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How to get friendly with guinea pigs

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Guinea pigs — or cavies, to give them their proper name — are fascinating, intelligent and, when handled correctly, friendly. They originate from South America and there are eight species, but only one — the domestic cavy — is kept as a pet. Guinea pigs live for around four to eight years, so their care is a long-term commitment. Males are known as boars and females are called sows. Guinea pigs need company of their own kind and can be kept in same sex groups or in pairs.

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What to Know Before Getting a Pet Guinea Pig

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Guinea Pigs also known as cavies are a species of rodent native to the South American Andes. They are social inquisitive creatures and make lovely pets. Although they are commonly thought to be easy first pets for children, they require plenty of attention, care and time, and a well-researched approach to their care. The following information is only a basic overview. It does not cover every aspect of guinea pig care and we strongly advise that you seek further information to ensure the health and welfare of the animals in your care.

Guinea pigs are very social animals, and are happiest when kept with other guinea pigs. Guinea pigs are natural herbivores, who would spend their time foraging and grazing in small herds in the wild. Their teeth are continuously growing, which is one of the reasons why they need plenty of roughage to encourage chewing, which wears down their teeth and helps prevent serious dental problems. For your guinea pig to be happy and healthy, they need plenty of the following basic components in their diets:.

More information on feeding your guinea pigs can be found here. Guinea pigs should have as large an enclosure as possible, ideally with the right amount of lined, covered space and soft grass hay to provide cushioning. Sawdust or wood shavings can cause respiratory issues and should be avoided. Make sure to clean out the hutch regularly and dispose of any waste. Daily grooming is essential for long-haired guinea pigs to help keep their coat in good condition, and is good for short-haired guinea pigs too.

Using a suitable brush, brush the coat gently in the same direction as the hair grows, and gently remove dead hairs, tangles and pieces of twigs, dry leaves or burrs.

It is best to handle guinea pigs when they are young to help them feel comfortable. Make sure that you handle them carefully, securely, and gently. If they want to, you should allow guinea pigs to retreat and hide. Try never to remove them from a hiding area and force interaction or handling with them; they need to feel that their hiding areas are safe and secure.

Guinea pigs need exercise, mental stimulation, environmental enrichment e. The normal behaviours that guinea pigs need to be able to express include social interaction with other guinea pigs, walking, running, tunnelling, exploring, playing, stretching horizontally, retreating to a shelter and hiding, foraging, chewing, gnawing, and jumping. More information on exercise and enrichment for your guinea pigs can be found here.

Guinea pigs reproduce from a young age, as early as weeks old. So, to prevent unwanted litters of guinea pigs it is important that they are desexed before they can reproduce, at around months of age. Before that time, undesexed male and female guinea pigs should not be kept together from 3 weeks old males must be removed and weaned from their mothers at 3 weeks of age. Desexing your guinea pigs will not only prevent unwanted litters but will also prevent some health problems.

Guinea pigs who are ill or injured must receive appropriate treatment from a veterinarian that will relieve any pain or distress. Guinea pigs are good at hiding illness and pain. If your guinea pig is behaving abnormally please contact your veterinarian promptly. Guinea pigs should also have regular veterinary check-ups; this can help to pick up problems such as overgrown teeth or parasites before these become a major health conditions for your guinea pigs. More information on health care for your guinea pigs and health problems can be found here.

You should also think about what arrangements can be made to ensure good care of your guinea pigs if, for some reason, it is no longer possible for you to look after them. There are no national laws applying to animal welfare, but all states and territories regulate animal welfare in their jurisdiction. The legislation in each state and territory can be found in this article.

Companionship Guinea pigs are very social animals, and are happiest when kept with other guinea pigs. Feeding Guinea pigs are natural herbivores, who would spend their time foraging and grazing in small herds in the wild. This should be dry, sweet smelling and not contain any mold, mildew or fungus. Guinea pigs should not be fed Lucerne alfalfa or Clover hay, as these are too high in protein and calcium. Providing the opportunity for your guinea pig to graze on grass is also important to their wellbeing.

If they do not have an areas where they can graze safely for example, free roaming in a safe enclosure , then offering cut grass is another alternative however, they should not be fed lawn trimmings, as these can cause digestive upsets. See this article for more details. Just as with hay, Lucerne alfalfa should not be given fresh and clover should be avoided where possible and not given in large quantities.

Some examples of these include broccoli, cabbage, dark leafed lettuce varieties, and parsley. A dietary source of Vitamin C because, like humans, guinea pigs cannot make their own Vitamin C from other food substances. This is usually supplied sufficiently by the fresh leafy green veggies, but it is safer to supplement this with small quantities of Vitamin C rich foods such as citrus or kiwi fruit.

Housing Guinea pigs should have as large an enclosure as possible, ideally with the right amount of lined, covered space and soft grass hay to provide cushioning. Wellbeing Grooming Daily grooming is essential for long-haired guinea pigs to help keep their coat in good condition, and is good for short-haired guinea pigs too. Exercise and enrichment Guinea pigs need exercise, mental stimulation, environmental enrichment e.

Health care Guinea pigs reproduce from a young age, as early as weeks old. Can I keep guinea pigs and rabbits in the same enclosure? What companionship do my guinea pigs need? What do I need to know about my guinea pigs' health?

What exercise and environmental enrichment do guinea pigs need? What is the Australian legislation governing animal welfare?

What kind of housing do guinea pigs need? What should I feed my guinea pigs? Was this article helpful? Yes No.

Caring for your guinea pig

Posted on August 30, Guinea pigs, also known as cavies, are friendly and inquisitive pets. However, they need commitment and regular attention to ensure they stay healthy and happy. Read on to find out how to care for your pocketful of sunshine.

Guinea Pigs also known as cavies are a species of rodent native to the South American Andes. They are social inquisitive creatures and make lovely pets. Although they are commonly thought to be easy first pets for children, they require plenty of attention, care and time, and a well-researched approach to their care.

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Guinea pigs

Here are some important questions to consider before adopting a guinea pig:. Guinea Pig Supplies on Amazon. Guinea pigs need time out of their cage every day. Whether this time is spent stretching their legs and exploring new environments or cuddling in your lap, daily interaction and attention are essential for a guinea pig's well-being. Guinea pigs need to be groomed regularly. Shorthaired breeds can be maintained with a once-a-week brushing while longhaired breeds require daily grooming. A guinea pig's cage should be thoroughly cleaned on a weekly basis and spot-cleaned every few days. Guinea pigs require a gentle touch and may be easily startled by sudden movement and loud noises.

Guinea pig behaviour

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Guinea pigs are known for their gentle demeanors, and when treated with kindness can become loving and affectionate pets.

How about a guinea pig? March is Adopt a Rescued Guinea Pig month, so what better time to get a new pet and also help save a life? Guinea pigs have always been one of the exotic pets I recommend most, especially for families considering a pet for the first time.

How to introduce guinea pigs

Guinea pigs are small pets, but they require plenty of space, time, effort, and human interaction. If you are willing to give your guinea pig a good home with proper food, attention, living space, grooming, and veterinary care, you will be rewarded with a happy, healthy, cute, and fun guinea pig. To care for your guinea pig, make sure it has access to fresh hay and water at all times. You can also supplement its diet with vegetables, like lettuce, kale, carrots, and cucumbers, so it gets all the vitamins and nutrients it needs.

Guinea pigs can be lovely pets, but there are a few things you should know before making that big commitment. From expected lifespan to the social nature of guinea pigs, here are some things to consider before choosing a guinea pig as a pet. While a guinea pig doesn't live nearly as long as a cat or dog, they're still a large time commitment. Guinea pigs live on average around five to seven years, sometimes longer, so be prepared to provide care over the long term. Guinea pigs are very social animals and are at their happiest living with other guinea pigs. Keep a same-sex pair to ensure you don't have any unwanted litters.

10 Reasons Why Guinea Pigs Make Great Pets

Guinea pigs are social pets and are therefore best kept in groups of two or more. This enables them to express their natural behaviour, and allows for all of their social needs to be met. Introducing them is also a gradual process, which should be done in various stages. The most suitable pairings are two females or a neutered male and a female. Neutering the male guinea pig removes the potential for any unwanted litters, and avoids the likely problems that can be caused by hormones.

Aug 21, - Guinea pigs are friendly and most are happy to be handled once they have got used to their new surroundings. Always use both hands to pick up.

Guinea pigs make great pets. They can be lots of fun and are fairly low-maintenance. But as with any animal, you need to put in some effort to cultivate your relationship. Whether this guinea pig is a new member of your household or one you just haven't bonded with yet, you need to establish a good relationship with your pet.

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Comments: 2
  1. Zuktilar

    Amazingly! Amazingly!

  2. Ganos

    Very useful piece

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