Guinea Pig Care
4. Handling, Taming, Bathing, Floor Time
Guinea Pigs don't like being picked up, but they the don't mind being held. What's the difference? Guinea Pigs are prey animals and they don't like being grabbed or chased by scary arms, out of their safe environment. But if they are used to you, they will actually greet you when you visit them instead of running away from you. The key to any
guinea pig's heart is through their stomach. They have great hearing and will become familiar with the sound of the fridge or a crinkling bag, chopping or rinsing veggies. Use this to your advantage and communicate with them. Watch these videos and you will have the tamest pigs that are easy to pick up and hold.
This video gives you 3 easy ways to pick up your guinea pigs. It builds trust and you can see the difference right away!
This video explains what common guinea pig sounds mean, and how to speak in their language!
At the L.A. Guinea Pig Rescue we get asked a lot if Guinea Pigs can have baths.
Yes, you can give your guinea pig a bath, but if you keep their cage cleaned and maintained, they should not need to be bathed often. Most gentle shampoos and conditioners are okay to use. We especially like to use anti-fungal shampoo like Head and Shouldersor other anti-dandruff shampoo. Watch the Easy way bathing video here:
If you can't get enough Guinea Pig bathtime cuteness, here's another bath video, with Gari!
Do Guinea Pigs need "floor time"? Yes and No, it depends. Guinea Pigs like to explore and they need exercise. But they also like to hide and feel safe. Floor time should never be an excuse to give your piggies less than 8 sq ft. of cage space, MINIMUM! Some piggies will hide behind something and poop and pee. Floor time works well with a large play pen and fleece.
If you can't get enough Guinea Pig floor time cuteness, here's another floor time video, with Gari!
Home Health Checks are an important way to assess your guinea pigs health. Checking, looking, listening for signs can help you spot illness or potential health issues early, preventing them from causing pain and getting out of control. Please watch this Home Health Check video and try these techniques for yourself. The L.A. Guinea Pig Rescue has free health check for all guinea pigs and many of them have been filmed for your education. Watch the Health Check playlist here:
At the L.A. Guinea Pig Rescue we use regular people nail clippers to clip guinea pigs nails.
If you're more comfortable with pet clippers, use those. We have Styptic powder on hand to stop the bleeding if we clip too close. Emery board files can smooth rough edges. Don't worry, you can do it!
These are what we use at the L.A. Guinea Pig Rescue The right tools will give you the confidence to try. They may squirm, but with practice you will get better. You won't hurt them and your piggies will feel so much better with trimmed nails.
Let's move on to the next page and learn about common Guinea Pig Illnesses and how to identify them. There's also information about Guinea Pig Pet Health Insurance.