Looking After Your Guinea Pig

Guinea pigs are friendly and easily tamed but they require commitment and regular attention. Long-haired guinea pigs can be especially hard to look after. They are sociable animals and should live with their own species, but they can live with small breeds of rabbit. They will usually mix at any age although it is best to introduce them before they are fully grown (5 months). If mixing sexes you should neuter one of them. Guinea pigs are crepuscular which means that they are awake on and off throughout the day and night, and they have a life expectancy of 5 to 6 years.

Guinea pigs are friendly and easily tamed but they require commitment and regular attention. Long-haired guinea pigs can be especially hard to look after. They are sociable animals and should live with their own species, but they can live with small breeds of rabbit. They will usually mix at any age although it is best to introduce them before they are fully grown (5 months). If mixing sexes you should neuter one of them. Guinea pigs are crepuscular which means that they are awake on and off throughout the day and night, and they have a life
expectancy of 5 to 6 years.

Guinea pig essentials

What do guinea pigs need?

  • Companionship from other guinea pigs.
  • A gnawing block.
  • Vaccinations to prevent serious diseases.
  • To be combed every day if they have a long coat.
  • Feeding twice a day with a mixture of meadow hay, pellets, washed fruit and vegetables.
  • A constant supply of fresh, clean water in a drip-feed bottle with a metal spout.
  • A large weatherproof home that is kept off the ground, out of direct sunlight and strong winds. 
  • A separate sleeping area for each animal inside the home. Their sleeping area also needs to be covered.
  • A clean layer of hay or shredded paper for bedding.
  • Daily exercise in a large, grassy area, free and safe from any predators.
  • Their home cleaned every day and their bedding changed every week.
  • To be taken to a vet if they are ill or injured.
  • To be looked after when you are away on holiday.

Health

Long haired guinea pigs in particular may suffer from the potentially fatal disease flystrike, cause by flies laying eggs in soiled fur. To avoid this, make sure the guinea pig's home is cleaned every day and their bedding changed regularly. Groom guinea pigs every day, checking their fur all over for any dirt, especially under the tail. 

 

If a guinea pig develops bald patches this could be the fungal disease ringworm. Seek your vet's advice immediately.

 

Regular health checks:

 

  • Is underneath the tail clean?
  • Do they have all their toes and nails? Are they clean and not overgrown?
  • Do the legs move freely with no staggering or stiffness?
  • Are the teeth present? Are they straight and not overgrown?
  • Is the nose clean with no discharge?
  • Are the eyes bright and clear?
  • Stroke the ears; are they smooth and clean?
  • Is the fur clean with no bald patches or parasites?
  • is the skin healthy, not red, dry or flaky.
  • Feel the body. Is it fat enough? It should not feel bloated or bony.
  • Listen to the chest. Is the breathing almost silent with no wheezing?

If you answered no to any of the above your pets may require veterinary attention.

 

Our address:

Principal Pets

184 Telegraph Rd

Heswall

Wirral

CH60 0AJ

 

Tel: 0151 342 9635

Email: info@principalpets.co.uk

 

Or use our contact form.

Our opening times are

Monday       09:00 to 17:30

Tuesday       09:00 to 17:30

Wednesday 09:00 to 17:30

Thursday     09:00 to 17:30

Friday          09:00 to 17:30

Saturday     09:00 to 17:30

Sunday        Closed

News

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