Pet Guinea Pigs
Cavy with Character

Pet guinea pigs have recently become very popular, one of the main reasons is that they are fairly low maintenance pets, that and the fact that they don’t bark and rarely bite.

They are also one of the most addictive pets to own, the chocolate of pets, once you have one it is very hard to resist another.

Their needs are very basic they need a house, food and love.

Pet Guinea Pigs Piggy with Bad Hair

Housing

Whether you decide to house them inside in a cage or outside in a hutch remember to make sure they are well protected from the elements. If you can try to keep their living quarters raised off the ground, they are still seen as fair game to cats and dogs and we don’t want them stressed out because a large predator is constantly nosing around their cage just waiting for the right time.

A good way to decorate the pet guinea pigs accommodation is to place newspaper at the bottom and hay on top of the paper. Never use sawdust or wood shavings these can lead to skin conditions. A good water bottle that has a valve system and hey presto you are away. Like rabbit poop guinea pig poop is great for the garden.

Feeding

These oversized hairy peanuts are eating machines, eat sleep, eat and sleep, that’s what life is all about. Their main diet consists of hay, vegetables, fruit and pre packed guinea pig mix.

Obviously if you make their bedding out of hay then your pet guinea pig will be eating that so make sure it is always fresh.

Fruit and veg that your pet guinea pig likes:

  • Carrots
  • Turnips
  • Beetroot
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower with the leaves
  • Corn on the cob
  • Bananas
  • Grapes
  • Melon
  • Pears
  • Tomato
  • Cucumber

You will soon learn which their favourites are and also which are the ones they don’t like. Always remove any uneaten fresh foods after a couple of hours. Split the fresh food into two portions a day and when you remove the uneaten produce fill up their bowls with the packet mix. About a handful of greens per day should suffice.

Do not give them apples or fresh cut lawn. A note of caution, although guinea pigs seem to instinctively know what foods aren’t good for them, make sure to keep any poisonous plants out of reach. I have made a list with pictures of some of the more common ones.

Handling

The more you handle your guinea pig the easier it will be to care for it. These are very touchy feely pets and love to be stroked and petted, they will also soon let you know when they have had enough.

When they are newcomers into your home give them a chance to settle down and acclimatize themselves, then when you can see that they are comfortable with their surrounding you can start to make them comfortable with their new companions.

The best way to carry them is with one hand under them and the other hand over them. Do be careful, although they will normally remain quite calm they do however sometimes launch themselves into skydiving mode.

Grooming

Most of them do not need any more grooming than the occasional bath. About once every three or four months is enough. This is important because it helps to keep skin infections at bay. You can use shampoo that has been formulated for small animals or a mild scalp cleansing shampoo for us peeps.

These gentle, peaceful little critters have a lot to talk about, they will purr when they are happy, they will squeak when they are excited and they will sing just for the sake of it. Each one will develop its own unique personality and if well handled will soon get used to all the shenanigans of the household.

All they ask for is love and care, enjoy your little piggy.

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