How to keep my guinea pig Healthy and Happy ?
For your guinea pig to stay healthy and happy you must respect some rules like a balanced diet, exercise and as little stress as possible, other factors are also to be taken into account to take good care of the guinea pig and ensure him a good life and this is what we will see in detail in this article.
1- A good diet for a healthy and happy peggy
The first thing you need to take care of to keep your guinea pig in excellent shape is its food.
Guinea pigs get sick easily and quickly become obese if you don’t pay attention to what they eat.
The secret to feeding your guinea pig well is to vary its food and to respect the percentage of different types of food you give it;
- 80% of its food should be hay and all the time available.
- 10% of his weight in fresh vegetables every day, avoiding vegetables that can make him sick.
- 10% of Special Pellets Guinea Pigs
- No more than twice a week for the fruit and in very small quantities.
- 20 mg/kg of Vitamin C daily
- Fresh water renewed daily
Read this article to learn more about the best diet for guinea pigs.
2- An everyday cleanliness for a healthy and happy guinea pig
Guinea pigs are known to produce a lot of urine, they drop and trample their hay, they hide pieces of vegetables and fruits in the hay…etc.
To sum up, guinea pigs love cleanliness, they need it to live long and healthy too , they are clean pets but they dirty their cages a lot, because in their natural environment, they have a lot more space, it’s the whole meadow and generally tens of square feet.
For your guinea pig to stay healthy and happy, it is therefore necessary to clean him/her and its cage continuously, you’ll have to be careful what it drops inside:
- Did he pour water on the floor?
- Did he scatter his pellets ?
- Is he urinating everywhere in the cage or only in one corner?
- Is he keeping his hay clean or will he need to change it?
In principle, it will be necessary to clean the cage of your guinea pig and the objects which are there, the Bowls, the bottle of water, the beds, the carpet, to change the litter, to pass water and vinegar on all the cage…etc and this at least once a week in order to keep your guinea pig clean.
You must also brush your guinea pig every day or once every two days, clean its fur and paws as well because they can be soiled with its urine.
If you can give a bath to your guinea pig at least once a month it would be ideal, and also to take advantage of it to sharpen his nails and to check if he does not have teeth which are a little too big, or if he does not have other signs of diseases…
To summarize, the cleanliness of your guinea pig and its cage is as important as the cleanliness of its food or you want to keep it healthy, so keep it and its cage as clean as possible.
3- Avoid stressing your guinea pig to keep it healthy and happy
Don’t forget that they are overly sensitive and fearful animals, the innate fear of prey, I mean, the innate fear of prey.
To keep your guinea pig healthy and in good shape, you must avoid at all costs to expose it to stress, here are some tips how to succeed :
- Your guinea pig must be socialized and introduced to your other pets and family members.
- Children must be prevented from manipulating them too much because they can’t really pay attention to them.
- You must install your guinea pig in a large enough cage.
- You have to make sure that your guinea pigs do not fight each other
- You must install at least one shelter in your guinea pig’s cage.
- You must install the guinea pig’s cage a little higher, at least one foot high, and in a quiet place, where there is no drought or too much humidity.
- You must avoid exposing your guinea pig to extreme temperatures (neither too cold nor too hot).
- Never give too much sugar, nor soda , coffee and especially no alcohol to your guinea pig.
- Never leave your pet guinea pig alone for several days
- Always leave your guinea pig his toys when you are away and also put a small ceramic bowl full of water in the cage, you never know when the water bottle might stop working.
These are the essential factors that can prevent stressing your guinea pig and ensure a peaceful life and better health.
4-A guinea pig that exercises will live a long and healthy life
Once your guinea pig has acclimatized and become accustomed to you, and you can take it out and hold it in your hands, make sure it gets daily exercise.
Take them out into the bedroom or Backyard when the weather is nice, take care of them of course, remove obstacles and anything that might hurt your guinea pigs and make them run, move around and ask them to join you, help yourself to their favorite fruits or treats.
Buy Toy balls for your guinea pigs, they will be busy in their cage and moreover these balls will make them do sports too, and this will avoid them to become obese and especially sick.
5- Find a good Vet for your guinea pigs and take care of them in time
In order for your guinea pigs to stay in excellent shape and not get sick easily, you should be used to check them every morning if they don’t have (no symptoms of known diseases, fractures, injuries, things stuck between the gums…etc.).
Thus you will be able to take your guinea pig quickly to see his veterinarian if you detect a beginning of disease.
You can also ask for a vet who specializes in guinea pigs or at least if he has some experience in this kind of pets, you should also not hesitate to take your guinea pig to visit his vet periodically to do health checkups even if he shows no signs of disease.
Finally, never delay in caring for your guinea pig, treat diseases and infections quickly before they become serious and fatal for your guinea pig.
6- Use Quarantine when necessary
If you have several guinea pigs in the same cage, you must immediately isolate the ones that show symptoms of disease to prevent them from infecting others.
For this reason, it is always useful to have another cage ready to receive sick peggies. This cage will also be used to transport your sick guinea pigs when you take them to the veterinarian.
Do not forget to isolate the sick guinea pigs as soon as the symptoms appear.
7- Get into the habit of stroking and exchanging with your guinea pig
If you want to keep your guinea pig in excellent shape, physical and especially sentimental which is also very important, you must take every day and at the same time, take your guinea pig in your arms, put it on your knees, find the place where he likes to be stroked and give him his daily dose of caresses , petting , love and attention.
Do not hesitate to talk to your guinea pig, they may not understand English but they feel the vibrations of your voice and they can recognize the positive and soothing waves that you produce with your mouth, this will calm them down especially if we know that guinea pigs learn to recognize the voice of their owner.
A guinea pig that feels loved, will also feel safe in your home and in its cage and this will prevent stress and illness.
To make sure that your guinea pig doesn’t get sick and will live a long and healthy life, make sure that it drinks enough water , eats healthy food, that it does physical exercise, avoid stress and especially keep it and its cage clean and do a light cleaning every day, a little more each week.