Are you thinking about adopting a guinea pig? Make sure to read our article before adopting one. In this article, we have listed the top 15 things that you must know about guinea pigs.
Guinea Pigs are loveable pets that are gentle and charming. They have emerged as delightful companions in the realm of small pets. These animals are mostly found in South America and have been domesticated for centuries. They are a great option for families, singles, and even kids because of their small size and amiable nature.
You can recognize them by their unique vocalizations, which include happy squeaks and contented purrs. Guinea pigs develop a distinctive manner of communicating with their human caregivers that makes them even more lovable. These small pets behave differently in different seasons. You must take care of such small pets and >give extra care in monsoon.
Not only for their vocal expression, guinea pigs are also famous for their social nature. This helps them to thrive in the company of their fellow cavies. These intelligent creatures form strong bonds with their owners and are known to recognize familiar faces. They also respond to their presence with enthusiasm. With their cuddly coats, bright eyes, and friendly disposition. Guinea pigs as pets are a real source of happiness and comfort in addition to being companions.
15 Things about Guinea Pigs
The following is the list of 15 important things about Guinea Pig as a pet that every beginner must know. Here you will know how to take care of Guinea Pigs.
Being social creatures, guinea pigs do best in groups with other pigs of their kind. They form close relationships with the other animals in their cage, and loneliness can cause stress and >health problems. To ensure companionship and lower the likelihood of behavioral issues, it is advised to adopt at least two guinea pigs of the same gender.
To allow for exploration and exercise, guinea pigs require a spacious and well-ventilated cage. For two guinea pigs, a minimum recommended cage size of approximately 7.5 square feet is suggested. Incorporate platforms, tunnels, and hiding places to give them an engaging environment.
The main source of nourishment for guinea pigs should consist primarily of fresh hay. Add bell peppers and other fresh veggies, such as kale, to the hay. In moderation, guinea pig-specific pellets can be administered. Since guinea pigs are unable to produce vitamin C, it is imperative to feed them vegetables high in vitamin C.
Regular Vet Visit
It's essential to have regular veterinary examinations to keep an eye on your guinea pigs' health. Seek out a veterinarian with expertise in small animal care and educate yourself on common health concerns such as parasites, respiratory infections, and dental problems.
By routinely replacing the bedding, cleaning the cage, and giving the pet fresh water each day, you can keep their living area tidy. They are susceptible to dirty surroundings, and respiratory problems can result from inadequate hygiene.
Guinea pigs are creatures of prey and are easily startled. To gain their trust, be gentle with them and speak quietly. Before trying to pick them up, give them some time to get used to your presence. To ensure proper handling and prevent unintentional injuries, children should be supervised.
Because guinea pigs' teeth are always growing, chewing is crucial to preventing dental issues. Give them safe chew toys made of cardboard or untreated wood, and make sure they have access to fresh hay at all times, as this helps wear down their teeth.
No Wire Bottoms
Cages with wire bottoms have the potential to injure feet, resulting in ailments such as bumblefoot. To protect your guinea pig pet, pick a cage with a solid floor or add a solid surface, like fleece or a mat, inside the cage.
Guinea pigs use a range of noises to communicate, such as squeaking, chirping, and purring. Learn to recognize these vocalizations to better understand their needs and moods. For instance, loud squeaks can be used to express hunger or excitement, whereas purring is used to convey contentment.
Lifespan and Dedication
Given their 5-7 year lifespan, owners must be committed to caring for them for the long term. Make sure you are prepared for the duties of giving veterinary support, care, and attention for the rest of your lives. Guernsey pig adoption is a big commitment that needs to be done thoughtfully and with commitment.
Choose bedding that is both cozy and secure for your guinea pig's cage. Popular options include fleece liners, paper-based bedding, and aspen shavings. Shavings of pine or cedar should be avoided because the aromatic oils may irritate their respiratory systems.
Guinea pigs are sensitive to extreme temperatures. Keep their living environment between 65-75°F (18-24°C) and avoid placing their cage in direct sunlight or drafty areas. Sudden temperature changes can stress them and lead to health issues.
Certain guinea pig breeds, particularly long-haired ones, require regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling of fur. Brush their coat gently with a soft brush to maintain their hygiene and overall well-being.
Guinea pigs benefit from interactive playtime outside their cage. Create a secure, supervised area where they can explore, and provide tunnels, toys, and obstacles to stimulate their minds and encourage physical activity.
Keep a close eye on your guinea pig's behavior, eating habits, and weight. Any sudden changes or signs of illness, such as lethargy, labored breathing, or changes in droppings, should prompt a visit to the vet. Early detection of health issues can lead to more effective treatment.
Facts about Guinea Pigs
Below are some of the facts about Guinea Pigs that you should be aware of.
The Source and the Domestication
Both Guinea and Guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus) are not indigenous to Guinea. They are native to South America's Andes. There they were domesticated more than 3,000 years ago by the Andean indigenous people.
Guinea pigs engage in a peculiar habit known as coprophagy. This makes them consume their own excrement. This is a typical and necessary step in their digestive process as it enables them to take in more nutrients from their meal.
Teeth That Never Stop Growing
Guinea pigs' teeth are constantly growing, so to wear them down, they must chew on grass, hay, or other materials. This helps avoid dental issues, which these rodents may be prone to.
Guinea pigs have relatively poor eyesight and rely more on their sense of smell and hearing. They can see in color and have a wide field of view, but they are nearsighted and may have difficulty judging distances.
Guinea pigs are crepuscular, meaning they are most active during dawn and dusk. In the wild, this behavior helps them avoid predators. As pets, they may adjust their activity patterns based on their owners' schedules.