10 Tips on Caring for a Guinea Pig
Ideal housing for guinea pigs are hutches approximately 0.9 sq metre per adult guinea pig, although they need plenty of exercise outside their hutch. Hutches should be completely stripped out and scrubbed, ideally once a week during the summer and more regularly during the winter when guinea pigs spend more time inside. In the winter it’s also advisable to put plenty of hay in the hutch for your guinea pig to burrow in. Guinea pigs need fibre rich diets, such as hay or grass, to help digest food and maintain healthy teeth. Hay and grass should be supplemented with a complete food for guinea pigs, which is different to the food given to rabbits as guinea pigs can’t produce their own Vitamin C and they also require high levels of Vitamin A.
Guinea pigs can also be given fresh vegetables, in moderation. Guinea pigs need to eat fibre to wear down their continuously growing teeth. It’s advisable to clip the claws approximately once a month, however the more a guinea pig walks or runs on a hard surface the less frequently they will need clipping as they will wear down themselves. Regular exercise is important to keep guinea pigs fit and prevent boredom, which could lead to behavioural problems. It’s advisable to keep guinea pigs in social groups to encourage them to interact and socialise.
Rub your hands over your guinea pig’s body including his head, legs and feet to check for any lumps or bumps or anything stuck in his pads. Regularly examine your guinea pig’s mouth for signs of disease and overgrown teeth. Monitor your guinea pig’s body condition by running your hands over his ribs and backbone.
Guinea pig insurance
Find out what you need to know about buying and insuring a guinea pig with the help of our guide. Guinea pigs can make a great first pet for children or young families as they are known to be very low maintenance and fun creatures. If you’re looking to insure a guinea pig, follow that link through to the site of our preferred provider, ExoticDirect, who provide an extensive range of cover for different types of animals, including guinea pigs. ExoticDirect’s guinea pigs policy covers veterinary fees for an accident or illness which will be capped at a certain level per policy period. They can be sociable critters, and if it’s possible to house your pet with other friendly guinea pigs it’s recommended.
If you are buying more than one to live together, always check their sex or you may end up with lots of baby guinea pigs on your hands! As natural grazers, the majority of your guinea pig’s diet should be hay and fresh grass, as well as daily fresh vegetables and greens. Grass-based guinea pig pellets should provide your pet with the vitamin C that they require as they aren’t able to make it themselves. Unnecessary changes to your guinea pig’s diet should be avoided as they have very sensitive digestive systems. If you aren’t sure whether you should feed your guinea pig a certain food, consult with your vet first.
Guinea pigs are naturally preyed upon by other animals such as cats and foxes, so they must have an area where they can avoid being seen. Guinea pigs enjoy having toys to play with and chews to file down their constantly growing front teeth.
Guinea pig Insurance
Browse our veterinary-reviewed Dog and Cat Illness Guide to learn more about pet health. Always talk to your veterinarian if you have a concern about your pet’s symptoms or health. Pet Assure allows pet owners to save on their pet’s veterinary care, even pre-existing conditions. Pet Assure is a low – cost pet insurance alternative. It’s perfect for Guinea pig!
Learn why more than 100,000 households have chosen Pet Assure for their pets. Among pet health plans, Pet Assure is the best value pet plan for your Guinea pig. It is the best pet insurance alternative and available for any type of pet. Pet Assure covers every medical condition, including ear infections, skin allergies, skin infections, gastritis, enteritis / diarrhea, arthritis, bladder infections, tumors and hypothyroidism. We are the cheap pet insurance alternative that covers every medical service, including routine visits, dental work, x-rays, laboratory work, vaccines, cremation, spay & neuter, hospitalization and emergency services.
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Long-haired guinea pigs can be especially hard to look after. BehaviourIn the wild, guinea pigs live in large social groups. Two adult guinea pigs that don’t know each other may fight. We do not recommend that guinea pigs and rabbits be housed together. BreedingThe RSPCA strongly advises that you do not breed from your guinea pigs as it is very difficult to find good homes for the young.
HealthGuinea pigs should be checked regularly for overgrown claws and teeth. Long haired guinea pigs in particular may suffer from the potentially fatal disease flystrike, cause by flies laying eggs in soiled fur. To avoid this, make sure the guinea pig’s home is cleaned every day and their bedding changed regularly. Groom guinea pigs every day, checking their fur all over for any dirt, especially under the tail. If a guinea pig develops bald patches this could be the fungal disease ringworm.
FoodGuinea pigs can suffer from vitamin C deficiency, which causes weight loss, general weakness and swollen joints. Like people, guinea pigs cannot make Vitamin C and need to eat fresh greens every day.