How to Look After Guinea Pigs
Guinea pigs, often known as cavies, may make fantastic, amusing, and affectionate pets if provided proper care and health supplements. They belong to the rodent family and are gentle and kind. Guinea pigs are herd animals that communicate and vocalize in intricate ways. They are not usually content as lonely creatures and prefer to live in groups of two or more. Humans are not cavies’ substitute companions. While it is preferable to grow guinea pigs together while they are young, many adults may be introduced successfully. Let’s have a look at the best ways to deal with guinea pigs.
Guinea Pig Housing
A hutch that is protected from predators like dogs and cats is necessary for guinea pigs to reside in. It demands a setting that shields them from the elements and offers adequate room for exercise. A perfect guinea pig habitat should be as big as possible, with just the proper amount of lined, covered room and cushioning soft grass hay. Wood shavings and sawdust should be avoided since they might irritate the respiratory system of the pigs. Be careful to routinely wipe out the hutch and get rid of any rubbish in the hutch. An appropriate hutch design contains a dark space for the guinea pigs to take nap and hide, as well as bedding of:
- A huge wooden hutch, Wendy house, or shed that is predator-proof.
- A separate resting space for them to crawl out of sight for some peace and quiet, as well as a warm place to stay
- Plenty of enrichment to keep them occupied
- Their housing must be shaded, waterproof, and draught-proof.
A hutch with more than one level may be difficult for guinea pigs to manoeuvre in since they have small legs and are generally not great climbers. It is indeed safer if the ramp has sides so your guinea pigs won’t be falling off and hurt them if you do have one.
Feeding the Guinea Pigs
As they are inherently herbivorous, guinea pigs would often hunt and graze in small groups in the wild. They require a lot of roughage to promote chewing, which wears down their teeth and helps avoid significant dental issues as their teeth are always growing. Guinea pig requires ample amounts of the following essentials in their meals to make them content and healthy:
Grass and Hay
Premium quality hay should make up the majority of your guinea pigs’ diet, thus they must frequently have access to it. As often as possible, ideally on a regular basis, they should also experience some fresh grass.
Give guinea pigs a fresh portion of grass-based guinea-pig pellets every day since they have specific nutritional demands and must acquire adequate vitamin C. While Vitamin C is lost when exposed to air, they provide essential Vitamin C.
Water is an essential component of your guinea pig’s diet. Always make sure your guinea pig has access to clean, fresh water. To ensure they always have easy access to water, place a bowl or water bottle close to their constant supply of hay.
It is also crucial to understand what not to feed a guinea pig, as there are many things that may appear harmless but can actually lead to serious health problems. For example, giving them a variety of stimulating chews, like applewood sticks, wooden toys, balls, and blocks, encourages the wear and decay of their developing teeth. A certified veterinarian should always be consulted before deciding what to feed your guinea pig.
Health Concerns of Guinea pig
We now know that guinea pigs frequently eat a variety of foods, so it would be critical to ensure that they are giving them the proper quantity; otherwise, they can. They may have issues with their teeth, stomach, or vitamin C levels. The following is a list of some of the major regions where you should be vigilant when taking care of a guinea pig.
Guinea pigs require a high-fiber diet to maintain a healthy and active digestive tract. A lack of fibre in your guinea pigs’ diet may cause their stomachs to work less efficiently or perhaps stop completely. The health of the guinea pig’s intestines is critical.
Although guinea pig teeth are constantly growing, it is also essential that they regularly consume fibre to grind them down. Their teeth may overgrow and develop unpleasant spikes if they don’t consume enough hay and/or grass, which will prevent them from eating.
Guinea pigs cannot produce vitamin C and must instead get it from their diet. Scurvy is a result of an absence of vitamin C. A sensible way to make sure your guinea pig receives enough vitamin C is to feed it fresh greens that are high in the vitamin.
Most guinea pigs are manageable, especially if they receive the appropriate socialisation. Some young or newly acquired guinea pigs, nevertheless, might not be used to handling. Always speak calmly and act slowly and gently while handling your guinea pig. Your guinea pig will grow more sociable and content the more time they spend outside of their habitat. Guinea pigs may spend as much time with their human as they choose as long as they have access to enough food, water, and safety. Others want to explore the world outside of their cage while relaxing and snuggling with their owners. Never allow your cavy to wander the home by themselves for their protection. Therefore, as we recall, it is always recommended that you speak with a licensed veterinarian before considering what and when to feed your guinea pig.