It’s okay to not instinctively know tips on how to maintain a guinea pig for the primary time.
Always choose up a guinea pig by approaching them sideways on, and scooping them up with each palms.
Keep one hand underneath their butt whilst you maintain them, and maintain them securely however not tightly to your chest.
Look and hear for physique language and noises which inform you they’re both joyful, or sad.
In this text, we have now plenty of tricks to ensure you’re confidently having fun with cuddles collectively very quickly!
How To Hold A Guinea Pig
Guinea pigs are sometimes mild and simple to deal with pets, however understanding tips on how to choose them up accurately earlier than you strive can actually enhance your probabilities of getting off on the proper paw.
Guinea pigs are descended from prey species, which suggests their survival within the wild would depend on a wholesome mistrust of every little thing greater than them.
Obviously, you’re not planning on consuming them, however they don’t know that but.
So step one in the direction of dealing with a guinea pig is demonstrating to them that you simply’re pleasant.
How To Handle A Guinea Pig – Proving You Come In Peace
We know you’re impatient to begin interacting together with your cute new cavy, however it’s necessary to permit them a number of days to settle in first.
Make certain their new habitat has cubby holes and enclosed beds – guinea pigs love having locations to cover.
Providing hideaways for them whereas they regulate to their new residence reduces stress, and makes them extra receptive to attending to know you.
Whilst they’re settling in, chat softly to them whilst you change their water and meals, so that they get used to the sound of your voice.
Once they’re confidently exploring their hutch and treating the entire area like their very own, it’s secure to begin making your transfer.
Slowly Does It…
The best, most convincing approach to win spherical a brand new guinea pig is with meals.
Dandelion leaves and wild strawberry leaves from the yard are good, in case you have a prepared provide. And parsley and watercress are normally irresistible retailer purchased choices.
On day one, simply put a leaf or two into their meals bowl a number of occasions through the day.
On day two, put your providing proper subsequent to your new guinea pig.
By day three, strive holding the meals out in order that they must take it out of your hand.
On day 4, you may strive choosing them up, so that they must eat their snack whilst you’re holding them.
Don’t be tempted to overdo it – put them proper again as soon as the snack is gone. You’ve received loads of time to construct as much as longer cuddles later.
Now let’s have a look at the sensible facets of that first hug.
Do’s and Don’ts of Holding A Guinea Pig
- Do method them sideways on with tasty treats to point out that you simply’re a pal. Crouch if it’s a must to, relatively than stoop over them from above.
- Don’t swoop down all of a sudden from above. Guinea pigs have a remarkably large sight view, and their eyes are significantly tailored to identify predators approaching from above.
- Do choose them up by sliding one hand underneath their stomach, and the opposite underneath their butt. Keep their butt supported always to guard their backbone, and use your different hand to carry them near your physique.
- Don’t allow them to dangle by their armpits, or squeeze them.
- Do wrap them in a towel with their head poking out should you’re nervous, or if there’s an pressing want to look at a guinea pig that isn’t used to being dealt with but.
- Don’t pressure a brand new guinea pig pet to be dealt with greater than they’re pleased with.
- Do be taught the alerts guinea pigs give once they’re joyful, uncomfortable, or simply able to be put down.
- Do let kids deal with guinea pigs by sitting the kid on the ground with a towel over their lap, and placing the guinea pig on the towel.
- Don’t let younger kids carry guinea pigs round – they’re inclined to drop them in the event that they get nibbled or scratched by a toenail, which may end up in fractures and different accidents.
Interpreting How Your Guinea Pig Feels About Being Held
Guinea pigs are normally fairly simple to deal with. They are typically sociable and curious by nature, and as soon as they’re used to being held they work together fairly enthusiastically with their human household.
Bear in thoughts that even guinea pigs who’re used to being held are prone to wriggle on the level of being picked up.
This is sort of a survival reflex – they only can’t assist it! So be prepared to fulfill them with calm and confidence, and by no means attempt to choose them up singled handed, or once you’re additionally juggling one thing else in your palms.
Guinea pigs not often chunk, however they may sometimes ship slightly nibble.
One of my guinea pigs provides nearly everybody slightly nibble the primary time they choose her up, presumably to verify whether or not they’re fabricated from meals.
And when she’s carried out being cuddled, she nips once more to sign that she’d wish to be put down.
Most guinea pigs will let once they’re able to be put down, by nibbling your hand, tugging your sleeve, or beginning to wriggle about.
Next up, listed here are another alerts to hear for, to let you know the way your pig feels about being held.
Signals that your guinea pigs is uncomfortable
Guinea pigs make a formidable number of noises, and in time you’ll develop into acquainted with all of them – particularly the lengthy “wheeeeeek” once they realise it’s time for dinner!
But these are the sounds guinea pigs use to sign when they’re feeling scared, uncomfortable, or threatened:
If you cavy makes any of those noises whilst you’re trying to deal with him, simply go away your treats with him and again off till one other day:
- A “tutt-tutt-tutt” noise (known as chuttering), adopted by a whine. If you’re unsure whether or not you’re recognizing this sound accurately, have a look at how your different guinea pigs react to it. If they freeze on the spot, it’s as a result of they’ve heard the pig in your palms emit a warning that one thing disagreeable is going on to them.
- Protest squeaks. These are shorter and extra shrill than the excited wheeking of a guinea pig anticipating meals. Don’t fear should you can’t inform the distinction at first.
- Tooth chattering. Guinea pigs chatter their enamel in response to threats or perceived threats, and it normally means they’re able to chunk should you don’t again off!
How Often Should You Handle Guinea Pigs?
The extra effort you place into interacting together with your guinea pigs, the extra engagement and affection you’ll get again.
Try to deal with them daily. Experiment with bringing them completely different edible presents, to make it enjoyable for each of you.
Getting guinea pigs used to being dealt with is significant for taking care of them.
For a begin it makes brushing their coats and trimming their nails simpler.
Handling can be one of the best ways to identify well being issues rapidly. Guinea pigs are a prey species, so that they instinctively disguise ache and signs of sickness for so long as attainable. Once they begin “acting” ailing, they have an inclination to deteriorate in a short time.
A guinea pig that’s accustomed to being dealt with can be simpler to deal with in the event that they do get sick.
How To Hold A Guinea Pig For The First Time – Summary
Holding a brand new pet guinea pig for the primary time is an thrilling second.
The key’s to not rush into it, and provides your cavy an opportunity to settle in and get to know you first.
Pick them up calmly and confidently, with one hand supporting their backside, and the opposite underneath their stomach.
Then maintain them near your chest or in your lap.
You’ll be having fun with lengthy cuddles very quickly, and these might be a good way to watch your pet’s general welfare too!
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Donnelly & Brown. Guinea pig and chinchilla care and husbandry. Veterinary Clinics Exotic Animal Practice. 2004.
Richardson. Care of Guinea Pigs. Veterinary Nursing Journal. 2011.
Zeng et al. The improvement of eye form and the origin of decrease subject myopia within the guinea pig eye. Vision Research. 2013.