The Best Way to Care for Guinea Pigs
Many have varying requirements when it comes to pet ownership. Some would rather have bigger pet pals or the rarest of breeds. Some would rather have the smaller types of animals to be around them inside the house. These small furballs become the main attraction at times. If you are looking for a small animal to keep as a pet, perhaps you may have considered (perhaps, already have bought) some guinea pigs instead. And if it is your first time to own one of these timid-looking creatures, you may as well read on to find out the best way to care for guinea pigs.
Other small animals like the cavy (common name for a guinea pig), sugar gliders, jerboas, hedgehogs, and the likes, may have been thought by many new pet owners as great starter pets that they are often times treated not as they should be. As a result many of these docile creatures end up developing health issues early in their life. Some have even died due to improper handling and neglect.
How do you know if your pet has been poorly treated or neglected?
No sane person would like to invest in anything, like in owning a pet, only to let it die of neglect or poor management. No matter how you would like to ensure that your pet is given the proper care that it needs but you are unaware or misinformed, you may just end up harming your fragile pet.
So, how do you spot a pet that has been neglected or mistreated? Below are some of the common indication that a pet is suffering from neglect.
1. Filthy enclosure
The presence of dirt, leftovers, feces, and unbearable living condition within the animal’s housing is a sure sign of neglect.
2. Inappropriate temperature
Every pet, especially the rare and small ones, require a different temperature to exist comfortably and live healthy. For instance, a guinea pig requires from about 70 degrees to 89 degrees Fahrenheit. Any room or ambient temperature below or beyond that will greatly affect the overall health of your cavy. This may lead to the development of respiratory infection and other health concerns. To some animals, adequate heat is necessary to digest the food that they consume, like some reptiles (bearded dragons, iguanas, geckos, anoles, and so on). If your pet is not provided with the kind of temperature that it needs to survive properly, you may just be endangering its life as a result.
3. Noticeable physical changes
Pets with swollen feet, runny eyes, rashes, sores, bruises, and any physical deformities clearly indicate that these creatures have been mistreated or neglected. There could be several reasons for these. Improper handling, providing insufficient food and water, inefficient lighting within the animal’s enclosure, unclean enclosure, unsafe beddings for guinea pig, and so on.
How do you ensure that you are providing proper care for your pet guinea pig?
First of all, you need to make sure that your pet’s hideaway or living space is safe as well as big enough to allow your pet freedom to move around ensuring its safety. You will need a guinea pig cages that measures at least 30 inches wide, 36 inches high, and 36 inches long (a bigger cage is always better.)
Fresh water and adequate food should always be provided to your pet as well. Regular washing and teeth brushing will also be essential to ensure that your pet will be free from microbes, germs, and other elements that can cause various health problems later on.
Your pet will also grow healthier if you will provide it with health supplements that can provide the vitamin C and other essential nutrients that it needs. Fresh foods, green leafy vegetables, fruits can likewise be served for a healthier cavy that will extend its life to up to about 7 years or so, which is the reported longest lifespan of a guinea pig.
You also need to make sure that your pet’s enclosure and all other accessories in its cage are cleaned and disinfected regularly. This will not only ensure the health and wellness of your pet but also of your family members, especially if you have young children living with you.
Finally, you also need to make sure to bring your guinea pig to a certified and trusted veterinarian for a check-up or whenever your pet requires immediate attention.
Your pet is a highly socialize animal. You need to make sure that it is not kept in a secluded place or where the surrounding noise is masked by its enclosure as these may cause your cavy to be stressed out and later develop other health problems.
Proper handling and care of your guinea pig requires adequate knowledge and proper implementation of all the things that you learned from all sources. If you are in doubt or have questions, you can always consult a local veterinarian to ensure that your pet’s health is at its best.