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Caring for a Guinea Pig

Have you recently decided to get a Guinea pig? These little ones are very cute and lovable, and can make great pets. While Guinea pigs, also known as cavies, are fairly easy to care for, they do have some specific needs. A Rowan County, NC vet discusses caring for Guinea pigs in this article.

Habitat

Since your little pet will spend lots of time in his cage, make sure it’s comfortable for him. To ensure that your furry pal has plenty of room to run and play, we recommend getting a cage that is at least 7.5 square feet. Of course, if you plan to get more than one cavy, you’ll need an even bigger cage. Pick a cage with a solid bottom, as wire bottoms can hurt those tiny paws. Once you have the cage, you’ll need to add a suitable substrate. Aspen is fine. You can also use a soft fleece blanket. Avoid pine or cedar substrates, as they are toxic to little animals. Your cavy will also need a cozy hidey-hole and food and water dishes. One great thing about Guinea pigs is that they can be potty-trained, so you may want to add a litterbox.

Feeding

Hay is great for both your pet’s digestion and his little teeth. We recommend giving your Guinea pig plenty of quality hay, such as Timothy hay. Your tiny pet can have commercial food for breakfast and dinner. Cavies also need fresh produce, such as carrots, cilantro, and Romaine lettuce. Offer plenty of foods that contain Vitamin C, as Guinea pigs can get quite sick if they don’t get enough of it. Ask your vet for specific recommendations.

Entertainment

To keep your furry little pal entertained, offer him plenty of fun, suitable playthings. Cardboard, wood, and paper items can all make great cavy toys. You can actually upcycle many common household items, such as the rolls from paper towel rolls, into cute Guinea pig toys. Just be careful with what you give your little pet. Don’t give your cavy anything small enough for him to choke on, or anything he could get tangled up in. You also want to avoid items with sharp edges, and anything that has been coated, stained, or dyed.

Do you have questions or concerns about Guinea pig care? We can help! Please contact us, your Rowan County, NC veterinary clinic, today!

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