Guinea pig care guide. Guinea pigs are great pets. They are cute, furry and they don’t need much care. Unlike such as fish. It is another bonus that their diet isn’t much complicated either. Most leafy greens and some fruits and you are good to go. They don’t even need regular walks or trips to the vet.
However, this doesn’t mean that they don’t require any care or attention. There are certain aspects of their maintenance that you need to take care of.
Guinea Pig Care Diet
Although most leafy greens are suitable for your little hamsters, not all of them are safe. Foods such as peas and bananas are great for an occasional treat to mix things up, but they cannot be consumed on daily basis.
An ideal Guinea pig care diet includes balanced calories and nutrients. There are certain things that Guinea pigs need on daily basis. Vitamin C for instance is required daily. But you don’t have to feed them the same source of vitamin C daily. It is better if you introduce variety and change their feed every alternate day. This ensures that your Guinea pigs are well-nourished.
Another aspect to be mindful when it comes to Guinea pig care diet, is their weight. Choose foods that aren’t high in fats and do not contain excess sugars. Both of these nutrients will cause your Guinea pigs to fatten which is harmful for their health.
Guinea Pig Care Guide
A Steady Supply Of Guinea Pig Hay
This is perhaps the most important aspect of Guinea pig care guide and their maintenance. Your Guinea pigs need grass hay to survive. It is the main source of food for those animals and it helps in the digestion of food and regulation of their digestive organs. Grass hay also helps to stop the uncontrolled growth of their teeth. Guinea pigs chew the hay which wears down their teeth and decreases their length. Without the grass hay, their continuously growing teeth would get abnormally long.
So, you need to ensure that there is enough hay for your Guinea pigs. Just go to a pet store and ask for “Guinea pig hay”. These animals can only go as far as 24 hours without hay and would likely die within 48 hours if grass hay is not available.
This might sound basic, but all animals need a constant supply of water. Your Guinea pigs do too. So, make sure that you put water in their enclosure too. Don’t put too big a bowl, a small one will do too. Just check the water supply regularly and refill it when needed.
Like humans, these tiny animals also need comfort and affection from the likes of their species. Although they love your affection and attention, they need companionship too. So, always keep them in pairs to avoid a singleton suffering from loneliness.
If you keep them alone, you need to interact with them daily for long hours. And even that is not sufficient sometimes. They will develop abnormal behavior and become depressed if left alone for more than a couple of hours each day. This would seriously affect their health. Thus, it isn’t a good idea to keep them alone.
Space To Roam About
It is ideal if the enclosure for Guinea pigs is big for them to roam about. For two Guinea pigs, an ideal space would be 10.5 square feet.
However, even if the cage or enclosure you have isn’t spacious enough, there are other things you can do to ensure they are well exercised.
As we have mentioned before, gaining excess weight is detrimental to Guinea pig care guide. To avoid this you need to control their sugar and fat intake. But that isn’t enough, you need to release them from the enclosure at least once a day. This allows them to run freely and stretch their legs. It not only helps to control their weight, but it also gives them an activity. Guinea pigs are social creatures and often get bored when they have no activity.
Guinea Pig Care Guide
The best temperature for your Guinea pigs is 18° to 23° centigrade.
As you have probably guessed, they don’t require a very hot temperature. Their fur coat helps them to stay warm in this relatively cold temperature. If you add more heat on top of that, it might be dangerous for them. It can cause them to have a heat stroke which will shut their vital organs, killing them in the process.
This is why you need to keep them away from strong sources of heat such as fireplaces and heaters. In addition to this, keep a close eye on your animals for signs of heatstroke. Visible signs include panting and drooling. You can also check for an elevated heart rate which is another symptom of heatstroke. But this doesn’t mean that you should put their enclosures in an unheated place. The best place is an elevated space away from any windows or doors.
Keep Them Away From Humid Places
Humid conditions accelerate the growth of mold in their hay. This can cause them to become sick. An ideal environment is one that has a humidity level between 40% to 70%. This doesn’t dry out their skin or cause it to be itchy. And it’s not too much to encourage the growth of mold in their hay.
Guinea pigs are very curious animals. They need some kind of activity so that they remain active and satisfied. You can add some small chew toys, or perhaps a hideout in their enclosure. These are another important aspect of guinea pig care.
You can get a Guinea pig ball, chews, or other small toys to keep them occupied. These toys also help to keep them entertained while you are away.
Another way to keep them occupied is to hide little treats in their hideout. You can hide some treats under a plain piece of paper for them to find. Or stuff some treats into a small paper sack. It will delight them to find these treats and it will fill up their little tummies too! Guinea pig care is not a rocket science but you should learn the basics to keep them happy!