How to Care For Your New Guinea Pig!
13 April, 2017
Guinea pigs can be great pets and companions. These docile, friendly members of the rodent family are cute, sociable and fun. Guinea pigs are great starter pets for older children who know how to properly handle them. But, guinea pigs do need the proper care, housing, diet and maintenance to prosper.
Guinea pigs need a solid cage with space to run
A guinea pig cage needs to be a minimum of four square feet per guinea pig, but the larger the cage, the better. A solid-bottom cage without wire floors is preferred as wire can irritate the guineas feet. Make sure to line the bottom cage with aspen, hardwood shavings or grass hay.
Have a hiding and sleeping place for your guinea pig
Guinea pigs love to hide when they play so be sure to place cardboard tubes and/or empty coffee cans with smoothed edges in the enclosure. Plastic pipes and flower pots work well too, and guineas love bricks and rocks for climbing. All guinea pigs need a cave for sleeping and resting, so make sure to purchase a covered sleeping box.
Your guinea pigs’ diet should consist of commercial pellets and some Vitamin C enriched food
Commercial guinea pig pellets should make up the bulk of your pet’s diet. They are nutritionally complete and made from plants, seeds and veggies. Feed your guinea pigs twice daily, in the morning and in the evening.
Unlike other animals, guinea pigs cannot manufacture Vitamin C, so you’ll need to ensure that your pets get enough of this essential nutrient every day. A quarter of an orange works, but you can also include kale, dandelion greens and strawberries.
Fresh, clean water should be readily available at all times. Use an inverted bottle with a drinking tube, and change the water daily.
Make sure to clean your guinea pig’s cage daily
On a daily basis, remove soiled bedding, droppings and stale food from the cage daily. Clean the cage completely once a week by replacing dirty bedding and scrubbing the bottom of the cage with warm water. Make sure everything’s dry before adding fresh bedding.
Handle your guinea pigs carefully and let them get used to the feeling
You need to get your guinea pig used to being handled. Start by stroking them slowly. And when they get used to that, you can carefully pick up your guineas pig, one hand supporting the bottom, the other over the back.
Grooming your guinea pig
Guinea pigs are very conscientious about grooming themselves, but brushing them on a regular basis will help keep their coat clean and remove any loose hairs. Long-haired guinea pigs should be brushed daily in order to prevent tangles and knots from forming.
Always keep up with your guinea pig’s veterinary care
Like any pet, if f you think your guinea pig is sick, make sure to bring him or her the vet. Common signs that something isn’t as it should be include sneezing, coughing, diarrhea and lethargy. Guinea pigs are y susceptible to external parasites such as mites and lice. If you think your pet is infested, head to the vet for treatment.
Guinea pigs can be a great addition to your family and can thrive when cared for properly.