Caring for Guinea Pigs
Everything, and then some for your little rodent friend.
Boars, Sows, Pups, or Skinny Pigs. There may be several different names for a guinea pig, but this miniature friend needs more than a miniature TLC.
Hay may be for horses, but it’s also devoured by the guinea pigs. According to ASPCA, have it in your pet’s cage at all times. It’s great for digestion, and it’s something they can nibble on. Aside from grass hay, they should be fed twice daily-in the mooring and in the evening. You can pick up some pellets designed for your little round pal. Don’t hesitate to provide it with fruits and veggies, as he will gladly indulge. Only about a half of a handful of veggies, and a slice of fruit is just fine. Stick with mostly green, leafy vegetables. These guys are strictly vegetarians! If you choose celery, make sure you cut up the pieces enough so there are no stringy-features left. Stay away from starches, such as potato skins, as they are high in oxalic acid. Cabbage and broccoli should be avoided to prevent gas. We don’t want any gassy or bloated guinea pigs!
In regards to housing, you can get creative.. First things first: make sure the space provided isn’t small.The larger, the better. Minimum space recommended is four square feet per pig. Make sure that the flooring is safe and comfortable for your little guy or gal, as glass and wire is unacceptable. Plastic, tube-like caging is of the highest recommendation. To get ideas or to shop for a cage, check out guineapigcagesstore.com and petco.com Go to town with this. Regardless of what you create- a loft, an apartment, a house, or a mansion for the little guy, make sure you incorporate some form of exercise and a little space for hiding. Everyone needs some motivation and some privacy. Whether you attach a piece of fruit on a string to cause stretching, or purchase an exercise ball, it’s movement. Also, almost all hairless guinea pigs are extremely ticklish. It’s all about motion.
It’ s always good to provide company, so if you’re going to pair them up, starting your guinea pig with another is recommended at an early age, especially if they’re both males so fights are prevented. Depending on what your intentions are, it can be a poor idea to mix a female and a male together, as rapid breeding is likely- unless of course, that is your intention. The more the merrier, maybe?
Definitely look into veterinarian care. A veterinarian for a small rodent? Absolutely! Guinea Pigs are known to live anywhere from 5-7 years, and if he or she gets sick, you want to be able to obtain help. I did some research on PetMD.com and there was a wide-spread list of health issues that Guinea Pigs are susceptible too such as inflammation in lungs, viral pneumonia, and fur mites. That’s just a few.
Have fun with your guinea pig. Just as people do with their dogs and cats, there are costumes and outfits for them, and why not? A pet is part of your family, and a companion. You can take a look at some creative get -ups at http://guineapigfashion.com and http://cuddlycavies.homestead.com/clothes.html. Not only do the provide clothing, but also accessories,wedding attire, and wigs…yes, wigs.
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