You are about to find out how to care for your guinea pig.
It is what many have failed to do in one way or another. However, you need not blame yourself if you failed due to lack of proper knowledge rather than negligence.
A guinea pig that does not enjoy proper care will show by its sad face and the ruffled shaggy-looking coat.
If you would want to see your guinea pig having that ever-smiling face and a shiny, healthy coat, it is your responsibility to give it maximum care. You should feed it properly, provide suitable habitat, groom it, give it attention, and provide vet care whenever needed.
But how do you go about all these activities when you hardly have time for yourself? Maybe you are involved in doing so much that juggling all you have that becomes almost impossible.
You don’t have to worry yourself. It is easier than you think. Moreover, the same small animal will lift your spirits when you receive the happy face and the usual popcorn dances with squeaky noises once you get home.
Table of Contents
A Good Habitat
What you provide your guinea pig as its habitat will play a significant role in its comfort. Your pet is an active animal and therefore needs a large habitat to run around playing and exercising.
The bigger the cage, the better it would be for your guinea pig. Also, see that the pen is not bottom-wired. It should be smooth with a flat surface to protect its fragile paws.
Some cages will go way beyond your expectations in providing your piggy with a comfy habitat. Take for instance “Guinea Habitat” Guinea Pig Cage
Both of these cages are ideal habitats to provide a comfortable life in the cage. You can buy either of them from Amazon.
The bedding is a must for your guinea pig cage. You wouldn’t want to see your pet curled at a corner looking sad, miserable and cold.
There are different types of beddings in the market which also have different prices depending on the quality. These are:
Fleece bedding – If you choose to go for this type try Kaytee Super Sleeper Cuddle E-Cup Bed for Small Animals
Paper bedding – You can go for Kaytee Clean and Cozy White Small Animal Bedding
Wood shaving bedding – It is preferable to have Absorbtion Corp Carefresh Shavings Plus Small pet
Place the cage in a warm location. Guinea pigs react to extreme temperatures. Again, place the cage in a well light and airy place. You should set the pen indoors to avoid your guinea pig getting lonely.
Once in a while when the weather allows, you can carry the cage outside for your piggy to enjoy the sunshine.
Feeding is providing ample and nutritious food with enough drinking water.
– One of the foods that are essential for a pig’s life is hay. However, not all types of grass are suitable to feed your piggy. The best grass to give your piggy pet is Timothy hay. It is rich in fiber and good for its dental health. Alfalfa hay contains calcium and may not be best for an adult guinea pig. However, you use it to feed the young guinea pig, pregnant, and lactating guinea pig because of its calcium which is vital for their bodies.
Vegetables and fruits
– Vegetables and fruits are also essential to provide vitamins and minerals to your piggy.
Do you know your guinea pig needs vegetables and fruits rich in vitamin C? A guinea pig cannot make its vitamin C and therefore has to get it from the foods it eats.
– Also you can please your pet by providing treats. Make sure you don’t overdo the treats since most of them contain sugar which is not good for guinea pig if taken in large amounts.
– Pellets are also good for your pet. The main ingredient for this kind of food is hay which will serve your pet with fiber and also help it in the chewing process for dental health.
Kaytee Timothy Complete Guinea Pig Food
Be careful to balance the nutrition for your guinea pig which is vital to prevent health complications such as obesity, diarrhea, heart, kidneys, or liver diseases which can be fatal.
– It might sound awful when you hear that your guinea pig needs to eat its droppings. It is their way of life. Usually, they eat semi-digested droppings which contain left-over nutrients and fiber. This kind of food is known as cecotropes.
– Water must always be on standby and available at all times. Most guinea pigs foods are dry, and therefore it needs to get plenty of water to aid its digestive system.
The water must be at its reach and accessible for anytime it feels the need of drinking it.
– Your pet will need to have a food bowl. Some cages will come with accessories, and therefore you won’t have to buy them separately.
However, if it does not, then you will have to look for a bowl which does not tip to spill the food. Also, see that the dish is chew-proof since you don’t want your pet to feed on it instead of the food in it.
– You can have a tray inside the cage for dispensing hay and other foods. Make sure it is one that can be hooked on the pen to prevent your pet from spilling the content all over. Check out Kaytee Hay n Food Bin Feeder
– A drinking water must be well designed to allow your pet to drink water without struggling to get it. It must also be non-drip to avoid wetting the cage. Choco Nose H128
Again, see that the material of the drinking bottle is one it cannot chew otherwise; you will have it today and gone tomorrow.
This small animal is very playful. If you keep it from playing by not providing a toy, it will get bored to death.
Get a good toy that it can also chew to work on its teeth to keep them filed. Avoid toys that are small it can risk swallowing.
Also, provide a toy that has safe material to avoid your pig picking toxins from the toy when it chews it.
Grooming your pig is not a choice but a must. There are various activities you must carry to groom your pig.
– Guinea pigs are not lovers of water. Therefore, choose the best time with the inviting weather to dip your piggy in the water. But, fortunately, this activity should be rare probably allocating it once a month.
You can use pet-friendly shampoo to wash its fur and coat. Kaytee Squeaky Clean Critter Shampoo
Cleaning grease gland
– Your guinea pig has something known as grease gland. It collects grease that becomes sticky and smelly if left unclean for long. It is located where the tail should have been if it had one.
– Besides improving the look of the nails, cutting or trimming them will prevent several things from happening. Long nails will grow while curling towards the inside. Therefore, when they are very long, they will start poking on its paws.
Again, long nails will disable its walking because of the pain on its paws, and therefore affect its exercising.
– You animal needs ear cleaning as much as you do. Its ears collect wax as well. Wax can attract dust and small debris which can affect your animal’s comfort and hearing.
You can schedule ear cleaning when bathing your pet by using the usual earbuds
– Whether your guinea pig is long-haired or short-haired it will need fur brushing to look neat and shiny. When brushing, you will have the opportunity to check whether there are any parasites, injuries, or even skin infection.
You may need to have this Ware Manufacturing Small Animal Grooming Kit
If there are any parasites, you can deal with them by washing it. But, for the other two, you may need to take your pet to the vet for treatment.
As you may know, a guinea pig is a clean animal, and it needs to keep that way. Cleaning its cage twice a week you can get rid of any litter from its droppings, food spills and left-over vegetables and pieces of fruits.
Clean also its water bottle and its bowl to prevent food and water contamination.
Change the beddings and clean the inside of the cage using an antibacterial pet-friendly cleaning product.
Once in a while, you can put the cage outside in the sunshine to air and freshen it.
Lastly but not least, you should weigh your guinea pig regularly. This activity will tell you whether your pet is feeding properly. Factors that can interfere with proper feeding may be illness, overgrown teeth, infestation of parasite, and other causes.
If you notice a loss of more than 2 oz within a week, then you must question the cause of this weight loss. How you do that is to take your pet to the vet to determine the problem.
Getting acquainted with your guinea pig will make you know when it is ill. If you notice any sign of illness, loss of appetite or change of behavior, don’t hesitate but visit your nearest vet immediately. The vet will be then able to diagnose the problem and start treatment necessary treatment.
If you have more than one guinea pig in a cage, you should have them checked as well. Some illnesses can spread quickly to other guinea pigs in the cage.