Handling your Guinea Pig
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A Guinea Pig being Handled
A Guinea Pig being Handled
Photographer: losmininos

Guinea Pigs are naturally nervous animals and they run and take cover if they sense danger. If you go to pick up your guinea pig they will have the natural urge to run away, however, over time they will become accustomed to being handled.

How to pick up and put down a Guinea Pig

Guinea Pigs have very delicate bodies and you must take care when you hold them. When you go to pick up a guinea pig, approach them from the front so they can see you coming and that way they are less likely to become frightened. Gently talk to and stroke your guinea pig to calm them and place one hand under their chest and use the other to support their hindquarters. Keep a firm grip, but DO NOT squeeze, and bring the guinea pig close to your chest with one hand still supporting their hindquarters and the other over their back.

If you are a new guinea pig owner, or your guinea pig doesn't like being lifted and initially struggles, it is a good idea to kneel on the floor when you lift them from their hutch. It goes without saying, that you want to avoid your guinea pig falling at all costs, but if you kneel and your guinea pig does squirm free, they will have less distance to fall.

When placing your guinea pig back in its hutch, make sure you carefully support it with both hands at all times. They may be excited about returning to their hutch so make sure you don't release your grip until the guinea pig is safely on the floor of the hutch.

Holding a Guinea Pig

It is a good idea not to hold your guinea pig for more than ten minutes at a time as they will need to relieve themselves. It is also a good idea to place a towel under your guinea pig to protect your clothes if an accident happens.

When you are seated and your guinea pig is on your lap, you can gently stroke them. Always stroke in the direction that the hair grows and guinea pigs usually enjoy being tickled behind their ears and under their chin. Guinea pigs have some sensitive areas and they will let you know if they disliked being touched in a particular area.

An important thing to remember when handling guinea pigs is that they can easily be startled, so you should be prepared for anything and always hold them with a firm grip.

Children Handling Guinea Pigs

Guinea Pigs are very sensitive and it is not a good idea to let children under 4 years of age handle them. Never let a young child walk around with a guinea pig, or take a guinea pig from or return it to its hutch. It is a good idea to ask the child to sit on the floor and you hand over the guinea pig. Make sure you teach your child to be gentle and don't leave them unattended with the guinea pig.

In households where there are very young children, a lock should be put on the guinea pig's hutch. This will avoid a young child going and getting the guinea pig without their parents knowing about it.

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