When you bring your guinea pig into your home straight from the pet store, the first thing you probably wonder about is whether you can hold it in your hands.
Can you hold a guinea pig when you first get it?
You cannot hold the guinea pig when you first get it, it should take about 5-7 days for it to get used to you and not be afraid of your presence before you start holding it.
Guinea pigs are small and timid animals that are often prey in the wild, which is why they need time before they are allowed to hold them.
In today’s article, you will learn when you can take the guinea pig in your hands to hold it, do they want to be held, how to pick it up without scaring it, and similar questions.
Does my guinea pig want to be held?
Guinea pigs are social animals that love to socialize and interact with their owners. Some guinea pigs like to be held and cuddled a lot, while others like less, which is completely normal.
But each guinea pig is individual, and it is impossible to know exactly if and when it will allow you to hold it.
My guinea pig allowed me to hold him after a few days, but that’s why in the first days I didn’t hold him at all, I just gave him food and water.
I did this because I read on the internet that at first they should be given space to get used to the new environment.
I probably did the right thing, because at first the guinea pig is stressed by the new home and of course by me as an owner who has never known him before.
After a few days, I start to hold him and he lets me, although I noticed that he is a little scared and anxious.
Are guinea pigs scared when you first get them?
Of course, guinea pigs will be scared when they first time come into your home.
It is a completely natural and common behavior of all guinea pigs, there is no guinea pig that will be calm and fearless when you first meet them.
Guinea pigs are small animals that are often prey in nature and they always fear for their lives.
They may even become aggressive towards new owners or other pets when they are first introduced to them. Out of fear, guinea pigs may also begin to lose weight and become anxious.
When to start holding the guinea pig?
Whenever you buy a guinea pig you need to wait a period of 7 days before you start holding it.
It takes a few days for him to get used to you and the other guinea pigs if you have more of them in your cage.
If you keep more guinea pigs then it will be easier for the new guinea pig to socialize and get used to the environment.
If it’s just one guinea pig then wait a week before you start holding it. It’s best if you try to hold it so that it comes to you on its own, it’s a sure sign that it’s not afraid of you.
Or you can offer him food in your hand so that he will come to you and not be afraid.
What should I do when I first get a guinea pig?
When you first get a guinea pig it is best to let it get used to the environment and to you as the owner.
I left my guinea pig for a week to get used to his new home before I started keeping him.
Here are some tips on how to approach them in the beginning so that your pet can get used to you faster and not be afraid when you hold them.
Communicate with your guinea pig
In the first few days, instead of trying to hold him, it is best to communicate with him through the bars of the cage.
Here’s what you should do:
- speak softly to him
- you should also put a hook in the cage so that he can hide if he is afraid
- don’t expect too much from him to reciprocate or approach you
- move slowly so as not to scare him
You will notice that after a few days, it will not be as scary as at the beginning, especially after moving, it will start to relax and not run away from your presence.
Do not put your hand inside the cage
When you first get a guinea pig in the first few days, do not put your hand inside the cage, because you will only scare him even more.
If you need to give him food, move your hand slowly, put food and water, and remove your hand from the cage.
In this way, the guinea pig will notice that you do not want to harm him, but that you just want to put food for him, that you care about them, and that you are not a predator.
Isolate the guinea pig
In the beginning, it is very important to isolate the guinea pig in its cage so that it can get used to the new environment.
It is best if there is a hiding place in the cage because the first days he will want to hide and not come out except when he is fed.
If you have other pets in your home, in the first days separate them in other rooms so that they don’t irritate your pet and don’t scare him, because he will be stressed anyway.
Can you hold a guinea pig too much?
You should not hold your guinea pig for longer than 15 minutes, as he needs to go to the toilet.
Guinea pigs often poop and pee, so you should not hold them for a long time.
They like it when you hold them, but when they need to go to the toilet, they will start to get restless and want you to put them back in the cage, otherwise they will poop on you.
How do you pick up a guinea pig without scaring it?
To pick up the guinea pig without scaring it, you will first need to create conditions so that you do not scare your pet.
Start talking to him more often, playing with him, feeding him, and doing other things so that your pet can forget the fear and get used to you.
That’s why in the next text we will give you some tips that will be useful and help you in that purpose:
A gradual approach
To pick up the guinea pig without scaring it you will have to gradually move your hand towards it. At the same time speak to him and slowly lift with your hand.
Grab him from below and lift him up, that’s the best method, don’t grab him with your hand over your pet because he’ll think you’re a predator.
The guinea pig will allow you to pick it up, although it may run away at first, once you pick it up, it will understand that you don’t want to do it any harm.
Be careful of the height from which you approach it
Guinea pigs do not want you to put your hand over them because you will remind them of predators and they may start to run away.
So keep your hand as low as you can at the bottom of the cage. This way the guinea pig will not be scared and will more easily allow you to pick it up.
You may need some training because the same thing happened to me until I learned the easiest way to pick up my pet.
Over time picking up will become a routine for you and of course, your guinea pig will not have a problem, and fear and will allow you to hold it.
Hold him and give him a hug
When you pick it up, hold it close to your chest so it will feel more secure.
You can also hug your pet and pet him mostly on the head, and avoid petting him on the back of the body because that reminds attacks from predators.
Start holding it at least once a day at first, and then you can start holding it several times a day.
When you first get your guinea pig you should not start holding it right away.
Allow him a few days to get used to the cage, to you as the owner, and to the new environment that surrounds him.
After 5-7 days, you can try to pick up your pet, although maybe even then he will run away and be afraid.
Each guinea pig is individual and it is impossible to know exactly when it will stop being afraid and stop running away when you want to pick it up.
On your part, you should talk to him, give him food and water, and communicate with the guinea pig so that he can get used to your presence more quickly.
Guinea pigs are social animals, but they need time to start trusting you and don’t get scared, just be careful and persistent and your pet will start to trust you and allow you to hold it freely.