Average Adult Size: 8 to 11 inches long
Average Life Span: up to 8 years with proper care
A well-balanced guinea pig diet consists of:
High-quality guinea pig food, Timothy hay and limited amounts of vegetables and fruits.
Require 30 to 50 mg of vitamin C daily from high-quality food, vitamin supplements or fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C.
Clean, fresh, filtered, chlorine-free water, changed daily.
Do not feed chocolate, caffeine or alcohol as these can cause serious medical conditions. Avoid sugar and high-fat treats.
Things to remember when feeding your guinea pig:
Fresh food, Timothy hay and water should always be available.
A limited amount of vegetables and fruits can be given daily, but should not exceed 10% of their total diet.
Vegetables and fruits not eaten within 24 hours should be discarded.
Guinea pigs acclimate well to average household temperatures, not to exceed 80°F; be cautious of extreme temperature changes. The habitat should never be in direct sunlight or in a drafty area.
A minimum 36"L x 30"W x 18"H escape-proof habitat with a solid surface area and plenty of room for exercise and play makes a good home for one guinea pig. It is best to provide the largest habitat possible.
1 to 2" of bedding should be placed in the habitat; proper bedding includes high-quality paper bedding, crumbled paper bedding or hardwood shavings. Cedar-based products are not recommended.
Guinea pigs may be kept in same-sex pairs if they are raised together; otherwise, keep adult guinea pigs housed separately. Different types of small animals should not be housed together.
Easy to handle; prefers a routine and similar time for playing, feeding and resting each day.
Hides in objects, but will come out when people are near the habitat.
Chew on objects to maintain all their teeth, which grow continuously; ensure they have plenty of chew sticks or mineral chews available.
Clean and disinfect the habitat and its contents at least once a week with a 3% bleach solution. Rinse and allow drying completely before placing the guinea pig back into the habitat.
Remove wet spots daily; change bedding at least twice a week, or more often as necessary.
Guinea pigs stay clean and rarely need baths, but can be spot-cleaned with a damp washcloth or unscented baby wipes if needed.
Fur may be brushed with a soft-backed brush. Hairless guinea pigs benefit from a small amount of non-toxic aloe-based lotion rubbed onto skin to keep it soft.
Guinea pigs need their nails clipped approximately once a month.
It is normal for a guinea pig's teeth to be yellow; cleaning is not necessary.
Signs of a Healthy Animal
Active, alert and sociable
Eats and drinks regularly
Healthy fur and clear eyes
Breathing is unlabored
Communicates by squeaking
abnormal hair loss
diarrhea or dirty bottom
eye or nasal discharge
SHOPPING LIST FOR NEEDED SUPPLIES:
appropriately sized habitat
high quality guinea pig food
food bowl/water bottle
soft brush and nail clippers
dust and dust bath
book about guinea pigs
PROS AND CONS
Are guinea pigs good pets?
The answer to this question is absobloodylutely!
They are small and not as large as dogs. They don’t need to go on walks multiple of times a day, and if you provide a large enclosure and have a herd in there, they are also fine with being alone on their own while you are in school or at work.
They are very happy and friendly creatures, you don’t need to actively teach them anything. They usually figure out stuff on their own and they will figure out that you are the veggie person.
They are just adorable – look at them, there is no denying this. They are just so fluffy and cute and adorable.
They are generally happy to see you when you come home from school or work. Maybe they hope that you feed them. But still, thy look forward to your return and it’s nice to be greeted by this chubby little faces.
Guinea pigs eating hay is one of the cutest sounds in the world, it’s great aw a background sound for setting. They are really vocal in general. So if you love pets that talk, you will definitely love guinea pigs.
Guinea pigs are great pets, they are way more active and intelligent than a lot of people give them credit for.
Guinea pigs are generally easy to tame. While guinea pigs may be nervous or skittish at first, with consistent gentle handling, they usually become tame very easily. They are unlikely to bite even when stressed.
Their enclosure needs to be cleaned regularly, you have to clip their nails and if one gets sick they might need a lot of attention especially if you have to force feed them.
You also need at least two piggies and a big cage and if you are going to be away for the rest of the day you need to make sure that you provide enough hay/feeding.
Contrary to their fluffy and cute appearance, guinea pigs don’t like being treated like stuff animals; putting them in swimming pools and dog houses or moving toy cars or whatever you see floating around Facebook is not something they enjoy. They are living creatures and like to be treated as such
If you have a lot on your plate, you still have to take care of them. Their cage still needs cleaning even if you are exhausted and they can be quite vocal if you are not fast enough with feeding.
If you are going to have your guinea pigs in your bedroom, their sound can disrupt your sleep. Guinea pigs go through phases of sleeping and being awake but they don’t sleep through the night. So they might start being super active 3:00am, eating, bickering, running around and just being really loud. So you might want to consider not sleeping in the same room with them. Of course, if you sleep through anything then this point doesn’t apply to you.
Guinea pigs eat a lot of hay. The more guinea pigs you have the more hay you need to buy. Be prepared for having to store a lot of stuff; ha, bedding, hiddys, hay racks, veggies, pellets, water cans. All these adds up pretty fast. Also, any pet will bring mess into your house so you need to clean up often.
You also have to think of the fact that they live between 7 and 8 years, some of them even up to 10 years. So, you are going to be responsible for the well-being of your guinea pigs for the next decade.
Guinea pigs are one of the few animals that cannot manufacture their own Vitamin C, so the need to get this from their diet. Choosing a good quality diet and providing a variety of fresh foods is important, but most owners choose to also give their animals Vitamin C supplements.
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