How Do You Pick Up a Baby Guinea Pig?

HomeCareHow Do You Pick Up a Baby Guinea Pig?

When picking up a baby guinea pig, it’s important to first wash your hands. You don’t want to put their developing immune system to the test. Next, let the guinea pig crawl onto both hands, or gently lead them onto your hands. Lift the guinea pig slowly, fast movements may terrify them.

During their earliest stages of life, guinea pigs are adorable, yet very delicate. While it may be tempting to pick up a new baby guinea pig right away, it is important to know how to properly pick them up.

This article will explore the various factors that should be considered prior to and while picking up a baby guinea pig.

Important Facts About Baby Guinea Pigs

When guinea pigs are first born, they have extremely fragile bodies and bones. As a result, they are at the greatest risk for injury during the first few weeks of life.

Newborn and baby guinea pigs are far more likely to endure stress and go into cardiac arrest in their early days, especially when it comes to human presence and human contact.

By nature, guinea pigs perceive humans to be predators. It is, therefore, necessary not only to be very gentle with newborn guinea pigs but also to create an environment in which they feel safe and comfortable. This includes ensuring that they are given time to develop trust with the humans around them.

When Can You Pick Up a Baby Guinea Pig

Before picking up any guinea pig, you should first consider which stage of life they are at (e.g., newborn, baby, adult). A guinea pig is considered a baby until it reaches the age of approximately 6 months. This means that any guinea pig under 6 months should be handled with gentle care.

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Newborn Guinea Pigs

Newborn guinea pigs are most fragile and delicate during their first 1 to 2 weeks of life. Although it is recommended to avoid picking up and handling a baby guinea pig during this time, there are a few exceptions to this rule.

One of those exceptions is for checking their weight. It may be necessary to briefly pick up a newborn guinea pig daily to check their weight and ensure that they develop correctly.

The main point is that newborn guinea pigs should only be picked up out of necessity during their first couple weeks of life.

Baby Guinea Pigs

After approximately 1 to 2 weeks post-birth, the guinea pigs’ bones have had some time to develop. This means that you can start preparing to pick them up on a more frequent basis.

Ideally, you should build a sense of trust between you and any baby guinea pigs you wish to pick up and handle. By failing to do so, the babies may experience increased stress levels.

If you want to ensure that your baby guinea pig is ready to be picked up more often, you can take several precautions to ensure their comfort and safety.

You want to begin the process by ensuring that your guinea pig views you as someone to be trusted and not as a predator.

Preparing to Pick Up a Baby Guinea Pig

It is vital to take a few precautions before picking up a baby guinea pig.

Build Trust

It is important to build trust with your baby guinea pig. Guinea pigs cannot help but perceive humans as predators. Humans must be careful and considerate when first interacting with a baby guinea pig. Baby guinea pigs will experience less stress once they have confidence in you.

Wash Your Hands

Washing your hands is an important step to take before attempting to pick up a baby guinea pig.

Washing your hands thoroughly will ensure that you have removed any potentially harmful bacteria from your hands. It can help remove any unfamiliar smells that a baby guinea pig is not used to.

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You may also want to rub your washed hands in some fresh hay to provide the baby guinea pig with a familiar scent.

How to Pick Up a Baby Guinea Pig

Your baby guinea pig is ready to be handled once you have built trust and washed your hands. Listed below are the steps that you should take (in order) to safely pick up a baby guinea pig.

Approaching a Baby Guinea Pig

One of the best ways to begin the process of picking up a baby guinea pig is to get down to their level. Towering over a baby guinea pig that is not yet fully used to human presence is a bad idea because it may elevate their stress levels.

Reduce Sound and Movement

To avoid stressing out a baby guinea pig, you should also reduce sound and movement as much as possible. This includes reducing noise levels within the surrounding environment and avoiding making any sudden movements.

Gentle Lift

When you are ready to lift the baby guinea pig, be sure to do it slowly and gently. Picking up a baby too quickly can lead to serious distress. Guinea pigs naturally prefer to stay as low to the ground as possible, so they should never be picked up from the ground too suddenly or too quickly.

Remain Calm

When it comes to picking up a newborn or baby guinea pig, it is most important to remain calm and careful throughout the entire process.

Baby guinea pigs are at a sensitive stage in their development, so they should be handled with great care and caution. Doing so will ensure that they are safe in the short term and comfortable with human interaction and human contact in the long run.

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Audra Foulk
Audra Foulk
Hello, my name is Audra I'm the owner of, a website all about guinea pigs! I'm also a guinea pig owner myself, and I love learning and writing about these adorable creatures. Guinea pigs are such amazing animals, and I hope to share everything I know about them with as many people as possible! View Author Profile.

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