Posted on: 7 April 2015
If you are considering getting a smaller pet for your child, guinea pigs are an excellent choice. A guinea pig is relatively easy to care for and will be a fun pet to help teach your child the value of responsibility. Here are some tips to consider when getting guinea pigs as small pets.
Keeping Them In Pairs
Guinea pigs enjoy company, so if you or your child are not able to tend to one as often as it would like, it could become lonely, leading to depression. For this reason, most people will get a pair of guinea pigs instead of just one. When you go to a pet store, ask the clerk to get you two female guinea pigs, if possible. Males have a tendency to fight and if you have one of each sex you risk them having babies.
Housing Your Pets
When selecting housing for your child's new guinea pigs, consider getting a two-tiered home with a ramp. This will give the pets a chance to separate once in a while if wanted. It will also give them exercise. Make sure your pets' new home has enough room to place a running wheel to give them a form of entertainment. There will need to be enough room for sleeping and for a food dish corner, as well.
Two-tiered homes work well for a child because they will be able to keep the guinea pigs on a small table without compromising on the space in their room. Place the home away from windows so the guinea pigs will not suffer from too much sunlight in warmer weather. A shaded area along an interior wall works best.
Feeding Guinea Pigs
Guinea pigs will eat a variety of grains, seeds and vegetables. They enjoy variety, so offer them a fresh vegetable each day along with packaged guinea pig food so they get a balanced diet. Make sure your guinea pigs have a water bottle attached to the side of their cage. Clean it out each day and fill it with fresh water, so there is no chance of a mildew buildup inside the container.
Addressing Health Concerns
Guinea pigs need to have Vitamin C drops added to their food or water supply each day. This can be bought in a liquid or pill form at your local pet store. If you notice any type of sickness with your guinea pig, bring your guinea pig to a small animal doctor. Failure to eat, lethargy, trouble breathing or a change in behavior are some of the signs of sickness. Weigh each guinea pig once a week and keep track of their weight. If a guinea pig loses more than four ounces in one week, bring them to a small animal doctor immediately.
Guinea pigs are prone to contracting small injuries to their bodies that could result in infection or an abscess if not handled right away. If you notice any type of lump on a guinea pig, a small animal surgeon may be needed to remove it properly. At the first sign of injury, bring your guinea pig to a veterinarian for assessment to see if they will need antibiotics or a surgical procedure to help heal the area. Talk to experts like Parkview Animal Hospital for more information.Share