Looking After Your Guinea Pig

child playing with small guinea pig

Looking After Your Guinea Pig

Guinea Pigs are the ideal beginner pet; they are social animals that very rarely bite or scratch but they can be nervous. In addition, they are normally very quiet animals which become tamer the more they are handled. When fully grown, at about 16 weeks, a Guinea Pig will be about 20-30cm in length; so as they get bigger, they will need more space.

In this blog post, we’ll talk about how to take care of your guinea pig; from what to feed them to the best toys to choosing a cage, take a look below at our ultimate guide!

Feeding Your Guinea Pig

Guinea Pigs love to eat, so a carefully managed balanced diet is needed to prevent your Guinea Pig from becoming overweight. For your guinea pig to stay happy and healthy…

  • 90% of their diet should be hay. Hay is an important element of your pet’s diet. Hay provides fibre that will help with your guinea pig’s digestion, so ensure it is available at all times. A guinea pig’s teeth are continually growing, and chewing on hay helps ear them down as well as maintaining good dental health. A high-quality meadow hay like Timothy hay is a good choice.
  • 5% should be balanced guinea pig pellet. Choose pellets fortified with Vitamin C as guinea pigs are unable to formulate Vitamin C themselves.
  • 5% should consist of a variety of vegetables and leafy greens. Suitable foods to feed your guinea pig are broccoli, parsley, kale, cauliflower, red pepper, green pepper, and cooked brussels sprouts.
  • Fruits and treats can be offered rarely, such as guava, strawberry, kiwi, and papaya.
Portrait of cute red guinea pig eating parsley
Abyssinian Guinea Pig

What Guinea Pigs Like to Play With

Guinea pigs are active creatures, who like to explore, sniff around, and play. Providing your guinea pig with plenty of toys and accessories will not only keep boredom at bay, but help with your piggies’ mental stimulation and overall happiness.

TRIXIE Natural Living Playing Roll with Bell

This playing roll comes with an internal bell that is the perfect playtime toy for your guinea pig. As well as preventing boredom, this toy helps to keep their continuously growing teeth worn down as he chews! Perfect for guinea pigs with a bit of a mischievous side who enjoy knocking things over, this toy will be sure to keep your piggie entertained for hours.

HAPPY PET Nature First Small Willow Tube

The Small Willow Tube from the Nature First range by Happy Pet is made from 100% natural willow. The natural willow tube is guaranteed to provide hours of fun and games preventing boredom and keeping teeth and gums healthy and clean. The tube is great for enhancing the habitat of any small animal and will provide them with a hideout place.

Where Guinea Pigs Like to Live

Guinea Pigs can be kept indoors or outdoors. Because of their large size, they will need a large cage or hutch, which will be at least four times their adult size, with a separate space to allow your Guinea Pig to exercise.

If your Guinea Pig is to live outside, choose a hutch which is fully waterproof, draught free and be raised from the ground to help protect from predators. During the winter it is recommended that you take your Guinea Pigs hutch into a shed or provide extra shelter such as a hutch cover to protect them against the harsh weather conditions.

If living indoors, choose a cage which has been specifically designed for indoor use. Your Guinea Pigs cage should be positioned away from radiators or direct sunlight and clear of any draughts.

Clean out your Guinea Pigs hutch on a weekly basis with a pet safe disinfectant. Food bowls and water bottles should be cleaned daily, and soiled bedding removed.

Keeping Your Guinea Pig Healthy

Lice and mites can affect your Guinea Pig, so you should check for them regularly. Treatment is relatively simple, but early identification is necessary to prevent discomfort and potential hair loss. If you are concerned, please speak to your Petmania Petcare Advisor who will be more than happy to help.

Because your Guinea Pigs teeth grow continually, you will need to provide gnaw sticks and chew toys to help ensure his teeth are evenly worn and to prevent overgrown teeth developing. Overgrown teeth will lead to discomfort, loss of appetite and other related illnesses. If you are concerned, please seek veterinary advice.

Finally, through neutering (males) or spaying (females), you can help your guinea pig live a happier, healthier, and longer life. Both neutering (males) and spaying (females) are surgical procedures done under anaesthetic; therefore there is minimal pain for the guinea pig. You can neuter your male guinea when it reaches sexual maturity which is after five months.

guinea pig playing outside

Any More Questions?

If you have any concerns regarding your guinea pig’s health, I recommend you consult with your local veterinarian. For more on feeding and caring for your guinea pig, speak to a member of the Petmania team in store today.

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