How to Care for Baby Guinea Pigs



Measure the size of your guinea pig cage.,
Prevent your pups from escaping.,
Position the inverted plastic water bottle inside the cage.,
Place the cage in a quiet area of your house.,
Handle your pups early and often.,
Determine the sex of your pups.,
Separate the male pups from the female pups.,
Learn what you should feed your pups.,
Learn how to feed your pups.,
Monitor your pups for sickness.,
Change the cage bedding regularly.,
Provide your pups with toys.

Pups will reach adult size very quickly, so it is recommended to have your pups in a cage that is an adequate size for an adult guinea pig. The cage should be at least 7.5 square feet. If you purchased pups from the pet store, make sure that the cage is large enough before you leave the store.Even though the cage may seem a bit big for your pups, they will appreciate the extra space they will have to run and explore their environment.
If you have a mother guinea pig in a cage with her babies, the cage should be large enough (minimum of 8 square feet) to accommodate all of them through the nursing stage.If your current cage is not large enough, visit your local pet store for assistance in selecting the right size cage.;
, The majority of guinea pig cages are built for adult guinea pigs.For example, there is usually one-inch spacing between the bars on a guinea pig cage. Your pups could possibly be small enough to squeeze through this spacing. To prevent them from doing this, consider purchasing a cage that has a deeper pan at the bottom. The deeper pan would be more difficult for your pups to climb out of.As an alternative to buying a new cage, you can purchase grids with smaller spacing at your local pet store. Secure the grids on the outside of the cage with cable ties., The water bottle should be positioned low enough so that your pups can comfortably reach and sip from the bottle’s sipper tube.You may need to reposition the water bottle several times before it’s at just the right height for them. These water bottles can be purchased at your local pet store.

The lowered water bottle may too low for your pups’ mom. If you see that she is struggling to sip from the water bottle, it may be helpful to place a second water bottle at a higher height for her.

, This is important whether you are bringing home pups or caring for the ones that your female guinea pig has given birth to. Guinea pigs can be very sensitive to noise,so your pups will need to stay in a quiet area during their first few weeks of life.

The cage should also be out of the path of direct sunlight and placed away from vents that could constantly blow air on the cage.It is ideal for the cage to be placed at approximately waist-level. This can make it easier to clean., Pups should be held as early and often as possible so that they can become comfortable with human interaction. The more comfortable they are with people, the better socialized they will be, making them better pets. The mother guinea pig will not reject her babies if you hold them, but she will need time to complete the birthing process before they are ready to be held.Female guinea pigs typically give birth to an average of three pups per litter. The birthing process usually takes about 30 minutes, with about three to five minutes between pups. You will know when the process is over when all pups have been delivered and the mother has eaten the placenta and cleaned the pups.In general, guinea pigs are not used to being held and may initially feel afraid when you pick them up. Getting your pups to be comfortable with you holding them may take some time.To pick up one of your pups, slowly reach into the cage and reach for him from the front. Slide one of your hands under his chest and use your other hand to support his back end. Slowly pick him up and hold him against your chest for as long as he will let you. Talk to him with a gentle voice as you are handling him.If the pup becomes squirmy when you are holding him, gently lower him back into his cage.Your pup may start to squeak when you take him away from his mom to hold him. Make sure not to keep him away from his mother for long.Do not try to handle your pups when they are sleeping or nursing.

, If you purchased your pups from your local pet store, you probably will not need to determine whether they are male or female. If your adult female guinea pig gave birth, you can try to determine the sex of the babies soon after they are born. Female guinea pigs will have what looks like a tiny grain of rice in their genital area. Male guinea pigs will have a white ring in this area.It is recommended to have your veterinarian or a guinea pig expert determine the sex of your pups,if this has not already been done at the pet store.

, If necessary, the male pups should be separated from their sisters and mother and moved to a different cage at the time of sexual maturity, which is around three to four weeks of age.This separation is necessary to prevent accidental pregnancies.Ideally, males should be moved to a different cage around three weeks of age. Female pups can stay with their mother until four weeks of age.Guinea pigs are usually ready to begin leading more independent lives when they are around six weeks old,but you should still aim to separate them by three to four weeks of age if necessary.

, Pups generally eat the same thing as adult guinea pigs, so you do not need to feed a specific baby diet. One exception is that pups need additional calcium in their first few weeks of life. The extra calcium will help their bones grow properly.Alfalfa hay is especially high in calcium.Alfalfa-based pellets are also available.Timothy hay and fresh fruits (oranges, melons) are high in vitamin C and are nutritious foods that you can feed your pups., Feed your pups twice a day by placing small amounts of food in a sturdy food bowl. Remove any leftover food so that it does not spoil.Pups also need a constant supply of fresh water. Refill the plastic water bottle as needed and clean it with hot, soapy water once a week.If the pups are still with their mother, they will start nursing within about 24 hours of birth and will continue nursing for about three weeks (before they reach sexual maturity). They will nurse from their mother during the first few days of life, then transition to solid food and mimic how their mother eats., Guinea pigs are susceptible to many types of diseases, such as heat stress, foot pad infections, and pneumonia. Because pups need a lot of vitamin C in their diet, a deficiency of this vitamin can cause a disease called scurvy. Signs of scurvy include swollen and painful joints, lack of appetite, and a reluctance to move.If your pups are showing signs of scurvy, take them to the veterinarian for immediate treatment. Depending on the severity of the deficiency, your veterinarian may need to give your pups vitamin C injections., The ideal bedding for your pups’ cage consists of several inches of shredded newspaper or pine shed bedding. This bedding can quickly become soiled with leftover food and dropping. It may also become wet with drops of water from the water bottle. Change this bedding twice a week to keep the cage clean., Just like adult guinea pigs, pups love to play. Toys that your pup would enjoy include tunnels and ramps (if your cage is multi-level). Toys can be purchased at your local pet store, or you can make homemade toys out of such items as empty shoeboxes, empty milk cartons, and toilet paper rolls.

You can also let your pups play outside of their cage. You will need to guinea pig-proof a room first to make the play area as safe as possible.

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