Are you planning to keep a guinea pig as a pet? Then you need to know how to take care of guinea pigs in detail. These friendly cavies need long-term commitment and care from their owner. And if you can take care of them properly, they’ll be able to live with you for a longer period. In this article, we’re going to see how to take care of guinea pigs so that you can have proper guidelines to keep your little piggy happy and healthy.
When we get a pet, the first thought that comes to mind is where we will keep it. Thus, if you’re planning to have a guinea pig, you need to pick a suitable habitat. You can keep these little piggies in wire, stainless steel, durable plastic, or glass enclosures. But, as guinea pigs can chew or bite wood, it can’t be a wise choice to keep them.
Therefore, the enclosure should be escape-proof and well-ventilated. And no sharp edges are allowed. Because these edges can cause severe damage to your little, soft, furry piggies. For flooring, choose a solid material that will help your pet stay active and prevent foot sores. Although solid flooring requires more effort to maintain cleanliness, it is much safer for your pet.
At this time, if you’re confused about the size, then look for an enclosure that’s close to 7.5 square feet. You can try this Guinea Pig Cage by Midwest to keep your little friends. It’ll provide you with 8 square feet of living area for keeping guinea pigs. And that is enough space for keeping your piggies active and healthy.
And to keep this flooring neat and clean, you’ll need clean, non-toxic, absorbent, and dust-free bedding. For example, you can use wood shavings, shredded paper, processed ground corn cob, and commercial pellets for appropriate bedding. But, remember, cedar shavings cause respiratory difficulty and liver disease in your guinea pigs. So, strictly avoid it to keep your little buddy safe.
However, our suggestion is to use the Kaytee Clean & Cozy White Small Animal Bedding that meets the FDA standards for your pet. This white bedding absorbs 6x weight in liquid and it’s 99.9% dust-free. So your guinea pig will be happy and safe to sleep in this comfy bedding. Moreover, adding some accessories will make your guinea pig’s habitat more entertaining. You can keep a guinea pig wheel, hideout, or tunnel to keep it active. Also, you can add apple sticks and wooden chews to keep them occupied and strengthen their teeth.
After home, here comes another big concern- what to feed your little piggies? As guinea pigs are herbivorous animals, they love to eat good quality fresh grass or hay, such as Meadow, Oaten, Pasture, Ryegrass, Timothy, or Wheaten hays. Grasses are also helpful for their teeth and provide several nutrients.
And, when it comes to vegetables, give your pet fresh, leafy green vegetables and herbs every day—for example, broccoli, cabbage, basil, coriander, mint, and parsley. And, carrot tops should only be provided as a special treat on rare occasions. Generally, it would be best to feed your pig approximately 12 to 14 packed cups of fresh meals daily.
Furthermore, give your little buddy small quantities of high-quality guinea pig pellets that contain at least 16 percent fiber. For that, you can go for the Oxbow Essentials Guinea Pig Food, which is made of high-fiber oxbow timothy hay, Vitamin C, and minerals. This will be a perfect fit to keep your guinea’s digestive system healthy, supporting the immune system and optimal health. As this guinea pig pellet contains extra vitamin C, it is beneficial for your little friend. And since guinea pigs can’t produce vitamins in their bodies, try to give vitamin supplements regularly.
Additionally, be generous to give your little friend fresh, clean water. But don’t give chocolate, coffee, and alcohol as they are harmful to your guinea pigs. It can lead your guineas to significant medical problems and even death. Sugar and high-fat treats should be avoided because guinea pigs’ digestive processes are not designed to handle them.
Another big concern of any pet parent is the pet’s health. As a guinea pig parent, you also need to care about how you can keep your little piggy healthy and happy. And, you can prevent many common health problems, including respiratory infections and skin problems, with good cleaning and feeding practices.
Firstly, cover your guinea pig’s hutch with a cloth or plastic cover, so you can prevent flystrike as well as keep it clean. In particular, long-haired guinea pigs are susceptible to this flystrike. If needed, speak to your veteran.
Additionally, their hair may also be infested with mites, causing itchiness, discomfort, and hair loss. So, keep them clean. if your guinea pig develops bald patches, it could be due to the fungal disease ringworm, so contact your veterinarian immediately.
Grooming & Handling
Everyday grooming is necessary for the long-haired guinea pigs. Regular grooming will make their hair silky and shiny. These rodents don’t need to take a bath every day. Once a month at most is enough for it.
Also, it will become more confident, friendly, and pleasant by providing regular handling. These soft piggies are very easy to handle, but they can become aggressive if they’re not used to frequent handling. Additionally, you should measure your guinea pig’s teeth and toenails. If they are too long, ask your veterinarian to trim them.
Overall, these are all about how to Take Care of Guinea Pigs. Hope you have found this article insightful, and let us know in the comment section when you are going to get your guinea pig.