Guinea pigs are active, cute and social little animals. They can adapt to various situations as well. Here is how you can take care of guinea pigs. Many people prefer having a guinea pig in their homes as they can be an all-arounder. If you’re planning to have one, check out how to take care of guinea pigs first. This article will provide means proper ways to take care of them to make sure your bond grows stronger as the years go by.
Setting Up Your Guinea Pig
First of all, choose the right cage for your pet. Although, they are born very small they can grow quite fast easily. It will just take a few months for them to grow full size. It is recommended to have a cage with measurements of atleast 7.5 square feet. Guinea pigs can mate in as early as one month old. To avoid having a bevy of guinea pigs, it is advisable to have same-sex groups. Next, you should have an adequate supply of cage supplies. Bedding, water bottle, food dish, and toys are vital for guinea pig’s welfare. Avoid pine or cedar shavings because they are toxic. Other than their diet, Timothy hay can be the best form of bedding. The cage should have a tray underneath to make cleaning easier. Furthermore, your guinea pig should have a dedicated room for them to be safe. It is vital for them to have room to stretch their legs and move around. Eliminate any unnecessary objects like wires which can be a potential hazard to your guinea pigs. When introducing them to other animals do it slowly day by day until they get used to it.
Feeding Your Guinea Pig
At least 1/8 cup of guinea pig food is recommended per day. You can also give them a couple of leafy greens like a spinach, lettuce, kale, sweet potato or carrots per week. When you’re using Timothy hay as bedding, always observe cleanliness and replace them daily. Any food that isn’t eaten should also be replaced as this can go bad and harm the guinea pig. Don’t forget to keep a steady supply of freshwater as well.
Handling Your Guinea Pig
It will take some time for the guinea pig to get used to it but you should take note that whenever you want to carry your guinea pig it should be done slowly. Choose the right moment when you and your pet guinea pig are both calm. When carrying the guinea pig, support it with both hands with one hand underneath to let your guinea pig know she is secure and safe. Buy some dedicated toys for the guinea pig and don’t improvise because it might be a potential hazard to them when they gnaw at it.
Cleaning Your Guinea Pig
You can actually prevent bathing your guinea pig most of the time if you brush them once or twice a day. When taking your guinea pig to a bath it should be warm water. Avoid human and dog shampoo as it will do more harm than good. Rabbit shampoo can be a good alternative, though. If your pet is experiencing some fungal skin conditions, use a medicated shampoo specifically designed for that kind of concern. Always make sure that your guinea pig is wiped dry and avoid returning her to the cage, still wet. When trimming their nails, just remove the tips to avoid hitting the blood vessels as this can be very painful for your guinea pig.
Cleaning Your Guinea Pig’s Cage
Any soiled hay should be pulled off once a day. Take note of the cage corners because these can be the spots where they usually do their business. When disinfecting the cage, use a cloth with diluted white vinegar, rinse with clean water afterwards.