Guinea pigs normally grow to about 20 – 30cm in size and their life-span is between 4 – 7 years.These sweet little creatures have certain housing and feeding requirements, for their over-all well-being.
You need a good sized hutch for them as they very active and require a lot of running space, on a solid surface. Please ensure the cage is escape-proof. Try to get the biggest hutch you can for your furry little friend. Place their cage in a space that has no direct sun-light, draughts, moisture, wind or extreme temperature changes.
Although they love to run around and exercise is important for them, they also need a safe, warm place to hide away and sleep. So, ensure that you have a hiding place for them in their cage. Hay is an important part of a guinea pigs’ diet as well as being essential for their bedding. Timothy Hay is preferable, do not use Alfalfa as it is too high in calcium for guinea pigs. The bedding should be 3 – 5cm deep so they can snuggle, which they love. Other materials you can use for bedding are; plain shredded paper (NO ink), wooden shavings or Aspen bedding (please ask our in-store assistants which would be preferable). Please DO NOT USE any kind of Cedar shavings, as it is not good for their respiratory health.
Clean the hutch regularly, removing wet spots from the bedding on a daily basis and completely replace the bedding with clean materials on a weekly basis. Clean the food and water containers on a daily basis
When keeping small animals, it is best to keep different species separated. Male and female guinea pigs should not be housed together. Adult male guinea pigs will fight, so do not house them together.
You can clean your guinea pigs with a damp facecloth and brush them with a soft brush. Guinea pigs keep themselves clean, so they generally do not need baths. You will need to brush a long haired guinea pig more often than a short haired one. Their nails also need to be clipped approximately every six weeks.
Guinea pigs are energetic little creatures and need a lot of running space. They will show signs of “Popcorning”, whereby, they bounce, spring and leap around in shorts spurts. It may at first seem odd to you, however, this is a good sign of health and happiness.
As energetic and lively as they may be, they are also very easily startled, so do not make any sudden moves or noises around them and keep them away from any sudden temperature changes. When handing them, you need to place your one hand over their shoulder, which will lead them to crouch, then use your other hand to gently scoop them up from behind. ALWAYS hold them with both hands and keep them close to your body. PLEASE ALWAYS ensure that your hands are clean and detergent free when handling these little ones.
Have safe chewing treats at their disposal; i.e. a fruit branch and wooden chews. This helps with health of their teeth which grow continuously.
ALWAYS check the health of your pets on a daily basis. These are both the good and bad health signs in a guinea pig: