Cavy Tips - Tutorials & Guides

Hand Feeding

Contributed by Guinea Guinea


Force feeding (syringe feeding) and hand feeding are required when your guinea pig stops eating on his own or as a part of a post-surgery care. If your guinea pig is ill, please weigh him daily at a regular timing. Contact your cavy-savvy vet immediately if your guinea pig shows no interest in food, stops eating and/or loses weight despite being force fed.

Important: The guinea pig in the tutorial (Smoothie) is in the pink of health and therefore has a healthy appetite. However, for guinea pigs which are ill, they might struggle and it might take more effort to feed them via the syringe. Do persevere as they will need food in their system via syringe feeding every 4 - 6 hours if they are not eating to prevent their digestive system from being affected. Feed slowly if they are struggling to prevent choking and aspiration of any food/liquid.

For more information on force feeding, please visit our force feeding tutorial.


How to Hand Feed Your Guinea Pigs Pellets and Hay

Tools required

  1. Pellets and/or hay
  2. Drinking water and  a  1 ml syringe
  3. If your guinea pig refuses to eat pellets and  hay from your hand, you may feed pellets and hay together with his favorite food and treats such as:

    • Benebac Pet Gel
    • Critical Care
    • Vegetable leaf

How to hand feed your guinea pig

  1. Lay down a blanket for your guinea pig to rest on. You may wrap your guinea pig if necessary.
  2. Hand feed pellets or hay. Allow time to chew and swallow.
  3. Syringe feed water only when necessary (see how to syringe feed guinea pigs).
  4. Weigh your guinea pig daily when he is ill at a regular timing. If weight continues to drop despite being force fed, increase the amount of Critical Care and the frequency of feeding. Please also bring to the vet for review.

If your guinea pig refuses to eat pellets and/or hay from your hand, you may try a dip or wrap technique.

Cavy Tips - Dip Feeding

Hand feeding – Veggie Wrap Technique

Take a pellet
Carefully wrap it with a piece of vegetable leaf
Carefully wrap it with a piece of vegetable leaf
Carefully wrap it with a piece of vegetable leaf
Feed your guinea pig with the wrap
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