Meet the Guinea Pig!

Have you ever considered getting a Guinea pig for a pet? These cute furballs are very friendly and affectionate, and make excellent pets. Native to South America, the Guinea pig first traveled to Europe about 400 years ago, and has since become a very popular pet. Guinea pigs typically live to be between five and seven years old, which is much longer than a typical pocket pet. In this article, your local vet West Greenwich gives a basic introduction to Guinea pigs.

Temperament

Guinea pigs are often quite docile and friendly. They are more vocal then most pocket pets, and make some very cute trilling type sounds! Piggies are quite intelligent and curious, and love to play and explore. Like many pets, they are friendliest if they have been properly socialized as babies. Guinea pigs often enjoy having a roommate, so you can have two, as long as they are both of the same sex.

Caging

Each Guinea pig will need a minimum of eight square feet of space. Avoid using wire cages, unless they have solid flooring, as wire can hurt your pet’s little feat. They will also need to have a house within their cage, which will provide them a safe haven to retreat to if they are frightened or sleepy. Your piggy may enjoy some plastic tubes, or a little home made out of woven hay, but you can also make your pet a home out of a cardboard or wooden box. Paper or pine are good choices for bedding, which will need to be several inches deep. Don’t use cedar for Guinea pigs, as it is toxic to them.

Food

As you might guess by the name, Guinea pigs love eating! Your pet might even make cute little sounds when you open the fridge door or walk past the cage with a plate of food. You can feed a Guinea pig commercial pellets for his basic diet, and supplement it with some fruits and veggies, such as peas, cucumber or carrots. You’ll need to be sure that your furball’s diet includes sufficient Vitamin C, so he doesn’t get sick from a deficiency. Fresh hay and water are also required.

Care

Your pet may be a bit shy at first if he isn’t used to being handled. Always be gentle with your Guinea pig. Feeding him treats is a great way to help your Guinea pig bond to you. Once your pet is used to being handled, you can even teach him some cute tricks!

Please feel free to contact us with any questions about caring for your Guinea pig. As your veterinary clinic West Greenwich, we are here to help.

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