Home Guinea Pig Care
Home Guinea Pig Care

Home Guinea Pig Care
Guinea pigs are common children’s pets and are generally social, non aggressive pets. They should not be kept with rabbits as bullying by both species can occur, but particularly by the rabbit.

They do not require regular vaccinations.

Diet

Complete pelleted guinea pig foods should be fed. Avoid mixtures as guinea pigs are selective feeders and thus may avoid some essential parts of the food, resulting in an unbalanced diet. Hay and grass must be available at all times to ensure adequate fibre in the diet. Fibre is essential for dental health. Guinea pigs must receive adequate supply of vitamin C in their diet as they are unable to synthesise it themselves. Vitamin C will be added to good quality guinea pig pellets but storage conditions and shelf life of the diet must be adhered to. Fresh water must be freely accessible.

Housing

Guinea pigs are best kept in a hutch. The hutch should have an enclosed solid-walled nesting area for protection from the elements and a mesh fronted section. It is important to avoid extreme temperatures as heat stress and heat stroke occur easily. In extremely cold temperatures, the hutch is best bought inside or into the garage to provide some protection from the cold.

Teeth

Guinea pigs teeth grow continuously and they wear down during eating. The correct diet is vital to ensure adequate wear and prevent dental problems. Adequate fibre in the diet is essential to minimise dental problems.

Desexing

Both females and males can be desexed if breeding is not intended. Mating of females is best delayed until after 14 weeks of age. They should not be mated for the first time if they are over 9 months of age as this can lead to dystocia or problems with the birthing process.

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