Guinea pigs make great pets for families and young children, as they are easy to care for and tend to be friendly pets. Here are some tips for taking care of your guinea pig, including housing, feeding, and other tips.
Give the Guinea Pig a Quiet Place to Live
When you adopt a guinea pig, you want to start by giving it a quiet and cozy place to live. The guinea pig's cage should not be in the same room where you have other pets. If your dogs have their crate in the living room, choose another room for the guinea pigs. While they get along good with children and other pets, they still prefer sleeping on their own or with other guinea pigs. They can get stressed out if they are constantly woken up or frightened b other pets in the room. Make sure you also keep the temperature of their living space at a decent level, not too hot or too cold. There should be enough room in the cages for them to have a play area, sleeping area, and potty area, with plenty of room to walk around freely.
Be Gentle and Cautious When Handling the Guinea Pig
Handling guinea pigs is a little different than other animals. You can't pick them up under their arms and lift them to your body like with cats and dogs. They need more careful handling and prefer to be cupped when picking them up. Put one hand under its backside and the other hand under its body where the chest is. Use this motion to slowly and carefully cup the guinea pig and pick it up, placing it on your lap or against your chest. This keeps it from wiggling around but also protects its little body. Guinea pigs like regular cuddling and socialization, so pet and play with the animal often.
Feed the Guinea Pig a Healthy Diet
Guinea pigs should follow a healthy diet that combines store-bought pellets with fresh fruits and vegetables. They can also get the occasional treat. Talk to your veterinarian about the types of foods to feed the guinea pig, how much, and how often. If your vet finds that your guinea pig is over or underweight, they will adjust the diet accordingly. Some vegetables that guinea pigs enjoy include kale, spinach, lettuce, carrots, sweet potato, and zucchini. Fruits are okay in moderation, including apples and oranges. However, due to the high sugar content, these should be given as treats. Contact a business, such as Metzger Animal Hospital, for more information.