Everything You Need to Know on How To Care for Your Pet Guinea Pig
Caring for guinea pigs or cavies as they are known, isn’t hard at all. In fact, they are one of the most fun and rewarding pets you can own. They are docile, friendly and are the sweetest little creatures.
Since they are herd animals, guinea pigs enjoy being around other guinea pigs. They do very well as a pair of the same gender unless you are breeding them of course.
Guinea pigs love to have human company too and become very attached to you as they are sociable animals.
So now you’ve found the best pet in the world! How do you take care of a guinea pig?
What to feed your guinea pig?
Guinea pigs are herbivores, and they should be fed a diet that consists of hay, vegetables, fruit, pellets and water.
Hay is the most important part of their diet as it helps to keep their teeth from becoming overgrown. It also provides them with the fibre that they need to stay healthy. They forage around eating food all day long.
A Guinea Pig’s diet consists of the following foods:
- Hay 70-80%
- veggies & apple 1/2 cup
- kale branch x1
- Pellets that are reinforced with vitamin c and iron
- fresh water daily
More About Guinea Pig Diet
One of the best ways to make your guinea pig happy and healthy is by changing the diet. Fresh vegetables are good for your guinea pig, but you should be careful not to overfeed your pet.
Fresh vegetables do not contain the same amount of nutrient density as pellets.
However, many guinea pigs will start liking vegetables over pellets in the beginning. Try to introduce new vegetables gradually to avoid introducing a new ingredient at once.
Vitamin C is an important vitamin for guinea pigs, as it helps maintain healthy body cells.
Unfortunately, guinea pigs do not produce this vitamin, so it must be obtained from their diet. If they do not get enough vitamin C in their diet, they can suffer from various health problems, such as poor bone density, teeth deformity, and even decreased appetite.
Fortunately, vitamin C can be found in many vegetables, including spinach, broccoli, bell peppers, and tomatoes. Some guinea pig specific pellets are also available that contain high levels of vitamin C.
Another good vegetable for your pet Guinea Pig is raw beetroot. It contains little or no oxalates and contains a good amount of calcium.
Avoid feeding your pet too much cabbage, which can cause bloating and gas. Sprouts contain phosphorus and oxalate acid and can cause stones. Also, squash is fine to give your guinea pig once or twice a week.
NOTE – Double the amount for 2 guinea pigs.
TOP TIP – Buying a water bottle instead of having a bowl of water will be especially helpful for your guinea pig. The reason why a water bottle is a better option is so the water stays clean and your guinea pig is not stepping in or pooping in the water dish.
Housing for your Guinea Pig
Some of the household supplies your pet Guinea Pig needs are simple toys. Some are made of treats, such as ping-pong balls. Always wash these toys thoroughly before using them, though.
Your pet will love chewing on things, so you should buy special grass chew balls for your guinea pig.
These treats will stimulate your pet’s senses and be safe to eat. You can also make your own treat balls to give your pet a variety of tasty treats.
Another important type of toys for your pet guinea pig is a playpen. Make sure your pig doesn’t get into trouble in its playpen.
Toys for guinea pigs can include soft toys that contain treats. Wire playpens are great for guinea pigs, as they can scurry across a large area without injuring themselves. Be sure to clean the cage often, as your guinea pig may chew on the wires.
Another type of guinea pig toy is cardboard tubes. These are common household items, but can also be cut up and used as guinea pig toys.
If you don’t want to spend any money on a guinea pig toy, you can use shredded aspen bedding for your guinea pig. You can also put newspaper in the bottom of its cage.
We found an amazing guinea pig cage idea that uses grids and connectors.
Your guinea pig will need a place to sleep, eat and play. There are many different types of housing available for guinea pigs.
You can buy the basic model and customise the cage or buy one that’s ready to go. We love this housing idea as you can also make a playpen and use it outside so your piggies can enjoy the sunshine too.
The first thing you should know about their housing is that they need a cage with at least 2 square feet of space per guinea pig. They also need a space to stretch out their legs and walk around.
The cage should also be tall enough so the guinea pig can stand up on its hind legs without hitting its head against the top of the cage.
How to Care For Your Guinea Pig
Grass, Litter, Exercise, and Health are some of the most important aspects of pet care for guinea pigs. You will learn how to care for these sensitive creatures. Here are some tips:
Grass For Guinea Pig
Grass is an excellent food for your pet Guinea Pig. Not only does it contain Vitamin C, but it also has a number of other benefits.
Guinea Pigs need to chew on grass for proper nutrition. Grass that has not been eaten in the right time can mold, leading to respiratory problems. Grass that is re-grown can be used as a source of grass.
Grass contains moderate amounts of vitamin C and other essential nutrients, so it can replace hay. However, hay still has to form a significant portion of a Guinea Pig’s diet.
Grass is also lower in sugar, so it should not cause your pet Guinea Pig to develop diabetes, which is a serious health concern for pets. So, you should try to offer your pet grass instead of hay every once in a while.
It’s important to remember that grass from your yard should be clean and dry, as grass with weeds and clippings can cause digestive problems in your pet.
Avoid letting your guinea pig eat too much grass at once, as this will stress their digestive system.
In addition, grass that is wet may also contain parasite eggs. Aside from that, grass clippings may also contain parasite eggs, exposing your guinea pig to diseases like worms and parasites.
Hay For Guinea Pig
Your pet Guinea Pig will enjoy fresh, natural hay that is crafted from a variety of plants. Timothy grass hay contains the highest fiber content, and is hand-selected.
Mini bales are convenient and easy to clean and reseal after use. They come in various sizes, including five lb, twenty lb, and fifty lb. You can also purchase hay in bales if space is at a premium.
In addition to providing fiber for your guinea pig, hay also wears down their teeth. Because guinea pigs continue to grow teeth throughout their lives, this helps prevent tooth decay.
A good source of hay is a small bundle of hay stacked in a cage with plenty of toys.
Your pet will love chewing on this natural, healthy treat. You can even get a few bundles for your Guinea Pig and share them with your family.
Grass hay is recommended for adult guinea pigs. It is rich in fiber and nutrients. There are several kinds of hay, including Timothy hay, alfalfa, and orchard grazing grass.
Timothy hay is the most widely available and can be purchased at any grocery or country feed store. Timothy hay has a distinctive sweet smell and a green tint. Make sure to avoid hay that is moldy or dusty, as these could make your pet Guinea Pig ill.
Guinea Pig Litter
Your pet Guinea Pig will probably have its own place to do its business, but you can make litter box training easy by providing a separate litter box for your guinea pig. The litter box should be filled with bedding that is different from the rest of the guinea pig’s cage.
Newspaper works as bedding, but you can also purchase rodent litter bedding. You should be prepared to clean the litter box often, so make sure to keep it clean.
You can find many different types of bedding for your pet Guinea Pig, including newspaper, sawdust, pine shavings, and straw. Whatever you choose, make sure it is comfortable and absorbent.
Paper is a great choice, because it absorbs feces and urine and is free of chemicals. Recycled newspaper is a great option, too. Its absorbency and odour control make it the perfect choice for your cavy.
Keep in mind that cat litter contains dust particles that are harmful for your guinea pig. Cat litter contains several chemicals that can be harmful for your guinea pig, and you should avoid using any cat litter for your guinea pig.
Avoid using crystal cat litter for your guinea pig – it contains high levels of toxins and is very toxic for pets. Aside from that, clumping cat litter can also be toxic for guinea pigs.
Exercise for Guinea Pig
Your pet Guinea Pig needs exercise, too! Adding activities to the cage is a great way to increase your pet’s activity levels. A maze is a great way to exercise your pet Guinea Pig, because it challenges it to think a little harder and use its brain as it tries to find a way out.
Exercises should be fun and rewarding, so you can try offering treats to your pet Guinea Pig in exchange for exercise.
When exercising your pet Guinea Pig, make sure you use safe and enjoyable exercise products. Your guinea pig will get more exercise if it is outside their cage and not in a cage. It will also enjoy a new shelter or foraging.
Make sure to mix up the activities, and supervise the session! Your pet will love getting exercise, as long as you are a good parent! And, don’t forget to reward your pet for good behavior and a healthy life.
Another great way to provide your pet with exercise is to hide a variety of fresh vegetables for your pet. Your pet will love this and will use its brain to find the healthy veggies.
Choose seasonal vegetables such as carrots, lettuce, spinach, and broccoli.
These vegetables will not only help your guinea pig eat nutritiously, but they will also be happy to find them. Whether you hide the vegetables in boxes, jars, or crates, they will find them with great delight.
Guinea Pig Health Problems
Common pet health problems for guinea pigs include ovariohysterectomy, a procedure in which the ovaries and large portion of the uterus are removed. Such surgery should be done only after consultation with a veterinarian.
Infections affecting the guinea pig’s lungs, such as staph infection, usually affect young animals.
Infections are spread through direct contact, aerosolized particles, and contaminated objects. A guinea pig with staph infection may be off its food and show signs of difficulty breathing.
A culture of the animal’s ocular and nasal discharge may be obtained to determine the causative organism. Infected guinea pigs may require supportive care to recover.
Abscesses can develop anywhere on the body, including the skin and muscles. The guinea pigs may also develop abscesses around the mouth or jaw, caused by tooth infection.
Treatment for abscesses varies, depending on the location and timeliness of treatment.
Whenever you notice lumps, look for them. If they appear externally, they could be abscesses.
A veterinarian may recommend surgical removal if the infection is large enough to cause pain. If this treatment is unsuccessful, bacteria may be passed through the bloodstream, causing more serious problems.
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