How Do You Hold a Guinea Pig Properly?
When you are planning to play with your little friend, or just get him out to clean his cage, you may often feel hesitant on how to handle them correctly. Due to their fragile little bodies, the weight of their body on our hands seems to be too vulnerable, and a simple mistake may seem to hurt or break their bones.
We would not want to hurt our little friend. That is why in this text, we will teach you how to properly hold your pet so that you do not have any intervention or disturbance while petting or holding your little one.
Before You Pick Up Your Guinea Pig: Basic Essentials
Before attempting to hold even a strand of his fur, it is best to ensure that your hands are clean. It is to be cautious of any potential bacteria that may cause harm to your little pet.
Also, accidentally living a trace of smell from the last food you touched can be sensed by your animal, and in return, may bite you for the thought that you are his tasty treat of the day!
Guinea pigs have a sensitive smell, and to get used to you before going for the handling process, it is best to not use any artificial smelling agent for your pet to recognize you. Also, observe the area where you will hold it.
The location should also be neat and in order, to prevent any instance of falling while carrying your little pet. Also, watch out for little holes in the room and close it. This serves as your pet's escape routes, and accidentally dropping them may make them frightened and attempt an escape, causing us to lose them forever.
Also, you should wear clothes that you won't mind getting dirty or messy. If you hold them for more than fifteen minutes, they might urinate on you, and since it is unexpected, always anticipate for any unwanted waste such as lots of hair and poop.
The Art of Handling Your Guinea Pig Correctly
Correctly handling your pet can establish a bond of trust due to persistent affection. With this, they will feel safe around you, which creates a more exciting playtime adventure.
Aside from that, regular handling and maintenance can help them to prevent from getting too nervous and skittish. With this, allow your little animal to spare a few minutes of your time for it to have a massage and mental stimulation of its own. On the long run, it can strengthen your pet-owner relation.
When Handling Your Pet: What Not To Do
These are the things you have to stay away while handling your guinea pig;
1. Never Approach Your Pet Unexpectedly
At times when you aim to pick their tiny little body, it is best to not position behind them, as it may startle their flurry little heart out. Instead, make yourself be known, and pet them or give them treats to relax and not escape your hold unexpectedly. Once calm, you can now start the process of caressing and pampering.
2. Watch Your Height
Suddenly swooping and elevating them can make them feel anxious, and makes them squirm for you to release them. When you make this mistake, gently put him down as great falls can cause fractures on their tiny bones.
In the wild, most guinea pigs have a fear of suddenly meeting a predator such as large birds of prey, that is why naturally, they will tend to be scared by sudden elevation.
Guide on How to Pick Up A Guinea Pig
Knowing the proper way to scoop and pick them up can make you feel less hesitant in doing so. With this said, here is the following guide to make the pickup process a breeze;
First, your little pet should feel secure, which is why you should approach him as calm as possible. Then, place your hand on the small animal's front end.
This can be done by exclusively putting a hand on top, across their shoulders and then placing the fingers of that hand behind and in front of the forelimbs so that they can stand on the hand.
The other method exhibits a movement of placing the hand under your pet’s chest. And then, the index finger should be in front of their front leg, while the rest of the hand stays behind that leg. To hold them still especially when they wobble, use your hand and form a scissor-like shape to hold his left leg.
Keep in mind that the handling should be gently and firm, not squeezing the hand which may hurt your furry animal. The other free hand should hold his rear end or bum. Ensure that his body is fully supported throughout the process.
Lastly, lift him horizontally. Do not allow their little fragile bodies to dangle, as it may result in them falling. If he struggles, hold his hind legs too.
Instructions on How To Hold A Guinea Pig
Picking him up to transfer is different from handling him for an extended period. Doing so needs patience, perseverance, and a whole lot of self-confidence that you can do it.
To know the proper way of holding that will keep the guinea pigs happy and safe, here are the following instructions;
1. Let Him Get Used To You
You first need to tame him, and that includes spending time with your furry pet and interacting with him every once in a while. Getting used to your smell can be helpful in terms of familiarization. You can do this by putting a hand in the cage, and softly stroke him.
2. Get A Towel Ready
Since guinea pigs are grazing animals, they would most likely poop or pee whenever they can. To be prepared, you need to have a sheet available in case little accidents happen.
3. Slip A Hand Under Their Body
Once they start advancing till their whole body is on your side, gently start lifting. Also, consider putting a finger in front of one of his legs to ensure stability.
4. Lift Them Fully Using Two Hands
In this way, they will feel safer. Use the other hand to support your pet's rear end. Ensure a gentle but solid grip, to prevent your little one from running or jumping. Also, never squeeze them too hard as it may hurt them.
It is best to be steady when you hold him, instead of moving around making your flurry pet more confused about his surroundings.
5. Place Your Pet’s Body Against Your Chest
Put the towel on your chest, and hold him on your chest with his feet at your body. This ensures an added support given by your body.
As you hold them, you also hold their trust not to let them fall off your grasps. Do not be too hesitant, as it may affect the way you handle them which may make them feel unsafe or anxious. Instead, scope them as if you feel affectionate and they will understand this gesture.
In order to create a strong bond, handle your little furry creature with tender love, and care.