We’ve also included a list of our handpicked, one-of-a-kind, and high-quality things that our guinea pigs particularly enjoy at the end of this article. Make sure to check out those links!
How do I make sure my guinea pig is happy?
There are a variety of elements that you should consider in order to keep your guinea pig happy and healthy. As your guinea pigs grow older, their nutritional requirements will change. All of this effort will be made worthwhile by their love and friendship..
There are some requirements for your guinea pig, which you should investigate further. Following these guidelines will keep your guinea pig happy and healthy, however neglecting them might cause problems for your guinea pig’s health and happiness.
Let’s have a look at the requirements for keeping your guinea pig happy and healthy:
Table of Contents
1) Provide a healthy diet
Regardless of the age or breed of your guinea pig, food is an essential part of his or her daily existence. You should make certain that you are providing your guinea pig with an adequate amount of nutritional supplements and food.
The following are the four essential components of your guinea pig’s diet:
- Fresh vegetables
- Clean water
It is important to remember that your guinea pig’s nutritional requirements fluctuate as they age. Alfalfa hay should be fed to your guinea pigs from the time they are young until they reach adulthood. Alfalfa hay is strong in protein and gives your guinea pig with all of the calories he or she needs at this stage of their development.
Due to the fact that Guinea pigs excrete on their hay, it is recommended that you replace it in their cage on a daily basis. In any case, this causes the hay to get moldy. Eating mold, on the other hand, can be harmful to your guinea pig.
Alfalfa hay is far too calorific for adult guinea pigs, and it will cause your guinea pig to gain weight in the process. It also has a high concentration of calcium, making it unsuitable for use with an adult guinea pig. You should substitute another type of hay, such as Timothy, Meadow, or Oat, in this situation..
Pellets are ideal for feeding to infant guinea pigs because they are high in nutritional value. Allow your guinea pig to consume an unlimited amount of pellets until they reach adulthood.
When they reach adulthood, the pellets should be reduced. It is best to fully discontinue feeding pellets to your adult Guinea pig if they do not seem to be interested. Fresh veggies should be used in place of canned goods.
guinea pigs thrive on fresh veggies, which are essential to their well-being. The vitamin C it offers is much needed by them, and hay alone cannot provide their needs. Additionally, they supplement your guinea pig’s food with additional nutrients. Leafy greens appear to be the best choice for them.
Drinking enough of fresh, clean water is essential for your guinea pig’s health. Your guinea pig will benefit from drinking tap water.
Keep in mind that water should be refreshed twice a day at the very least. Additionally, provide them with numerous sources of water in their cage.
A leaking bottle can cause a significant amount of mess, so I strongly advise you to give this fantastic choconose water bottle a try. They’re fantastic, and they’ve been patented as being leakproof.
2) House your guinea pig in an appropriate enclosure
Your guinea pig’s cage serves as its home. You should constantly ensure that your guinea pig is content when they are in their cage. Because they will be unable to get away, being in their cage will provide them with protection from their predators.
When purchasing a cage for your guinea pig, the size should be the first thing on your list to consider. This cage will serve as the guinea pig’s permanent residence. It should never be used as a guinea pig cage or as a place to store things.
An owner should make certain that their guinea pig has enough space to stretch from the snout to the toes, at the very least. In addition, your guinea pig should be able to play and exercise in and around the cage as needed. It is also important for owners to ensure that their pet can comfortably stand on its hind leg.
To summarize, we can say that a pair of guinea pigs will require at least eight square feet of area and a height of 20 inches in order to be comfortable in their enclosure.
Your guinea pig will never want to sleep or eat in the same spot where they eliminate because they are such a clean animal. As a result, you should ensure that there is an enough zone inside your guinea-pig cage. They will also require a space in their cage where they may play and engage in activities if they are to be content.
You will not be able to entertain your guinea pig on a consistent basis. This problem can be resolved by ensuring that your guinea pig is comfortable in their cage (see below). The longer your guinea pig remains healthy in its confinement, the longer he or she can go without playing or exercising.
This incredible Midwest cage for a couple of Guinea pigs is available only on Amazon.
3) Maintain a comfortable environment
Even though guinea pigs are hardy in cold weather, they do not do well in high temperatures.
The ideal body temperature for a guinea pig is between 100 and 103 degrees Fahrenheit. Nature plays an important role in your guinea pig’s existence since their fur sheds and grows in response to the temperature of the environment. Even so, you should keep an eye on your guinea pig because the following are signs of overheating:
- Heat around the tops of the ear
- Moistened nose
- Fast breathing
- Lack of strength
For your guinea pig, the cold weather will not be a problem at all. When a Guinea pig is subjected to a more difficult environment, such as living both indoors and outside all year, he or she will develop a thick winter fur coat.
If the temperature outdoors drops below 20 degrees Celsius, you should be concerned about your guinea pig’s well-being. If this is the case, you should move your guinea pig from the outside to the inside. As long as your guinea pig can still breathe properly, a garage will be the perfect environment for them.
A fast drop in temperature might also be detrimental to your guinea pig. Make certain that you do not move your guinea pig from the cold spot to the heated one accidentally. For your guinea pig, this fast drop in temperature might be extremely harmful.
4) Neuter or Spay your guinea pigs
Neutering or spaying your guinea pig is essential for the health of your companion animal. Except if you are a professional breeder who knows what they are doing, you must have your guinea pig repaired before breeding it. As long as you find a qualified exotic veterinarian, the procedure is risk-free and uncomplicated.
Guinea pigs like the company of other guinea pigs of the same breed. They are not apprehensive about reproducing. It is important to remember that guinea pigs aren’t picky about their partners, so don’t make the mistake of assuming that adopting two siblings implies they would not breed together.
It appears that guinea pigs who have been spayed or neutered are far more tranquil than their unfixed counterparts. If they are not neutered or spayed, they might become violent and territorial. Fixing a guinea pig also lowers the likelihood of developing serious health problems such as urinary tract infection and cancer.
5) Keep your guinea pig stress free
A Guinea pig is prone to becoming anxious. Because they are prey animals, they are constantly on the lookout for their predator, which can make your guinea pig feel threatened.
A guinea pig should always feel safe and secure in his or her environment. In the event that your guinea pig does not return to its comfy enclosure after spending time on the floor, there is a potential safety hazard in the situation.
Guinea pigs are not able to see in complete darkness any better than humans do in complete darkness. They have excellent hearing and smell, which means that if there is a predator in their enclosure, they will be able to notice it and become alarmed.
When your guinea pig is alone, you should take steps to ensure that he or she is safe and comfortable.
There could also be another factor contributing to your guinea pig’s fear, such as a change in their routine. Set up a rigid schedule for your guinea pig to follow. Make them believe that they will be fed, played with, and exercised at a specific time each day.
An adult Guinea pig can learn to recognize a specific time when they are fed, exercised, and played with after a period of time. Keep to this schedule and your guinea pig will live a long and healthy life.
6) Ensure your guinea pigs get regular exercise
Regular exercise helps to maintain your guinea pig in good shape. Regular exercise is essential in the lives of your guinea pig. It keeps them from becoming overweight. Given that guinea pigs are highly active creatures, leaving them in their enclosure for the entire day can cause them to become bored and agitated.
Every day, your guinea pig should be given at least three hours of free time to explore. You can break it into two parts: one in the morning when they are most active, and another in the early morning when they are not as energetic.
Setting up a tiny portable enclosure (such as this one from Amazon) in the morning will be the most effective approach to get your guinea pig some exercise.
You must keep an eye on your guinea pig while performing these activities because they are skilled jumpers and escape artists. Additionally, it is possible that your guinea pig will run themselves into tremendous physical and mental exhaustion during the race.
Adding a run to your guinea pig cage will allow them to get some exercise while they’re not being watched will also be beneficial.
7) Provide enough toys and mental stimulation
Guinea pigs are intelligent critters who may become bored very quickly. Preparing some toys to keep your guinea pigs busy while they are in their enclosure will help to keep them happier.
Set up as many toys and games as you can in your guinea pig’s area to keep him entertained.
The items in your home that can provide entertainment for your guinea pig are called “pieces of stuff.”
Your guinea pig will enjoy shredding the pages of a telephone directory, therefore a telephone directory will suffice. You can make arrangements for things that your guinea pig should not chew, however.
Provide your guinea pig with a variety of toys and activities on a consistent basis. They’ll be pleased with your efforts.
To keep our guinea pigs emotionally and physically occupied and happy, we must provide them with a variety of toys. Personally, I adore this fantastic toy set, which is both strong and safe for children.
8) Make sure your guinea pigs have a companion
Guinea pigs are not very pleased of the prospect of living on their own. In the wild, they are most often found in groups. It is possible to experience stress as a result of living alone. Guinea pigs are constantly in need of attention, and if you are unable to provide it on a consistent basis, you should consider adopting a second guinea pig.
Your guinea pig will be delighted to have a companion who lives in the same enclosure as them. First and foremost, you must ensure that they are well attached. Once they have formed a strong link, they will be able to live happily ever after.
9) Clean your guinea pig’s cage regularly
Guinea pig cage cleaning is essential in order to prevent a variety of health problems in the animals.. It is likely that they will not be happy while you are cleaning their cage because they will believe that you are intruding on their area. However, this is the only method to ensure the health of your guinea pig.
Weekly cage cleaning is recommended for a healthy guinea pig population. When it comes to cleaning your guinea pig cage, you should only use pet-safe cleaning products. While cleaning your guinea pig cage, make sure to put everything back where it belongs.
Make sure to change the hay and litter in your guinea pig’s cage on a daily basis. Mold might pose a threat to your guinea pig’s health.
When it comes to cleaning the cage, this hand vacuum cleaner comes in handy.
10) Groom your guinea pigs regularly
Grooming is a necessary element of a guinea pig’s daily routine. The majority of the time, guinea pigs utilize grooming to identify their position in a social hierarchy. Grooming will be performed on the governing guinea pig by a subordinate who will comply on demand.
You may also find that your guinea pig prefers to be groomed by you. You should groom your guinea pig since it is not a problem to let your guinea pig to believe that they are in charge of the household.
The most effective method is to improve bond grooming. Grooming is a really pleasurable activity for guinea pigs. Additionally, it will assist you in earning the trust of your guinea pig.
By their very nature, guinea pigs are obsessively clean. If you notice that your guinea pig’s fur has become matted, this may indicate a problem, as guinea pigs are known to clean themselves. If they are not doing it, it is possible that they are suffering from a medical condition. Make no mistake: this is a serious matter.
While grooming your guinea pig, be sure to keep an eye on its bottom. A soiled bottom can result in a terrible ailment known as flystrike, which is extremely painful.
It’s also important to pay attention to any urine stains that appear on the fur of your pet guinea pig. If it is left for an extended period of time, it can result in urine scalding, which is a highly painful condition.
That can happen if your guinea pig accidently pees on themselves or sits in the area where they have peed without realizing it.
Check out this grooming kit for yourself.
11) Check your guinea pig’s dental health
You should always check to see that your guinea pig’s teeth are in good condition. Guinea pig teeth continue to grow indefinitely. Discomfort can be caused by oversized teeth.
If your guinea pig’s teeth are hurting, they will stop eating and go to sleep. Inability to consume food can result in your guinea pig becoming in danger.
It is recommended that you provide your guinea pig with an endless quantity of hay. Hay helps to maintain your guinea pig’s teeth in good condition since chewing on hay helps to keep their teeth filed. A high-fiber diet is essential for maintaining dental health in guinea pigs.
At the very least, you should check your guinea pig’s teeth once a week. Make sure your guinea pig’s tooth is white and smooth, and that the top and bottom rows of teeth connect properly. If you notice any problems, take your guinea pig to the veterinarian because they will require treatment.
12) Provide them with annual health check up
Given their prey animal status, guinea pigs are extremely adept at concealing their pain and discomfort. Additionally, you will be made aware of your guinea pig problem if it becomes extremely critical in nature.
This problem can be resolved with a yearly checkup. Make an appointment with an experienced guinea pig veterinarian or an exotic veterinarian in your area because not every veterinarian is familiar with the specific ailment that guinea pigs suffer from.
Get your guinea pig checked for health at least once a year to ensure that any problems are recognized early and treated appropriately. Regular checks will allow you to determine whether or not your guinea pig is suffering from obesity or other dental issues.
Taking your guinea pig in for a health checkup once a year might help you discover and treat any issues that may arise. This will aid in the health and well-being of your guinea pig.
13) Guinea pig proof your house
Your guinea pig will be allowed to run free for a few hours every day because they will be considered a member of your family. You should take precautions to ensure that your guinea pig is safe and secure while roaming the outdoors.
Some of the most often expressed issues are as follows:
- Routes of escape: The guinea pig is a curious animal who is always eager to learn or discover something new. If you are letting them out to play in the garden, they may be able to squeeze through the gaps in the fence. Because the tamed guinea pig will not be able to survive in the wild, you should close off all possible escape routes.
- Electrical cables: Electrical cables are just too appealing to a guinea pig to be tested on. They are going to nibble on them. It has the potential to be dangerous for both parties. Chewing wire can cause damage to your guinea pig’s teeth as well as the chance of the animal catching fire.
- Pets that aren’t listed: Keep your guinea pig away from any other pets you may have, if you happen to have any. Make sure to keep them apart until they are able to communicate effectively with one another.
- Soft landings: You can place carpets or rags on the ground where your guinea pig will be landing. If the guinea pig falls from a great height onto concrete, he or she may suffer serious injuries.
Guinea pig proofing your home is important because your guinea pig can injure themselves in a variety of different ways.
14) Handle your guinea pig with car
Guinea pig handling is a very condemnatory talent that should be practiced with care and precision. Occasionally, your guinea pig will refuse to be picked up due to the fact that they will feel imprisoned and scared. Then they can jump off the cliff to get away from danger.
It is necessary to handle your guinea pig at certain times. If they are refusing to leave their enclosure, you will have to remove them from it so that you may clean it.
Additionally, you must pick up your guinea pig in order to transport it to the veterinarian.
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t ever pick up your guinea pig by its legs, ears, or the scruff of its neck.
To care for a guinea pig, follow these steps:
- Petting your guinea pig will help to calm them down.
- Because it will startle them, you should never pick up your guinea pig while standing up. Because of their predator, they will be terrified. Reduce yourself to the level of a guinea pig.
- Afterwards, slip one hand under the guinea pig’s chest and the other under its back end to hold them in place. The weight of your guinea pig will be evenly distributed as a result of this.
- Pick the guinea pig up and place it in your chest so that it can’t get away from you again. Holding on too tightly may cause injury to your guinea pig.
- If your guinea pig isn’t comfortable, it’s best to put him or her to sleep.
It is necessary to ponder how to handle and get over the fact that one does not particularly enjoy being picked. Guinea pigs are not appropriate pets for youngsters because of their apprehension around being handled.
Guinea pigs can injure themselves by jumping from the shoulder of a table or chair. They may bite, nip, or kick you in order to get their hands off your shoulder. It is also important not to handle infant guinea pigs until they are at least 2-3 weeks old, if not longer.
15) Listen and understand your guinea pigs behavior and sounds
The barking or meowing of other pets indicates their distress or anger when they are being suffocated or agitated. Guinea pigs are considered to be calm and reserved creatures. They do, however, interact with humans on a physical and linguistic level.
To better understand your test subjects, it is necessary to pay attention to their vocal tics. The following are some examples of verbal tics to look out for:
- Grunting indicates that your guinea pig is dissatisfied with life. As soon as you attempt to clean their cage or handle them, you will hear these sounds.
- During brushing or caressing, you will become accustomed to hearing this sound, which is comparable to a feline purr in pitch. Then you’ll know that your guinea pig is happy and healthy, which is great news.
- Tooth grinding: It is quite important to grasp the difference between grinding teeth and clicking your teeth.
- It is necessary to seek medical attention whenever you notice your guinea pig attempting to grind its teeth.
- Petting your guinea pig may cause it to purr if it is joyful or if it is afraid of something. When they are dissatisfied, they will also talk.
Apart from that, you can read the body language of your guinea pig.
- The behavior of guinea pigs that is associated with excitement is known as popcorning. This is something they generally do when they are given their favorite meal.
- A guinea pig that is experiencing or displaying acute shock or panic, as well as being unfamiliar with something in its environment, will remain motionless for several seconds.
- Sniffing: They do sniffing to see what is going on in their environment, as well as to get to know one another. They are curious creatures. A major area of interest for guinea pigs is the chin, nose, back end, and ears of their companions.
- Gnawing on noses: This is a friendly greeting between guinea pigs and indicates that they are in good spirits.
- Placing their head on their side: When your guinea pig is lying on its side, it is relaxing. If you watch them over a long period of time, you will notice that they get bored of exercising or playing. Guinea pigs become fatigued at this point and ready themselves to take a nap in order to recharge their batteries. Guinea pigs are not very active as far as play is concerned; they spend much of their time sleeping.
- When your guinea pig nibbles while being carried, it could be an indication that he or she has to go to the bathroom or that he or she is uncomfortable being handled. In this situation, you should place your guinea pig in their cage.
- Liking: Most guinea pig owners consider this to be an indication of affection for their animals, while it is likely that they are simply enjoying the taste of the salt on their skin.
16) Prepare for a long term commitment
Keeping a guinea pig happy and healthy is a long-term commitment. If you provide them with the proper care, a guinea pig can live for 4-6 years if you keep them healthy.
Domestic guinea pigs can live up to twice as long as their wild counterparts if they are well-cared for. There are guinea pigs who have survived for more than a decade with no signs of illness or injury.
You should mentally prepare yourself for the responsibility of caring for and managing the expenses of your guinea pig for the next 8-10 years.
Maintaining the health of your guinea pig requires both money and time. Your guinea pig’s nutritional requirements will change as they progress through the stages of their life cycle as well.
If you are willing to put up the effort necessary, your guinea pig will live a long and happy life.