Guinea Pigs – I Love ‘Em and You Probably Do Too

There is simply no one ‘correct’ method to properly care for any guinea pig; each guinea pig is different and no two situations are ever identical. However it is up to you as the owner, how you take care of your beloved guinea pig. Never leave them unsupervised, especially if they are used to being alone, as they can quickly become lonely or frustrated. If you keep your pig in a small confined space such as a cage or a pen, they will be more relaxed and less likely to become stressed out.

In the wild, guinea pigs live in wooded areas, where they hunt small animals, particularly rodents. Their diet consists mainly of mice and insects, as well as lizards, earthworms and fruit. In captivity you may have to change their diet to suit your own needs if you live in an apartment or flat and are subject to living alone. There are, however some things that they should never eat – avocado (though it is beneficial for your skin), sweet corn, wheat and other vegetables, seeds and fruits.

You should never feed your guinea pig fruit. It is not advisable because cavies have a very sensitive intestinal tract. They need a diet that is high in vegetables and contains plenty of fat. Cavies also enjoy eating cooked black-eyed peas, cooked carrots and cooked corn. Cavy food should never be frozen, as this can cause death within hours of eating it. If you are considering giving your pet Cavy foods from the store, choose those that have the Scientific Names of Cavy.

Guinea pigs are prone to hairballs. This condition can potentially be fatal to your pet. Guinea pigs, like any other species of rodents and rabbits, have large collections of fur balls, which they tend to regurgitate into the fur of their cage. The fur can get so matted that it will not be able to move around properly. Once your vet sees the fur ball, he may advise you to take steps to eliminate the problem, such as using natural products, such as sawdust or baking soda, or you may need to undergo surgery.

Guinea pigs do require warmth and shelter. As long as you keep in mind their propensity to become carriers of deadly diseases and viruses, you shouldn’t have too much of a worry about the health of your fellow guinea pigs. A small cage will provide them with enough warmth during the winter months and they should have at least one comfortable spot in which to sleep. They enjoy being snuggled up against your chest and that way they won’t feel uncomfortable.

Guinea pigs usually only require a little bit of Vitamin C to grow healthy and happy. However, because the weather in south America is cold, you will want to give them more Vitamin C than usual during the warmer months. If you see your guinea pig trying to swallow some Vitamin C tablets, don’t feed him that day. Instead, give him hay, which contains a good source of vitamin C. Be sure that the hay does not contain any salt, preservatives, or fertilizers. You will find hay in most pet stores.

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