, gently slip one hand under under its belly and wrap a finger around the front legs to secure your grip and prevent scratching. Next, bring your other hand underneath the guinea pig and gently scoop it up with both hands, using your second hand to support its back end. Then, place the guinea pig against your chest with its feet pointing towards your body. Finally, speak to your pet in soothing tones to keep it calm and feed it treats to create positive associations with being held. For tips on how to react if the guinea pig struggles or bites, read on!