An Ultimate Guide to Guinea Pig Royalty Treatment
Tiny, cuddly, furry and lovable, these pocket pets are simply awesome and attention worthy. However, just like any other creature, they can get bored too, and of course, it is up to us to keep them entertained. Luckily, this is not too difficult to pull off, as all you need are some purchased or handcrafted toys that can fit inside the cage. Furthermore, your guinea pig needs to spend some time outside of the cage and exercise, which is another form of entertainment in itself. Finally, it is important that you know how to properly take care of them, what to feed them, how to keep them healthy and how to groom them.
If you are considering getting a guinea pig for the first time for either you or your kid, then you should go through the following guide. Here we will delve into the topic on how to ensure, in a budget-friendly manner, that your guinea pig feels like a noble in the lap of luxury.
Creating a Royal Palace
First and foremost you will need to have a solid bottom cage. Since guinea pigs can end up weighing over 2 pounds, you might want to consider getting a cage that is a bit more spacious. A basic setting should include a food bowl, water bottle, and hay rack. However, that is not what a royal palace should look like, so you will need to add a few things here and there.
A great addition to its living abode would be a hide house, and you can either buy it in a store or make one yourself by creating an entrance hole in an empty flower pot. Give that a home a dash of royal flare by adding a cardboard cone on top so that it resembles a medieval tower.
Also, make sure there are a few chewing toys inside the cage (their teeth never stop growing so they need something to nibble), and you can stuff an old sock with guinea pig’s bedding material to create a big sleeping pillow.
Feeding your Guinea Pig
Guinea pigs are herbivores, so they typically eat plants, and do not be alarmed if you also see them eating their own excrement. They are simply eating parts containing vitamin B, as well as some fiber and bacteria to improve their digestion.
The important thing to remember is that guinea pigs cannot produce their own vitamin C, therefore you need to give them specific food to make up for it - apple, spinach, carrot, celery, broccoli, cabbage. You should also go through a guide on what are the best food options for a guinea pig, and what they should not eat. Guinea pigs can be picky about their food from time to time, but they will also chew on things they find in their cage, so make sure they do not ingest anything that could create health problems. Check all the specifications of the materials you use in DIY projects for your guinea pig. Pay special attention to the types of adhesives and glues you are using and colored cardboard that can contain heavy metals.
Playtime and Exercise
Playtime is important to the guinea pig, and you should dedicate time on a daily basis to either play with it or let it play outside of the cage. Don’t be surprised if guinea pig becomes sad in case you skip the daily playtime routine since they really love it. These are active creatures and keeping them confined in their cage will lead up to frustration and tension building up, so give them a chance to exercise on a daily basis. As mentioned, they love to chew on things, so make some arrangements before letting them out of the cage to play.
Electric cords should be out of their reach, and your furniture (rugs included) should either be protected or you should ensure they do not get to play near it. You can place toys/objects around the room, to transform it into an amusement park for your little pet.
Toys should include chewing toys that will keep them busy, balls made out of natural materials, which will allow them to easily push them around, and you can also make some ramps and stairs out of cardboard. When it comes to ramps and stairs these should be solid, as guinea pigs have short legs that can get stuck in a ramp made out of wire. Unlike hamsters their back is not that flexible and cannot bend to the same extent, therefore a running wheel and exercise balls could cause them harm, and you should avoid those toys.
Diet, exercise, and socialization are important for your guinea pig’s health, but you should also brush their fur, trim their nails, weigh them, and take them to the vet for regular checkups. When it comes to bathing a guinea pig, it is not something you should do frequently, as it can disrupt their natural body processes. Warm your room, use animal shampoo and warm (not hot) water to quickly wash your guinea pig. Wrap it in the towel and use the hairdryer (with extreme caution) if you have to, but it would be better just to let it dry in a warm room. Remember to clean its cage at least once a week as well.
Monitor your pet closely to notice if there are any changes to its behavioral patterns, and also weigh it once a week to see if there are significant fluctuations in weight. Use a digital kitchen scale to weigh your pet, and if weight fluctuation exceeds 2 ounces you should take it to the vet. They are also easily startled, so keep them away from other bigger pets, and also rabbits. Rabbits may have conditions that only affect them mildly, but those same illnesses can be transmitted to a guinea pig, and lead to a fatal outcome.
© 2019 George Todorovic