Guinea pigs are very social animals. Before you make a visit to the pet store to adopt one, ask yourself how much time you are able to invest in him. If your schedule doesn’t allow you much time with a new pet, then consider getting a pair. If you do choose two, be sure they are of the same sex. Two males won’t fight if they are introduced to each other at a young age. The cost of caring for two isn’t much different than one, and you won’t have a lonely guinea pig.
Even though guinea pigs are small, they are active and don’t sit still for long periods of time. Purchase a cage large enough for him to scamper around. The living quarters should be at least 18 inches wide, 14 inches high and 25 inches deep, per the Humane Society
Guinea pigs are easily stressed and require careful handling. They feel more secure when you hold them against your chest or holding them on your lap with both hands. They enjoy the time spent with humans and will literally sit on your lap for hours if you let them. Of course you will want a towel between you and your pet.
Not only should your guinea pig’s dish always be full of pellets, offer him raw veggies daily; especially ones high in Vitamin C. They also love fruits; such as bananas, oranges, grapes, apples and strawberries. It’s only a matter of time before they learn that the sound of the refrigerator door opening means a carrot or grape might be coming their way. So prepare yourself for much squealing!
Timothy hay is a must for guinea pigs. The hay aids in a healthy digestive system and gnawing it helps keep their molars ground down. NEVER give them alfalfa hay, as it contains too much calcium and can cause your pet to get bladder stones.
A water bottle with a sipper tube works better than a bowl. The bottle should be placed on the outside of the cage with just the sipper tube protruding inside the cage. Change the water daily, and cleanse the tip weekly.
Keep your pet’s nails trimmed; about every 4 to 6 weeks. Failure to do so can cause pain and infections, as their nails tend to curl as they grow.
Naturally, you will want to keep your guinea pig’s living quarters clean by changing his bedding every few days. You can purchase bedding from a pet store, department store or use shredded paper.
You can expect your guinea pig to live about 4 to 7 years with proper care. That’s a lot of years of him squealing with happiness when he hears your footsteps first thing in the morning or returning home every evening.
As you can see, although guinea pigs live in cages, they are quite needy pets. If you’re looking for a pet that doesn’t require a lot of care, the guinea pig may not be the right choice for you.