12 Guinea Pig Care Mistakes And No-Nos
Guinea pigs require some specific care in order to thrive. A review of these common guinea pig care no-nos helps you avoid them so your guinea pig buddies live the good life. No skimping on plentiful grass hay, fresh water, and vitamin C. The guinea pig diet is mainly hay; we’re talking about 80% hay. Hay is necessary because of its high-fiber content, which helps maintain the guinea pig digestive tract and also wears down constantly growing teeth. Many guinea pig pellets include added vitamin C, and you can also offer guinea pig-safe fresh veggies and small amounts of fruits rich in vitamin C. Without this vitamin, guinea pigs develop scurvy and could die. If you’re uncomfortable, so is your guinea pig. Manufacturers of such products believe in their safety, but some guinea pig owners speak against them. The Guinea Lynx website, which focuses on guinea pig health, and visitors to guinea pig forums recommend against them. Guinea pigs need a fairly large habitat/cage that has space to run around after accessories like food dishes, water bottles, toys, hideaways, and litter boxes are added. Guinea pigs should only live with other guinea pigs. This includes chasing a guinea pig around the habitat with your hands, not supporting a guinea pig’s abdomen and feet while holding, and allowing young children unsupervised playtime with guinea pigs. It’s best if guinea pigs come to you to be lifted out of their habitat; excessive chasing with your hands causes stress. Get your guinea pigs used to your hands by laying them in the habitat for several minutes without doing anything and offering treats on your hand. A guinea pig pair or group that has a clean habitat, great food, plentiful water, and lots of toys still won’t enjoy the best life if they spend all their time alone in their habitat. Outside of obvious signs of illness, changes to the norm are your first clues of possible guinea pig health problems.
School of Veterinary Science UQ VETS Small Animal Hospital
Guinea pigs, sometimes referred to as Cavy, are rodents originating from the Andes. If you are considering adopting a guinea pig, you need to first understand the importance of providing your new pet with the right diet, exercise and housing. Guinea pigs are happiest when kept in groups, and housed in a combination of both indoor and large outdoor enclosures. Guinea pigs can suffer heatstroke if it gets hotter than 27°C. They are most comfortable when it is between 12°C and 20°C. If you decide to keep your guinea pigs indoor, ensure they get plenty of out of cage time to exercise. Guinea pig hutches with wire bottoms allow them to graze while getting some sun. A good diet would consist of 80% good quality hay and grass, providing the fibre important for a guinea pig’s health. Baby guinea pigs should only be fed lucerne hay, which is higher in protein and calcium, and lower in fibre. An appropriate amount to feed would be about the size of the guinea pig. Allowing your guinea pigs to graze on grass encourages exercise which helps prevent obesity. The remaining 20% of the diet should consist of up to 1/8 cup of pellets designed for guinea pigs. Sexing guinea pigs is hard, so if the breeder is not experienced or if you’re at all worried about potential problems a vet check is recommended. Ask the breeder what they feed and how they care for the guinea pigs, and they might have a few tips that could smooth the transition into a new home. As guinea pig teeth continue to grow, a poor diet can result in overgrown teeth, root impaction and painful abscesses. Providing soft bedding and towels on hard floors can help prevent foot problems, which can be especially common in pregnant and obese guinea pigs. Guinea pigs are prolific breeders so desexing those in mixed sex households can stop unwanted pregnancies and aid in inter-group relations! Five to six weeks old is a great time to get this done.
Animal Health Care Center, Arlington, TX
Guinea pigs, also known as “Cavies”, are prey animals from the rodent family. They are not from Guinea, nor are they pigs, but they are great pets and fun companions for the right pet owner. These animals are highly social, and must have a cage mate, so if you are considering a guinea pig, make sure you are planning on at least two and have an area large enough for an appropriate habitat. Check online for guinea pig rescues, too – your adoption from a rescue could save a life! Make sure you get two of the same sex, and this should be verified by your trusted veterinarian. Many of the guinea pig cages available in pet stores are actually not appropriately sized to maintain a happy, healthy cavy. A good formula for determining proper cage size is seven square feet for the first guinea pig, and 2-4 square feet per additional. Having a correctly sized cage will help prevent obesity, aggression issues, and make your pet feel more comfortable and at ease. Wood shavings are not suitable for guinea pigs, who have very delicate respiratory systems. Your guinea pig should always have a fresh supply of clean, dry timothy or orchard hay in their habitat at all times. Guinea pigs, like humans, are not able to synthesize Vitamin C in their own bodies, so it must be supplemented with a colorful diet of fruits and vegetables. Veggies are better than fruits, since most fruits contain large amounts of sugar which may contribute to obesity. Since they are prey animals, guinea pigs will often hide signs of illness or injury and then decline in condition very quickly. If you notice ANY abnormalities, even small things like sniffles or sneezing, it is imperative that your pet be seen by a vet right away. Do not let your pet roam around on any high surfaces. Desks, beds, tables, or counters are a steep fall for a small animal like a cavy – better safe than sorry!Never use running wheels or free roam plastic balls with a guinea pig.