timc magazine

Be well informed before you embrace your Guinea Pig

by Vibhuti Gupta, Sunday, June 10, 2018

Guinea pigs are small, furry and adorable, but bringing one into your home is a commitment you should be ready to make.  If you are trying to decide whether this small creature is suitable for you as a pet, there are a few important things to note before adopting it.

Guinea pigs are like potato chips, you can’t be happy by just adopting one!

Guinea pigs are social companions that require daily interaction. They communicate by making various sounds that have different meanings and generally jump in the air when they are happy.

From food, exercise, grooming, health and lifespan, all animals are different and have their personal needs. Five important things you need to know before adopting a guinea pig are:

Long term responsibility

Although guinea pigs do not live as long as dogs or cats, they still enjoy hanging out with their human companion, even if it’s just watching television. They do need time outside of their living quarters daily in order to exercise. If proper care is taken, Guinea pigs live around five to seven years or even longer.

Examining allergies (if any)

It is difficult to believe the fact that an individual can be allergic to a guinea pig. However, it is important to test for allergies before the adoption, as guinea pigs hair can transmit allergens, in which most allergic reactions are through proteins in the saliva and urine. You may also react to the type of bedding materials like hay.

Guinea pig and children

Guinea pigs may be nervous at first but with consistent gentle handling, they usually become tame very easily. Since small children may see a guinea pig as a toy, you have to make sure that an adult is always present to supervise, play and take care of them.

Clean quarters

Keep guinea pigs cages, food dishes, and water bottles very clean. Guinea pigs produce a lot of droppings and urine. Therefore, the cage must be cleaned every day or rather every week. Keeping a clean cage will avoid many health problems and allergies. It can be done with gentle soap and warm water.

Health Issues

Guinea pigs can suffer from obesity (if their daily exercise is not taken care of), heat stroke, respiratory problems, and dental problems. You have to make sure to check your guinea pigs teeth as they are constantly growing. Provide them with safe hard wood to chew on; hard fruits and veggies like raw carrots, celery, and apples; and trim their nails as a part of grooming. Guinea pigs have a vitamin C deficiency, and so daily vitamin C supplements for the animal are important.

Be well aware before meeting your fun, playful, and super cute companion. Stay tuned for more Pet Care updates.

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