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The Guinea Pig: Cavia Porcellus


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The Guinea Pig: Cavia PorcellusGuinea pigs are animals we have for social companions, and, as such, they require daily interaction. They are able to communicate in a variety of ways, which include making various sounds that mean different things, and what is known as popcorn. This is the phrase used to describe how they jump into the air when they are happy! The Diet for Your Pet  A well-balanced diet for your guinea pig will consist of the following:

  • First-rate guinea pig food, with vegetables, fruit, and timothy hay
  • Daily vitamin C doses of between 30 and 50 milligrams.
  • Clean water, chlorine free, which is changed on a daily basis
Feeding Your Pet  When you feed your guinea pig, the most important factor to take into account is that they need fresh food, timothy hay, and clean water at all times. You should also ensure that the fruits and vegetables that you give them are not more than 10% of their total diet, and that any of these that are not consumed within 24 hours should be discarded. Housing Your Guinea Pig  Guinea pigs are able to acclimate pretty well to the average household temperature, as long as this does not exceed 80°F/26°C. Be cautious of extreme changes in the temperature, and make sure that their habitat does not experience either direct sunlight or drafts. You don’t want to make their environment as hot as a sunny beach, or as cold as a snowy mountain. A minimum habitat of 36""L x 30""W x 18""H should be escape-proof, and on a solid surface, with room for both play and exercise. Go as big as you can when it comes to where they will live! The bedding inside their habit should be between 1 and 2"" deep, and should include paper of a high quality, crumbled paper, and hardwood shavings. Products based on cedar should be avoided, however. If you are going to raise your guinea pigs together, keep them of the same sex. Otherwise, to prevent pregnancies, you will need to separate their housing. Their habitats will need to be cleaned and disinfected at least once every week, with a bleach solution of 3%. Rinse the area and allow it to dry completely before you put your pig back in its clean home. Remove any wet spots once a day, change their bedding at least twice a week, and generally just keep an eye on what their living space looks like. Normal Guinea Pig Behaviour  These animals are easy to handle, but prefer a routine, so try to keep the same times for their playing, resting, and feeding schedules each day. They tend to hide inside objects as they can, but will emerge from these if people come close to their habitats. They will also chew on objects in order to maintain their teeth. These grow continuously, so make sure that your guinea pigs have plenty of chew sticks or mineral chews available to them to keep those chompers in check! Guinea Pig Red Flags  Seek help for your guinea pig if you notice any of the following:
  • An abnormal rate of hair loss
  • Breathing that seems distressed
  • Discharge from the eyes or nose
  • Teeth that are overgrown
And above all, don’t forget to have fun with your fabulous pet!