Bringing a new pet into your home is always a wonderful experience. If you plan to adopt a guinea pig, also known as cavies, you won't be disappointed. With proper training, owning a guinea pig pet can be just as exciting as having a dog. They are pretty friendly and curious pets, but they require daily attention to stay happy and healthy. In this article, we will go past the most crucial things you need to know in order to correctly take care of the guinea pig.
What is the correct guinea pig cage?
There are numerous types of cages available for guinea pigs, but most of them are made out of wires, stainless steel, plastic, and glass. Wood shouldn't be used since it's a lot more complicated for cleaning, and it's pretty easy for your pet to chew on and destroy the enclosure. The being of the guinea pig cage must be clean and nontoxic. Examples of adequate beddings include wood shaving, shredded paper, and pellets. It isn't recommended to use cedar shavings because they can cause your pig pet respiratory problems and liver diseases. Furthermore, look for pig cages that have one side opened to improve air ventilation.
The ideal pet cage for your guinea pig should have a minimum of 36-inches in length, 30-inches in width, and 18-inches in height - this gives them enough space to exercise and play around. In terms of cage placement, guinea pigs can handle house temperatures pretty well, as long as they don't exceed over 80°F. They are nocturnal animals, so they don't prefer a lot of noise and stress.
The guinea pigs are pretty social, so you won't have problems keeping them together in one cage; especially if one is a male and the other is a female. Just note that the older guinea pigs may chew on the ears of their cage mates, but that is just to show who's the boss in the cage!
What kind of guinea pig food should you buy?
Guinea pigs are herbivore animals, which means that grass is the most crucial part of their diet, just like rabbits. The grass hay is particularly suitable for your pig pet because it stimulates teeth growth. Any type of grass hay works great, but stick with timothy and orchard brome. Also, we advise that you avoid getting legume hays, like alfalfa, because they are really high in calories and proteins. You can put the hay food in a feeder or simply throw it around the corners of the pig's cage.
Guinea pigs aren't capable of producing their own vitamin C; therefore, they will need to source it from the food you provide them. The best way that you will be able to do this is by giving your lovely pig some of your fruits and vegetables. Collard green and dandelion green are high sources of vitamin C, but if you don’t have any of them you can feed them some apples, pears, broccoli, and cucumbers. You should be feeding your pet pig around ½ packed cup of fresh vegetables per day.
Of course, it is also necessary that you provide your lovely guinea pig with fresh and clean water throughout the entire day. You can put water in a sipper bottle or a heavier bowl to prevent the pig from spilling it all over the cage and making a huge mess.
NOTE: Avoid feeding your pet any foods that are high in starch; for instance, peas, beans, nuts, cookies, cereal, grains, and bread. These types of food can be bad for the overall health of your pet pig and it can potentially lead to an imbalance of your pig's GI tract.
How can you keep guinea pigs entertained?
The guinea pigs are active creatures that enjoy being entrained and active. In order to keep your furry friend engaged the whole time, you should buy them a couple of guinea pig toys. There are literally hundreds of toys available online, but some of the most popular ones are exercise balls and wheels, toy balls, deep tunnels, tubes, chew toys, and stairs.
However, a common mistake that many pet owners make is buying too many pig toys and cramping their cages with them. Instead, you should stick with a few toys that you think are the most essential for your guinea pig. For example, the activity that all guinea pigs love is doing full-speed laps on an exercise wheel.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Dakota Newman