Caring for Guinea Pigs
A guinea pig is a wonderful pet, especially for children. And you can have him around for as long as 9 years, so take this also into consideration when you consider getting one.
One of the first things that help your guinea pig to be healthy and happy is his house. You need to provide him a large cage. Make sure he does not have any wires on the bottom, or shelves where they could easily catch their feet. If he is your only pet, you can even have an open top so you can reach him easily. The cage should be placed in a bright room, with no drafts and a temperature between 18 and 25 degrees Celsius. Place him somewhere you spend a lot of time, but try to avoid the bedroom as some develop allergies. Do not place him outside as the changing temperatures will affect him, and he is also a good target for predators.
You should also provide your pet a bed that can be made even out of papers, changed frequently to avoid the bad odor. He will also need a water recipient and a food recipient. Next to this, feel free to add cat toys, bells or other things that will keep your pet happy but also safe.
The diet of your guinea pig is also a very important aspect. He needs to have fresh, cold water, available for him all the time. He likes pellets and if you provide him some that are formulated with Vitamin C, it is even better for their health. They usually eat around 1/8 cup per day. Another thing they need and like is grass hay. This they prefer in high quality and unlimited quantity. Eating hay will help their digestive system and keeps their teeth at a proper length. Do not use pellets as a substitute for grass hay, but use both to feed your pet. You can also feed your guinea pig vegetables. He will enjoy about a cup of fresh vegetables a day, like parsley, lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, spinach, and sweet peppers. Make sure you wash and clean them properly before giving them to the little one. Make sure you avoid dried fruits and nuts, meat products, seeds in husks, or rabbit pellets.
Your guinea pig needs exercise in his life. You can hide some food for them in an open space with a clean floor or provide him in his cage enough space to run from one end to the other. Wheels are not recommended for them as they could easily catch their feet inside.
Depending on the length of your pet?s hair, he will need brushing, daily for long hair and every couple of days for the shorter one. You can also wash him special shampoo from time to time. Also, you can make a habit of cutting his nails once a month, Start when he is a baby, so he gets used to this activity.
Make sure you see a veterinary whenever your guinea pig sneezes, has crusty or cloudy eyes, dirty and inflamed ears, dandruff, or issues with his droppings or urine.
Making sure you follow the basics in your guinea pig?s life should keep him healthy, happy and around for many years.
Choosing the Right Home for your Guinea Pig
When you decide to take a guinea pig home, there are some requirements for their cage so you can have him close for as long as possible.
Guinea pigs will agree with you that bigger is better and, if you have decided to take him home, then you need to provide him with a proper cage, big enough for him to have a happy and healthy life.
The advantages of a bigger size will also be seen and felt by you. A bigger cage means it will not get dirty or smelly as fast as a smaller one.
When it comes to the happiness of your little friend, he will surely thank you for the space. He will be able to exercise more, socialize with other guinea pigs or get some private time away from his mates, if you have more than one. The bigger the cage, the less depressed your guinea pig will be and the longer he will live, due to the exercise he will be doing.
You can choose between buying a cage, which is usually smaller than recommended, or building your own. Whatever version you choose in the end, you need to make sure that the pig is safe.
It is very important for your Guinea pig to have a solid floor. Even if you believe that it would be better for him not to stay close to his poop, it is safer for him to do so. If the floor is not solid there is a big chance that he will injure his little feet. Also, if they are constantly stepping on wires, and not on something solid, there is a big chance for their feet to get infections.
Make sure that the doors of the cage are big enough for a big pig to handle and for your hand to get in. Also, the doors should close properly, so your little buddy does not to fall out of the cage.
3. Type of cage
You can choose between having an open top cage or one with a lid. When thinking about this, you should know that guinea pigs do not usually jump around or climb their cages, so not having a lid for your cage can be helpful both for you and the pig. It will be easier for you to get to him and to clean his cage.
In case you have other pets in your house too, then it will be a good idea to have a lid to your pig?s cage, to prevent the other animals from reaching the pig. Having a small child could also make you decide to have a cage with a lid, to make sure the child can not get to the pig easily.
4. Special features
Depending on your situation, you might want to get some special features for your cage. If you travel a lot, you will need a cage that disassembles easily, or, if you want to be able to take the lid out only sometimes, then you will need a cage with a removable lid, and the list can continue.
It is very nice to have a guinea pig, but, in order to make him happy and for him to live with you for as long as possible, you need to provide him with very good living conditions.