Guinea pigs are very cute and lovable pets. They are small enough to fall into the ‘pocket pet’ category, but they are often much more charismatic, playful, and cuddly than gerbils and hamsters. Of course, they do need proper care in order to thrive. A great cage is a must, but good Guinea pig care doesn’t stop there. A Louisville, KY vet offers some advice on cavy care below.
Guinea pigs have open-rooted teeth, so they must chew constantly to keep their choppers from overgrowing. Your tiny buddy will need a steady supply of grass hay, such as Timothy hay. In addition to this, you’ll need to provide safe greens and veggies, as well as a bit of fruit. Some safe options include carrots, leafy greens, and spinach. For treats, a little bit of safe fruit, such as apple, is a good bet. Your vet may also recommend Vitamin C supplements. Ask for specific advice.
Cavies are quite playful and frisky. Your pint-sized pal will need time out of their cage every day, preferably in a cavy-proofed pen or run. You’ll also need to provide lots of toys, including suitable chew toys. Many wood, wicker, cardboard, and even paper items are fine. Take care not to give your furry friend anything unsafe. Avoid items that have been coated in varnish, stain, or dye, as well as items with ropes or cords and/or anything small or sharp.
Guinea pigs can get very stressed out and lonely without any companions. In fact, they get so depressed that it’s now illegal in Sweden to have just one! Get your little buddy a roommate or two. Just take care to only house same-sex pigs together.
If your little buddy has short fur, you’ll only need to brush him about once a week. Longhaired cavies, such as Abyssinians, need more frequent beauty sessions. You’ll also need to trim your furry pal’s nails. Ask your vet for specific advice on this.
As with any other pet, it’s important to keep an eye out for signs of illness. Some red flags include weight loss, drooling, lack of appetite, withdrawal, increase or decrease in water consumption, strange or stiff postures, and respiratory issues. Call your vet if you notice any of these.
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