Are you considering adopting a Guinea pig? These little guys—also known as cavies—are very cute and fun pets. As your Marion, IA vet, I offer great care for a variety of animals. I offer some key Guinea pig care tips below.
Keep More Than One
Guinea pigs are very sociable, and can get very depressed without any buddies. They’re much happier living in same-sex groups or pairs!
Get A Great Cage
Your tiny buddies will spend a lot of time in their cage, so make sure it’s comfy. For a pair of cavies, I recommend getting a cage that’s at least 10 square feet. Choose one with a solid bottom: wire floors won’t hold substrate. Plus, they can cause injuries. For accessories, you’ll need hides, toys, dishes, and a water bottle. You can also add a hayrack and litterbox if you like. As for substrate, you can use fleece blanket or a soft paper-based substrate. Ask your vet for recommendations.
Offer Suitable Food
For their main meals, your Guinea pigs can eat commercial food. This can be either pellets or a seed mix. You’ll want to supplement that with suitable fresh fruits and veggies, such as carrots, kale, and cucumber. Do plenty of research here, as not all produce is safe for cavies. Some things, like berries and bananas, are okay once in a while, but shouldn’t be fed too often. Make sure your pet’s menu includes lots of Vitamin C, which is crucial to Guinea pigs. You’ll also need to provide plenty of fresh grass hay, as well as clean water. Ask your vet for more specific advice.
Provide Chew Toys
Guinea pigs have open-rooted teeth, which means that they must chew continuously to wear their teeth down. Otherwise, they can develop some very painful dental issues. Offer your furry friends lot of suitable chew toys. This doesn’t have to cost much: you can make many of your pets’ toys out of cardboard, wood, and paper items. (Tip: the cardboard tubes from toilet paper rolls can make great toys.) Just don’t give your cavies anything sharp or small. Items covered in varnish, stain, paint, or dyes are also unsuitable, as are things with dangling wires, ropes, or threads.
Please reach out to me, your local Marion, IA vet, with any questions about caring for your Guinea pigs. I’m dedicated to offering great care!