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How to Care for a Guinea Pig

By Jade Jennison

Guinea pigs are extremely sociable creatures and tend to get lonely if you do not spend time with them every day. Many people believe that these pets are easy to care for and do not need a lot of attention but it is in fact the opposite and you will need to be dedicated when adopting such a fantastic animal. It is good to keep these excellent pets in same sex pairs as they could also become very lonely on their own. Although it used to be acceptable that you keep these pigs outdoors it is now recommended that they remain indoors due to interaction with the family and also weather problems.

These wonderful creatures are a brilliant family pet but make sure that when coming into contact with children they are handled with care as they are fragile. Essentials when keeping guinea pigs include the following:

 

  • A Cage
  • Food and Bowls
  • Water
  • Exercise
  • Chew Toys

 

Guinea Pig Cage

A lot of cages which are branded guinea pig cages are far too small for the average rodent which could be a problem when choosing the correct cage. Make sure that the cage is 7.5 square feet minimum for one guinea pig and ranging up to 13 square feet for four guinea pigs. Inside the cage you will need to have bed shavings made out of recycled paper and apply 2-3 inches to the bottom of the cage. Also needed is a hide, nest and a bathroom area.

Guinea Pig Food and Bowls

Giving your cavy a nutritional diet is important if you want them to be healthy and happy. Their favourite and most substantial food is hay. Providing them with fresh hay is imperative as it helps their digestion and limits growth of their teeth. Along with the hay you will need to supply them with 1/8 cup of pellets once a day and give them fresh vegetables and fruit. You can treat your little pig every once in a while but do not treat them too much as they could become overweight. Use a ceramic, wide and shallow bowl to serve their food in.

Water

A constant supply of fresh water in a dish or preferably a water bottle is needed to keep them satisfied and healthy.

Exercise

If your guinea pig is not given plenty of space to exercise and time to do so they could end up with severe health problems. Do this by providing them with a large cage and exercise toys to help with the process. Also, allow them out for a couple of hours a day for some floor space to allow them to discover new places.
Chew Toys

As you may already know rodents teeth do not stop growing throughout their whole life so providing a chew toy is a definite essential. A wooden, non-toxic chew toy is best for them to file down their teeth whenever they like.

Guinea pigs are a wonderful pet to keep and it is very beneficial for you to keep an animal within the home. Be sure to stick to the essentials and provide your pet with tender loving care and they will reward you with love.

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