Handling Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs are very sensitive to sound, smell and movement. They need to be handled calmly and with care to prevent distress and injury. This is very important as they can die from being handled to roughly. Lets learn how to pick up and carry these gentle creatures.

Hand Taming

You should always wash your hands before and after handling your pet. Owners are sometimes bitten when their hands smell of food. What you need to do first is have your guinea pig associate good things with the scent of your hand. Offering food, a piece of apple or carrot, while speaking softly to your piggie is a good way to do this. Be patient. When your pet piggie is happily eating out of your hand you can then try to stroke it.

Guinea pigs love and respond to affection. When your piggie has gotten used to the scent of your hand you can scratch its head gently. It should enjoy this and sit quietly. Then you can move on to stroking its back. If you are able to do this then you have won its trust.

Picking up your guinea pig is the next step. Never make this a battle. If your piggie runs away or struggles then it is not ready to trust you. Always approach the pet slowly and without making too much noise.To develop the trust where a pet piggie will allow you to pick him or her up with little struggle will take time. Always use both hands when attempting to pick up a guinea pig.

Once you have picked up your pet piggie you need to carry it correctly. You should also use both hands, by putting one hand under the belly and the other under the rear legs to offer support and comfort. Children should carry them more securely by holding them against the chest with both hands so that it can brace itself with all four feet.

Since these animals have very delicate limbs you should never pick them up or hold them up by the legs. Doing this will result in horrific dislocations and broken bones. When you want to carry a guinea pig around, set it on the palm of your hand or the crook of your arm, and keep it falling with the other hand.