So you are a beginner when it comes to Guinea Pigs, right? Well, if you are a Guinea Pig fist time owner, you are in for the ride of your life!
Sometimes you feel you need a guinea pig beginner guide? Even if you have one fur baby, or ten, you will need some advice before you get started! Guinea Pigs are sociable animals and great companions. But contrary to general belief, they need attention and care, you can’t just leave them in a cage and not pay attention to them.
But no worries! Taking care of Guinea Pigs can be hard for a beginner, we know. You can learn to take care of your little potatoes. We are here to help you!So let’s keep it short: Guinea Pigs eat veggies. Guinea Pigs like veggies. Guinea Pigs love veggies.They like anything green and fresh. So if you have a lot of veggies lying around, you will keep the puggy happy.
Another element which they need in their diet is hay. You can procure hay at your local pet shop. There are a lot of hay types from which you can choose from (bet you didn’t know about that). A lot of pigs enjoy Timothy Hay. Timothy Hay spurs from Timothy grass, a grass which was first cultivated by an American colonial farmer living in New Hampshire, Timothy Hanson. This is considered to be a delicacy and it is given to the best racehorses as a reward. The best Timothy comes from Eastern Washington.
Another hay type you can feed your pigs is Alfalfa Hay. Alfalfa Hay contains fiber but it also contains a lot of calcium. It is not the happiest choice for your Guineas, so you might consider choosing another type of hay for them.
Apart from veggies and hay, you piggies will want to eat dry food. This is an important addition to their diet and can supplement the vitamin necessity for your pets.
Veggies are key
You can feed your piggies lettuce daily! Give them parsnips one or twice a week! They will love you for the tasty treat! Almost all Guinea Pigs love dill. On their list, it’s on top. Do not feed them dill daily though. Two, three times a week is just fine. Apples are delicious, apple seeds are poisonous, so pay attention when giving them this snack.
Fed with moderation, cabbage can cause bloating. It is very fat, also the skin and meat are to be avoided.
Guineas are social animals. This means that they are usually happier in groups. A guinea pig will appreciate having a buddy, so we advise you to always pick up at least two. You won’t be able to keep your Guinea Pigs company 24/7, no matter if you are a beginner or advanced. So if there’s more than one, they will keep themselves entertained.
The thing is, sometimes things can go south. Guinea Pigs have personalities, and not everyone will like everyone. So you may get two males or two females who will chatter teeth at each other, or even worse, fight. So what should you do?
Don’t panic right off the bat. They are social creatures, but they are also territorial creatures. One of them will need to assert dominance, and they will do so by picking on the weaker one.
If you see blood, then it’s time to panic though. This is a clear sign that they need to be separated. This means you will need to get another cage perhaps. The piggies still can (and it is highly recommended) to be near each other. You can keep the cages adjoined, this way they can still hear each other, see each other but not be able to harm each other.
Another dilemma you may have is if you should get a male (often referred to as a boar) or a female Guinea Pig (referred to as a sow). There is no perfect answer to that, it’s more about what suits you or your personality. Some people may say that boys are more “naughty” or energetic than girls, but that’s just an opinion. Piggies come in different shapes and sizes, and also in different personalities.
Of course, and this goes without saying, you shouldn’t have a male and a female Guinea Pig live together. Guinea Pigs have babies! And even though they are cute, adorable, cuddly and so much more, you shouldn’t be breeding Guinea Pigs. You can get up to six or seven babies, and they will all grow up…and possibly have more babies!
Which leads us to “sexing” you Guinea Pig correctly from the start. The best advice here: do not do it on your own! Right after you buy/rescue your little furball, take them to the vet. They should have an initial check-up, and the vet is the most qualified person to tell you if it’s a boy or a girl.
Also, pay attention in keeping the right environment for them, in the summer and winter.