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Pet Guinea Pig Lowdown

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If you think your children are ready for a furry playmate, guinea pigs are one of the best options to get for first time fur pet owners. They are small, colorful, cute, soft and cuddly (some are completely bald) gentle animals that no children could resist loving. A happy pet guinea pig even chirps and whistles to your children’s delight when playing with it, so they make a very good playmate.

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However, a pet guinea pig lives from 5-7 years. This should be considered because often guinea pigs end up in shelters once the owners decide they’re ready for a dog or a cat. Before buying or adopting a cavy, educate yourself about what to expect from a pet guinea pig first.

Why a Pet Guinea Pig

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Do guinea pigs make good pets? Consider these following points:

1. They don’t need to be walked
2. They can be left home without a sitter
3. They are easy to feed
4. They don’t chew your stuff
5. They are playful
6. They are gentle

And for the negatives, except cleaning their cage, there’s really none. Even bathing a pet guinea pig is fun.

Housing Pet Guinea Pig

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Unlike other pet rodents, guinea pigs are pretty active – they’re mostly awake during the day. So they need room to roam in their cage, which should be a minimum of 30 by 36 inches for a single pet guinea pig. What you can’t afford in breadth you can compensate in height, however. If space is an issue, make your guinea pig cage tall with plenty of floors to climb instead. For substrate, a 2-3 inches think aspen shavings is recommended.

Feeding Pet Guinea Pig

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Using commercial guinea pigs pellets is a quick way to feed your pet rodent. A 1/8th of a cup guinea pig pellets is enough for a day, which half should be given in the morning and the other half in the afternoon. Although there’s nothing wrong with pelleted guinea pig food, you should supplement it with hay, leafy greens, and fresh fruits. For snack, about a cup of fresh spinach, lettuce, parsley, kale, or zucchini sprinkled with vitamin C supplement is good. You can occasionally give your pet guinea pig a wedge of apple, orange, some grapes, or a slice of banana for desert, too. But generally go easy on sweet foods to avoid an obese guinea pig. The opposite is true to Timothy hay, which you should make available in its cage all the time.

Grooming Pet Guinea Pig

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Short-haired guinea pigs rarely needs bathing, but long-haired guinea pigs need to be bathed occasionally, especially if you’re showing them off to your friends. Put warm water (much like the temperature for bathing babies) on a swallow basin and place your guinea pig in. Use vet-recommended shampoo or baby shampoo to wash off soiled hair, and rinse the fur thoroughly before drying your pet guinea pig with warm towel – don’t use blower! Long-haired guinea pigs should be brushed everyday and once a week for short haired cavies.

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Guinea pigs grow long, sharp claws too that needs trimming at least once a month. Hold your pet guinea pig with its back against your chest with your one hand supporting the rodent on its chest too. The hind legs should be supported by your lap; they should not dangle. Using a clipper, clip small nail at a time avoiding the quick. Nail clipping should be easy in white-nailed guinea pigs; be extra careful if your guinea pig has dark nails.

Choosing a Guinea Pig

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If you do not want to breed your guinea pigs, then it’s better to get two of the same sex. The pair should be lively and curious with shiny fur without signs of hair loss, bald patches, or biting. The eyes should open wide and bright without watery discharge; the nose should have no mucous discharge also. Another sign of a healthy pet guinea pig is well-formed, pellet-shaped feces that are dry and firm. And when you pick up the cavy, it should be heavy and strong, but it should not put up a fight – you don’t want an aggressive pet guinea pig.

There are completely bald guinea pigs or skinny pigs as they call it that are best to get if one of your children have asthma. As you can see, there’s a pet guinea pig for everybody, so there’s no point breaking your children’s heart by denying their plea for a furry pet.

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