Are you considering adopting a Guinea pig? These tiny furballs make very charming and cute pets! Although Guinea pigs—or cavies, as they are sometimes called—are not difficult to care for, they do have some specific needs. A local East Indianapolis, IN vet offers some helpful Guinea pig care tips below.
Your cute little buddy will need a clean, comfortable cage that offers plenty of room to run and play. For one cavy, we recommend getting a cage that is at least 7.5 square feet. Of course, if you get more than one furball, you’ll need a larger cage. Choose a cage with a solid bottom, as wire floors are dangerous. To give your pet extra room without taking up too much space, look for one with two stories.
Once you’ve picked out the cage, you’ll need to add a proper substrate. Aspen is a good choice. You can also use fleece or soft blankets. Avoid pine and cedar substrates, as they are toxic to small animals. Your adorable buddy will also need dishes, a water bottle, and a few hidey-holes, such as pet tents. You can add a litterbox and hay rack if you like.
Cavies are very sociable, and are generally happier with friends. Consider getting your little pet a buddy to play with. Just be sure to only keep same-sex pairs together.
A proper diet is very important! Your cavy can have commercial food for breakfast and dinner. You’ll want to supplement this with good grass hay, such as Timothy hay, and fresh produce. Include plenty of foods that contain Vitamin C, which is crucial to Guinea pigs’ health. Many foods are toxic to cavies, so always research new foods to be sure they are safe before giving them to your little pal. Ask your vet for specific advice, including serving sizes, safe and unsafe foods, and suitable snacks.
Your Guinea pig will need lots of fun playthings. Offer plenty of chew toys, as cavies need to chew to keep their teeth healthy. Many wood, wicker, cardboard, and paper items are fine, as long as they are clean, undecorated, and free of sharp edges or small parts. (Tip: the cardboard tubes from toilet paper rolls make great chew toys.)
Please contact us, your East Indianapolis, IN animal clinic, for your cavy’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!