If you are looking to adopt a new pet, why not adopt a cute guinea pig. A calm and friendly pet could be an ideal companion for you and your children. Guinea pigs are very friendly and social animals; they are often kept in pairs. It is not advisable to keep a single guinea pig, as they can die of loneliness. The numbers of people who are adopting guinea pigs is increasing. Here is some information about their care, feeding and well being.
Things to know before you adopt a guinea pig
Guinea pigs are generally around 10 to 12 inches long and are very affectionate, charming and friendly creatures. Their average life is around 7 years, but if you take care of them well with good food and maintain their health, then they could live up to 10 years. There are different breeds or varieties of guinea pig with different coat colors and hair patterns. Initially, when you bring them home they might be nervous but they tend to adjust to new environment quickly, if you deal amicably and patiently with them. Ask your children to handle them gently because you do not want to frighten them. In rare cases, they might bite or scratch if mishandled initially.
It is very important to select a reputable place to adopt or buy a guinea pig from so that you are sure of healthy, strong stock. In general, guinea pigs can be bought from pet stores, but if you want a specific breed of guinea pig, you should approach a good breeder. An advantage from buying from a good breeder is that the guinea pig you are buying is already well adjusted, so they will not take much time to socialize and acclimatize in the new conditions. Many people seek to rehome or adopt a guinea pig from rescue shelters. These guinea pigs might not look as attractive as those from your local pet store might, or you may be less certain of your pet’s background, but as earlier discussed, these creatures settle quickly and will soon adapt to their new environment. You will surely see a visible change in their behavior and appearance after few days. There are some things that you should keep in mind while adopting a guinea pig, such as avoid adopting a guinea pig that is hyperactive and often gets panicky. Similarly, avoid adopting those which are extremely quiet.
Selecting a perfect cage for guinea pig
There is no problem if you want to keep your guinea pigs indoor and allow them to roam around in your house. These little creatures require regular supervision and attention, so it is advisable is to keep them in an indoor hutch when you are not around so that they do not get lost or into trouble. Avoid putting them outside in the winter, as this will expose them to extreme weather conditions. These animals are sensitive to direct sunlight and chilling winds, and open pens put them in danger of falling prey to animals such as cats and dogs.
There is no specified guinea pig cage size as a home for cavies. You just need to keep in mind that the cage should be big enough to accommodate a pair and they can roam freely. Guinea pigs are often busy foraging around, so these animals do not like to sit about too long. The base of the cage should be plain, as guinea pigs have small feet and could hurt themselves on wired mesh bases. A properly ventilated and easy to clean cage should be your first choice for guinea pigs. If you desire, you can put soft bedding in a part of this cage for their comfort, but remember that you have to clean it regularly to avoid any hygiene-related problems.
Diet for your guinea pig
A guinea pig diet requires special attention. Usually, guinea pigs eat hay most of the time. You will need to provide other things too. Guinea pigs are not capable of producing or storing Vitamin C in their bodies, so you should incorporate food that holds a decent amount of it. There are many readymade foods for guinea pigs available. You can include vegetables such as carrots in their diet. Avoid putting the food near their bedding so that it does not become contaminated. It is advisable to feed them fresh food every day to keep them disease-free and healthy. Guinea pigs like to chew all the time because they are rodents; therefore, put some roughage in their cage as well as timber and chewable toys. In addition, you can give them some fresh vegetables every other day.
Play with your guinea pigs and pamper them
Guinea pigs are active creatures that love to run and play around. It is fun to join them while they play, as they will like your company. They also make many funny noises that might interest you. Sometimes you just feel that they want to tell you something with those funny noises and they will amuse you are your children. It is good to pamper your guinea pigs, as they need more grooming than many other animals by giving them a soft massage and brushing their hair every day. This will help them stay hygienic. At the same time, you will notice that grooming helps longhaired varieties avoid knots and parasites. Guinea pigs’ claws grow at a good rate, so clipping the claws should be a part of your regular care routine.
There are some medical conditions in guinea pigs that you need to take care of too. Their front teeth grow all the time and sometimes they grow so long that it starts causing pain to the animal. In some cases, guinea pigs stop eating their food because of the length of their teeth. In such cases, you will need to take your guinea pig to a veterinary surgeon that specializes in small pets. It is possible that the long tooth can be removed or clipped. It is good practice to take your guinea pig to a veterinary surgeon for a routine, normal checkup, as this will help your cute little pet to remain safe and healthy for many years.