If you’re considering bringing a guinea pig into your home for the very first time, this article is just for you. People, who want to bring a pet to his /her house, always try to give the best care. In this article, you’ll get guinea pig care tips and guidelines for those who are not only new guinea pig parents but also old.
Guinea pig care information
Guinea pig is of the rodent family. If you can manage appropriate care and affection for your guinea pig, it can be an excellent, fun, and loving pet for you. Although a guinea pig doesn’t bite, but young and not socialized guinea pig can nip out. Guinea pigs cannot live alone because they like to live in groups. The lifetime of a guinea pig is 04 or 05 years.
According to American Cavy Breeder Association, there are thirteen breeds of guinea pigs in the world.
Guinea pig care guide
If you bring or want to bring guinea pigs into your house as a pet, you should have the preparation of taking care of them. Before bringing guinea pigs to your home you should read out our guinea pig pet tips.
If you can socialize your guinea pigs, they will be easy to handle. Your voice should be calm and gentle and your movement should be slow during handling. Guinea pigs can make different types of sounds in different situations. If you can understand their sounds, you will be able to handle them well.
In order to pick up a guinea pig use your one hand to scoop the back end and use another hand for supporting the rib-cage close to the front legs. In order to provide stability for your guinea pig holds it steadily against your body. Your guinea pig must settle down, but if you notice that your guinea pig is not becoming calm, you should find out the reason of their discomfort feeling.
If you can provide them with enough food, water, and, security, they may pass more time with you. You must spend enough time so that your guinea pig becomes social and happy. Although guinea pigs live in cages, you should manage at least one hour to take them out of their cage.
a) Cage size
If your guinea pigs spend a big amount of time in the cage, you must manage a big cage. The size of cages found in pet stores is not enough for their living. The minimum size of a single guinea pig cage should be 50“ X 24”. The size should be increased by 20% for each additional guinea pig. For preventing respiratory disease, their cage should be well-ventilated. In order to keep their feet well make the floor solid and rigid.
b) Fresh bedding
You can use paper towels and washable covers as bedding materials for your guinea pigs. Clean the bedding daily and must change the bedding twice a week. Avoid using cedar chips and wooden shavings because these elements can be responsible for respiratory problem. Proper sanitation must be maintained because they are so slovenly that you will find them in the food dish.
c) Temperature in the room
Guinea pigs cannot tolerate much heat and humidity. If they get much warmer, they will suffer from heatstroke. It is said that their room’s temperature shouldn’t exceed 80 degrees centigrade. The humidity level must be within 40% to 70%.
Don’t keep guinea pigs with rabbits or other species because rabbits may carry Bordetella-type disease which can be fatal for your guinea pigs. Although some guinea pigs can enjoy themselves with dogs or cats, it should be remembered that these animals are prey and can do harm to your guinea pigs. So, it is a wise decision to keep your guinea pig alone or with other cavies.
As cavies, guinea pigs love to rotate regularly. Guinea pigs can play with toys that work as an exercise. You can prevent their boredom by providing them with some toys. Guinea pigs have a habit of chewing, hiding, and exploring. You can provide these things as their toy:
- Hiding place
- Paper rolls
- Boxes made with cardboard
- Bags made with paper
You can also buy some lite toys from the pet shop.
Although grass is the most important diet for guinea pigs, Hey can be the best alternative for them. It is the most compulsory diet for your guinea pig. Provide Timothy to your guinea pig. Alfalfa is not perfect for them because it contains a lot of calcium and can lead to obesity. If your guinea pig is young or pregnant, you can give them alfalfa, but if they become adults, give them only grass hay. Every veterinarian suggests guinea pig owners to provide Oxbow because of its quality. If you don’t provide hey as their need, they will suffer from dental problems.
In order to ensure important vitamins and minerals, you should provide them at least one cup of vegetables to your guinea pig. If you want to initiate any new food, do it slowly. Offer two or more shoot types of vegetables per day. You can give them the following vegetable items:
- Lettuce leaf
- Green leaf of Dandelion
- Parsley etc.
Provide fresh and clean water for your guinea pig. Attach a sipper bottle to the cage’s side and pour fresh water into it.
You can provide pellet as a supplement, not as a main food. You can provide one or two tablespoons a day for one guinea pig. Don’t use it with dry fruits, vegetables, or seeds. Most of the veterinarians suggest Oxbow because its quality is so high.
Fruits are not good for your guinea pigs. You can provide them in small quantities because it can cause diarrhea. Guinea pig like apple, cantaloupe, or alfalfa most, but it should not exceed 5% of their total diet.
f) Vitamin C
Guinea pigs cannot synthesize their own vitamin C because they don’t have enough enzymes. They must get their vitamin C from their own diet. Lack of vitamin C can cause Hypovitaminosis C which can lead to scurvy and other diseases. You can offer them with guava, red peppers, or parsley for natural vitamin c. but you can also use Oxbow vitamin C tablets as supplements.
Give your guinea pig chews items for their mental, nutritional, and behavioral prosperity. You can buy some toys from a pet shop and replace with new items per month for maximum engagement. When they are out of their case, you should keep your eyes on them so that they cannot chew things like electrical wires.
5. Find a veterinarian
Guinea pigs need regular check-ups just like other pets. After bringing them home, take your guinea pigs to a veterinarian and take them per year. If your guinea pigs show some unethical behavior, take them to your veterinarian immediately.
A veterinarian can examine your pet well, point out the problem and help you to give them proper care. So, you must contact a veterinarian for medical or health-related problems.
Grooming is essential for presenting your guinea pigs. Like other pets, your guinea pigs require hair maintenance. You can use a hairbrush for hair maintenance. You should also remove excess hair or angles. Check your guinea pigs’ skin and nails and take them to local Greencross vets for manicuring their too-long claws.
If you handle and groom your guinea pigs per day, it will strengthen the bonding between you and your guinea pigs.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is a guinea pig easy to take care of?
No, guinea pig is not easy to take care of. You need to spend a lot of time for keeping your guinea pig healthy and happy.
2. What do guinea pigs need in their cage?
No animal can spend all the time in a cage. So, you should manage time to take them out of the cage every day. They require enough space for roaming, clean food and fresh water, and toys to play in the cage.
3. What keeps guinea pigs happy?
Guinea pigs like to play with toys like balls, tubes, and tunnels. You can also buy some toys from the pet shop. They like to hide themselves from everyone. So, tubes and tunnels are best for this.
4. Do guinea pigs need baths?
No, guinea pigs don’t need regular baths. But, if they get messy, their owner should wash them. You can wash your guinea pig 3 to 4 times per year.