Guinea Pig Care
Originally from South America, guinea pigs come in various colors and fur types – the “English” variety have short, fine, straight fur, the “Peruvian” have long, silky, straight fur, and those that have rosettes of fur are called “Abyssinians.” Guinea pigs (or cavies as they are often called) have an average lifespan of four to eight years, and can weigh up to two pounds, if they are well looked after. They like being handled and easily adjust to a new environment. Two females of the same age, or an adult and baby, are the best combination, if you are planning on having more than one. Guinea pig care can be quite easy if you use some preventative steps.
Guinea Pig Care – Housing
Although a very large cage is not necessary to house guinea pigs, there should be ample room for them to exercise, and to keep their feeding place, toilet, and hiding place separate. If there are two, there should be ample room to accommodate them both and to ensure that the guinea pigs are comfortable. A flat-bottom cage is preferred over a wire bottomed one, as it is easier to keep clean and safer for their feet. For bedding material, pine kiln-dried shavings work the best – other material can cause health problems. A cover on top is a must when there are other animals around, and they should be supervised if there is interaction between them.
Placing the cage in a quiet area will eliminate loud noises that may startle them. By making sure that your guinea pigs can see people, they won’t feel so lonely. For lighting, natural light is the best – not direct sunlight. For their safety, when allowed out of the cage, you will need to make sure that they don’t chew any electrical cords or come in contact with any other hazardous objects.
Guinea Pig Care – Food
Guinea pigs have certain requirements when it comes to nutrition. Vitamin C is a must for a healthy diet because their bodies do not manufacture it themselves. An added supplement in their water is a simple way make sure they get enough, but it needs to be consumed fairly quickly for its properties to remain potent. If they lack vitamin C, they will show signs of it – they will become ill and the babies’ growth will be slowed down. Vitamins E and K are also essential and are present in hay. Since their teeth are continuously growing, guinea pigs need a diet that can help wear them down. A large variety of washed fruit and vegetables is an ideal for these vegetarians. Food pellets are also a good source of nutrition.
Guinea Pig Care – Interaction
Guinea pigs need interaction with people and make very good pets for both adults and children. Preferably, the children should be older than six years of age and able to handle them with care. Frequent human interaction is necessary for them to get accustomed to handling, and cuddling is especially enjoyed.
For more information about guinea pigs, there is an eBook called “Guinea Pig Care Made Easy.” This step-by-step guide has all the facts you need to care for your guinea pigs and to keep them healthy and happy. From how to set up the cage properly to curing illnesses, this book has it all. It comes with a 60-day, 100% satisfaction guarantee, so you have nothing to lose. Click here to get your copy: Guinea Pig Care Made Easy .