Choose a cage with smooth flooring.,
Select a large cage for your guinea pig.,
Place soft, comfortable bedding in the cage.,
Make sure the cage gets fresh air.,
Clean your guinea pig’s cage.,
Check your guinea pig’s feet daily.,
Trim your guinea pig’s nails.,
Feed your guinea pig a diet high in vitamin C. Too little vitamin C can cause foot sores in guinea pigs.A healthy diet with enough vitamin C will help keep your guinea pig’s feet healthy and free of sores.,
Monitor your guinea pig’s weight.,
Encourage your guinea pig to exercise.
Wire flooring is not good for your guinea pig’s tiny feet. This type of flooring could easily damage his foot pads, increasing his risk of developing foot sores.Smooth flooring would protect your guinea pig’s feet and help prevent foot sores. If your guinea pig’s current cage has wire flooring, switch to a cage with smooth flooring.;
, Your guinea pig needs space to run and play. Since exercise can prevent foot sores, make sure his cage gives him plenty of space to run around. If you have 1 guinea pig, his cage should be 42 x 24 x 18 inches (106 x 61 cm x 46cm).If you have multiple guinea pigs, you will need an even bigger cage so each guinea pig has space to exercise.
The staff at your local pet store can help you decide what size cage you will need.
, Rough bedding can leave cuts and scrapes in your guinea pig’s foot pads. To prevent him from getting foot sores, use cage bedding that is soft, thick, and dry.Examples of ideal bedding are fleece and CareFRESH®.Place about 2 to 3 inches of bedding in the bottom of the cage.Bedding types to avoid are cedar pine shavings, corn cob bedding, and straw.Replace the bedding when it becomes wet and dirty. Clean, dry bedding will help prevent foot sores.
, Good air flow can keep your guinea pig’s cage from getting humid and damp. Fresh air can also prevent the cage bedding from getting wet. The drier his cage, the less likely he’ll get foot sores. Place his cage in a draft-free area where there is good air flow.If the cage has solid sides, cover the cage top with a wire mesh lid to allow for good air flow., A clean cage is important for preventing foot sores. Each day, do a quick spot clean to remove excess food, clean up urine and feces, and replace wet and dirty bedding. You should also clean and refill his water and food bowls each day.
Change his bedding completely at least once a week.Do a thorough cage cleaning once a week. Remove all bedding and accessories from the cage and clean the cage with hot, soapy water. Rinse the cage and allow it to dry completely before placing everything (and your guinea pig) back in.A dirty cage can have a buildup of a bacteria that could infect your guinea pig’s footpads., The more often you look at your guinea pig’s feet, the sooner you will notice if his feet need to be treated. Look at his feet each day. His foot pads should be smooth and light pink.If you notice anything abnormal (e.g., cuts, scrapes, swelling), contact your vet. Your vet may need to treat your guinea pig’s feet with an antibiotic ointment.
Your vet may recommend some products you can use at home to treat minor cuts and scrapes on the foot pads.
Check your guinea pig’s feet during a time when you would normally handle him.
, Long nails can curve around and under your guinea pig’s feet, making walking difficult.If the nails are too long on one foot, your guinea pig will start putting pressure on another foot; that foot will then develop foot sores.Trimming your guinea pig’s nails will help prevent foot sores.
If you’re not comfortable trimming the nails, ask your vet to do so.
, Since guinea pigs cannot produce their own vitamin C, they need to get it from their diet. Vitamin C-rich foods include bell peppers, parsley, and kale.Guinea pig pellets usually contain vitamin C. However, after about 3 months, the vitamin C in the pellets loses its strength.Try not to feed your guinea pig pellets that are more than 3 months old.
Vitamin C supplements are available for guinea pigs. However, do not add vitamin C to water—much of the vitamin’s strength will be lost in a day, and you will not be able to tell how much your guinea pig is actually getting.Your vet can determine if your guinea pig has a vitamin C deficiency and provide suggestions on how to correct it.
, Obesity can cause foot sores in guinea pigs by putting too much weight and pressure on the feet.If you can keep your guinea pig at a healthy weight, you can prevent him from getting foot sores. Your vet can determine if your guinea pig is overweight and what his weight should be.
At home, you can weigh your guinea pig with a kitchen scale. Weigh him on a weekly basis.Increased exercise and dietary changes can help a guinea pig lose weight, if necessary.
Obesity in guinea pigs is not very common. Before changing your guinea pig’s diet or increasing his exercise, have your vet confirm that obesity caused the foot sores., Exercising will prevent foot sores by keeping your guinea pig at a healthy weight. Place an exercise wheel with solid flooring in his cage; the solid flooring will prevent foot injuries. You can also put his sleeping area, food bowl, and water bowls in different locations to encourage him to move around more.Little toy balls, food toys (e.g., piece of produce in a brown paper bag), and chewing items (e.g., timothy hay, untreated apple branches) can also motivate your guinea pig to exercise.