Caring for your new Guinea Pig | 2018
Guinea Pig owners have a responsibility to look after and care for their animals. If you’re thinking about having guinea pigs, learn as much as you can about how to care for them beforehand. You should take your lifestyle and household into account when deciding whether you can offer them a good home. This guide explains guinea pigs basic needs so you can decide if they’re right for you.
Your new guinea pigs are likely to be nervous when you take them home so you shouldn’t handle them straight away. During the first few days, simply talk quietly to them. Encourage them to approach you by offering healthy treats. We find starting with gently stroking them they become more comfortable and confident with this, gradually get them used to being picked up. Using both hands, place one hand under your guinea pig’s chest and use your other hand to support his/her back and rear.
Providing wooden or willow toys will give them something to chew on which helps to wear their teeth down. Scattering or hiding their food around their home or in activity feeders will encourage your guinea pigs to show natural foraging behavior. Give your guinea pigs items to tunnel in, such as pipes and deep areas of hay. Give them shelters to hide from things that scare them and escape their companions if they want to.
Clean out soiled bedding from your guinea pigs’ home and replace it with fresh bedding daily. Cleaning the entire cage thoroughly with an animal-safe disinfectant once a week. Cleaning can be stressful for guinea pigs as it removes their own familiar scents. Put back some old but dry bedding to place in their newly cleaned home to ensure some familiar scent remains.
Guinea pigs need a balanced diet which is high in fiber. Guinea pigs can’t produce their own vitamin C so their diet must contain this too.
Vitamin C enriched guinea pig foods should be fed in small measured amounts daily, in addition to hay to ensure your guinea pig get’s all the vitamins and minerals they need. We recommend feeding nuggets. We feed our guinea pigs Pet Market nuggets and recommend that you continue to do so when you take your new animals home. Changes to the diet should be avoided as this can cause digestive upsets. If you do wish to change your guinea pigs’ diet at anytime, introduce the new food slowly over period of about 10 to 12 days, phasing out the old food completely.
Hay and grass should form the majority of your guinea pigs’ diet. Good quality, fresh, dust-free hay must always be available for your guinea pigs to eat. Eating Hay helps to wear guinea pigs’ teeth down, preventing them from growing too long or misaligned and becoming painful.
Giving guinea pigs leafy greens such as kale and broccoli, you can also supplement with herbs and fresh dandelion leaves these can be given to your guinea pigs daily, but remember to introduce new foods gradually to avoid digestive upsets. Fruits like apples, and root vegetables and carrots are high in sugar, so only give them in very small amounts as occasional treats
We recommend you change the water daily.
Caring for your new guinea pig is a big responsibility check out Local Vet for advice.
You can find a great selection of Guinea Pig accessories at Pet Market