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Guinea Pigs are cute, cuddly, and a carefree lot of furry rodents. A Guinea Pig is often touted as a child’s very first pet and humble encounter with domestic animals. Though there is always one adult family member required to accept the responsibility of looking after the small pet. Guinea pig care entails a long term association of up to five years or more on part of the human parent. The result is a satisfying bond between a two legged and a happy-healthy four legged critter.
Did you know that keeping one guinea pig instead of a pair is considered an unlawful offense in some countries? These furry critters are inherently herd animals and live in the natural world in groups of five or more of their kind. Always make sure you pair up the tiny female pet with another female or neutered male. Also two (neutered) males that have been together since birth would be benefited with each other’s company.
A guinea pig house/cage needs to be at least 7.5square feet (for a single rodent) to 10.5 square feet. The tiny pet requires a good lot of space to reside in therefore a cage with specifications larger than usual with a flat solid base can be brought in.
Allow few hours of cage free time each day. The owner can also set up a barricaded play area infused with tunnels and appropriate toys that will help in the much needed daily exercise for the pet. Toys/ home-made toys prepared by cardboard boxes and paper can also be placed in the cage.
Beware! A guinea pig can suffer from depression (hiding in one place, decreased level of activity, eating less food than usual). Make sure to spend time with your pet each day, cuddle & pat it gently & as frequently as you can, and without fail find time daily to chat and play with it. Social stimulation is crucial to the health of the tiny creature.
If your guinea pig is chewing up its cage’s bars then it is most likely stressed / frightened. Excessive grooming and also drinking too much water are indicative of anxiety. In such circumstances it is best to consult a veterinarian.
Guinea pig food must include vegetables rich in vitamin C, although citrus fruits should be avoided. Carrots, cucumber, broccoli, celery, apple chunks, strawberries are healthy food choices for the pet. Limit the helping of spinach and other leafy veggies as too much of it may cause diarrhea. One full bowl of a healthy mix of vegetables must be split into a couple of small meals to be offered to the pet each day.
For a healthy digestive system and to prevent a misaligned set of teeth provide the rodent with sufficient quantities of grass hay day in and day out. Alfalfa hay best suited to guinea pigs upto six months of age. Timothy hay is a good choice once the pet crosses six months of age.