How To Take Care Of A Guinea Pig For Beginners?

Have you ever ever wondered what it’d be like to personal a guinea pig? They’re fascinating little creatures that can scurry their approach proper into your coronary heart.

We’re right here to inform you all about what it’s preferred to personal and care for a guinea pig. All the information you want is true right here, so let’s get going and find out all about guinea pigs!

how to take care of a guinea pig for beginners

How To Take Care Of A Guinea Pig For Beginners?

Guinea pigs are believed to have originated from the Andes in South America, not as wild animals but as domesticated from the beginning. The primary function of their domestication was for meat.

However, as they were introduced into North America and Europe within the 16th century, they grew to become standard as family pets.

These little critters can weigh between 1.5 – 2.5 pounds and be anyplace from 8 to 16 inches lengthy. They often reside a minimum of four years; however, they may reside as much as eight years with wonderful care.

Guinea pig coat colors are available in an enormous selection, all inside black, brown, and white classes.

Different distinctive coat colors and lengths embrace tortoiseshell, white tortoiseshell, lengthy hair, brindle, dalmatian, Dutch, and fully hairless!

Guinea pigs differ from different rodents in that they’re much extra mature at the beginning than rats or mice. Guinea pigs are larger than rats; however smaller than rabbits and now have no tail.

Do Guinea Pigs Make Good Pets?

Should you select to own a guinea pig, you can find that they’re fairly social creatures. Not only do they incline to thrive higher with a roommate guinea pig.

But they also take pleasure in routine interplay with their human and can happily strategy a hand that’s positioned of their cage. When they’re socialized at a younger age, they welcome dealing with and playing easily.

Guinea pigs have odd sleeping patterns, which can be laborious to foretell. As prey animals, their intuition is to sleep in very quick intervals, at instances not even closing their eyes to sleep.

The instances they are typically most energetic are at dawn and dusk. However, you’ll most likely see your guinea pig energetic more often than not, day or night time.

It could shock you that these creatures want everyday interplay and feeding, not like smaller rodents (like hamsters) that may be left alone for a couple of days at a time.

To ensure that a guinea pig is the healthiest, it wants a minimum of a while outdoors of its cage day after day. This enables him to develop a bond with you and stretch out his legs a little bit.

Guinea pigs additionally want recent meals, hay, fruits, and veggies supplied to them every day, in addition to water. They’ll show their appreciation for your feeding them with loads of cute squeaks!

Where Can I Get a Guinea Pig?

Guinea pigs can doubtless be found at any huge field pet retailer close to you. You possibly can additionally verify your native humane society or pet adoption company.

The web may additionally assist you in finding your subsequent pet piggy by way of Fb Marketplace, Craigslist, or one thing prefer it.

Right here, you may filter out guinea pig traits like gender, variety of guinea pigs grouped collectively, breeds, ages, and the way rapidly the piggies should be adopted (from “waiting for the appropriate house” to “desperate”).

how to take care of a guinea pig as a pet

How Much Does It Cost to Own a Guinea Pig?

The introductory price of getting a guinea pig will probably be more expensive than the monthly price to look after it.

You’ll spend around $200 on your guinea pig cage, toys, bedding, and the animal itself while you first get your guinea pig.

After that, you may expect to spend around $40 monthly on meals and bedding.  After all, this per-month price will go up the more guinea pigs you resolve to personal.

When you must take your guinea pig to the vet (a minimum of every year or for an illness), every visit will price about $50.

What Type of Home Does My Guinea Pig Need?

As bigger rodents, guinea pigs require a lot larger living space than a mouse or gerbil. In line with Vet Care Pet Hospital, every guinea pig you have got ought to have a minimum of 100 square inches of the ground.

This means you probably have two guinea pigs, and your cage needs to be a minimum of 200 square inches.

The cage itself could be wire, glass, or sturdy plastic. However, the ground of the cage needs to be strong, not wire.

It is because guinea pigs can develop foot issues with wire-bottom cages, in addition, to ending up with broken legs if their legs get caught between the wires, and so they attempt to make a hasty escape.

Be certain that there are regular patterns of nighttime and day to put the cage in place, and keep it out of bedrooms to maintain your sleep undisturbed.

So far as the contents of the cage go, you will have these items:

  • Paper (preferred) or wooden bedding (not cedar wooden, although)
  • Food bowl
  • Water bottle or heavy water dish
  • Hiding place (like a small field or plastic home)
  • Toys
  • Wood and mineral chews

What Should I Feed My Guinea Pig?

Your guinea pig’s food plan will consist largely of Timothy (or grass) hay, which can be what rabbits eat.

Grasses are good for guinea pigs as they supply several soluble and insoluble fiber and many different vitamins they want.

The abrasive nature of the grass additionally aids in filing down guinea pigs’ teeth, which by no means stops growing.

Guinea pigs are distinctive rodents that, like people, don’t produce vitamin C on their very own. Due to this, you will have to complement their food plan with vegetables and fruits wealthy in vitamin C. In a ¼ to ½ c. measuring cup.

You may pack any of those vegetables and fruits: kale, mustard, dandelion, or collard greens, candy peppers, apples, pears, broccoli, cucumber, basil, or parsley and feed it to your guinea pig every day.

Moreover, you might need to give your guinea pig high-quality pellets. Be certain that the pellets are particular for guinea pigs and have added vitamin C.

Your guinea pig can even want a clear water supply, supplied in both a heavy-bottomed dish (to prevent knocking over) or a bottle fixed to the cage.

how to take care of a guinea pig

How Do I Take Care of My Guinea Pig?

Many parts go into the care of your guinea pig that you’ve to remember. While you read over the care tips, know that guinea pigs thrive on routine.

For instance, when you’re feeding, feed her at a similar time every day. Take her out of her cage about the identical time daily for the play. A disruption in routine would possibly stress your guinea pig out.

Feeding

Provide your guinea pig grass hay (Timothy or orchard brome is finest) regularly in limitless quantities.

Give them ¼ cup to ½ cup packed vegetables and fruits every day, and take away any uneaten parts not more than 24 hours after serving. ¼ of a cup of guinea pig pellets will also be supplied every day if you feel your piggy wants more sustenance.

Don’t feed your guinea pig any grains or something comprised of grains (like bread, cereals, and many others.), legumes, sugary, fatty, or salty meals, as these foods may disrupt the GI bacteria of your guinea pig, probably leading to death. Additionally, provide clean water in a bowl or water bottle at all times.

Handling

It’s recommended that you simply at all times handle your guinea pig with two fingers, one scooping it up below its backside and the opposite around its midsection.

That approach, it’s a lot much less doubtless that you’ll drop them. You could find your guinea pig likes to snuggle in your lap or prefers to roam around independently. Both approaches it’s okay; make certain the environment is steady and protected.

Grooming

Guinea pigs don’t want baths; however, they could be spot-cleaned with a moist material or an unscented child wipe when wanted.

Piggies with hair could be brushed with a soft-backed brush about as soon as every week. Hairless guinea pigs could be rubbed with an aloe-based, non-toxic lotion often.

The teeth of a guinea pig are naturally yellow. However, they shouldn’t be cleaned. Their nails should be trimmed a minimum of as soon as a month.

Cage Environment

The guinea pig’s cage needs to be kept in a cool area with a minimum of one window, so the guinea pigs get uncovered to regular patterns of day and night time.

However, the cage shouldn’t be positioned in direct sunlight, as guinea pigs overheat. To maintain your regular sleep schedule, the guinea pigs shouldn’t be stored in the identical area that you sleep in, as their nighttime exercise would possibly maintain you awake.

Exercise

Exercise on your guinea pig is necessary for a lot of causes. For one, it retains them occupied. A bored guinea pig may get himself into bother (biting issues they shouldn’t, escaping, and many others.).

One more reason they want exercise is to get them correctly socialized with individuals and different piggies. A guinea pig left remoted too usually would possibly grow timid and hostile.

It’s ideally suited to provide them about Three or four hours of free-range time every day, especially if their cage is comparatively small.

Many guinea pig owners will put their piggy in a big space on their tiled or hardwood ground, bordered with some fence to maintain them from escaping.

Contained in the play space, put objects like containers, paper luggage, or pipes they’ll match by way of. It will maintain them entertained for a very long time, and they’re going to benefit greatly from the enjoyment!

Socialization

Guinea pigs are social creatures with different individuals and guinea pigs. You will discover that a guinea pig with a companion in an identical cage will probably be a lot happier than one that’s on its own.

Make sure that there is just one male per cage, although they are inclined to fight. A neutered male and spayed female could make great cage mates.

As we’ve talked about earlier, set up a play routine when your guinea pig is younger. It will guarantee your piggy will stay playful and enjoyable in his whole life, rather than being timid and scared.

Cage Cleaning

The guinea pig’s bedding must be modified twice every week, at minimum. Additionally, take away moist spots within the bedding as quickly as you notice them. It will maintain the cage smell-free for your guinea pig’s sake.

It’s additionally recommended that you clear the entire cage with a 3% bleach solution a minimum of as soon as every week.

It might be finest to do that during your piggy’s playtime so the cage will get clean and has time to dry earlier than you put her again inside.

how to take care of a guinea pig properly

How Do I Know If My Guinea Pig Is Sick?

In regular health, your guinea pig will probably be alert energetic, eat and drink daily, walk around, and squeak continuously!

These are all signs of a cheerful and healthy piggy. However, your piggy would possibly develop an illness, and you’ll have to take him to the vet.

Listed below are some normal signs to be careful for and will point out illness:

  • Weight loss
  • Abnormal hair loss
  • Abnormal lumps
  • Skin lesions
  • Labored respiration
  • Lethargy
  • Diarrhea or dirty backside
  • Eye or nasal discharge
  • Overgrown teeth

Should you notice any of those signs in your guinea pig, take them to the vet to get them checked out. Your vet will be capable of instructing you on the next steps to take and probably prescribing medication.

Right here’s a little bit more details about just a few of the commonest sicknesses guinea pig expertise.

Respiratory Infections

Respiratory infections in guinea pigs look quite a bit like allergy symptoms: runny nostril and eyes, sneezing, bother respiration, and coughing, to call several.

They’re pretty frequent in piggies due to the environment they reside in. Be certain that their bedding is cleaned regularly and isn’t worsening their situation.

Scurvy

Guinea pigs don’t produce their very own vitamin C, which a deficiency in causes the illness scurvy. Scurvy could cause dental issues, growth issues, and a weakened immune system.

It could cause critical joint points and reproductive issues at a worse state. This is the reason your guinea pig wants a minimum of 10mg of vitamin C a day.

Tumors

Tumors can occur anyplace on a guinea pig, identical to people. It’s a good suggestion to check your guinea pig recurrently for lumps. I feel his stomach gently to do that.

Take your piggy to the vet in case you notice any sudden lumps. It may very well be a tumor, a harmless fatty lump, or guinea pig babies.

Conclusion

Proudly owning a guinea pig can enrich your life. They’re small and portable, and easy to journey with and handle.

Guinea pigs are playful and curious when given the appropriate surroundings. They don’t seem to be as low upkeep as hamsters or mice; however, they’re more interactive.

Should you’ve decided a guinea pig is for you, we want you to luck in your search for your next pet pal and a few years of pleasure with them!