Need to Knows About Owning A Guinea Pig
Feeding Your Guinea Pig
Guinea Pigs For Sale In Tring!! Guinea pigs are herbivores and require a diet that is high in fibre. They are not able to produce Vitamin C themselves therefore it is essential that this is added in to their diet. This can be done by either by giving them a high quality food, vitamin supplements or fresh fruit and vegetables.
You should feed your guinea pig twice a day. Due to them being natural foragers they may be selective in what they eat. To avoid selective feeding we recommend a pellet based diet along side fresh fruit and vegetables. Safe greens include, broccoli, kale, cucumber and cabbage. Fruits such as apple can only be given occasionally due to them being high in sugar. Remember to remove any uneaten fruit and vegetables to avoid contamination.
Providing your guinea pig with hay is important and should make up the majority of their diet. Hay is key to ensuring the digestive system functions efficiently and provides them with extra fibre.
Guinea pigs teeth grow continuously throughout their life and need to be worn down and kept at the correct length by eating the right amount of hay, grass and leafy green plants.
Guinea pigs need access to fresh water daily, this should be provided in a drip feed bottle with a metal spout or in a heavy based bowl. Check the water supply at least twice a day, especially in winter to make sure it doesn't freeze over.
Keeping Your Guinea Pig Healthy
In order to maintain good health in your guinea pig, you will need to keep them in a clean and hygienic environment with a healthy balanced diet. A healthy guinea pig will be alert and active wanting to forage and explore.
Additionally when handling your guinea pig it is a good idea to give them a physical heath check. Look out for any lumps or sore patches as well as detecting behavioural changes that may suggest ill health.
In warm weather you will need to check their skin and fur round their bottom twice a day. This is due to them occasionally getting urine stains and droppings stuck to them attracting flies which causes fly strike. Fly strike is caused when flies lay their eggs on dirty fur. These hatch into maggots, which eat into the flesh and can kill a guinea pig within a few hours. You can reduce this risk by cleaning out their home regularly.
Guinea pigs develop a very common problem known as bumblefoot. This is where the foot becomes swollen because as a result of dirty bedding causing a bacterial infection.
Dust- free bedding is essential in reducing the risk of eye problems in your guinea pig.
Guinea pigs teeth grow continuously so they need to be provided with plenty of gnaws sticks, wooden blocks and hay to help grind them down. Check your guinea pigs teeth once a week and take them to see your vet if you are concerned.
Your guinea pigs nails will need to be checked weekly, if they are overgrown they may cause discomfort. They will need to be trimmed, you can ask your vet for guidance on how to do this.
How to Handle A Guinea Pig
Housing Your Guinea Pig
Guinea pigs can live inside or outside, but they need a strong and secure home with an exercise area. Their hutch needs to have shelter, be draught free, well ventilated and let in natural light. It should be a minimum of five times their length when at full stretch. However if you are housing more than one of them together their house needs to be larger as they like to have their own space to sleep.
Guinea pigs are social animals so we do recommend having more than one for companionship. Ideally they should be housed with another guinea pig and not a rabbit due to the fact, rabbits can be more dominant and may pick on the guinea pig.
When housing your guinea pig indoors it needs to be kept somewhere quiet away from radiators and not where there are other pets. It is a good idea to also have an outdoor exercise area which allows them to play and forage from time to time. If you are housing your guinea pig outside their hutch needs to be kept off the ground to keep the floor dry and protect them from predators. It needs to consist of two areas, a living area with mesh door allowing air and light. The second area should have a solid door providing your guinea pig with a place they feel safe to hide and sleep in.
Substrates such as wood shavings, hay and newspaper should be used as a base in your guinea pigs hutch to provide comfort and warmth. Soiled bedding should be removed and replaced daily especially in the summer. The entire hutch should be cleaned out and disinfected once a week. However the guinea pig can become stressed as the familiar smells of its home will be gone. In order to help this, you can save some old dry bedding to add back in ensuring some smells still remain.
Pets Are For LIFE!!!
It is important to commit to your pet and understand the responsibility it will bring. If for any reason you do find yourself in a position you can no longer care for your pet please let us know as we will try to re-home them through our store.
Call our shop now to find out what Guinea Pigs we currently have in store!!
01442 823 434
Guinea pigs are gentle and sensitive animals, so extra care must be taken when handling them. When you first take your pet home they will need to settle in to their new environment for a few days, during this time no handling should take place. The best way to make this stress free for both of you, is to introduce yourself slowly. Begin by talking gently letting them get used to your voice and allow them to come to you.
In time you will gain the trust of your guinea pig and can begin to handle and pick them up. It is important that you approach them slowly and from the front making sure you don't startle them. Pick your guinea pig up using both hands, one should slip under their chest and the other supporting their behind. To help make your guinea pig feel safe hold it close to you and move slowly.
Regularly handling your guinea pig will increase their confidence and affection, building a better relationship between you and your pet. However over handling them can cause stress and upset, especially if it isn't done using the correct method.
If your guinea pig has long or rough hair then it is important that you keep up with their grooming. This will help prevent matting and keep the coat healthy.
Remember guinea pigs are prey animals so therefore will often associate being picked up with being caught by a predator. They will prefer to be handled on their own terms at ground level.
Guinea Pig Checklist:
Indoor cage or outdoor hutch
Outdoor exercise run
Hiding place (wooden house or box)
Wood shavings (or other absorbent substrates)
Guinea pig dry food
Water bottle or heavy bowl
Fruit and vegetables
Toys (tunnels and balls)
Pet safe disinfectant
Pet safe fly reppelent
Nail clippers and brushes
Guinea pig care book
Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the content of this webpage is correct, Gosford Pets cannot be held responsible for results of action taken without the advice of a professional veterinarian.