401-442-3827 hedgehogs rhode island, guinea pigs Rhode Island
Guinea pigs are relatively easy to care for and can make wonderful companions.
They are social animals who do best in pairs or small herds. Females usually get along together very well, even in higher numbers.
Two males can get along well, but can have difficulties if there are more than two.
Sometimes guinea pigs don't get along and Cannot live together. Some piggies just do better living solo.
Though it's always best to try to keep guinea pigs in pairs or groups, it's not impossible to have just one.
When keeping just one guinea pig, much attention must be paid to it, so it does not get lonely.
*If you already have a guinea pig at home and address getting another, please note due to biosecurity, there will be no meet and greets allowed. Please be prepared to bond them and have an additional cage set up*
Guinea pigs communicate through a variety of sounds. They'll often beg in high pitched squeaks for food.
Interestingly, wild guinea pigs do not communicate the same way domestic guinea pigs do. That means guinea pigs have learned, over time, how to manipulate us into giving them more veggies and attention.
Guinea pigs also communicate with other guinea pigs via squeaks, squeals and rumbles. Males will make rumbling sounds to assert dominance and as a mating sound.
Females will also make rumbling sounds, though very rarely, if ever.
Guinea pigs come in a variety of breeds and colors, all are the same species though.
One of the nicest cages available is the Midwest guinea pig habitat OR the Amazon version of it.
These cages are large enough for two piggies and are affordable.
Other cages can be used as long as they DON'T have a wire bottom. There are many cages available at pet shops that can be used successfully.
Many people use c&c cages. Unfortunately I cannot give advice on making or using them. I don't use them and never have, so I don't have experience to share.
The bottom of the cage can be covered in aspen bedding, care fresh, pine pellets or fleece.
Guinea pigs will easily drink from a water bottle and eat from a ceramic dish.
Guinea pigs should be fed pellets. Food Pellets specifically made for guinea pigs. Oxbow is a very nice brand as is Mazuri.
Guinea pigs should be given some hay every day as well. Hay helps keep their gi tract healthy. Timothy hay or orchid grass are great staples for hay. Orchid grass is best if the owner has hay allergy.
Guinea pigs should also eat some fresh veggies and fruits. Some favorites include: leafy greens and lettuces, green beans, peppers, carrot, banana, apple, orange. Some to avoid include; onion, iceberg lettuce, lemon, grapefruit, chives, and cabbage.
Small quantities of tomato, broccoli and cauliflower can be fed only once in a while.
I do not limit my guinea pigs pellets to the common stated 1/8 cup and I don't ration their veggies to be only 10% of their diet. Happy stable animals who are offered physical and mental stimulation rarely face obesity issues and will adjust their food consumption based on their physical activity.
Guinea pigs love flowers and botanical hay. These items also provide micro nutrition and trace minerals not found in others, hay or even veggies/fruit. I offer my animals dried flowers and dried herbs every few days, after their cages are cleaned. I sprinkle the dried flowers/herbs into their beeding. This encourages natural foraging behavior and helps the guinea pigs feel naturally fulfilled and mentally stimulated.
Never feed a guinea pig seeds or fried fruit. Freeze dried fruit is okay sometimes, as long as their is no added sugars.
Guinea pigs cannot create their own vitamin C within their bodies. This can result is a deficiency called scurvy, among other health issues.
It's very important to be sure your Piggie is getting vitamin C daily.
Most pellets made for guinea pigs are Vitamin C fortified. Always check the package to be sure.
Guinea pigs also get this vitamin through veggies such as oranges and peppers (highest amount).
There are also many vitamin c supplements available for guinea pigs that can be given to ensure They are recieving high enough amounts of the vitamin.
If a guinea pig takes in too much vitamin c, it will excrete the excess through it's urine. This doesn't mean it's okay to over dose them on supplements though, as too much can be hard on the kidneys.
Young guinea pigs, up to six months of age, are still developing. They tend to benefit from additional calcium in their diet.
The safest way to increase their calcium intake is by offering some alfalfa hay in addition to their other hay.
Too much calcium for too long can contribute to bladder and kidney stones.
Guinea pigs need things to chew. Their teeth are ever growing and can become malformed if not kept worn down from. Chewing. Daily hay and pellets help keep teeth in check, however it may not be enough.
Wooden chews such as apple sticks are great at encouraging chewing and keeping teeth healthy.
Some heavy chewers enjoy compressed hay cubes that are sold for horses. I like providing these cubes to my Guinea Pigs. The cubes are tightly compacted and require the animal to exert much energy and time to break up and eat the hay. This is great for helping keep the Piggie active and engaged in it's environment.
A guinea pig chewing on its cage bars is not getting the job done at trimming down teeth. Many people think it is, however the back teeth are not being groomed during cage bar chewing. Bar chewing and slamming can also be a sign of boredom, so providing more healthy outlets is necessary.
Big shelled nuts make fun and interesting chew toys. Just be sure to check them. For splintering every so often.
Never give a guinea pig raw hide chews, plastic chew toys or any chew toys made for dogs, cats or birds.
Guinea pigs will enjoy exploring toys in their environment. Toys such as: ball pit balls, ping pong balls, rubber/ plastic toys , fleece toys, seagrass toys and un dyed wood toys are all interesting to guinea pigs. Toys that are dyed and contain rope or string should be avoided.
Paper toys such a paper rolls also interest guinea pigs.
Various chew items (mentioned above) are wonderful when used as toys, offering a few options at once.
Guinea pigs will like a hide box or igloo to feel safe and secure in their environment.
There are many beds available for guinea pigs. Fleece beds are soft and are a good choice. Snuggle bags are also greatly enjoyed by most guinea pigs.
Considerations for skinny pigs:
Having no hair, skinny pigs may get chilly if the room temperature is less than 70.
Kh small animal heat pads are perfect for providing a skinny pig with the additional heat they need. They are the safest and most cost effective option I've found.
A ceramic heat emitter in a lamp, plugged into a thermostat is also an option.
Sometimes owners get worried because they're skinny pig's skin looks dry.
Unless there are cracks, bleeding or compact spreading areas of crust, or chronic itching, the skin is considered normal.
We tend to humanize animals And place our standards onto them. Humans tend to view dry skin as a problem on themselves (media and skin care companies have paid lots of money to program us to think this way) so they naturally apply the same thought to their animals.
In short: dry skin is normal for Guinea Pigs.
Please never apply oils to your Piggies skin. Oils will seal in bacteria and fungus. They will not allow the Piggies skin to breath and will clog pores. This can cause serious infection. Lotions or creams should also not be applied. Guinea pigs self groom and will consume anything applied to the skin. This can disrupt gut flora and cause a fatal condition called gi stasis or bloat.
The best way to improve skin health is from the inside out. A few drops of flax oil or wheat germ oil can be added to food a few times per week.
Guinea pigs are extremely social animals, maybe even more social than other rodents, such as rats.
Guinea pigs can become accustomed to interacting with humans and other well behaved (and monitored) pets within the home.
Some Guinea pig parents allow their piggies to wander about the piggie proofed home or piggie proofed rooms for a part of the day.
Guinea pigs are highly adaptable creatures and it is quite astounding how they form tight bonds with other Guinea Pigs, humans and other types of animals.
**Required legal garble: This content is not meant to be considered medical care. Only you and your vet can determine the best way to care for your pets.
Guinea Pig supply list:
1.) Cage. Midwest cages are the best on the market in my opinion. They cost about $50-60
2.) Bedding. Fleece, aspen , care-fresh or dried pine (nearly all pine shavings sold now are dried)
3.) Water bottle or a heavy ceramic water bowl. Lixit is a good water bottle brand.
4.) Ceramic food dish
5.) A hidey igloo or hut
8.) Guinea pig specific pellets. Pellet diet only. No diets with the little bright colored mix in thingys. Just plain ol guinea pig formulated pellets. Oxbow and Mazuri are good pellet brands.
9.) Veggies greens
I used to bail hay on a big hay roller. It was super fun and taught me a lot about agriculture as a young child.
I used to raise guineapigs, rabbits, rats, goats and pigs, so hay way very important. When I volunteered to help cut and roll hay, I'd get hay as payment. I'd also get "paid" in dried thatch. Oh if only we could go back to the simple days.
There are different types of hay available: orchid grass, prairie grass, Timothy hay, and alfalfa.
These hays are simply dried species of grasses. The different "types" refer to the different plant species or even multiple species they contain.
*Alfalfa is known to have a higher calcium content so is best limited or not provided to animals over six months old, unless as a seldom treat. Excess calcium can contribute to stones in guinea pigs.
*Orchid grass is usually a softer hay. Personally I prefer orchid grass due to its relatively low allergens ( compared to other hay types).
*Timothy is the most common hat available and it's great for life long use.
*Prairie grass usually contains a few plant species and is a fun change of pace for piggies. It is usually courser than other hay, so is great to help keep teeth trim.
The best way to offer hay to a guinea pig is by mixing it up. Offer variety. Switch up hay types every so often. Offering different types of hay is a great way to provide exciting Enrichment.