Are you having a new guinea pig that you would like to touch and pet all day long? Is it too cute that you want to squeeze it and never let go?
Or is your new pet running ever so fast whenever you go near it? Well, stay with me to find out whether your guinea pig likes that petting you are dying to give it and if not, what you can do about it.
Do guinea pigs like to be held?
Yes and no. Guinea pigs are naturally queer animals who will instinctively run away when you try to touch them. Being prey animals, they are sensitive to anything getting close to them, as they are always alert to escape away from predators.
If they get used to you and they like you, they will be okay with you touching them. But if they’re new, it may take a while. You can gradually train a guinea pig to be touched. Although others never get used to it, just like some cats, and they will always run away from you.
How to know if a guinea pig is comfortable to your touch
A couple of things will show you if your pet is okay with you touching it. Check out for the signs listed below.
Reactions around you
What your guinea pig does when it sees you is the first sign to look out for. If it runs away scared, hides from you, or jumps away when you try to touch it, that means it’s scared of you.
It’s not used to you and it may need a little more time to get comfortable around you.
If the guinea pig comes to you on its own and is calm and playful in your presence, that means it likes you and wouldn’t mind getting close to you.
Sounds it makes
A guinea pig expresses itself using various sounds to show if it likes or dislikes something. Listen to it keenly.
If you touch a guinea pig and it chatters its teeth or produces high-pitched shrieks, then it’s not okay with it. You should stop touching it.
But if it whistles and squeaks, that shows happiness. You can keep touching it the same way.
Just like with dogs and cats, a guinea pig can sometimes lick you as a sign of affection. If it likes you that much, it would probably feel comfortable with your touch.
How to hold a guinea pig?
If your guinea pig gets used to you and likes you, it will let you hold it. Listed below are good ways to hold it that will make it trust you more.
A guinea pig can see from all directions but it is highly advisable to approach it from the front. Picking it up from the front shows it that you are friendly.
Always be gentle while picking up a guinea pig. Try not to grab it or forcefully hold it against its will.
Have a firm grasp to avoid dropping it but do not squeeze.
While holding it, keep your hand on its chest below its front legs and support it by holding it’s behind. Do not hold it with its legs dangling down.
Pet and Stroke it correctly
Guinea pigs like having their fur stroked in the direction of its growth. Stroke, it backwards while making sure to stroke only the parts that it is okay with.
Being different, all guinea pigs have different places they want to be touched. Most prefer being petted on their heads and chins and dislike being touched on their faces, rear, and feet.
Keep learning where your pet likes to be touched as you move along.
Place it on your chest
Lift your pet to your chest and hold it there. This increases your bonding experience and makes it feel safe.
Some guinea pigs will even curl up to your neck and purr softly to show contentment.
Do not hold it for long
Even if you want to hold your guinea piggy for ages, it’s generally advisable to hold it for 10-15 minutes at a time. It does get restless and uncomfortable when you hold it for long.
You will know that it’s time to put it down when it begins whining and nibbling on you. That’s a sign that it wants to pee or poo and if you don’t put it down, it will have a bathroom break on you. Don’t say it didn’t warn you.
Ways to lure a scared guinea pig to you
Sometimes a guinea pig can be scared stiff by you and wouldn’t come near you no matter what. Here are a few tricks to have up your sleeve that you may use to draw it nearby.
Give it treats
Just like little kids, treats are a great way of bringing a guinea pig near you. It will not have the guts to resist those sweet delicacies.
Bring it fruits and begin touching it gently as it eats. This is a great way of associating you with good things.
It will begin coming to you more bravely and letting you touch it because it knows that it will get treats.
Talk to it
Although it will not understand you, talking to your guinea pig whenever you are around it builds confidence in you. It will begin recognizing you by your voice and coming out whenever it hears you call.
Spending more and more time with your pet will help you both to bond more. It will enable you to learn more about it; it’s personality, what it likes and what it doesn’t like.
Be calm around it
Being calm and gentle with your guinea pig makes it build trust in you. For instance, when starting to touch it, use one or two fingers to gently stroke it.
If these tricks do not work, try removing all it’s hiding places and cover any escape exits it may have. You can also pick it up from its tunnel but remember not to be forceful.
Guinea pigs can take time before allowing you to touch them. Sometimes they may squirm out of your grasp and even bite you. So always be patient with them and gradually earn their trust first.
When putting it down, be gentle while lowering it. In case of a pregnant guinea pig, it’s advised not to hold it’s neck because that could result to an abortion.
Whether it likes to be touched or not, it won’t always be in the mood to be held. Be kind enough to let it be and hold it some other time when it’s more okay with it.