Handling Guinea Pigs

Guinea-pigs are so naturally tame that little difficulty should be experienced in handling for the first time. Most animals show some signs of nervousness with strangers and this nervousness can be overcome by treating the animal kindly and unhurriedly. Gently stroke and pet him but make no attempt to pick him op if he cowers away and squeals.

After a time, the little fellow will become used to you and will allow you to touch him with no more than a soft chuckling. Guinea-pigs are inveterate talkers and emit all sorts of noises while eating or running about. You will soon learn to distinguish between squeals of fright and pain and the normal contented chatter.

The easiest method of handling a guinea-pig is either to scoop him up by placing both hands on each side of the body or by sliding a hand under his belly and lifting gently, making sure that the body is nicely balanced in the palm of your hand. Picking him up by clamping a hand over the body and lifting by holding the chest (certainly not around the stomach) is not recommended unless you are careful and experienced with animals. This method also requires a large hand for a full grown guinea-pig!

Exercising the guinea-pig can be great fun. He can be allowed to romp in a pen in the garden on fin( days or have the run of the garden, provided then are no holes in the fences. Mind you, some nibbling of plants can be expected and perhaps this may no; be permitted ! There is no reason why he should not have a run about the house or, rather, in certain rooms The large size of the guinea-pig means that he is unlikely to disappear down a crack in the skirting board but one will have to be careful not to leave a door ajar.

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