Although uncommon to some, guinea pigs can make excellent pets. Their size makes it very easy for the entire family to take care of them, especially for the kids. As long as the household knows how to care for these furry friends the right way, your family will surely have fun living with guinea pigs. But if you don’t have any experience in having guinea pigs as pets, do you know what to do and not to do? Are you aware of their essential needs so they can grow healthily? This article can provide answers to all of these questions.
Taking care of pets is like looking after a child. You need to pay attention to their nutrition, behavior and social circle to ensure that they get to live the best life possible. If you want to become the best parent for your guinea pigs even if you’re just a new pet owner, take note of the following tips:
- Provide enough space to play.
Guinea pigs are small, but this doesn’t mean that you should let them live under your bed. Depending on their size, make sure that you provide large guinea pig cages to your pets for them to sleep and exercise. You should also consider the size of the toys or accessories you’re planning to buy for your guinea pets. The cage shouldn’t be cramped when your pets are inside. If you’re eyeing to have more than one guinea pig, consider looking for bigger cages.
- Pay attention to their diet.
Just like human beings, guinea pigs should also have a balanced diet. They should be able to consume food from different food groups to ensure optimal nutrition. To achieve this goal, their cage should always have fresh water which should be changed every day. They should also have access to a clean supply of grass, fresh vegetables and adequate supply of pellet food which is specially designed for guinea pigs. Since there are several pellet food for guinea pigs available in the market today, ask your vet for recommendations before buying.
- Regularly clean your house.
You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know how dangerous it can be to live in an unsanitary environment. If you’re a homeowner, you would never want your family members to be exposed to any kind of parasites or bacteria. As a pet owner, you should also have the same mindset for your guinea pigs. You should regularly clean your house to ensure your pets will be free from any illnesses or diseases caused by parasites or bacteria. If you want your guinea pigs to be healthy for the longest time possible, creating a clean environment for them is the best way to go.
- Create an interesting environment for them.
The mental health of your guinea pigs is just as important as their physical health. If you disregard any of these, the other will be adversely affected in the long run. In worse cases, your pet can end up being stressed. You can steer away from this direction by creating an interesting environment for them. You can do this by adding toys in their cages which they can smell, play or chew.
- Give them attention.
Guinea pigs aren’t just cute and cuddly – they’re also very sociable creatures. However, you should give them time to adjust to their new environment. This is especially true for guinea pigs that were mistreated by their previous owners. If you have a guinea pig who doesn’t want to be touched, hold them for at least five minutes and always be gentle with them. Gaining their trust might not happen during your first attempt, but as a new pet owner, you should be persevering to succeed.
- Give time for regular grooming.
Regardless if you’re a male or female, you’ll always have to take regular trips to your barber or salon. You need to take care of your hair for both medical and aesthetic reasons. As a new pet owner, expect that your guinea pigs will require the same amount and quality of grooming. Their coats should be free from tangles, debris, and stains from urine. Regular grooming won’t only improve your pet’s health, but it can also become an excellent way for you to bond together.
You’ll Reap What You Sow
Having pets at home can be challenging. This is a long-term commitment which will require your time, effort and most importantly, your money. Before you decide to get a guinea pig or any pet at all, make sure that you’re ready for the responsibility. You should be prepared to correct any unhealthy behaviors, make regular trips to the vet and look after them 24/7. For your guinea pigs to become the best pets, you should also thrive to become the best pet owner!