Guinea pigs not only love to be around humans, they also prefer to have another pig living with them. If you don’t want lots of little piggies, make sure your Guinea pigs are all the same sex. Since guinea pigs, like all rodents, multiply rapidly, keeping males and females together is not recommended. Place lots of exercise playthings in your guinea pig’s cage, such as cardboard tubes and boxes for hiding. The cage should be at least four square feet per guinea pig. Line the bottom of the cage with carefresh® complete all natural paper bedding or carefresh® custom Rabbit & Guinea Pig bedding for added absorbency and odor control. Soft carefresh® custom Rabbit & Guinea Pig bedding is more comfortable for guinea pigs, which have sensitive feet. We, of course, recommend carefresh® Timothy Hay, made from the highest quality hay in the US. The diet should contain a stabilized form of Vitamin C, which is crucial to your guinea pig’s health. Carefresh® complete Guinea Pig food is specially formulated to be a complete and balanced diet for your guinea pig, so you can be assured it is getting proper nutrition. Even though guinea pigs are very social animals, it might take a little time for them to get used to being handled. Guinea pigs love to get out of the cage and exercise, so let them roam in a small room with no openings. Take your guinea pig to the vet for a new pet exam, and every six months for wellness exams. Ask your veterinarian how to clip your guinea pig’s nails to prevent injury and infection. If you think your guinea pig is sick, don’t delay – seek medical attention immediately. Guinea pigs are also susceptible to external parasites such as mites and lice.
Health Problems with Guinea Pigs
If the parasite infection and itchiness are intense enough, guinea pigs can suffer from seizures. More commonly the signs are not so severe to cause seizures but guinea pigs do tend to break their skin while itching and a secondary bacterial infection occurs. These sores often occur from overweight guinea pigs or vitamin C deficient pigs housed on inappropriate bedding. Strong smelling wood shavings contain oils that predispose guinea pigs to respiratory disease. Guinea pigs should never be housed with rabbits for a number of reasons, one of which is that rabbits can carry Bordetella and not show signs of illness. Guinea pigs can develop stones in their bladder or along the urinary tract. We do not recommend that spinach, broccoli or alfalfa hay* be fed to guinea pigs. Please see our care sheets for guinea pig diet suggestions and healthy guinea pig veggie sheet for a discussion of appropriate foods for your pig. Many times, we see guinea pigs that are in GI stasis from dental issues or poor diets. Guinea pigs have teeth that grow throughout their lifetime. In guinea pigs, normally aligned molars act to wear each other down during the act of chewing. The best way for your guinea pig to wear his back teeth down is with his food, as the chew toys or wood blocks only will come in contact with the front incisors and not the back teeth where the most common problems arise. A guinea pig requires fresh pellets made specifically for guinea pigs. In our experience here at Chicago Exotics, we commonly see older guinea pigs with advanced heart disease. Guinea pigs can get ear infections that affect either the outer portion, the middle canal or the inner portion of the ear.
Guinea Pig Care Sheet & Guide
Before you bring your new guinea pig home, make sure the habitat is stocked with toys and treats. Your new guinea pig will be delighted if the habitat is in a calm, secluded spot away from larger pets. Guinea pigs love a good cuddle but on the first day home, give your guinea pig time to settle in. Shop cages Shop water bottles Shop food bowls Shop hay Shop hay racks Shop chew toys Shop bedding Feeding your guinea pig You’re going to want hay- lots of hay! It’s your new guinea pig’s favorite food, and they thrive on a variety of it. Every day, fill your guinea pigs’ food bowl with fresh hay. Every other day, add some salad to their meal with kale, collard greens, zucchini, or shredded carrots pigs. A healthy guinea pig diet is about 20% vegetables and 5% fruit. Guinea pigs cannot store or manufacture their own vitamin C. Help them out with a daily supplement. Your guinea pig will love all the food you offer, but if sits in their bowl for more than four hours, it’s time to take it away. Shop food bowls Shop hay Shop vitamin C supplements Playing & grooming Guinea pigs love to forage. Always keep a watchful eye on guinea pigs playing outside their enclosure. Shop habitats Shop small animal playpens Keeping your guinea pig healthy Little critters need checkups just like any other family pets. Take your guinea pig to a vet a few days after coming home, then schedule check ups once a year. Take your guinea pig for a check-up if it displays any of these symptoms,. PETSMART CARES Pets purchased at PetSmart are part of our exclusive Vet Assured™ program, designed by PetSmart veterinarians to help improve the health and well-being of our pets.