Guinea Pigs

“Guinea Pigs are an inexpensive pet and great for young children, with the correct care and handling these little guys become very affectionate”

SHELTER & HOUSING

Guinea Pigs need a structure called a hutch, with two sections:

A fully enclosed area for protection from the elements and for sleeping; and an activities section.

Ensure your pet’s hutch has good ventilation and allows them to avoid direct sunlight, as they are much more sensitive to heat than cold and are susceptible to heat stroke.

It is best to position the hutch off the ground, with adequate shelter.

If your hutch has a wire bottom, ensure it is covered adequately with hay so they do not catch and break their leg.

WE LIKE TO CHEW

Guinea Pigs love to chew, and will chew carpet, furniture, shoes and more. Serious hazards include electrical wires and poisonous plants. Their teeth grow continuously so it is important to provide gnawing toys for them, which we have a good range in store.

HANDLING

Guinea pigs are timid by nature, but can become very effectionate pets with time. Firstly let your Guinea Pig get used to your hands without picking them up for a few days, calmly talk to them and pat them gentle.

To hold a Guinea pig carefully place your hand under your guinea pig’s mid-section, just behind the front feet, and use your other hand to support their hindquarters. Bring your pet close to your chest, supporting their entire body with two hands. Always keep a firm yet gentle hold. If your pet begins to struggle, lower yourself to the floor to reduce the chance of fall injuries. When placing your pet back in its cage, release at ground level.

FEEDING REQUIREMENTS

Your Guinea Pig must have a constant supply of fresh water and be fed a daily diet of hay, pellets and fresh vegetables. broccoli, carrots, cucumber, brussel sprouts, capsicum and parsley to name a few.

Note: Guinea pigs should not be fed rhubarb. Do not feed your pet lettuce. It is non-toxic but often causes diarrhoea.

BEDDING

Bedding should be changed frequently as dirty or wet bedding can cause sores on the feet. The flooring should consist of hay or hemp (please be mindful that hay bedding may be eaten away and will need replenishing). Sawdust should be avoided as it is too fine and can irritate the eyes, nose and ears. Create a sleeping area which contains their sleeping material. Note: Guinea Pigs like going to the toilet is a dark, safe space, and usually near their food. Keep this in mind, as their sleeping area will more than likely also become their toilet, so this area will need to be cleaned regularly.

EXERCISE

Play pens and exercise pens are a great way to enable your Guinea pig to exercise and explore the yard safely. These can be purchased from The Happy Pet Place. 

COMPANIONSHIP

Guinea Pigs are very social animals and love having a companion. In the wild they live in herds and communicate both vocally and with body movement. There is a lot of evidence showing that Guinea Pigs are happier and healthier with they have at least one companion.

If you are introducing Guinea Pigs do it slowly and keep them seperated for a while until they get to know each other and ensure they are of the same sex unless you have them desexed.

TREATMENTS

Worming

Guinea Pigs should be wormed every three months with a small animal wormer.

Mites

Regular examination for fur and ear mites is required. Mite and lice sprays can be used in minor outbreaks; however veterinary treatment must be sought if the condition worsens.

Nail trimming

Rabbits nails can grow very long and sharp, they need to be checked on a regular basis and trimmed as necessary.

Heat stroke

Guinea pgs do not tolerate heat well and can die from being overheated. On very hot days provide relief through frozen plastic bottles of water, a fan and frozen fruit and vegetables, and if possible place inside.

For more information about taking care of Guinea Pigs watch this You Tube clip below.