Handling is a frightening experience for many guinea pigs. Because they are prey animals, they have a strong instinct for survival. They feel trapped while being handled and cuddled and believe they will not be able to escape. Consequently, you’ll need to train them and form a bond with them in order to overcome their fear and establish a relationship of trust.
Once they become comfortable in your presence, you can hold them until and unless you build a relationship of trust and love with your guinea pig, it is not advisable to pick up your guinea pig.
First and foremost, you must establish a trusting and loving relationship with your guinea pig; this will not happen overnight.
It will take some time, but once you are successful in developing a relationship with your guinea pig, you will be able to handle and groom them.
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Do guinea pigs like to be held?
In order to properly care for your guinea pigs, you will need to build a relationship of trust and love with them.
If you attempt to handle them without establishing a bond with them, they will perceive you as a predator and will attempt to jump off your hand, potentially injuring themselves in the process.
The size difference between guinea pigs and humans means that they will be afraid of humans and perceive them as predators in their environment.
It is not their fault if they are not comfortable in our presence until such time as we have formed a bond of love and trust with them.
Guinea pigs are not comfortable being held until and unless they have developed trust in the person who is holding them. Everything revolves around the concepts of love and faith.
We will advise you to refrain from handling them until and unless they are comfortable with you and your presence.
As a temporary measure, you can lower yourself to their level and groom them; you can also provide them with treats to demonstrate that you care about them.
Do some guinea pigs like to be handled more than others?
Why Does My Guinea Pig Hate Being Picked Up? – 3 Easy Ways to Pick Them Up
You can handle every breed of guinea pig if you share a relationship between love and trust.
Guinea pigs are prey animals; they are most comfortable on the floor as they are initially scared of humans.
They consider them as their predator, but once they start feeling comfortable in your presence and start trusting you, then you can hold them.
Some breeds of guinea pig who are very friendly and are easy to handle are as follows:
- Teddy Guinea pig: Teddy Guinea pigs, also called Cavia porcellus, are very friendly to humans. They are very calm and can be handled very well. You can also mix them with another breed of guinea pigs with no worries.
- American Guinea pig: American guinea pigs are very active, friendly, and have a lovable personality. They are very easy to handle and are very strong. They are also known as the most loving breed of guinea pig.
- Rex Guinea pig: Rex guinea pigs are very much known for their calm and friendly nature. They love being handled and make a good bond with children who can be gentle to them.
Although the personality of guinea pig can differ from one another. So, there is a possibility that they might not be friendly as well. However, you can build a bond with them and get them used to you.
Why won’t my guinea pig let me pet him? (Guinea pig won’t let me touch him)
It is not like that, you can handle your guinea pig, but you need a strong bond of trust and love with your guinea pig.
If you did not develop it initially when you bought them, it would not be easy afterward for them to be comfortable in your presence. Building a bond with your guinea pigs during the first 6-8 weeks is crucial.
Only feeding them will not be able to develop trust, you will have to groom them often, serve them their favorite treats, and will have to play with them.
If they run away from you, then there is nothing to be upset as it takes time to develop a strong bond.
The first step would be to acclimate your guinea pig to being handled. This is possible by touching and petting them slowly. Once, they accept you and allow you to pet them you can move towards the next step of handling them.
However, if your guinea pigs run away when you try to pet them then you must leave them alone for a while. Don’t chase them around the cage. This shows them that you respect them and you can be trusted. Building a bond can be a slow process, but it is definitely rewarding at the end.
If you put effort into developing a strong relationship between you and your guinea pig, then slowly, they will also be comfortable in your presence, and you can hold them as they are all yours.
So we will advise you to be patient and never punish your guinea pig for rejecting handling. Try to make a strong bond with them instead so that they can freely enjoy being groomed in your laps.
Where do guinea pigs like to be touched?
Guinea pigs are prey animals that are initially terrified of humans until they become accustomed to being in their company. You can only cuddle them if they are healthy; otherwise, they may become angry or scared at your presence.
You can stroke the top of their heads and the insides of their cheeks. They prefer to be touched in those areas because petting them in those areas makes them feel more relaxed.
They also enjoy having their fur on the part of their body where it grows petting.
Avoid touching their legs and backsides because they are not comfortable with having their bodies touched in those areas.
If they are grunting at you while you groom them, always pay attention to their reaction because this indicates that they are not comfortable in your laps. If this is the case, immediately remove them from the table.
If, on the other hand, they are closing their eyes and relaxing in your laps, it indicates that they have confidence in you and are comfortable in your laps.
It is important to remember that you must build a relationship of trust and love with your guinea pig in order for them to feel at ease in your company.
How do I get my guinea pig used to being handled?
When your guinea pig has become accustomed to your presence, you can handle them. Do not attempt to control them at first because they are not accustomed to being around humans and may become scared and stressed.
Once your guinea becomes accustomed to your presence, you will be able to handle them. But, for the time being, try to groom them on the ground.
A relationship with your Guinea pig will not develop simply by providing food; you will need to spend quality time with them if you want to develop an emotional attachment to them.
Will you feel comfortable hugging someone you don’t know and who you don’t think you’re getting along with? Of course not, and the same can be said for the guinea pig in this instance. Pets will not want to be in your laps until and unless they feel comfortable with you and your presence.
In addition, we will advise you not to attempt to handle your guinea pigs during the first few days. For the reason that they will perceive you as a predator during that time period, they will attempt to escape from your grasp. This can result in a variety of injuries to them, including the possibility of losing their lives.
Tips to handle your guinea pigs
Always remember some basic points before handling your guinea pigs:
- It would be best if you always wash your hands with unscented soap before coming closer to your guinea pig.
- If you have any other pets like cats and your hands have a smell of cats, then your guinea pig will stay far from you. The Guinea pig has 25 times a better sense of smell than humans.
- Once your guinea pig becomes used to your smell, it will be much easier to gain their trust, and very soon, you will be able to handle them and groom them in your laps.
- As guinea pigs have poor depth perception, never try to sneak up on them; you will scare them.
- Guinea pigs have an excellent hearing sense, which is up to 10khz more than ours, so avoid loud, clattering noises. But let your piggie know that you are approaching them through the sound.
- If you try to pick your guinea pig without developing trust, then it may be possible that they get scared of you and come into stress, which can give terrible results. Always remember that faith and love are the two essential pillars of a relationship.
How to pick up a guinea pig?
When your guinea pig is comfortable in your presence, you can pick them up and take them home with you.
However, if they are dissatisfied with your performance, refrain from handling them.
They will attempt to jump off your hands and will likely injure themselves severely, posing a serious risk to their lives.
Avoid allowing children under the age of ten to handle your guinea pig because the chances of something going wrong are higher.
When it comes to handling your guinea pig, there is a proper way to do so. Because guinea pigs are delicate and have weak bones, mishandling one can result in disastrous consequences.
Never pick up your guinea pigs by their ears or legs because they are not toys and are extremely soft and delicate. Picking them up by their ears can also cause that part of their body to become separated from the rest of their body, so be careful.
You should immediately release them to the ground and walk away if they show any signs of discomfort while you are holding them.
Picking up a guinea pig should be done in the following manner:
- Instead of picking them up from your level, get down to their level.
- Let your guinea pig smell your hands so that they can feel your presence.
- Please do not pick them instantly, start with talking with them in a low tone of voice.
- Keep one hand under your guinea pigs’ torso and cover them from all sides and then pick up smoothly.
After picking them up, you must observe their reaction if you find them grunting leave them back to the floor immediately as they are not comfortable in your presence.
Do not worry as this is their normal behavior; you can try again after some time following the same process.
We will recommend you not to pick up your guinea pig until and unless you develop a relationship with them.
When is a good time to handle my guinea pig?
We understand that you enjoy handling and grooming your guinea pigs on a regular basis, but this is only possible if they are happy doing so all of the time.
Your guinea pigs will be most cooperative if you process them when they are tired of playing or when they wake up after an afternoon nap.
Nevertheless, once they become accustomed to you, they will allow you to handle them on a more frequent basis than before.
However, never attempt to wake them up and then pick them up because this may irritate them, resulting in biting and scratching on your hands.
When children become exhausted after playing or exercising, they require the assistance of an adult to pick them up and groom them.
If you attempt to pick up a human baby while they are in their most energetic state, they will become irritated and angry..
In the same way, guinea pigs will become irritated and angry if you pick them up while they are full of energy. To do this, allow them to become exhausted before picking them up and grooming them.
If your guinea pig is not accustomed to your presence, do not attempt to handle them as this may cause them to become fearful. Avoid allowing any children under the age of ten to have control over your guinea pig, as the likelihood of mishaps increases.
My Guinea Pigs Won’t Let Me Pick it Up Anymore
Whenever something happens, you will be able to figure out what happened by analyzing your guinea pig’s experience with it. Instead of becoming enraged with them for their actions, try to figure out what is really going on.
There are two possible explanations for why your guinea pig will not allow you to pick them up.
A guinea pig may suffer from this type of injury if you have mishandled the animal in the past, or if the animal has slipped out of your grasp and been injured.
If you have had such experiences with your guinea pig, it is likely that they will not be comfortable while you try to hold them because they will be afraid of you.
Even in such cases, we do not recommend that you pick up your guinea pig until and unless you have regained their trust. Once they regain their confidence in you, they will continue to be comfortable when you attempt to hold them.
If your guinea pig is not feeling well, the second scenario must be considered.
If your guinea pigs begin to become antisocial, this is a sign that something is wrong.
Because guinea pigs enjoy company, if you notice them staying in their cage for an extended period of time and not seeming to be enjoying anyone’s presence, you will need to pay immediate attention to your piggie as they may be experiencing health problems.
They know how to conceal their suffering because they are prey animals, but you can’t allow them to be in such situations because you care about them. If they are refusing to eat, it is likely that they are suffering from an illness.
Start physical examinations as soon as possible; any redness or swelling on the skin, as well as any discharge from the eyes or nose, should be investigated. Any signs of illness should be reported immediately to the veterinarian for further evaluation and treatment.
My guinea pig doesn’t like me
Guinea pigs are prey animals who love to be social with humans once they are comfortable in their presence.
So it might be possible that they are upset with you in some way. It might be possible that they are upset because you did not serve them their favorite treats or are not giving them attention.
Your piggie will never hate you; don’t worry, they can be upset from you, but they will never hate you.
You should pay attention to your guinea pig’s vocalization as your guinea pigs tell you a lot through their sound.
If you become familiar with their way of communication, you can determine the reason for their rude behavior with you.
Let us learn some communication techniques of guinea pigs:
- Snorting and Grunting: You will hear it from your guinea pig when they are not happy with you handling them, but they are still tolerating. In such a case, you should leave them back to the floor and try again.
- Grinding teeth: It is a sign of pain and discomfort. In such a case, you must check the way you are holding them. It may be possible that you are holding them in a wrong manner and hurting them. You should leave them back to the floor if they are grinding their teeth.
- Squeaking: When your guinea pig is afraid of your handling but is trying to be brave, they will make a sound like this. It is advisable to let them go and try again later after some time.
- Screaming: If your guinea pigs are screaming, they are in extreme pain and fear. In such cases, leave them immediately back to the floor and try to comfort them.
How to get my guinea pig to like me?
You will have to earn their love and trust to make them like you.
Your guinea pig cannot speak but can communicate by making different sounds. If you are successful in understanding their vocalization, you will develop a relationship of love and trust with the soon.
It would help if you showed them that you are a source of pleasure and not fear. To get your guinea pigs to trust you, you have to follow some steps.
- Understand their vocalizations and body language: If you can understand the body language and vocalization of your guinea pigs then in no time you will develop a relationship of love and trust with them.
- Spend time with them: If you only serve them food and expect a relationship of love and trust, it is not possible. To build trust, the most crucial factor is time if you give them your time and show them love you will get much more in return.
- Make them Comfortable: You can make them comfortable by fulfilling their basic needs, such as ensuring there cage is at a comfortable temperature and giving them plenty of toys so that they are not bored. Serve them their favorite treats and some good quality hay.
- Work to their Schedule: If you work according to their schedule, they will accept it as a sign of love from you. They are mostly active in the mornings, so wake up early and give them attention.
If you can follow these steps, your guinea pig will soon realize that you are a great parent and will be comfortable with you in no time.
Just remember one key point that you must not force them to do anything they are not satisfied with.
Body language of an affectionate guinea pig
As guinea pigs are prey animals talk and show their love to you.
They show their appreciation by licking and rubbing their nose. Let us learn the body language of affectionate guinea pig;
- Nudging: If your guinea pig nudges you with their nose, they want you to pet them. An affectionate guinea pig will only do these actions to show that they are comfortable in your presence.
- Licking: If your guinea pig is licking you, it means that they are showing love for you for something special you have done for them. Guinea pigs cannot kiss like humans to express their love, so they do they express it by licking. If they are licking you, that means you have gained their trust and love.
If your guinea pigs do all this with you, pat yourself on the back because you have done it.
You have created a lovely bond with your guinea pig, which is now unbreakable until you start showing carelessness.
But for now, your guinea pig is very much comfortable in your presence; they love you.
Lastly, we would like to say that trust and love are two crucial factors of a relationship.
Try to make a healthy relationship with your guinea so that they get a positive environment around them.