Guinea pigs are quite fragile, even though they look pretty sturdy. This fragility means that you’ll need to hold your guinea pigs in a particular way, and teach your friends and family how to do so too. It’s not as hard as it sounds, and to help you we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to picking up and holding your pets. Before we begin, it’s important to know that little children should sit on the floor when handling guinea pigs, as these animals can often jump out of hands and laps, and be seriously injured by a fall.
Pick up the guinea pig like this, then slowly turn it and hold it to your chest, always supporting its spine with one hand and its bottom with the other
First off, you’ll want to slide your hand underneath your guinea pig’s stomach and gently cup it. Be careful not to squeeze, and make sure you aren’t holding them too tightly because this can bruise your guinea pig or prevent it from breathing properly.
Next you’ll need to provide some spinal support. You can do this by cupping your guinea pig’s behind. Finally, gently lift your guinea pig off the ground like the picture above, then slowly turn it and hold it to your chest, keeping one hand on its back and the other supporting its bottom.
There are lots of videos if you’d like to see the technique in action. Practise a few times before your pick up your guinea pig. You might want to be sitting down while you practise to limit the risk of dropping them.
We generally advise that only adults or children of over the age of ten should carry guinea pigs, as the pets are likely to squirm but need to be held delicately. If you’re under the age of nine or ten and want to hold a guinea pig, the best idea is to ask someone to hand it to you whilst you’re sitting on the floor, or sit in a chair where you can keep the animal in your lap.