All About Guinea Pig
How to care for guinea pig
All domesticated guinea pigs are from South America, spefically Peru and Patagonia. Natives of modern day Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador domesticated the Guinea Pig for use as food. To this day, Guinea Pigs are still raised for food in certain areas of South America. Today's domesticated guinea pig is viewed by as pet for by many children and adult. Many parents select a guinea pig as a first pet for their children, thinking that guinea pig need a small amount of care. It is important to understand that these little guys have lots of requirements, including a roomy cage, specialized diet, daily cleanup and gentle handling, and that an adult should be the primary caretaker. The scientific name for the Guinea Pig is Cavia porcellus .
1. Guinea pig breeds
Guinea pigs breeds come in few variety.
The most well known of these is the Peruvian variety. They have very long silky hair, usually down to the floor and covering their face. The Sheltie and Coronet are similar to the Peruvian, however the Sheltie has its hair growing away from the face and around the body.
Short haired guinea pigs have short, smooth, and silkly/shiney hair. There are many variety of the short haired guinea pigs, for example the English Crested where the crest on the head is the same colour as the rest of the body, which can be a range of colours.Guinea pigs colour can be found gold, silver, salmon, lemon and cinnamon.
Abyssinian Guinea Pigs, Rough Haired and Roseetted
Abyssinian Guinea Pigs has a very unique appearance. The coat of Abyssinian Guinea Pigs is made up of multiple swirls of hair. Abyssinian Guinea Pigs fur is quite dense compare with normal guinea pig, and it radiates in circles from multiple points on the body to make up a series of whirls , as common called as rosettes. For the show standard, Abyssinian Guinea Pigs must have a minimum of 8 rosettes, in a symmetrical pattern. Most Abyssinian Guinea Pigs look like they have moustaches, a cap and a tutu on. Hairless guinea pigs Hairless guinea pigs have no or little hair. They are mainly found in Armerica but are likely to be found in Europe and the rest of the world.
2. Provide a good home
They might be small, but guinea pigs require ample space to move comfortable and safety. Choose a safe, quiet location that gets plenty of air circulation and where the climate can be controlled. Make sure their cage or living area are at least 18 inches wide, 14 inches high and 25 inches deep. Guinea pigs housed in larger cages are more likely to be active. Do not use aquariums or cages that have provide poor ventilation,those cages usually is half top of the cage begin cover by plastic and leave the top only open.Wire mesh or wire-floor cages hurt guinea pigs' tender feet, it will lead to major feet problem like bumblefoot.
When choosing floor linings and items that to decorate the cage, keep in mind that guinea pigs will chew on just about anything to wear down their constantly growing teeth,guinea pig have an urge to chew, so everything placed in the cage must be safe wood material or nontoxic. Use plenty of bedding material—shredded ink-free paper or commercial nesting materials available at pet-supply stores. While other types of bedding can be used, do not use materials such cedar wood chips, saw dust, fabrics that may cause respiratory or other health problems. Cedar, while it smells pleasant, is actually toxic to guinea pigs and should be avoided as a choice of bedding. Saw dust tends to bind itself to male genitalia and should also be avoided. Guinea pigs will use the material as both bedding and bathroom, especially they love to use hay to build their home.
Remember also to provide plenty of high-quality timothy hay, a handful a day of hay is ideal, which these rodents use for nesting and snacking. Finally, provide your guinea pig plenty of gnawing log (such as an untreated fruit tree branch, apple stick, chew block made from safw wood), chew toy will enable your guinea pig enjoy hours of fun when you not around or even tunnels to crawl through and platforms to climb on. Add a heavy food bowl like ceramic or food bowl that enable to lock on to the cage. If using a ceramic food bowl, make sure it is heavy enough,resistant to tipping and gnawing. Water bottle with a sipper tube is exellecent choise for guinea pig.
3. How to hold a guinea pig
Guinea pigs are easily stressed, and must be careful handling. Before attending to pick up your guinea pig, always allowing it to sniff your hand. To pick up a guinea pig, slowly place one hand under his chest just behind the front legs and gently cup your other hand under his hindquarters. Once you have a firm but gentle grip on the animal, lift him. Then immediately pull him close to your chest or lap so he feels safe and doesn't thrash around. Scooping up a guinea pig is another good way as well, but need to done it fast and in once scoop.
4. Feeding Greens
Feed your guinea pig a commercial guinea pig food, formulated especially for the species. These herbivores require a lot of vitamin C, A good complete guinea pig diet might include carrots, lettuce, apples, and sometimes some parsley or other fresh fruits and vegetables. vegetables such as kale, collards and romaine lettuce, introduced one day at a time. Be sure to observe for any digestive changes after each addition before making that item a permanent part of the animal's diet. Guinea pigs like to eat lot of quality ,green, fresh hay and dried pellets. You can put some hay in one corner of the cage and some pellets in a food bowl in the cage. Make sure that your guinea pig gets enough water. You can easily get water bottles for guinea pigs and other rodents in local pet shop. Guinea pig should not need additional Vitamin C supplements if proper fresh greens and some fruits and quality fresh guinea pig pellets on a daily basis.
5. The important of feeding timothy hay
Many guinea pigs owner don't seem to realise the important of that guinea pigs NEED hay. Most commonly found packaged in pet shop is Alfalfa hay or brown, pale yellow hay . Many guinea pig owner buy Alfalfa hay because that is what the pet store people told them to buy. Alfalfa hay should only be given to pregnant mothers and growing babies that is below 6 months. Alfalfa hay has higher calcium and protein which have to use it widely, or else it can cause bladder stones in guinea pigs. Timothy hay that is love in calcium and protein is very suitable for daily feeding. Timothy hay will helps digestive system funtioning well and will keep constantly growing molars ground down and healthy.
6. Cleanup the cage
Guinea pigs is a clean animal, they love to fastidiously grooming themselves with their front teeth, tongue and back claws. Guinea pigs come in few breed, particularly the long-haired breeds—require frequent brushing and combing to stay clean and tangle-free.
Guinea pigs require daily housekeeping assistance. Scrub and disinfect the cage, then let it dry under the sun before lining the floor with fresh bedding and replacing the cage furnishings. Beside cleaning the cage itself, clean the water bottle and sipper tube daily to prevent buildup of food, algae, and bacteria.
7. Pregnant guinea pigs
Early spotting of pregnant guinea pig is not easy, and she may be due for delivery soon by the time you reliase she is pregnant. Nearer to her delivery date she may drink lots more water, eat more and will gain weight. At that time you will feel her belly firmer and harder. It is advisable not to press her belly and carry her too often to avoid miscarriage. The female has to be separated from the male. She will go into heat again after she has given birth,and she can become pregnant again. Breed back can be stressful to the female because she need to nurse the baby and at the same time provide nutrient to form baby in her womb. At the time your guinea pigs go into labour, usually the labour is short and human intervention is not required.
8. How guinea pig sound?
Many guinea pigs owner come up with all kinds of different names to describe a guinea pigs sound, chut, chubble, wheeeek, rumble are just a few, but I'm sure once you hear the noise and read the description of why piggy is making the noise, you will soon get to recognise what your guinea pig is sayinghow guinea pig sound? You can refer to this link.
9. Stay in pair
Guinea pigs are a social, herd animal and are happiest when with other guinea pigs, so many pet care books urge owners to keep two or more together. They will still bond with the owner. By having two, they will be happier life when you are not around. The cost and care of two is not much more than one.Choose pairs that are the same sex and compatible if you not wish to breed them. Guinea pigs can multiply rapidly, even at a young age.