Guinea Pigs as Pets
Many a guinea pig care provider knows the sound of a guinea pig squealing with delight whenever the refrigerator door opens! Try putting the hay or fresh food in places such as hidden in little crumpled bits of paper, empty toilet paper or sections of paper towel rolls or non-toxic baskets just for fun! Try putting pellets in a small hollow plastic ball with small holes drilled in the side that are slightly larger than a pellet; as the pig rolls it around with his nose, he will get to eat in the process! The hay can be provided in a hay feeder or put in the corner of the cage. Severe footpad infections are common among guinea pigs housed on poor substrate, especially cages with wire flooring.
Pet guinea pigs are not likely to have this parasite unless they had previous exposure to lice-infested guinea pigs. Many guinea pigs with slobbers are emaciated, have aspiration pneumonia and gut stasis, so are in a very weakened state by the time they see the veterinarian. Most Guinea pigs will approach a hand introduced into their cage and can be easily scooped into the palm of the hand. Usually, cupping one hand under the rump while the other hand cradles the midsection is a good way to pick up guinea pigs safely. Guinea pigs are quite nose-heavy, and often land on their incisors when dropped.
Guinea pigs not accustomed to being handled may jump and run, but are rarely aggressive. Housing accommodations provided for pet guinea pigs are limited only by one’s imagination, ingenuity, and budget. Guinea pigs can be housed within enclosures made of a variety of materials. Pigs kept together since youth are likely to live harmoniously guinea pig relationships can deteriorate and sometimes previously harmonious animals may need to be separated. The single most important consideration regarding guinea pig breeding is that the female guinea pig should be bred between four and seven months of age if she destined for breeding.
Pet care for Rabbits & Guinea Pigs
Guinea pigs need roughage in the form of hay as the main part of their diet. It is important to provide 2 biscuits of high-quality hay per day that is mould and parasite free. Hay that has been let outside to become wet and exposed to vermin like wild cats, rodents or birds can result in ill health in your guinea pig. Good hay has a fresh pasture smell and is green tinged in colour. It is tricky to find good hay in urban areas, so you may need to make friends with some farmers.
Guinea pigs less than 6 months old also need access to Lucerne hay, which is the dark green coloured hay. A healthy adult guinea pig also needs 25mg of Vitamin C daily, via high-vitamin C fruit and vegetables or a vitamin C supplment,. Do not use vitamin C supplements in your guinea pig’s water. A pregnant guinea pig will need about 30 to 40mg/day. Aim for 70% hay, 30% green leafy veggies and some occasional treats, such as apple, banana, cranberry, tomato and watermelon.
Avoid too much lettuce varieties, cabbage and fruits as they can make your guinea pig very sick. Choose an age appropriate pellet variety for your guinea pig and only feed about a tablespoon per day.
Guinea Pig Nutrition |
Your guinea pig should have unlimited access to a variety of quality grass hays. Among many benefits, hay helps prevent obesity, dental disease, diarrhea, and boredom. Since replacing the hay in your guinea pig’s habitat can encourage picky eating, we recommend changing it only when soiled. Young, pregnant, nursing or ill animals can benefit from eating alfalfa hay in addition to grass hay because of the higher nutritional elements. Otherwise, alfalfa should only be given occasionally as a treat.
Grass hay should make up the majority of your pet’s daily diet. Offer a variety of hay to your guinea pig to promote optimum health. Since hay is a natural product, each bag will look and feel different. Use our Taste & Texture Guide located on every hay package to determine your pet’s taste and texture preferences.
Animal Humane Society
Guinea pigs are tail-less rodents with long, short, or sometimes wild hair that ranges in color. When full grown, they weigh around 1-2 pounds and are 8-10 inches long. Described as cuddly and comical, guinea pigs love to vocalize with squeals, chirps, squeaks, and whistles. They make wonderful pets for children and can be very social animals. Guinea pigs are hardy little animals, and their easy care makes them especially affordable pets!
Pet Insurance for Birds & Exotic Pets
If you want coverage for your bird, rabbit, reptile or other exotic pet, you’ll find it only with Nationwide. This affordable exotic pet insurance plan covers accidents and illnesses as well as examinations, lab fees, prescriptions, X-rays, hospitalization and more. To enroll in the Avian & Exotic Pet Plan, please call 888-899-4874.