Guinea Pigs, or cavies, are docile, responsive, and easy to care for. These small animals are rather vocal and will communicate using squeaks, whistles, their own version of purring, whining, a clacking of their teeth, and bird-like trilling. Talking to your guinea pig may encourage this behavior and make the guinea pig a bit happier. They love to live with other guinea pigs for company (as well as social grooming) and can be somewhat messy while inside their cages: jumping and kicking bedding or food everywhere. Sometimes, Guinea Pigs will do what is called “popcorning” where they hop sporadically several times in place when they are happy or excited. Plus, these little guys are very entertaining and fun to train for they can learn and remember training/conditioning for months! At Uncle Bill's Pet Centers, they come in a variety of breeds, including Short Hair, Abyssinian, Teddy Bear, and Peruvian! They can live up to 4 to 8 years with proper care.
Guinea Pig Diet
They mostly eat timothy hay and food pellets, along with vitamin C supplements as they, like humans, do not naturally create vitamin C in their bodies.
Vitamin enriched alfalfa pellets with the proper level of Vitamin C, garden vegetables, dehydrated carrots and crispy corn crunchies can be provided as food, also. They will also need something to gnaw on as their teeth are always growing. Be sure to provide pet-safe chews and treats to meet their chewing needs! Food should be offered in a chew-resistant crock type dish that is not easily turned over. Plus, hay should be available at all times.
Guinea Pig Habitat
Since Guinea pigs are larger, they require larger housing units than the smaller rodents like hamsters and gerbils, such as the Ware or SunSeed Guinea Pig Starter Kit. Their feet are small and delicate and they should not be housed in cage units with a wire mesh bottom as the toes will become irritated and inflamed and may even break. A generous layer of bedding (SunSeed™, Carefresh™, or Gentle Touch™) along with a hide box to sleep in, should be provided. Once a week the cage should be emptied and washed with hot soapy water, thoroughly rinsed and dried and refilled with bedding. Water is best supplied in a hanging water bottle and should be changed and or refilled daily to keep it fresh. The cage should be placed in a well-ventilated area, but out of the direction of drafts or direct sunlight.
Are Guinea Pigs for Me?
This animal can be easily kept by all hobbyists, even the new comer or novice, as it is very hardy when properly housed and fed. Housing requirements are usually fairly uncomplicated and temperature/humidity ranges are easily reproducible. Most small animals aren't too opposed to occasional or regular handling, as long as it is done with care. These cute little guys are generally kind and rarely scratch or bite someone they know. Over time, they may even whistle or chirp at your approach or the sound of bringing them food!
At Uncle Bill’s Pet Center, we not only offer Guinea Pigs for sale, we also employ a highly trained staff that can assist you in building an appropriate habitat for your new pet, and educate you on the proper care of the animal—making sure you get the most out of your pet ownership adventure!