In the pet store or at your friends you saw a wonderful creature - a guinea pig. What you need to know before you start the house of this animal. How to care for a guinea pig and what is required for this?
All the pros and cons of how to care for a guinea pig, which must be weighed before starting a pig at home.
The benefits of guinea pigs
- It won’t take up much space in the house,
- The complete absence of aggression towards the owner,
- Long life in captivity
- Very interesting in behavior.
- Since now there are already many decorative species of pigs, among all the variety there are unusually beautiful breeds,
- Active during the day, compared to a chinchilla that sleeps during the day and a pig is awake at night, it will cause less anxiety.
Guinea pig cage
Animals can be kept in a terrarium, aquarium, cage and a special corner. Their differences:
- Terrarium - glass in front, and the rear and side walls are made of wood, plywood, durable plastic. The difference between such places is a lot of space, the pig does not gnaw bars, there are no drafts.
- Aquarium - convenient because it is easier to wash the glass. However, there is a risk of overheating the animal on sunny days. When kept in an aquarium, it is important to monitor the temperature inside.
- The cage is the most common place of detention. Through the rods you can play with the rodent. Convenient to wash. Of the minuses - drafts.
- Special corner equipped on the floor. Usually it is made in spacious houses and for a group of guinea pigs.
Where to put a cage with a rodent
It should be a bright place, but without direct sunlight in the warm season and not at the battery in the winter. Cannot be placed at the entrance from the street and at windows with ventilation. Mumps are sensitive to hypothermia and drafts. In order for the animal not to go wild, he needs to see people. This is due to their social nature. If the room is noisy, they put a house in a cage so that the animal, shy by nature, could hide.
Guinea pig diet
Already the name "rodent" suggests that guinea pigs must constantly nibble something. Pour food 2-3 times a day. This can be both ready-made packaged food, and self-prepared cereal mixture. They also give hay, fresh grass, twigs of fruit trees. The water should be constant, as well as dry food in a bowl. Fruits, vegetables and hard roots help to balance the diet, because the mumps grows fat from the dry cereal mixture, but does not become healthier from this.
Pet Life: Alone or Paired
Animals belong to the category of social animals, because in natural conditions they live in packs of 5-10 individuals. If you have one pet, you need to provide it with close contact with people:
- often pick up and stroke,
- to put a cage in the room where the tenants of the apartment spend most of their free time,
- systematically approach the pig, iron it.
Living in a guinea pig pair is much more pleasant than being alone - there is someone to frolic with enough square cages. Therefore, the animals living in the company with their fellow tribesmen are healthier: during movement, adipose tissue is absorbed, and muscles are strengthened.
Guinea pig is afraid of people
There is information that guinea pigs bite and run away from people. This happens for 3 reasons:
- pigs were bred purely for commercial purposes and therefore newborns did not pick up babies,
- she is frightened by an unfamiliar environment. She needs time to adapt, and new owners need tact and patience,
- the animal was lost from their hands, painfully squeezed, inaccurately played with him. A conditioned reflex with negative reinforcement formed, so the person became associated with pain.
In such cases, you should gradually accustom the guinea pig to contact. First serve a treat, then gently and gently iron without removing it from the cage. The pet will feel safe and after a while will go hand in hand with pleasure.
Guinea Pig Hygiene
These rodents are very clean. Watching their life, you can see how long they wash and clean the fur coat from all sides. Despite the name, they do not like to swim. Water procedures are needed only by the bald breeds of guinea pigs - Skinny and Baldwin. For Texel, Peruvian, American breed more important than combing. Also periodically need to cut the claws.
If there is no veterinarian nearby
The problem is urgent for residents of small towns and villages - veterinarians in such an area rarely practice the treatment of small pets. A good prevention will be 3 principles of content:
- a well-thought-out diet with a systematic diet,
- a comfortable place to live a guinea pig,
- close contact with the pet and attention to its condition.
Many troubles can be prevented when symptoms only appear. Also, some manipulations, for example, when caring for teeth, can be done at home. Guinea pig, its care and maintenance at home are pleasant chores, and small difficulties can be completely solved if the animal becomes truly loved.
So, you have weighed all the pros and cons for yourself and decided that it would not be difficult for you to take care of a guinea pig. Before you buy and bring a new animal to the house, read a couple of tips from experts on how to care for a guinea pig:
- Never start animals just for fun for your child. First of all, you must cultivate responsibility and the perception that it is a living being with its own character and needs,
- An important fact will be that the life expectancy of guinea pigs is approximately 8 years or more. Have you thought well and are ready to take care of a livestock animal for such a long time ?,
- It’s necessary to find out if any of the family members are allergic to wool,
- Do not forget who will look after your pet if you suddenly need to leave. Often, without thinking, people take a new pet into the house. And only then they have a question, and what to do on their nose the long-awaited vacation and trip, but the bad luck is nowhere to put on your beloved kitten, puppy or any other pet,
- Think about whether you are willing to devote enough time to keeping the animal in appropriate conditions - cleanliness, satiety and joy,
- Guinea pig belongs to the category of rodents. Therefore, you should know in advance that when you walk around the house, furniture will probably suffer and everything your pet can get to.
Where is it better to keep a guinea pig?
For maintenance, a cage or terrarium of at least 50 cm in size is better for you. Buy more spacious housing for your pet, it needs movement and free space for relaxation. But the terrarium’s cells also have their pros and cons:
- If you decide to keep the pig in the terrarium, then it is worth noting the following facts: cleanliness around the terrarium, the pig will be protected from drafts, you will not be disturbed by the sound of gnawing rods of the grill,
- We decided to keep the mumps in the cage: communication with your pet is more accessible to you, the convenience of attaching special devices and treats, and free access to fresh air.
Useful little things and tips in choosing a cell filling:
- Filler for the cell can serve as just sawdust, and pressed wood filler (better absorbs). Fill the bottom with a uniform layer of filler no more than 4 cm and do not forget to clean the cage as it becomes dirty,
- Take a vertical ball as a drinking bowl. Always fill the drinker to the very top, otherwise there will be excess moisture in the cage due to leakage of the drinker. Change water daily, use filtered or boiled water,
- It is better to get a feeder from ceramics, it is more stable and the pig will not turn it over with food. What and how to feed a pig you can read in our article how to feed a guinea pig ?,
- For comfort and convenience, place a hammock in the cage in which the pig will rest. It’s better to put the house either only at night, or do without it at all - the pig will be more shy and constantly hide in the house,
- Wash your mumps periodically and trim the outgrown claws. If you have a long-haired pig living in your house, do not forget to comb it, otherwise the wool will fall into tangles.
Buy animals in specialized pet stores, there they will advise you all about caring for the selected animal, pick up the entire necessary assortment of necessary things and give at least some guarantee that it is healthy.