Guinea pigs can be small pets but require a lot of space, attention, effort, and interaction. You will reap the rewards of a happy, healthy, adorable, and well-trained guinea pet if you are willing to provide them with care for Guinea Pigs, good food, care, attention, space, grooming, veterinary care, and proper nutrition.
Set up your Guinea Pig
You will need a cage. For one guinea, you should have at least 7.5 feet of cage space. However, for two, 8-10 feet is a good size. All the space you can give your pigs is worth it.
A cage that has a solid bottom is best. Avoid buying anything with a wire bottom. Guinea pigs are very delicate and must be protected. Bumble foot can be caused by wire flooring.
If the cage’s walls are between 12 and 14 inches high, you should not use a lid. High-built pens don’t require a lid. It is better to have one for when something gets in the cage. It might get blocked by the lid.
Care for Guinea Pigs
A lid is required if the cage will be outside or if you have small children or pets that are dangerous.
Multi-level cages should be avoided. Falling from heights greater than 6 inches can cause injury to the feet and legs of the guinea-pig. Elderly guineas pigs should be kept in flat cages. Remember that your piggy might not be able climb ramps.
Your guinea pig will need a few inches worth of bedding. Add your bedding by covering the bottom of the cage with newspaper or puppy pads. Guinea pigs will live on paper, wood shavings, or fleece. You can give your guinea pigs paper bedding, wood shavings or fleece.
Use paper bedding if you are unsure. If you live in humid areas, make sure to change your bedding at least twice a week. To absorb all the liquid, you can use a soft fleece blanket and a UHaulpad or another absorbent layer beneath. Spot cleaning is required for the fleece.
Choose a suitable location for your cage. The best place to put the cage is one that the family visits often and for long periods of time. Because there is frequent traffic, a living room, bedroom or hallway is the best option. Your guinea-pigs need to get to know their owners.
Care for Guinea Pigs Tips
You must ensure that nobody trips, pushes, or knocks the cage over. This can be fatal for your pet. Avoid putting the cage in a garage that houses cars. The fumes could cause harm to or even death to Guinea pigs. Also, garages are not designed for temperature regulation.
Guinea pigs can be very sensitive to temperature. Many veterinarians recommend that they be kept indoors as this allows for greater interaction. Some experts recommend exposing the guinea-pigs to sunlight as often as possible.
If there are outdoor cats, avoid going outside! Your climate will play a role in determining the best indoor/outdoor ratio. To make the best decisions for your guinea-pig, talk to your veterinarian.
You can adopt two or more Guinea pigs to ensure they aren’t lonely. Guinea pigs are herd animals and need companionship. It is important to ensure that they are related; otherwise they may fight.
Remember that male and female piggies will mate. Spend time every day with your pet. A depressed animal can become isolated if it is not surrounded by other animals. You can also combine two or more males.
Care for Guinea Pigs After Adoption
Adopting a male or female cat is possible, but they may mate. It is best to neuter the male. If the female is pregnant and you are concerned, then separate the Guinea Pigs and contact your veterinarian for instructions.
Guinea pigs can live together in small groups of one male and a few females. The herd mimics the wild. You will likely find them happy if you keep them in this arrangement.
Make sure they have plenty of space
To avoid fighting, make sure you properly introduce your guinea-pigs. Your guinea-pigs should be introduced to one another in a calm, open environment that is filled with food and hay.
Your guinea-pig can be tamed. Talk to your guinea pig by sitting down in front of the cage. Talking to them will help them get used to your voice, and also allow you to smell. After they are comfortable with you being in their cage, you can try sticking your hand inside the cage. You can pet them if they approach you.
It is also possible to let them associate you with food. Begin by bringing the food to them. You can then start hand feeding them once they are more comfortable with you.
How to Feed Your Guinea Pig
Make sure your pet has plenty of water. Water is an essential part of pet care. A bowl or a glass can be used.
Bottles can be messy but they leak, while bowls are easier for guinea-pigs to use and don’t leak. Wood shavings can cause a lot of mess in the water bowl. A guinea-pig/rabbit bottle with a ball in the spout is the best water dispenser.
Your guinea-pig’s water bowl/bottle should be kept clean. It is important to change the water every day. You can clean the water bottle by adding uncooked rice to a small amount of water and shaking it vigorously. Any algae (greenish) buildup will be dissolved by the rice.
You should clean your water bottle nozzle with a Q tip to remove food residue and other obstructions. They can cause harmful bacteria to grow and block the water flow.
Algae buildup can occur if the cage is exposed to the sun for more than a portion of the day. To prevent algae build-up, cover the bottles with an opaque fabric.
Your guinea-pigs should always have hay on hand. Guinea pigs need to graze, and they must have hay available at all times. They can also look at it and poke their noses out. Make sure to comb thehay so that no sharp or pointed pieces stick out!
Babies 6 months and older should not be fed Alfalfa Hay. They also need to be fed to pregnant or nursing sows. For guineas pigs over 6 months, hay, bluegrass, and orchard grass should be fed.
They should have some in their cage at all times. Malocclusion can be caused by a lack of hay. This is a misalignment that can result in the death of many people.
Fresh vegetables should be provided to your guinea-pigs every day. Your guineapig should eat 15% of its diet from green leafy vegetables. Avoid vegetables high in phosphorus, calcium, and Vitamin A.
Too many can cause stomach upsets, diarrhea, and even death. You can get a list from your vet or a trusted website about safe fruits and veggies.
Guinea Pigs should eat plenty of vitamin C-rich vegetables. They are unable produce vitamin C themselves, so too much can cause illnesses like scurvy.
For guinea-pigs, leafy green lettuce, celery and carrots are all good choices. To avoid serious damage to your guinea pig’s digestive system, limit the amount of certain vegetables.
Although some fruits can be enjoyed by guinea pigs, such as apples and strawberries, they should only be offered occasionally because of the acidity. Try cutting up vegetables if your guinea pig is refusing to eat them.
Remember that guinea pigs can have different tastes and preferences. They may also like or dislike certain vegetables.
Avoid giving your guinea-pigs rocket salads, iceberg lettuces, red leaves and cauliflower as well as potatoes and beet greens.
One cup of vegetables is required by each guinea pig per day. It is a smart idea to divide the vegetable meal into two portions, as guinea pigs prefer to eat multiple meals throughout the day.
You should limit the amount of pellets in your guinea-pig’s diet. Nutritious pellets are not necessary for healthy guinea-pigs. If your pigs have been used to eating pellets, it is important to slowly acclimate them. For more information, consult your veterinarian.
If you must feed pellets, make sure to use high-quality pellets. For pregnant or nursing sows and babies under 6 months, an alfalfa-based pellet is recommended. A timothy-based pellet should be fed to guinea pigs over 6 months of age. Oxbow and Kleenmama are two good brands.
Avoid feeding guinea-pig rabbits or small animal pellets to your pet. The vitamin content in these pellets is different and could be dangerous for your pet.
To prevent choking, ensure that you feed your guinea-pig pellets without seeds. Plain pellets are best. They shouldn’t contain any dried fruits, colored pieces, or corn. It should only contain pellets.
Your guinea-pigs should not be fed other food. The only food that guinea-pigs require is hay, pellets, fresh vegetables, and untreated organic grass (wheat, standard lawn grass). It can be dangerous to feed them other foods.
Exercise and socialize your Guinea Pig
Allow your guinea-pigs to have some floor time every day. You can let them run free in an enclosed area, but make sure no one is able to step on them. If it’s not too hot or too cold, you can set up a pen in a space with easy-to-clean floors or outside.
You should ensure that your guinea pig has plenty of room in their exercise area. This will allow them to run and play. Your guinea pig’s happiness depends on their exercise routine.
You should make sure that there are some toys and tunnels available for the children to play in the area.
If you allow your guinea-pigs to exercise outdoors, take extra care. Guinea pigs must be watched at all times outside. They can slip through small gaps and escape your yard. Predators such as hawks and foxes can also get in to even the most secure areas.
You can provide guinea-pigs with many toys and accessories. To make your own toys, you can use boxes, paper bags and oatmeal containers. Use whatever materials are available around your house to make something creative.
Your guinea-pigs will be your best friend. Guinea pigs are social animals and can be found in groups or herds in the wild. Your guinea pet’s happiness depends on how well you handle them each day. Talk to your guinea-pigs. You should make sure you have plenty of time for your guinea-pig to play.
Some countries make it illegal to purchase single guinea-pigs. You must buy them in pairs. Guinea pigs thrive when they have a companion in another guinea.
Depression-like symptoms can be experienced by Guinea pigs (loss appetite, inactivity, etc.). If they aren’t properly bonded, they can develop depression-like symptoms.
Guinea Pigs can be very intelligent. They can be taught to stand on their hind legs and spin, jump and more.
How to keep your Guinea Pig healthy and clean
Spot clean the cage of your Guinea Pig. Guinea pigs can be quite clean so make sure to clean the cage at least twice per week. You may also find it helpful to set aside two days each week to clean the cages.
At least once per week, clean your guinea-pig’s cage. The type of bedding and how many guinea-pigs you have will determine the frequency of cleaning.
Clean up all food, toys, and liners and then dispose of or use a pet friendly antibacterial spray to clean. Make sure you get rid of any cleaners before putting the parts back in the cage. Do not use cleaning products that are intended for humans.
The inside of the cage/hutch may need to be cleaned with guinea-pig friendly antibacterial spray. However, water and sunlight can also kill bacteria naturally. The cage may be placed outside for ventilation.
Replace the bedding. To prevent urine stains, it is often a good idea to place newspaper underneath your bedding. Newspaper should not be used as bedding and should not easily be accessed by guinea-pigs.
They could inhale the ink which could prove to be dangerous. CareFresh is a moisture-wicking fleece that can be used over towels or aspen bedding.
Use wood chips and sawdust for bedding. Avoid pine shavings or cedar bedding, which can contain harmful phenols. You can use aspen or kiln-dried pin fine.
You can use towels underneath fleece to line your cage. Just shake off any debris and wash them. You should make sure there are no loose threads as the guinea-pig’s feet could easily get caught in them.
You should provide a place for your guinea-pig to sleep. Igloos can be purchased at most pet shops or you can give them loose hay to play in. If you allow them to burrow in the hay, they might get their eyes hurt.
Every few weeks, trim your guinea-pig’s nails. Shine a flashlight behind their nails if they have dark nails. The nail can start to bleed if you cut too close to the blood vessel. To stop bleeding, use cornstarch or styptic powder.
It is a good idea for anyone who isn’t confident about cutting their nails to visit a vet to get them done. A vet or tech can trim your nails for you and help you with the details.
Avoid giving your guinea-pigs a bath too often. Although you may want to bathe your guinea-pigs, it can upset their natural body processes so they should only be bathed once a year. A guinea-pig with long hair may require 2-3 baths per year.
Pay attention to signs of illness. Know the signs of illness and how to treat them. Guinea pigs are very good at hiding illness so be alert for any changes in your habits and appetite.
It is important to treat all guinea-pigs at once, as illnesses can spread from one guinea bird to another.
You should inspect the genital area of your male guinea-pig. Male guinea-pigs can get impacted in their genital areas. It is possible to massage the affected area with a cotton swab. Also, make sure there is no poop in the back.
Your guinea-pigs should be kept away from rabbits. Natural bacteria carried by rabbits can cause guinea-pigs to become very sick. Rabbits are larger and stronger than rabbits. A rabbit’s playful kick could cause death in guinea-pigs.
Weekly weigh your guinea pig. Normal weight fluctuations of one to two ounces are normal. However, any greater than that can indicate serious dental problems or other health issues that need the attention of a qualified veterinarian. This is best done with a digital kitchen scale.
Care for Guinea Pigs – Expert Q & A
What is the average lifespan of a Guinea Pig?
A guinea pig's average life expectancy is between four and eight years. Your guineapig will live a long, healthy life. Make sure you give him plenty of high-quality hay to absorb all the calcium and keep his teeth clean.
How can you bond with your Guinea Pig?
Bonding is about building trust with the guinea-pig. Be calm around your guinea pig. Avoid sudden movements and speak with a reassuring tone. Your guinea pig will not like being held in your arms. Handfeed your guinea pig tasty treats like dandelions every day.
What foods are safe to feed a guinea-pig?
Guinea pigs should not be fed meat. They are strictly herbivores (vegetarians). Avoid giving guinea pigs human food such as biscuits and chocolate. Avoid giving avocados, onions and the green parts of tomatoes to guinea pigs. Always verify that the food you are giving is safe before you give it to someone else.
Is it necessary to take your guinea-pig to the vet?
A guinea pig does not require any formal vaccinations. Most are also not neutered unless you intend to keep males and females together. A yearly vet visit is recommended to ensure that your guinea pigs are in good health. A vet visit is necessary if your guinea pig is unwell.
How often do they mate?
That's a great question! It's a good question! Females can also go into heat within hours of giving birth and then have another heat every two to three months. Keep males and females separate unless the male has been dociled.
How do you care for a Guinea Pig?
A safe and spacious place for your guinea-pig to live is essential. You will need shelter, food, water bowls, and comfortable bedding. A shelter, food and water bowls are essential. You will also need toys and pellets, as well as fresh hay and fresh foods. A harness is a must if your indoor guinea pig needs to be taken outside for sunshine and vitamin D.