Caring For Your Guinea Pig
Guinea pigs make wonderful pets, and caring for your guinea pig properly can give your pet a long and heathy life.
Guinea pigs are very loving, sociable pets and require a lot of attention. If you are unable to give your guinea pig the social attention it needs, consider getting another one as a companion for your pet. If you decide to get more than one guinea pig, either get two females or a male and a female. Two males may not get along, and if you get a male and a female you may want to consider getting one of them neutered to prevent unwanted litters. Taking good care of your guinea pig will help it live a long and healthy life.
Make sure the cage you choose for your guinea pig has plenty of ventilation. Many people use an aquarium and they don't provide enough ventilation. The cage should be large enough for the guinea pig to comfortably move around in, and it needs to have a solid bottom. Wire bottoms are not good for the guinea pig's feet. Guinea pigs are timid creatures and like something to hide in. A paper lunch bag or small cardboard box is a great hiding place for your guinea pig. They can easily be thrown away and replaced when soiled.
Small animal bedding and litter is available to line your guinea pig's cage. Lining the bottom with newspaper first will absorb any liquid and make cage cleaning easier. You should remove and replace the soiled bedding once a week, and clean the cage with hot, soapy water.
Water bowls are not practical for a guinea pig. Guinea pigs need to have a water bottle with a drinking tube. Wash the bottle daily using a bottle brush and hot, soapy water. This will ensure that the water is clean and healthy to drink. Your guinea pig's food bowl should be made of heavy plastic or ceramic to prevent tipping. The food should be changed daily and the dish cleaned, since guinea pigs often sit and stand in their food dish.
Your guinea pig's diet should consist of a food blend made especially for guinea pigs, fresh vegetables, and hay. Lettuce, carrots, celery, pea pods, broccoli, and cauliflower are high in vitamin C and are good for your guinea pig. You can also feed your guinea pig dandelion greens, clover, and grass from your yard. Make certain that they have been washed and have never been sprayed with pesticides. Guinea pigs require vitamin C supplements besides the vitamin C in the vegetables and fruits you provide. These can be in the form of drops mixed in with the guinea pig's water. For added minerals, a salt and mineral block should be attached to your guinea pig's cage with a metal clip. Don't use strings or twine that your guinea pig can become tangled in.
Guinea pigs should be allowed to exercise out of their cage each day. A child's small swimming pool makes a great play area. The sides are just the right height, and it can be easily cleaned. The guinea pig cage can be set in the plastic swimming pool so your guinea pig can get food and water when it wants some.