Guinea Pigs Care Information Diet, Cages and Health
Guinea Pigs have been known around the world as a great pet for over 400 years!! They have a calm temperament, aare not aggressive, and rarely if ever scratch or bite an owner. The pets are popular Christmas gifts and are perfect for teaching children how to care for an animal. The pets are often raised in pairs since they are social animals and are more at home when they have another pet to sleep against. These pets can be purchased from a breeder or pet store, or, adopted from a local animal rescue or shelter.
Here are the facts you need to know when considering them as a Pet.Guinea Pig Breeds There are many Breeds, but there are three breeds that are raised as pets. Cost of Ownership Among all pets, only owning a bird or fish costs less than taking care of one of these pets. Males: 1.98 lbs – 2.6 lbs Females: 1.654 lbs – 1.98 lbs Breeding, Gestation and Age at Maturity Guinea pigs are in the mother’s womb for 59 to 72 days. Cages, Litter and Room Temperature The key to a good Guinea Pig Cage is to keep it simple. Materials used include plastic guinea pig cages, metal and wire.
These materials contain oils that can be toxic for your pet. Once you establish a diet for your young pet, do not change it as this can cause gastrointestinal probelms. Veterinary Care Like all pets, a guineapig should be check by a veterinarian at least 1x per year.
Miniature Pigs Guide
Tammy is having problems litter training her miniature pig and that’s hardly the first time I’ve heard that lament with miniature pigs and other animals. Compounding the problem is that Tammy’s mini pig also likes to eat its litter! Oh my. Tammy, your real problem here is that your pig is eating litter. Cats actually learn to use a litter box from their mothers.
The good news is that pigs have some habits that can work in your favor when it comes to litter training. Tammy’s problem is that her mini pig would rather eat the litter than use it for its intended purpose. Again, before we start, never use clumping litter for your mini pigs. The presence of feces in the litter will hopefully dissuade your pig from using the litter box as a buffet while also getting the point across that the litter box is where poop belongs! If your pig eats around the feces, try to put a fairly generous amount of piggy’s poop in the litter so there aren’t any notable bare patches on which he or she can dine.
If piggy still eats from the box, try sprinkling the zest from a lemon over the top of the litter. Mini pigs have sensitive noses and the smell alone may turn your pig off of the idea of eating its litter. Sand, pine wood shavings, even shredded newspaper can all serve as absorbent substitutes for commercial litter and may be less appetizing to a mini pig. Though some options may mean more frequent litter box.
What are the common health problems in pet guinea pigs?
Many of the common health problems seen in pet guinea pigs are often preventable by good husbandry and good feeding practices. Vitamin C deficiency causes the guinea pig severe pain and discomfort and is a preventable condition. Ulcerative pododermatitisIn the wild, guinea pigs generally live on grassed areas or other types of natural material which provide some measure of cushioning for their feet. Swollen and ulcerated footpads are a common problem when guinea pigs are kept on hard surfaces and/or uncovered wire mesh floors. Domesticated guinea pigs should be kept on soft floor material and soft bedding material to help prevent ulcerative pododermatitis.
Uncovered wire mesh floors should be avoided as these are too hard on the guinea pigs’ footpads. Mite infestations can severely compromise a guinea pig’s well-being. Should a mite infestation be diagnosed, please thoroughly clean out the guinea pig hutch/housing. Dental disease causes severe pain and discomfort to the guinea pig and is best prevented by feeding an appropriate diet. Guinea pigs have evolved over thousands of years to eat a high fibre diet.
In their natural environment wild guinea pigs eat predominantly grass throughout the day. If you suspect your guinea pig is suffering from any of the above mentioned diseases and/or you notice any other abnormalities or problems please consult your vet immediately.
Guinea Pig Cage Location Matters
Stable temperature The room should have a stable temperature range of 65 to 75 degrees F. 85 degrees and over and your guinea pig is likely to die from heat stroke. If you are comfortable, your guinea pig will be comfortable. Low and stable humidityThe room which houses your guinea pig should not experience high humidity or fluctuations in humidity. Humidity can be just as bad for your guinea pig as drafts. It is critically important to the long-term health and happiness of your guinea pig that you find a place for the cage that is central to family activity or at least just on the immediate periphery.
The guinea pig should be part of family life, even if it is ‘designated’ as one person’s pet. Behavior is more easily monitored, interacting with the guinea pigs is easier and therefore more frequent, and the family is more attentive to cage cleaning needs. Unless your garage is finished off, insulated and part of your home, it is inappropriate for a guinea pig cage. If your guinea pig is outside most of the time, the two of you will lead separate lives. There are also many other practical reasons for keeping a guinea pig indoors.
Guinea pigs who live inside tend to live longer than outdoor guinea pigs. In the case of rapidly progressive illnesses, a delay of even one day can cost a guinea pig his life.