They are cute, furry, and funny. Guinea pigs though a small pet need love and care as would any other household pet. Their average life span is between 4 and 7 years, but can live as long as 11. With good guinea pig care they will live a good long time.
A healthy diet is most important when caring for your new pet pig. You want to make sure they have a balanced diet of quality hay, such as Timothy Hay, veggies like lettuce, carrots and certain weeds and grasses. Also in your guineas diet you should be including a quality food pellet. You can get suggestions from you veterinarian on which pellet would be best for your guineas care. Food pellets are important because they are full of the vitamin supplements your furry friend will need to stay healthy.
It is OK to spoil your piggy a little also. There are healthy pig trees available at most pet shops. Do not over do it though, an over weight guinea pig is unhealthy. The best trees would be real veggies. You can monitor your pigs weight with an ounce scale. Keeping track of weight gain and weight loss is a great way to make sure they are healthy. You will want to report any major weight loss or gain to your veterinarian. You will need a big cage for your guinea to live in. I say a big living space because they need room to move around and exercise. Being part of the rodent family guinea pigs also have a natural need to burrow. You will need quality bedding for the floor of the cage as well. It is important to keep their cage clean and always change the bedding. Soiled bedding can result in an infection on the underside of your guinea pig called “wet tail”. It is an infection that looks like warts and can become serious if not treated. When changing the cage bedding you should also wash the cage out and dry it completely before spreading the new bedding down. You will notice that guinea pig urine has a very strong odor; so keeping a clean cage will also help you keep a clean odor free house.
Some other things you should know about guinea pig care are how to handle you guinea pig. You want to have a soft but protective hold on your furry friend. Just secure enough not to drop them. Nail trimming is also important. This will also keep them clean. Guinea pigs need some free range running space also. You can purchase a circular gate that you can set on the grass so they can get fresh air and a sense of freedom to run around. If you have a Peruvian guinea pig (long haired) you may need to handle some extra grooming responsibilities. This may enticing checking the long coat for debris and tangles. Also you will want to check for fleas if your guinea pig is around any other flea carrying pet. Although a small pet, guinea pigs need a lot of care and affection. It is important to bring your pet in for a health check up when it is due. Remember pets are a privilege so take good care of them.
By: Lee Martin