New Guinea Pig Owner? Get Started!

by on March 7th, 2015
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Thinking about getting a Guinea Pig as a pet? First, there are a few things that every pet owner should know about. Just like a common pet, such as a Dog or Cat, Guinea Pig need the same amount of attention. Guinea Pigs are unlike other small animals, they normally do not bite unless you hurt them or they are scared, even then, it is pretty uncommon. Guinea Pigs live 7 to 9 years, much longer than a typical small animal. They are more friendly, trainable, lovable, and smarter than other small animals.

To start off, you need to get everything set up before you buy a guinea pig. You will need,

1) Cage: Suitable for a Guinea Pig. Large enough for them to run around, hid, and play. The more Guinea Pigs you have, the larger the cage is going to have to be. Minimum cage size, 36×18 inches. To small of a cage will result in an unhappy Guinea Pig. 2) Bedding: CareFresh is a good brand. Something that is not too dusty or your Guinea Pigs may contract a Respiratory Infection or another illness. Local pet stores can help you with choosing a proper bedding. 3) House/Igloo: At least one place to hide per Guinea Pig. It should be large enough to where your Guinea Pig can easily get in and out of it. 4) Water Bottle: Should be a minimum of 32oz, but larger is better. Fresh water should be provided to your Guinea Pigs every day. 5) Chew Sticks: Since Guinea Pig’s teeth are constantly growing, they need something to file them down. There should always be some type of chew stick in their cage. Anything that says safe for Guinea Pigs is alright to let your Guinea Pigs chew on. 6) Food Dish: Medium to large dish to ensure they always have food to eat. Should be filled everyday. 7) Timothy Hay: Always have Timothy Hay available for you Guinea Pig to eat. It aids in digestion. Guinea Pigs love hay! 8) Vitamin C: Guinea Pigs cannot produce their own Vitamin C, so it should be given to them. It can come in many different forms; water drops, food, fruits, vegetables, vitamins. 9) Treats: Guinea Pigs should be rewarded for doing well. Again, anything that says safe for Guinea Pigs is alright to feed to your Piggies.

Buying a Guinea Pig is the next step. Pick one that looks healthy, no crusty eyes or nose, one that looks active, and suits your color taste.

1) Dust: Guinea Pigs are very sensitive to dust. They need dust free bedding and to be kept where they will not be bombarded by dust. 2) Signs of sickness: Crusty eyes, crusty nose, build-up of ear wax, drastic weight loss, lethargic, runny droppings, loss in appetite, wheezing, and/or sneezing. Any of these symptoms, contact your local exotic vet to get medical attention if needed. 3) Upper Respiratory Infection: Most common sickness that Guinea Pigs will encounter. Should be taken seriously and medicine should be administered. 4) Vitamin C Deficiency: Check the bottom of the feet on the pads; they should be smooth and fluffy. If they are chafed and ashy, they may need more Vitamin C.

Works Cited:

PetSmart. PetSmart Store Support Group, Web. 23 Feb 2012.

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