Compared to other smaller animals, guinea pigs have a longer life span. So, it is no longer questionable why they are opted by many as house pets. But then again, just like any other pets, they also need to live in a clean, safe, and healthy environment in order to survive. Having said that, it is just right to offer them the best possible kind of shelter, such as guinea pig cages.
If you think putting them inside these enclosures is enough, then you’re wrong. As a responsible owner, you have to make sure they are always comfortable and that their place is always clean. To do that, here are some things you need to know:
Making them Comfortable While Cleaning
Before you can actually start cleaning the enclosure, you need to transfer your pet into another cage. But, you don’t just pick him up like you are getting a crumpled piece of paper. You have to gently place your hand around its chest so that it won’t fall. Take note that this animal is prone to nervousness. If you don’t want to lose grip of it, make sure you handle it well enough.
If your pet is accustomed to hiding, be sure you transfer it into a temporary cage with a place to hide. This is because when you move it from its permanent home, it easily becomes scared. And, you don’t want it to suffer.
Cleaning the Enclosure on a Daily Basis
When cleaning the cage every day, it is important that you get rid of its waste and all the excess food. After which, you need to change the lining of the cage to make sure your pet’s shelter is completely dry. By doing all of these, your guinea pig will never be exposed to various health risks.
However, you don’t just clean the cage alone. You also have to wash all its accessories, such as the food and water bowls, using hot soapy water. Doing this on a daily basis will prevent the growth of bacteria.
Performing Weekly Cleanings
Although you’re already conducting daily cleaning, it is also good that you perform thorough cleaning and maintenance once in a while. This way, you’ll have the assurance that your pet lives healthily and happily in an odor-free environment.
Technically, a weekly cleaning is more or less similar to a daily cleaning, only that it is more in-depth. To start, you need to remove everything inside the guinea pig’s cage, which include the food bowl, water bottle, the hiding place, and all other toys.
One thing that pet owners must give importance to is the food and water bowl. Usually, pieces of droppings get into the bowl, so it is necessary to clean it regularly. As much as possible, submerge it into a bowl of hot water and allow it to dry in the air while you clean the enclosure.
Now, it’s time for you to clean the cage. Then again, before you do anything, take the enclosure to an open place, where you can move freely. You’ll have to do some heavy brushing and you might find it hard to do it in a relatively small area.
In order to prevent allergies, use mild detergent or other guinea-pig friendly cleaners. If you think the stains are deeper and thicker, you can use undiluted vinegar. Still, you need to rinse it well afterwards.
Once you are through, it is time to dry the cage. If you have lots of time, allow it to dry in the open air. Otherwise, you have to use paper towels. Make sure that before you place your guinea pig back, the cage must already be dry.
Here is something to keep in mind. Dampness can cause mold problems. Thus, if you just lay your guinea pig into something wet, they are likely to get ill.
Setting Up a New Shelter
If this is your first time to set up a guinea pig shelter, then you’ll have to learn a lot of things. But, you can always start with lining the cage with a clean newspaper. And then, you can layer it with bedding. Ideally, hay makes an excellent bedding because it doesn’t contain any chemicals that may pose harm to your pet.
Prior to putting down the newspaper and the bedding, be sure the cage is completely dry. A damp surface will only promote the growth of fungus and mold.
Finally, you need to know that these adorable and fluffy creatures need an environment with a constant temperature. Once you put them in a cage that is exposed to direct cold or heat, their overall health might be affected. It is best to keep them in a room with a temperature that does not drop to 70 degrees Fahrenheit or rise to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Raising guinea pigs is something that must not be taken for granted. Even though it involves a commitment of effort and time, owning one can be a truly rewarding experience. So, if you wish to spend plenty of time with them, it is about time that you give them guinea pig cages that suit their needs.