Is It Bad To Put A Guinea Pig On Its Back? Let’s Discover

Last updated on October 3rd, 2023 at 07:38 pm

Guinea pigs are very interesting and beautiful pets that want to play with us, to hold them in our hands, but do they want to be put on their backs?

Is it bad for a guinea pig to be placed on its back?

Putting the guinea pig on its back is bad for them, because its spine is not its strong point and the pressure on it can injure our pet. Although guinea pigs do not like to be placed on their backs, it is sometimes necessary to do so for certain checks on their body.

What to do if the guinea pig does not want to lie on its back?

In today’s article, you will find out why putting a guinea pig on its back is bad, why they don’t like it, and what to do in such situations.

Why don’t guinea pigs like to lie on their backs?

Guinea pigs do not like to lie on their backs because they do not like it at all, and at the same time, it interrupts their daily life for several reasons.

There are 3 reasons why guinea pigs do not like to lie on their backs, let’s take a look at them.

Guinea pigs are prey for predators

Guinea pigs do not like lying on their back because they cannot be ready if they are attacked by predators.

When they lie on their back, they don’t have enough time to turn around and escape potential predators from attack.

That reason makes them weaker and they know it well because they don’t have a good orientation to notice when someone wants to attack them.

They will feel pain

If the guinea pig lies on its back, it will start to feel pain due to such a position.

Lying on their back is not their natural way of sitting and can only make them feel very uncomfortable in that position.

They will try as much as possible to avoid lying on their back, if you put them on their back they will roll back to their feet.

They will not be able to run away when stressed

When the guinea pigs are on their back it makes it difficult for them and they will not be able to escape easily.

When they are under stress, they want to hide as soon as possible, and therefore this position will interfere with their intention.

In addition, they can only get hurt when they want to hide and escape because they will rush to do that and when turning they can hurt their spine or back.

Is it really bad to put a guinea pig on its back?

Yes, putting a guinea pig on their back is bad for them, and we should avoid doing it, except when we really have to.

There are 3 reasons why it is bad to put guinea pigs on their backs, let’s read them.

The first reason is their spine which is not strong enough to put the guinea pig in that position. When guinea pigs lie on their backs, there is pressure on the spine and injuries can easily occur.

The second reason is that they may injure themselves standing up after lying on their back.

Just turning and standing up is problematic for them and they can easily get injured, guinea pigs are just the way they are, they are different from other animals in terms of their spine and back.

A third reason is that their backs are naturally slightly twisted due to being upright all the time when moving.

If we put them on their backs, we cause a change and straightening of their backs, which is unnatural for them.

The more they lie on their backs, the more problems they may have with their back, so avoid putting them on their backs.

Their natural way is to always have their feet on the floor, which keeps their back in a natural position.

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Do guinea pigs ever lie on their back themselves?

Yes, guinea pigs lie on their back, although they don’t like it, only when they are in danger from predators.

They then lie on their back and pretend to be dead to save themselves from predators and stay alive.

Guinea pigs can also lie down and play dead if they are frightened by something else in their environment.

Once the danger has passed, the guinea pig will return to its feet. It is the only situation where guinea pigs lie on their backs on their it bad to put a guinea pig on its back

What to do when you need to put the guinea pig on its back?

It is obvious that guinea pigs do not like to be put on their backs, but sometimes in some situations, it is necessary.

Sometimes the back needs to be checked and therefore you have to turn the guinea pig, but there are options to make it easier to do this without annoying your pet.

For example, it is necessary to make an examination of certain places such as the stomach, and butt, or you need to cut the nails of the guinea pig.

You can get someone else to hold the guinea pig and you can examine it, just be careful not to drop it on the floor.

Or keep it closer to the floor so that it doesn’t scare too much, or if it slips out of your hands, it won’t get hurt during the fall or get stressed.

Having someone else hold the guinea pig makes it easier to examine the guinea pig’s bottom or stomach without having to lay it on its back.

One facilitating circumstance to be able to examine the guinea pigs more easily is to place it somewhere on a small surface so that you can better and more easily get a certain angle to examine your pet.

That way, you won’t have to turn it on its back a lot and you’ll still be able to view it. This practice is especially good when you have to move out their nails.

How to hold guinea pigs?

To hold the guinea pig correctly you need to use both hands.

With one hand, first, prevent him from running forward, and then with the other hand, prevent him from going back.

Next, you need to put one hand under his stomach and chest, and with the other hand support the rear parts and pick up the guinea pig.

Read more: Can Guinea Pigs Eat Plastic? (Complete Answer)


What happens if a guinea pig falls on its back?

If the guinea pig falls on its back you should pick it up gently to calm it down from the stress and shock it has suffered. Then take it to the vet to examine it to check for more serious injuries.

How do I know if my guinea pigs back is broken?

When guinea pigs fall on their backs, they can often get paralysis of the back legs. Then the guinea pig may start to drag the back legs, but it can also look completely normal.

Do guinea pigs like to be picked up?

Guinea pigs like to pick them up and hold them on their chests, so they feel comfortable. Just be careful when giving them to small children as they may accidentally squeeze out more than necessary and hurt them.


Guinea pigs don’t like being on their backs, and that can’t be changed with training or anything like that.

They simply will never want to lie on their back no matter how hard you try to teach them this position.

Lying on their backs is not their natural position, and can only lead to injuries and other side effects in guinea pigs.

Lying on their back will only cause stress and damage to their health.

Guinea pigs only lie on their backs when they are in danger of predators and then play dead until the danger has passed.

So try using the alternative tips we’ve given you to make it easier to examine your guinea pig when necessary.