how to handle a guinea pig

Handling guinea pigs for the first time

How do you handle a guinea pig for the first time?

Being carried is not something that guinea pigs are very used to and are likely to be tricky to handle the first time you try and pick them up.

However, they are the type of animals that love affection and having company around them.

The great thing is the better you handle them, the tamer they can become.

Picking up your guinea pig for the first time can be a tricky thing because they aren’t used to you and will be scared and intimidated by a foreign hand approaching them.

But with a bit of care it can be done well.

How to handle a guinea pig for the first time in 6 steps

1. Start by guiding it to the corner of its home

how to handle a guinea pig
2. Place your right hand around its shoulder

picking up a guinea pig
3. Put your left hand underneath your guinea pig so as to support their weight.

handling a guinea pig well
4. Lift up the guinea pig

how to pick up a guinea pig
5. Allow the back toes to go between the fingers of your left hand

handling a guinea pig
6. Let the front legs rest on your wrist

how to handle a guinea pig

By picking up the guinea pig in this way then you Will not be in danger of being scratched by the sharp nails of the guinea pig.

Holding your guinea pig is vital in order to build up a bond between you and them. By holding it often you can ensure that it gets to know you and it begins to trust you.

Some points to consider when handling your guinea pig

If you are holding your guinea pig then you do need to be concerned about these things;

  • Try not to keep a guinea pig out of its home long enough that it pees or poo’s on you. It will not discriminate where it does its business. A good time frame for being out of the cage is between 10-15 minutes.
  • Guinea pigs are able to kick and it is in their nature to do so. When you feed them, this is something they may do. It isn’t something that happens a lot but is something to be aware of.
  • Your guinea pig may look to bite your fingers if you hold them close. This is because they think it is food for them to eat not because they are attacking you. Guinea pigs are not attackers but will try and eat most things.
  • They love to be stroked on the neck, under the chin and on the head between their ears. This can be a very calming thing for them and they will often appreciate it with a purr.

Over to you

Is there anything I’ve missed here that needs a mention. I would love to hear from you in the comments.

2 thoughts on “Handling guinea pigs for the first time

  1. How can I teach my 7year old to carefully handle his guinea pig. He can be very anxious and I’m afraid he will scare his pig. Any suggestions would really be appreciated.

    1. let your child getused to stroking him whilst the guinea pig is still in the cage, this should build his confidence then when you son/daughter feels comfortable let them pick the guinea pig up

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