Following these guidelines will help insure that your guinea pig lives a long and healthy life that the both of you will be able to enjoy. Avoiding stress and obesity and reducing boredom through environmental enrichment are effective ways to prevent dietary illness, and of course increase the happiness and fulfillment of keeping pets.
Guinea pigs are strict herbivores and require specific amounts of calcium, phosphorus magnesium and potassium, it is therefore imperative to feed them correctly and not to feed your Guinea pig table scraps, or another animals feed.
They should receive a freshly milled, properly stored, pelleted complete guinea pig diet. The guinea pig can be a finicky eater, turning its nose up because of changes in taste or texture of its diet. Soiled or dirty food or water will also be avoided, so it is necessary to change food and water daily.
The most important factor of a guinea pigs diet is the need for vitamin C. Guinea pigs like humans, lack an enzyme in the glucose to vitamin C pathway, and it is therefore crucial that they receive a vitamin C supplement. There are a variety of ways to supplement vitamin C, the most popular being a liquid form that is added to water every day. Another way to provide vitamin C is through formulated pellets, however even under optimum, dry, cool storage conditions the vitamin C levels remain sufficient for only three months from the date of milling, making it difficult to guarantee the potency of the pellets. A handful of cabbage, kale or carrot daily is also a good way to insure vitamin C in incorporated into the diet.
Guinea pigs are clean and social in nature, they are easily hosed, they can not jump or climb so it is possible to house them in am open-topped enclosure at least 10 inches high. Flooring can be either wire bottom or solid, wired flooring provides a cleaner environment and easy maintenance, but not as comfortable on their feet. Solid floors with bedding require more effort to keep sanitary, and are most commonly used.
Many types of bedding are acceptable, for example wood shavings, shredded paper, commercial pellets, and hay. How often the bedding is changed depends on the number of animals and the type of food fed.
Remember that guinea pigs have a sensitive nature they have a tendency to panic when frightened, so your pet would probably prefer to be housed in a quite spot away from excitement and noise. Since they are nocturnal, they require periods of light for rest and do poorly it housed for long periods in dark rooms.
The guinea pigs toenails will require regular trimming to avoid problems associated with over growth. Chew sticks or a chewing block needs to be in the cage at all times as their constantly growing front teeth have to be constantly warn down with chewing action.
Three Common Mistakes New Guinea Pig Owners Make
Here’s three common mistakes new guinea owners should avoid. Any one of these mistake will effect your piggy’s health.
Guinea pigs make wonderful pets for children or adults alike. Keeping your furry friend happy and healthy can involve several things. This article addresses three of the most common mistakes made by new owners.
Feeding Your pet The Wrong Food
A guinea pig like any other pet requires the proper diet to stay healthy. A little known fact is that they cannot make their own vitamin C and are susceptible to scurvy if they do not get enough in their diet.
Some pointers to be aware of:
Never give a guinea pig any meat
Never give a guinea pig dairy products
Be sure you have a list of the fruits and vegetables they can eat
Purchased food pellets should have at least 20% crude protein and 16% fiber.
Cage Too Small Or Improper Cage Set Up
Guinea pigs require more that’s a few square feet of space in their cage. A single piggy should have at least 7.5 square feet. More is better if you can afford it.
They should also have:
A proper place to hide away and rest.
Sufficient clean bedding
Some toys to keep them active and prevent boredom. Boredom can lead to behavior problems
A means of exercise in their cage or floor time every day
Not Scheduling Daily Care at The Same Time Every Day
Guinea pigs are very much creatures of habit. They expect to be on a consistent schedule at the same time each day especially for feeding. They respond very well to consistency. Daily care like cleaning their cage and spending time with them also applies.
Give your furry friend the proper attention and care and they will reward you with a wonderful, healthy, loving pet for many years.