If you’re the proud new owner of a Cavia porcellus, you’re in store for lots of fun!
For these small furry creatures, properly called the cavy but known widely as the guinea pig, care is not too difficult. They are not, however, recommended as pets for children under the age of six.
You’ll find your new family member to be gentle, sociable, and cheerful. He or she is a soft, furry creature who will enjoy receiving your attention and being in your company. He will make happy noises or whistles to show his good mood. He’s also pretty smart, so the two of you will be learning some tricks together.
Guinea pigs live up to nine years, although they average somewhere between five and seven years. He’ll grow to a weight of about 2.5 pounds (Approx 1.2 Kgs), or maybe a little less if you have a female, and maybe ten to twelve inches long. You’ll notice when you gently hold him that his heart beats very rapidly, and his ideal body temperature ranges between 99 and 103 degrees Fahrenheit (Approx 37 degrees Celsius).
Keeping Your Pet Guinea Pig Happy
It’s important to give your pet a good step up in life so that he starts out healthy and stays that way. Guinea pig care begins with proper food, and these pets eat hays, forage grasses, and pellets. You can look for packaged mixes that contain sun-cured Timothy hay plus extra goodies like oat hulls, hulled sunflower seeds, and ground wheat and corn. There are also pellet mixtures available on the market, but they are not a substitute for hay. You need to be certain he gets enough vitamin C, phosphorus, and calcium.
One of the reasons for the calcium is that he has open-rooted teeth, which means they never stop growing. His nails also need to be trimmed about every four to six weeks. In fact, some experts recommend using a regular human nail trimmer to cut just a little every week; this causes the vein that runs in his nails-the “quick”-to recede a little. If you don’t trim his nails, they’ll develop a retro-curl that digs painfully into their pads.
Guinea pigs groom themselves, and sometimes they groom each other. You can join in with a greyhound comb-most of the teeth are widely spaced, and about one-fifth of them at the end are for fine combing. It helps to remove loose hair on a daily basis. And if you like, you can bathe them occasionally in shallow water using kitten shampoo.
Buddy the Guinea Pig – Click Here to Read Buddy’s Blog
Good guinea pig care includes learning about some common mistakes made by well-meaning owners. For example, they do not do well with giant wheels and exercise balls. These can cause injury. The drinking water you provide daily should not be the medium for his vitamin drops-leave the water clear. Many guinea pigs hate the taste of the vitamins, so they’ll avoid their water and become dehydrated.
A Companion is a Must
As much as your guinea pig is going to bond with you, he’ll be even happier if he has a companion. He’ll do well with a male buddy as long as there’s no female around. You can also put a baby in with an adult, as long as both of them are the same sex. Keep an eye on them for a couple hours to be certain they don’t fight.
If you want to provide a great home to guarantee a happy guinea pig, care should be taken to choose a large cage. You need 7.5 square feet for one guinea pig, and allow three feet more for every additional pet.
This is also the time to line up an exotic veterinarian-one who treats creatures beyond the routine cats and dogs. You’ll want to know where one is when you need him.
Make sure to bookmark the ultimate Guinea Pig Care Sheet which has the top information on guinea pig care and read on for more piggy tips!
Now that you’ve decided to acquire one of these wonderful little guys or gals, give some thought to locating one. Rather than just visiting your neighborhood pet store, call your area’s humane shelter / guinea pig rescue first and ask if they have any available for adoption. You might have to give your pet some extra treatment if he’s been neglected, but providing the good guinea pig care that he needs to become healthy and happy will allow you to take pride in and enjoy your pet even more.
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