How to Help Your Guinea Pig Live a Long Life



Buy the right cage.,
Install a food station and a water dispenser.,
Add a few toys.,
Provide a balanced diet.,
Introduce a new friend.,
Do not allow females to become pregnant.,
Play regularly with your pet.,
Find a veterinarian.,
Constantly check for injuries.,
Be on the look-out for worrying symptoms.

Provide at least 10 square feet of living space for two guinea pigs. This space prevents conflicts between males, fighting between guinea pigs, and reduces the risks of bloat, obesity, and gas build-up by providing adequate room to exercise.

Test a few cages and look for one that you can clean easily. Can your hand enter the cage easily? Can you use a brush inside it?
Make sure that the cage is light enough to keep your guinea pig happy. The cage should also have a dark corner, or a mini-house, where your animal can hide or sleep when it doesn’t want to interact with the outside world. There should be one hide per guinea pig.
Place the cage in a room with stable temperature. Guinea pigs can’t stand high temperatures, drops or increases.
Bed the floor of the cage with guinea-pig bedding bought at the pet shop. Change it regularly so your guinea pig doesn’t live in its own feces.;
, Food and water dispensers for guinea pigs are widely available online and in pet shops. Look for a sturdy model and make sure that it’s big enough to feed the number of animals you own. Place them in an accessible place.Give them something to chew on. Guinea pigs need to keep their teeth down. If you leave a piece of wood from an apple tree or any other orchard wood, your animal will be able to use its teeth safely.
You might not see your guinea pig drinking often. It’s perfectly normal as they also extract water from vegetable matter.
Don’t use anything else than orchard wood or a chewing threat from a pet-shop. Other types of wood can be toxic and could kill your pet.

, Guinea pigs are playful animal and welcome intellectual stimulation. You should be able to find ready-made toys, such as balls or tunnels, in most pet shops. You can also try to make your own. Here are a few ideas:

Try putting fruits and vegetables on a string and hang them from the cage.
Build a little cardboard house where your guinea pig can play.
Make an obstacle course with various objects. Just make sure that your guinea pig doesn’t eat the objects.

, The foundation of your guinea pig’s diet should be grass hay. It’s a good source of fibres and keeps teeth down. It’s important to let the animal have constant access to the grass hay and to other sources of food. Guinea pig food as sold in pet shops is heavily debated. Avoid food with large concentration of calcium, a potential cause of urinary infection. Also avoid muesliThere are several types of grass hay. You can find them in pet shops or at equestrian centers. Put the hay apart from the bedding. You don’t want your animal to eat and go to the toilets at the same place.
Fresh, preferably organic, well washed (you can use a commercial vegetable wash or water and vinegar mix, rinse well after) leafy greens are a treat for guinea pigs. These include green leaf lettuce, escarole, red leaf lettuce, cilantro, and curly endive. You can give a few strawberries and pieces of apple but don’t exaggerate. Guinea pigs are prone to obesity!
Look for food enhanced with C, as Guinea pigs can’t produce it themselves. They also need high levels of vitamin A, which can be found in carrots.Change the water daily to avoid bacterial infection.
Avoid potatoes, rhubarb, tomato leaves and flowers. They are poisonous to guinea pigs., Guinea pigs are very sociable and will love company. Keep guinea pigs of the same sex or already spayed/neutered pairs. Guinea pigs are social animals but they aren’t above fights.

Introduce a new guinea pig slowly. If you find that your guinea pigs are fighting, separate them with a wire shelf, which allows them to see and smell each other, but prevents them from fighting.

, Pregnancy and especially birthing is hard on females. One in five females that is bred will die as a result of complications during pregnancy or birth, or as a result of toxaemia after birth.

If you wish to have baby guinea pigs, make sure to talk with your veterinary surgeon beforehand. You should have room for the babies and enough money to feed them in the future.

, Guinea pigs love action and will welcome a good playing session with you. Making them run is a good way to keep them fit and intellectually stimulated. There are a few things to look for:

If you take them in the garden, make sure that they cannot escape. Also make sure that there is no predator such as cats.
Let your guinea pig eat a bit of grass outside. It’s very good for them but don’t let them eat too much at first. Rich grass might trigger diarrhea.
Make sure that the temperature is right. It should be between 60-70°F or 15-21°C.
Don’t forget to wash your hands after playing to avoid bacteria contamination.

, Don’t wait for a problem to happen to bring your guinea pig to a specialist. These tiny animals require a regular check-up to detect potential health issues.

Most veterinarians will take care of your pet but a few specialise only in guinea pigs. Look for them on the internet or in the phone book.
Bring your guinea pig for a check-up at least twice a year.
Your veterinarian will probably recommend to neuter your male guinea pig during the first visit. This might cost a bit of money but will make your guinea pig quieter and happier in an enclosed environment.The veterinarian will also treat the animal for external and internal parasites such as worms.

, Older guinea pigs sometimes have feet wounds. If this happens, see a veterinary surgeon and get softer bedding or spread out a soft cloth at the bottom of the cage. Observe your guinea pig actions. If anything seems wrong, don’t take too long to act. A small infection can be lethal.Don’t forget to cut the nails of your guinea pigs as they might be a cause of injury. Remember to be gentle.
Don’t give them medicine unless prescribed by a veterinarian. You might kill your guinea pig.

, If you notice crusty or swollen eyes, dandruff, inflamed ears or nose or irregular breathing, call immediately your veterinarian. You should also bring your guinea pig if it’s behaving erratically or if you notice anything uncommon.Check their front teeth. Only veterinarians should take care of overgrown teeth.
Their life expectancy can vary a lot. They can live between four and eight years.
If you notice something unusual, separate your guinea pig immediately. You don’t want to spread a contagious disease.
Weight your animals regularly to monitor their health. This will tell you if they are well and if you are feeding them enough or too much. An adult guinea pig should weight around 700 to 1200 grams.
If your animal smells bad, go to the veterinarian. Guinea pigs are clean animals and shouldn’t be washed, except if they are really dirty.

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