Guinea pigs are the perfect choice of pet for animal enthusiasts who are restricted by space in their homes. Taking care of your guinea pig is similar to taking care of any other animal in that they both take a lot of love and attention in addition to some specialised care, which is something that virtually everyone is capable of providing for their pet. Children can benefit much from having guinea pigs as pets. They are known as “Cavys” (a nickname derived from their scientific name, Cavia Porcellus), and they are kind and affectionate little creatures. There is no reason why a Guinea Pig should be any more bother than a cat or a dog, except than the fact that it needs to get monthly checkups with your neighbourhood veterinarian to detect any potential illnesses in advance.
Parasites can become a problem, but generally aside from lice and mites not many other bugs affect the furry little creatures. Caring for your guinea pig should be a loving activity. Start with a unique name, here are some suggestions for male guinea pig names. Or if you have more guinea pigs check out these guinea pig names for pairs. As they like to sleep in and under straw, hay, and other soft surroundings, new bedding can be a problem with mites and lice. Lice can be seen in some cases, and if they are present, they can cause intense itchiness for your little friend. Make sure to have some treatment on hand in case these nastie’s make their presence felt. Ask your vet for the best treatment.
Feeding your guinea pig, as they are neophobic, is dependant on what you feed them in the first few weeks of their life. They will take a fancy to whatever it is you feed them during this time, and that will tend to be their preferred diet for life. If only raising kids was the same! In the first few days of their life, feed them a good range of food, like grass, hay, fresh fruit as explained on this can guinea pig have apples article, and vegetables. Occasionally feed them pellets, but caring for your guinea means providing a good balanced diet, so don’t overdo the pellets.
Desexing your pet is a good idea if you don’t want them breeding. Of course if you only have one this is not a necessity, but it does encourage a calmer temperament and it also reduces the risks of some potentially nasty diseases in the future. If you have a male and female, they can start breeding at 6-8 weeks of age, but cannot be desexed until at least 5 months, so be careful during the early months. If you don’t want little babies running around, maybe keep the two separate until the time is right for desexing. If on the other hand you are okay with babies, then the mother should have her first litter prior to reaching 6 months of age. After this age problems can arise due to fusing of the pelvic bones.
Like their teeth, Guinea Pigs have ever growing nails. The nails should be clipped regularly.
Housing usually consists of a purpose made hutch. An indoor environment is best because of the risk of heat stroke in temperatures above 25 degrees Celsius. Around a quarter of a meter squared is suitable floor space for each Guinea Pig. Caring for your guinea pig involves providing them with enough space to feel comfortable in an environment that is relatively cool to warm and with shelter for those chill-out times as you can see from these guinea pig care tips. They are fairly timid creatures, and like to run and hide when the urge takes them.