Have you been considering getting a Guinea pig? These guys—also known as cavies—are very cute little pets! Here, a local Norfolk, VA vet offers tips on Guinea pig care.
First and foremost, you’ll need a good cage. Guinea pigs are very active, and need lots of room to run and play. We recommend getting a cage with more than one level. That way, you can give your pets more room without sacrificing extra floor space. Add some comfy hiding spots, such as cozies, which are basically tiny tents. Cavies can be litterbox trained, so you may want to get a litterbox as well. As for substrate, you can use fleece blankets or paper-based products. Avoid pine or cedar substrates: they aren’t safe for small animals.
Guinea pigs should have lots of fresh grass hay, such as Timothy hay. They can have commercial food, such as pellets, for their main meals. Fresh produce will round out their menu. Make sure your pets’ diet contains lots of Vitamin C, which is crucial for cavies. Also, don’t assume that all fruits and veggies are safe. Do some research, and ask your vet for specific advice.
Guinea pigs extremely sociable, and can get lonely and depressed when they feel isolated. We recommend getting at least two. Only keep same-sex pairs together, though, as otherwise they’ll breed.
Your tiny friends will need lots of suitable chew toys. Many wood, wicker, and cardboard items are fine. Plain paper is also suitable. (Tip: try stuffing the tube from a toilet paper roll with shredded copy paper.) Avoid anything with sharp edges, hanging threads, or small parts. Items covered in paint, stain, or dyes are also unsafe.
Proper veterinary care is very important! We recommend that Guinea pigs be examined at least once a year. In between appointments, watch for signs of illness, such as reduced appetite, lethargy, and diarrhea. Call your vet immediately if you see any of these red flags.
Cavies are actually very cuddly. Many form strong bonds with their humans. Your furry buddy may even like sleeping in your lap! Spend time with your cavy every day. Just like any other pets, Guinea pigs are always happiest when they feel loved.
Do you have questions about Guinea pig care? Contact us, your local Norfolk, VA vet clinic, anytime!