How to Take Care of Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs are the best pets for kids who are responsible enough to take care of themselves and a pet properly. Guinea pigs are very gentle, they rarely bite and they love attention. Taking care of these adorable pets is not tough, but it is still important to learn how to take care of guinea pigs before you decide to go and buy one. Here are some simple steps on guinea pig care.

Social Animals

  • Guinea pig are social, which means they love being with other guinea pigs. Try not to leave your guinea pig all by itself. They will do much better if there are two or more together. The best method to do this is to keep two or more female guinea pigs together. Male guinea pigs tend to fight with each other, so avoid keeping more than one male together. Guinea pigs can start breeding immediately and since there are already many guinea pigs looking for home, do not keep male and female pigs together.

How to Take Care of Guinea Pigs
Commitment

  • Taking care of any pet is a commitment and guinea pigs have a long life. They can live for nine years. If you think that your child may get bored of guinea pigs after a few weeks, then you must consider a foster home from the local shelter. If your child has proven that he will continue to take care of the pigs and will not lose interest, then you can keep them as permanent pets. Probably you can adopt the piggies whom you are fostering.

Cage

  • Most of the people will never realize how much room a guinea pig will need. Guinea pigs need a lot of room and you will have to get them a cage of four square feet of floor space for every piggy you own. The cage has to be well ventilated and should have a solid bottom. Keep a box inside the cage for the pigs to go in, because sometimes they need a safe place to hide.

Food and Cage Cleaning

  • Soiled or wet bedding should be cleaned everyday from the cage. Remove the entire bedding every week and wash the bottom of the cage properly. Rinse and dry the bottom of the cage before you replace it with new bedding. Give fresh food and water everyday to your piggies.
  • For food, you should give them a variety of things like pig pellets, fresh fruits, vegetables and timothy hay. Remember that guinea pigs will need vitamin C, so make sure that you give them small pieces of strawberry or orange, which is rich in vitamin C. Make sure that you get rid of the leftover fruits and vegetables from the cage, so that the pigs don’t eat any rotten food. Guinea pigs will need something to gnaw on, because their teeth continue to grow throughout their life. A small piece of wood will work fine as long as there is no chemical on it. You can also get some chew blocks from the local pet store.

Handling Guinea Pigs

  • It is very important that you are careful while handling the pigs. Remember that they will not be able to catch themselves if they fall down and can get easily injured. Always use both your hands and make sure that you support them from the bottom while you are picking them up. Once you pick them up, hold them close to your body while you are carrying them. Always remember never to hold a guinea pig on the back, because this position makes it difficult for them to breathe and they can suffocate and die.

Adopt a Guinea Pig

  • Before you head to the local pet store or breeder for buying a guinea pig, check with the local rescue shelters if they have guinea pigs. Unfortunately, maximum guinea pigs always end up in shelter because their owners give them up or they are rescued from the pig mill. By adopting a guinea pig from a shelter you are given them another chance to be loved and give them a home.

So, now you know how to take care of guinea pig. Go ahead and adopt one.


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