Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs make wonderful pets. Their small size and easy care makes them the perfect pet for a home or an apartment. They do bond to their owners and can become an integral part of the family.

Guinea pigs need the largest cage that can possibly be accommodated. The bigger the better. Soft absorbent bedding is needed—CareFresh (recycled newspaper) is best. The cage needs to be cleaned every few days, depending on the size of the cage and the number of guinea pigs housed together.

Guinea pigs require a diet of fresh timothy hay and guinea pig pellets. They require Vitamin C in their diet; therefore, pig pellets are formulated especially for them.

Try to avoid the pellets with the seeds, etc., in them. Oxbow makes the best pig pellets as well as timothy hay. You may also give them fresh vegetables; however, use them for bonding purposes when you first acquire them.

All guinea pigs should receive a physical exam at least once a year. It is very important to have all the teeth checked, incisors and molars. They are prone to develop dental problems. A fecal sample should be checked for intestinal parasites. They are also prone to obesity and do require physical activity.

If female guinea pigs are going to get pregnant, they need to do so by the age of 6 months. Their pelvic bones fuse together about this time and if they get pregnant after this occurs, they cannot give birth and will require a caesarean section. If impregnated prior to this happening, the bones do not fuse and birth should not be so difficult.

Guinea pigs are wonderful little critters that make fabulous pets. They absolutely bond with their owners and learn the family’s routine. (Especially when the refrigerator opens!) There are many guinea pigs in rescue and foster care who need loving homes.

Please consider adopting one of the many sweet critters out there in search of a caring home.

Compliments of Marcie L.Engel, D.V.M. Brookeville Animal Hospital, LLC 301/774-9698

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