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So You Want to Adopt a Guinea Pig?

by Amanda Nowak 4 years ago in guinea pig
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Here's some useful information if you're thinking about adding one of these furry little guys to your family.

My 2-year-old guinea pig, Gatsby!

If you're thinking about adopting a guinea pig in the near future, first of all... good choice! Second of all, there are some things you should know prior to bringing one of these little guys into your home. While they are fairly easy to take care of, it doesn't hurt to be well-informed!

It's important to know that guinea pigs are social animals, meaning that they love being around humans and/or other guinea pigs. So, if you want a pet to just look at and never interact with... I would reconsider and get a fish instead. Your guinea pig is going to need regular interaction, and they will love you all the more for it! I try to take my guinea pig out of his cage at least 30 minutes every day. By the way, this doesn't mean necessarily that you have to be playing with them for 30 minutes. Sometimes, I just have my guinea pig sit in my bed with me while I'm watching Netflix, or sit in my lap while I'm doing homework.

As far as nutrition goes, the majority of a guinea pig's diet should be hay, so trust me when I say you will be purchasing A LOT of hay. To save money in the long run, buy those huge bags instead of the smaller ones, that way you're only buying hay once a month instead of once a week.

I see a lot of guinea pig treats at the store, and unfortunately, a lot of them are super sugary, which aren't that great for guinea pigs. Just like with humans, guinea pigs should enjoy them in moderation. For a healthier daily snack, give your pig an orange slice or a handful of blueberries. And again, although healthier, fruits still contain a lot of sugar, so don't give your piggy too much at one time!

I also see a lot of different varieties of guinea pig food at the pet store. They have a lot of fun different blends and medleys, but stick to just regular pellets. I know, it doesn't seem as fun, but your pig doesn't need all of that other junk in their food.

Guinea pigs, like humans, have a natural Vitamin C deficiency, so it has to be supplemented in their diet. You can achieve this by either giving them the regular orange slice or buying Vitamin C drops at the pet store and putting in their water. But don't give them too much! Make sure you drop in the amount that is outlined in the instructions.

One slightly annoying thing about guinea pigs is that they don't have a specific place where they poop, they just kinda go when they have to go, so if you don't clean their cage regularly it will get very poopy very fast. I clean my pig's cage about twice a week, and that seems to be enough to keep his cage looking and smelling nice. Plus, why would you want to have your pet walk around in their own poop and pee for longer than they have to?

Speaking of cage-cleaning, make sure you get paper bedding. I've found that this material absorbs smells much better than any other bedding material.

Your guinea pig is going to want to chew. So, instead of having him/her chew up the entire cage, buy them some sort of chew toy. Or, better yet, throw a toilet paper or paper towel roll in there. My pig loves chewing on cardboard!

And lastly, a CRITICAL tip about guinea pigs that a lot of people don't know: do not, I repeat, DO NOT get them an exercise ball like you would with hamsters. Guinea pigs have extremely fragile spines and can seriously injure themselves if they are put in one.

I hope these tips were helpful! Congratulations on your newest family member. :)

guinea pig

About the author

Amanda Nowak

Hi everyone! My name is Amanda, and I just graduated from college this past May with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with an emphasis in creative writing. My passions include travel, animals, fashion, food, and (of course) writing!

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