CARING FOR YOUR GUINEA PIG

Guinea Pigs (Cavies) are very popular, low cost, low maintenance pets. They are clean and generally very hardy as long as they are fed and cared for properly.  Guinea Pigs need to be kept with other guinea pigs or with humans.  Their life span is between 4 & 5 years.

They can be a little nervous initially, but as they are social animals, they soon get used to handling so long as the holder is gentle. The guinea pig does not burrow, climb or jump to any great degree. The longer haired varieties will need regular brushing & you can buy shampoo specifically designed for Guinea Pigs.  You should apply a mite spray to control mites & lice.

 

Housing

Guinea Pigs can be kept outdoors. They need a secure housing environment so that they are safe from predators such as dogs, cats & birds.  Outdoor hutches should be waterproof with a sheltered area for sleeping & hiding in. The base of the cage in the open area should wire-free so that they can graze on the grass.

There are several types of cages for indoor use. Bedding for indoors can be wood shavings or a similar material. Some people choose to let their guinea pig graze outside during the day & bring them in at night. This is a good idea if you have a lot of cats & dogs that wander your neighbourhood. As guinea pigs are constantly walking, they need access to areas that are wire free to avoid damage to their feet.

Hutches need to be fully cleaned on a weekly basis, however it is a good idea to check the hutch on a daily basis & remove old food & droppings & refresh the water.

    

Diet

Guinea Pigs are vegetarian. Ideally they should be fed a good quality Guinea Pig mix or pellets, plus daily green food & crunchy food such as carrots, apples, capsicum, chopped & de-stringed celery, cucumber, pumpkin, tomato & a small amount of lettuce. You can also feed a variety of grasses to guinea pigs. Do not feed your guinea pig beans, rhubarb, potato peels, apple seeds or plants that have sap in them.

Guinea pigs do not store vitamin C in their bodies, so it is essential that they are given foods that are rich in vitamin C on a regular basis. Tomatoes & capsicum are good sources of Vitamin C. If you cannot feed these to them regularly, you can buy a vitamin D supplement.  Without vitamin C, Guinea Pigs will become very sick.

 

Breeding

The female can start breeding from 2-3 months & the gestation is 59 to 72 days. Female guinea pigs over one year old that have not had a previous litter of babies have a high risk of their hips fusing, resulting in a difficult birthing and a possible fatal outcome.


REMEMBER TO WORM YOUR GUINEAPIG EVERY THREE MONTHS & CHECK REGULARLY FOR LICE & MITES. IF NECESSARY TREAT WITH A GOOD PREVENTATIVE SPRAY.


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22 Grandview Drive, Greenfields
Monday to Friday 9.00am – 6.00pm
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Visit in-store where our helpful animal experts and delightful staff can assist with all your pet needs.