Guinea Pig (Cavia porcellus)

 

Guinea Pig Facts

Average Adult Size:8 to 11 inches long
Average Life Span:Up to 8 years with proper care
Diet:Herbivore

Guinea pigs or “Cavies” can make an ideal first pet. When buying a guinea pig you’ll want to research ahead of time to know their specific needs. Their habitat should be large enough to allow them to move around freely and have a solid chew-resistant bottom. Cavies are known to bond easily with their pet parents, and they’ll not only reward you with their affection, but also by squeaking, chirping and purring. Like all rodents, their teeth constantly growing, and you’ll need to provide them with safe chew sticks and treats to prevent over-growth. Your cavy can’t produce its own Vitamin C, so you’ll need to supplement their water or food. When you’re ready for a cuddly companion, come to Petland and select a live guinea pig for sale and their accessories.

Diet

A well-balanced guinea pig diet consists of:

  • High-quality guinea pig food, Timothy hay and limited amounts of vegetables and fruits.
  • Require 30 to 50 mg of vitamin C daily from high-quality food, vitamin supplements or fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C.
  • Clean, fresh, filtered, chlorine-free water, changed daily.
  • Do not feed chocolate, caffeine or alcohol as these can cause serious medical conditions. Avoid sugar and high-fat treats.

Feeding

Things to remember when feeding your guinea pig:

  • Fresh food, Timothy hay and water should always be available.
  • A limited amount of vegetables and fruits can be given daily, but should not exceed 10% of their total diet.
  • Vegetables and fruits not eaten within 24 hours should be discarded.

Housing

  • Guinea pigs acclimate well to average household temperatures, not to exceed 80°F; be cautious of extreme temperature changes. The habitat should never be in direct sunlight or in a drafty area.
  • A minimum 36"L x 30"W x 18"H escape-proof habitat with a solid surface area and plenty of room for exercise and play makes a good home for one guinea pig. It is best to provide the largest habitat possible.
  • 1 to 2" of bedding should be placed in the habitat; proper bedding includes high-quality paper bedding, crumbled paper bedding or hardwood shavings. Cedar-based products are not recommended.
  • Guinea pigs may be kept in same-sex pairs if they are raised together; otherwise, keep adult guinea pigs housed separately. Different types of small animals should not be housed together.

Normal Behavior

  • Easy to handle; prefers a routine and similar time for playing, feeding and resting each day.
  • Hides in objects, but will come out when people are near the habitat.
  • Chew on objects to maintain all their teeth, which grow continuously; ensure they have plenty of chew sticks or mineral chews available.

Habitat Maintenance

  • Clean and disinfect the habitat and its contents at least once a week with a 3% bleach solution. Rinse and allow to dry completely before placing the guinea pig back into the habitat.
  • Remove wet spots daily; change bedding at least twice a week, or more often as necessary.

Grooming & Hygiene

  • Guinea pigs stay clean and rarely need baths, but can be spot-cleaned with a damp washcloth or unscented baby wipes if needed.
  • Fur may be brushed with a soft-backed brush. Hairless guinea pigs benefit from a small amount of non-toxic aloe-based lotion rubbed onto skin to keep it soft.
  • Guinea pigs need their nails clipped approximately once a month.
  • It is normal for a guinea pig's teeth to be yellow; cleaning is not necessary.
  • Consult with a veterinarian if a guinea pig's teeth or nails seem too long.


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