Eight months ago now, we adopted two beautiful baby guinea pigs. Ricky is a male, brown American Satin, and Lucy is a female, pure black American Satin......They are both close to ten months old now, and we love them to pieces.
Anyone who has ever had a guinea pig knows that once you have one, you are a slave to it, and will never be without a gp in your life.
Parsley...Carrots...Romaine Lettuce...Green Peppers...Green Beans...Popcorn (popped)...Beets...Spinach...Brocolli & Cauliflower (small amounts as these can cause gas)...Apples...Bananas...Oranges...Kiwi Fruit...Grapes...Strawberries...Melon of any kind...and Fresh Grasses (no Pesticides!)
Guinea Pigs require special pellets with vitamin c added, so don't buy the ones made for rabbits. My two especially love the brand "Sunseed". I buy it at a local feed store in bulk. They also require hay to munch , and cardboard to gnaw on to keep their teeth from growing too large. I buy the Timothy Hay from the Oxbow company, as it seems to be the greenest and they seem to like it best. I like to stuff toilet paper tubes with the hay and they put them in the cage that way...kind of makes it a fun way for them to get both those requirements.
Each guinea pig needs about 2 1/2 square feet of room in the pen. We have taken two Rubbermaid brand three foot x two foot wrapping paper storage containers and connected them with ferret tubes. Each container has an upside down plastic dish tub with a walk in space cut out...this works great for their little house. I put in a branch of a fruit tree, and a stone for jumping on...each tub has its own water bottle and food dish...this way I can put them both in one side while I clean the other. I use a mixture of kiln dried Aspen and a product called carefresh for their bedding. You can use what you like, but PLEASE NEVER, NEVER, use cedar shavings for your beloved guinea pigs. It causes a toxic reaction when the urine hits it and this will make your guinea pig ill, possibly even causing death.
Guinea pigs do need excercise, as they have a tendency to get over weight. I like to put up a baby gate at the end of my hall way and shut all the doors in the hallway, and give them some floor time each evening. They never pee on the floor, and I just vaccum up their little poops...I do ususally put down some news papers in the corners of the hallway, but they pretty much go where they want so this doesn't work very well.
I bathe my piggies about once a month...at least once every two months for sure. Males, especially need bathing because they have that little pouch/wax spot on their bottom that can get all yucked up with bedding and will become smelly. My vet showed me how to bathe my pigs, and it is really quite simple. Put about two or three inches of luke warm water in the kitchen sink or in a plastic tub. Do NOT get water in your piggies ears or eyes. My vet said wash only from the neck down. I hold them with one hand up out of the water a little bit, and wash with the other hand. My vet advised me to use a gentle tear free shampoo like you would use for infants. I use Baby Magic because I like the smell...Believe it or not, my pigs both LOVE their bath. I was nervous the first time, but they really enjoyed it, and seem to feel so good afterwards. The important thing to remember here is to dry them quickly and keep them warm. Mine actually like the hair dryer, so that works for us.
Nail trimming is trickier! It takes both my husband and I to do this. I bought the trimmers you would use on kittens. You only trim off the very tips of the nail...do not go any further back then the clear part. This is a good one to have your Vet show you how to do. It helps to keep a rock or brick in the cage, so that they can keep them "filed" down on their own.
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Since January 15, 1999