HOW TO HOLD YOUR GUINEA PIG Guinea pigs require gentle handling and extreme care to ensure their spine, legs and body are all supported when being lifted to and from their cage. They also have fragile bones and internal organs so care must be taken to ensure you do not squeeze the guinea pig but keep a gentle yet firm hold. Some guinea pigs through trust and handling may become much tamer and will actually stand still and allow you to pick them up. This will also depend on the guinea pigs individual personality and nature. It is strongly advised that if any children are holding a guinea pig that it is only in the presence of adult supervision. When handling a cavy a few simple steps should be followed. SafetyGuinea pigs require their whole body to be supported. When holding a cavy it is important to note that the hind legs and rear should be supported in one hand. The other hand can then be used to hold the back whilst the cavy faces towards you (resting against your chest). Always keep a firm yet gentle hold of your guinea pig, as cavies can jump from your grasp if you do not have your pig secure. It is strongly recommended that children always have adult supervision when handling guinea pigs. Younger children especially do not have the capacity that adults have to control the pressure in their hands and may drop or squeeze the guinea pig by accident. If your child wishes to hold a guinea pig it is advised to have them seated, with a towel on their lap. Bring the guinea pig to them and then they may pet and stroke the cavy softly. If they wish to carry the guinea pig it may be an idea to invest in a piggy pouch or happy sack. The guinea pig then cannot jump out of the child’s grasp as they will be in a secure pouch. However they must always be supervised at all times. Please see our Facts and Fun section for sewing patterns on how to make these pouches which can be used to easily retrieve and carry your cavy. It is also recommended that cavies have a good supply of hay or vegetables when being stroked as they require a source of food constantly. Retrieving your Guinea PigCavies are prey animals by nature and may run and hide from you when you approach their cage. Speak to them in a soft, calming voice and approach them from the front where they can see you. Offer them a favourite treat to let them come to you. Gently stroke your cavy and carefully place your hand under their stomach whilst your other hand scoops them up under their rear and hind legs. Place them on your chest keeping one hand on their back and the other under their rear and hind legs for full spinal support. TIP:Cavies will often run into tunnels. It may be easier to coax them into a hidey house or pigloo. Your can then block your hand at the entrance and gently lift them out. A piggy pouch can also be useful. When placing your cavy back in its cage always release them at ground level. Some cavies may struggle and wish to jump into their cage. Please ensure your cavy is positioned on the ground before you release them. Please see our basic guide below on how to handle your guinea pig: 1) Approach your cavy from the front speaking in a calming tone. 2) Offer a favourite treat and let them come to you3) With your free hand stroke you guinea pig softly4) Carefully place your hand under your guinea pigs mid section. 5) Using your other hand lift the guinea pigs rear and hind legs whilst still maintaining your hold on your cavies stomach. 6) Face your guinea pig towards you and rest them against your chest7) Keep one hand on their back and the other under their rear and hind legs8) Always keep a firm yet gentle hold. 9) When placing your cavy back in its cage release at ground level10) Offer another favourite treat when the cavy is back in its cage as this may build your guinea pigs trust with you.