Have you decided to adopt a Guinea pig? These little furballs make very cute pets! Although Guinea pigs—or cavies, as they are sometimes called—are fairly easy to keep, they do have some specific care needs. Here, a Fort Collins, CO vet offers some tips on Guinea pig care.
Making sure your furry friend is comfortable in his cage is very important! For one Guinea pig, we recommend getting a cage that is about 7.5 square feet. If you have more than one cavy, you’ll need a bigger cage. Add a suitable substrate, such as aspen. Avoid pine and cedar substrates, as they are toxic to small animals. Your pet will also need a hidey-hole, as well as some dishes and a water bottle.
You can feed your Guinea pig commercial food for his main meals. Your pint-sized pal will also need plenty of fresh water, as well as good grass hay, such as Timothy hay. You can supplement these things with fresh produce. Always research a new food before giving it to your pet, as not all fruits and veggies are safe for cavies. Ask your vet for specific advice.
Cavies must chew quite a bit to keep their choppers healthy. Offer your adorable pet lots of suitable chew toys. Many cardboard, wood, and wicker items are fine, as long as they don’t have small parts or sharp edges, and are not coated in varnish, paint, or glitter. (Tip: the cardboard tubes from toilet-paper rolls can make great cavy playthings.) Ask your vet for recommendations.
Guinea pigs are very sociable, and are often happier with a buddy or two to play with. Just be sure to only keep same-sex cavies together!
Keep a close eye on your cavy, and watch for any potential signs of illness. Some common ones are lethargy, reduced appetite, weight loss, and unusual posture, behavior, or vocalizations. Contact your vet immediately if you notice anything amiss.
Last but not least, make sure your pint-sized buddy feels loved, safe, and comfortable. Pay attention to your little pet, and take time to pet and play with him. You may be surprised how charming and lovable these cute furballs can be!
Do you have questions about Guinea pig care? We can help! Contact us, your Fort Collins, CO pet hospital, today!