All About Guinea Pigs And How To Care For Them

Guinea Pigs as pets are very entertaining additions to any family. Read on as Family Pet Centre details how you can take adequate care of them.

All About Guinea Pigs And How To Care For Them

June 04, 2018

Quick Links To The All About Guinea Pigs Article

If you are considering purchasing a guinea pig as a pet, have a look at the helpful Youtube video below:


Fun Facts About Guinea Pigs

Types of guinea pigs captured from the front

  • These creatures are active at night and less active during the day because they are nocturnal animals.
  • Guinea pigs as pets usually live for four to seven years on average.
  • Their diet consists mainly of grass, hay, and high-quality pellets, as they are herbivorous animals.
  • The term used for baby guinea pigs is "pups."
  • Guinea pigs tend to be happier when they have a companion. It is recommended to consider getting two guinea pigs to provide them with much-needed companionship.

Guinea Pig captured in the wild

All About Guinea Pigs And How To Handle Them

Guinea Pigs captured in the wild

Due to their delicate nature, it's important to handle guinea pigs with care as they are prone to stress. After bringing them home, it's recommended to provide them with space for at least two days to acclimate to their new surroundings and reduce overwhelm. It is recommended that you approach them gently and avoid sudden movement. Handle their entire body when you pick them up and hold them close, providing them with a sense of security. Once they develop trust with their owner, they often become quite affectionate and enjoy the attention.

Guinea Pigs captured eating food

Have a look at some of the cages available in our range to provide a safe home for your guinea pig.

All About Guinea Pigs’ Diets

Guinea Pig captured from the front

The main part of a guinea pig's diet should be good quality commercial guinea pig pellets that contain Vitamin C, as guinea pigs cannot produce their own Vitamin C. Adding Vitamin C supplements can cause diarrhoea, so it's best to speak to a vet or someone at the Family Pet Centre for advice on the perfect diet for your guinea pig.

While guinea pigs are herbivores, fresh fruits and vegetables should only be given as treats or snacks, and not make up the majority of their diet. Certain foods, such as iceberg lettuce, onions, avocado, and raw beans should be avoided.

Including hay in their diet not only provides nutrition but also helps with foraging. Guinea pigs need chew toys to keep their teeth from growing too fast, and there are many options available at the Family Pet Centre. Peruse our available range of food for your Guinea Pig here.

Clean, fresh water should be provided daily, preferably in a glass pet drinking bottle. Avoid giving your guinea pig sugary, high-fat treats, chocolate, or caffeine.

Guinea Pig captured outside of a cage

Bathing Guinea Pigs

Guinea Pig captured on top of a couch

Guinea pigs generally do not need to be bathed as they find it stressful, but if they have diarrhoea or skin issues, it's best to consult a veterinarian before doing so. Instead of a bath, you can give your guinea pig a quick spot clean with a damp cloth if they are particularly dirty.

However, grooming is essential, especially for long-haired breeds. Brush your guinea pig daily and comb out any mats in their fur. Peruse our range of grooming combs here. If the fur is difficult to comb, ask a groomer for advice on trimming it. While grooming, check for any skin sores or lice.

It's also important to trim their nails every two months, being careful of the vein and nerves that run through the nail. If you're not comfortable doing this, take your guinea pig to a veterinarian for a stress-free trim. Family Pet Centre have an in-house Veterinary Clinic that we encourage you to use for your pet’s needs.

Guinea Pig captured on top of a bed

All About Guinea Pigs’ Habitats

Guinea Pigs captured beneath a chest of drawers

Ensure that you provide a comfortable living space for your new pet that allows them to exercise freely. Avoid using treated or scented wood shavings as bedding and instead opt for appropriate bedding and hay. The Family Pet Centre offers a variety of bedding options that are suitable for guinea pigs.

It's worth noting that the cage lining doubles as both bedding and a toilet, which means you'll need to clean it regularly. Replace the bedding at least once a week and sanitize the cage while you're at it.

Guinea pigs tend to sleep during the day and prefer to hide. Therefore, it's important to provide them with a hiding place.

Here's a helpful tip from the Family Pet Centre: avoid using exercise wheels as they can harm your guinea pig's back and feet. Instead, make sure the cage is spacious enough for your pet to run around.

Guinea Pig being fed by its owner

Red Flags To Look Out For When Caring For Guinea Pigs As Pets

Guinea Pig pictured next to a bag of baby carrots

If you observe any of the signs mentioned below, it is important to get in touch with your veterinarian without delay:

  • Unintended loss of weight
  • Unusual hair loss
  • Sores on the skin
  • Scratching or experiencing itchiness
  • Teeth that have grown excessively
  • Diarrhoea
  • Feeling sluggish or lacking energy
  • Discharge from the eyes or nose

In no time, you'll develop a comprehension of your guinea pig's personality and how to manage it. By following these instructions, you'll be on the right track to ensuring a contented and healthy guinea pig. If you have any inquiries, don't hesitate to contact us, as we're always happy to chat! Check out our other articles for additional advice and techniques on how to look after your pet:

Guinea Pig captured wearing an accessory

Family Pet Centre have a range of accessories and products available to assist you in caring for your guinea pig. Why not visit one of our stores or contact us for more information? We would be happy to provide you with support with your new pet.

Guinea Pig FAQs

What should you avoid doing do a guinea pig?

As tempting as it may be, do your best not to overfeed your guinea pig.

What is bound to keep a guinea pig satisfied?

Guinea pigs enjoy simple pleasures such as tunnels, tubes and balls to play with.

What makes guinea pigs comfortable?

Invest in a great hay bed for your guinea pig. They enjoy burrowing beneath bedding and are bound to enjoy this.

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