orange and black guinea pig

black and white guinea pig

black and brown guinea pig

longhaired guinea pig

Contact: Sue Saville

Tel (01252) 705048; Mobile 07979 994772

Email: ccpetcare@icloud.com

CARING FOR GUINEA PIGS

(Taken from: Animal Welfare Foundation (www.bva-awf.org.uk)

Environment: Guinea pigs like to have access to grass or grazing and to always have somewhere to hide when they feel threatened.

Guinea pigs need a hutch and a run to give them a secure home and somewhere to exercise.  These should both be as large as possible.  The hutch should be sheltered from the worst of the weather, including being shaded from the sun; waterproof; draught-free and raised off the ground.  The run should provide security from predators, have a shaded area and be attached to the hutch.  It should contain several hiding places, e.g. boxes and tubes.

Guinea pigs are sensitive to extremes of temperature; in the winter the hutch and run should be moved into a sheltered location (e.g. shed).  It is important that they still have access to an exercise area, even when indoors.

The hutch should be lined with wood shavings or shredded paper and have good quality material for bedding (e.g. hay).  Wet or dirty bedding must be removed daily and the hutch should be thoroughly cleaned weekly.

Diet:  The bulk of a guinea pigs' diet should be grass or good quality hay, which needs to be available day & night.  They also need fresh greens every day (approx. a teacup per guinea pig) e.g. broccoli, cabbage, spinach.  Avoid fruit as the high sugar content can make a guinea pig become quickly overweight.  Feed guinea pig nuggets alongside the hay and greens, and ensure fresh water is available everyday.

Behaviour:  It is important to understand your pets' behavioural needs and guinea pigs are no exception.

Guinea pigs need the company of other guinea pigs and shouldn't be kept alone.  They love to groom each other and may spend a long time enjoying this social behaviour.

Foraging and keeping busy is important:  scatter a small amount of pellet food around so that they have to search for it.  Provide suitable toys and objects to keep them stimulated (e.g. untreated logs).

Health:  When cared for correctly guinea pigs are very healthy pets.  Many diseases can be avoided by being informed and prepared.

Handling:  Make sure you know how to handle your guinea pigs properly and always approach them quietly and gently.

Health checking:  Guinea pigs can become ill very quickly so need checking every day for signs of problems.  They don't always show obvious signs of illness so watch out for changes in behaviour e.g. drinking more or less than usual, changes in eating, being quiet or hunched.

Teeth:  Guinea pigs' teeth can get too long causing pain and abscesses.  Signs to watch out for include loss of appetite, dribbling, weight loss - veterinary help must be sought without delay.  Feeding a suitable diet can help prevent most cases of dental disease.

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