Guinea Pig Handling

Companion Animals December 03, 2014 Print Friendly and PDF

Guinea pigs are social creatures that love being handled. To create a greater bond with a guinea pig, you can spend time with them to allow them to feel comfortable and safe around you. One way to spend time with your guinea pig is by handling them.

Make sure to wash your hands before and after you hold your guinea pig. To minimize any harm to you or your guinea pig, always use both hands when picking it up.

To correctly remove your guinea pig from its cage, place one hand on your guinea pig’s back. This will decrease the chance of your guinea pig trying to run away from you or becoming frightened. Next place your free hand on their torso to ensure that the guinea pig is being supported firmly to prevent any struggling.

When handling your guinea pig keep, the hand that’s supporting the torso in place and move the other hand under the guinea pigs’ hind legs. You should hold your guinea pig close to your body to prevent the guinea pig from squirming and falling out of your hands.

Before removing your guinea pig from its cage, make sure to have a safe place to set the guinea pig down.  Never leave your guinea pig unsupervised or near outlets or electrical cords. Make sure that being handle is a positive interaction so that being handle doesn’t increase added stress for the guinea pig.

Lisa Karr-Lilienthal, Ph.D., and Belle Flores - University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.