How to teach your guinea pig to handfeed

Whenever you ask someone for advice on bonding with your guinea pigs, their first tip is to hand feed! Which is great advice, except… what do you do if your guinea pig doesn’t eat from your hand?

This article is how to teach your guinea pigs, who are already eating in their cage, to eat from your hand. If your guinea pig is not eating at all, this could either be because they weren’t given veggies at a young age so they don’t know what to do, too scared, or sick. Make sure your guinea pig is eating a lot of hay, even if they are nervous of their new surroundings. It’s important to keep their digestive system moving. Please contact a vet if your guinea pig refuses to eat for several hours.

How to hand feed a skittish guinea pig

  1. Start with a large piece of lettuce. Hold at the very tip and offer it to your guinea pig where they feel safe, like inside their hidey.
  2. Stay very still. No sudden movements. Hold still until they learn that there is no threat and start to nibble on that piece of lettuce.
  3. Move your hand closer on the large piece of lettuce and repeat steps 1-2 until they feel comfortable eating at that distance.
  4. Keep moving your hand closer and closer on the lettuce leaf until you have a small piece in your hand. They may be a little hesitant at first, but hold still to be reassuring to them.
  5. Repeat this every day until your guinea pig is comfortable eating the small piece right away!

and she’s in the protection of her hidey. you can also try this in cage, outside of hidey, during free roaming, or on your lap during bonding time! #guineapig

♬ original sound – Guinea Pig Care Center

If this helped your skittish guinea pig, I’d love to hear about it!