Guinea pigs look a lot more robust than they actually are. This means they need careful handling, with no chance of being dropped by accident. You need to hold your guinea pigs in a particular way, and should teach any friends and family how to do so too, as everyone will want to have a cuddle with your new pets!
Correct guinea pig handling is fairly straightforward, and we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to help you get it right. Beginners should sit on the floor when handling guinea pigs for the first time, as they can often wriggle and jump from a pair of hands like a hairy bar of soap. They could be seriously injured by a fall. Small children should always handle guinea pigs sitting down.
Pick up the guinea pig, then turn it and hold it to your chest, supporting its spine with one hand and its bottom with the other
Correct handling of Guinea Pigs
- First, slide one hand underneath the guinea pig’s stomach and gently cup it. Be careful not to squeeze, and make sure you aren’t holding too tightly as this can hurt your guinea pig or prevent it from breathing properly.
- Provide spinal support by cupping your guinea pig’s rear end. Finally, gently lift your guinea pig off the ground as in the picture above, then slowly turn it and hold it to your chest, keeping one hand on its back and the other supporting its bottom.
- There are lots of videos available online demonstrating this technique. Practice a few times on an inanimate object such as a cuddly toy before picking up your guinea pig for the first time. Sit down during the process, to limit the chance of dropping the GP.
- It's advisable that only adults or children over the age of ten should handle and carry guinea pigs, as the pets are likely to wriggle, and yet must always be held delicately. For younger children, the best idea is to get an adult to lift the guinea pig and then hand it over to the child, who should be sitting on the floor, or in a chair where the pet can be kept safely in the lap.