Proper Guinea Pig Care

Interested in getting a guinea pig? These small, furry animals (also called “cavies”) are sure to steal your heart, but they do require proper care. Here are some tips based on other websites and on personal experience. Please remember that if a vet says something different than what I say, listen to them over me. Here are the things I will go over:

  1. Food
  2. Water
  3. Habitat
  4. Health
  5. Social Life
  6. Other Guineas
  7. Fun-Time

Hope this helps you people new to the guinea pig way of life! THIS INFORMATION SHOULD NEVER REPLACE THAT OF A PROFESSIONAL’S.

Food:

Guinea Pigs, as I have said before and will say again, are PIGS! They eat a ton. Do not be afraid to feed your little pigs if they are hungry, but make sure they balance it out with having lots of excersize. To do this, make sure your habitat is big enough (go check out the Habitat section) and also try to make finding food a game of hide-and-seek. Guinea pigs should have a seperate eating place. It doesn’t have to be completely cut off from their igloo or water, but don’t put it right next to where they sleep. To find out more about what guinea pigs can and cannot eat, and some tips on what, how much, and how often to feed them, go check out my “What Guinea Pigs Should Eat” post.

Water:

Guinea Pigs require clean, pure, water to stay hydrated and stay cool! Water should always be available wherever the piggies go. I like to use a bottle that clips on to their cage. A long metal tube is where guinea pigs suck on and where the water comes out. A thing to consider, however, is that sometimes these bottles get jammed and water won’t come out because gross dirt and algae is blocking it. I don’t know how it gets in there, but you should clean it out with a q-tip to make sure the water flow is steady and consistent, and your piggies can have a drink of water whenever they want. When first getting piggies, introduce them to the water system and make sure they know how to use it before deciding to install it. Water bottles can be bought at any pet store.

Habitat:

The minimum cage habitat for one or two guinea pigs is 7 and a half square feet. I know for some people who do not have a lot of room, it may seem necessary to get a small cage for your guinea pig, but always remember to do the right thing for your guinea pig. If your guinea pig’s habitat is small you should definitely let your guinea pig have time outside their cage, maybe grazing outside and running around on the carpet. Make sure to do your research and keep wires, other animals, poisonous plants, and other hazards away from your guinea pigs. In your guinea pig cage, if it has an upstairs part as part of your square footage, make sure your guinea is able and knows how to get up there. Include absorbant bedding that your guinea pig is not allergic to on the flooring of the cage. Also make eating spots, tunnels, and igloos in there. Our habitat is 16 sq. feet for our two guinea pigs, with leak-proof bottoms, seperate eating spots, wire caging, bedding with potty-pads underneath, and lots of igloos and tunnels. A good guinea pig cage is the Midwest Guinea Pig Cage Extra, which is on sale through  PetSmart for only $44.99!

Health:

It is important to make sure your piggy stays healthy. Maintain a regular veterinary appointment at least once a year. If your guinea pig is scratching a lot, make sure it doesn’t have mites or isn’t allergict to the bedding. Though there are some great guinea pig website out there, always listen to professionals rather than other guinea lovers. Make sure you provide your guinea pig with lots of Vitamin C or they can get a disease called scurvy. Also make sure to trim your guinea’s nails! However, if your guinea pig gets enough excersize this shouldn’t be a problem. Once again, do your research to make your guinea pig happy, healthy, and a good pet!

Social Lifes:

Guinea Pigs are natrually social pets. They need to bond with humans and other other guinea pigs. Try to tame your guinea pig when they are young by being gentle, kind, and giving them something for them to look forward to when they see you. If you give them a carrot everyday, they will associate that with you and start bonding with you. Also talk to them. important to get two females when getting guinea pigs, unless you want babies. Guinea pigs can start having babies at 3 to 4 months old and will breed back to relatives of the opposite gender.

Other Guineas:

As far as other guineas go, two or more guineas are the way to go. Every guinea is unique, however, and some may not like each other. I recommend getting at least two females- a male and female will breed, and two males might fight.

Fun-Time:

Guinea pigs should be able to life fun, exciting, but still safe, lives. It is recommended that you handle your guinea pigs eat least 30 minutes a day or at least let them have some play time for that long. That can mean blocking off an area from dangerous objects, pets, and small children, sitting on the floor with them and letting them run around and explore. That can mean taking them outside in a protected area and letting them nibble grass. Sometimes guinea pigs even enjoy swimming! Also make sure their habitat has enough fun things to keep them busy- for example, they like little igloo structures they can go on top of as well as under.

 

Thanks for listening to these tips! Once again, please remember these should never replace the advice of a professional. These are just some things you can do to make sure your guinea pig has a happy, healthy, and safe life!

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