Guinea pigs are perhaps some of the most adorable animals out there. Once you look at them, your heart brims with happiness and a strong desire to hold them in your arms. Well, no wonder, they are very popular among us, humans, and also most commonly found pets in the world. However, despite all the good stuff, there are some things we take for granted when it comes to these fragile creatures, and that is precisely what we are going to talk about in this article.
Guinea pigs are very delicate creatures and require more attention than dogs and cats. However, many guinea pig owners show reprehensible ignorance towards the nature of these beings and commit mistakes which end up causing much damage to these creatures. In this article, we have shortlisted five mistakes of which most guinea pig owners are guilty.
In case you own a guinea pig or wishing to own one in near future, we strongly recommend that you take into account all the following mentioned mistakes word-by-word. If you show even a bit of callousness towards the treatment of these lovely creatures, you may end up losing them.
So, without further ado, here are 5 mistakes you must not commit if you own a guinea pig:
1. Consider adopting
The first thing we consider after having decided on a pet is the pet shop. However, if you do not know already, pet stores have had a very bad history when it comes to guinea pigs, and thus, you should avoid buying guinea pigs from pet stores.
Alternatively and better, you may consider adopting. Adopt a one rescued from danger or otherwise—this will prevent exploitation of these creatures at the hands of pet shop owners. When you adopt, it is easier to find cage-mates which are super important while petting guinea pigs and about which we are going to talk under the following head.
2. Guinea Pigs are not Okay without Cage-mates
Guinea pigs are exceptional cases. Many owners think they can do without any mate in the cage; well, they are wrong because this is not the case. If you are one of those who is usually busy with personal or work life, then you got to get your pet a friend.
Guinea pigs are actually very social in nature; they always have this need to interact with some or other thing. If you are not available, they might need an alternative. So, do them a favor and get them cage-mates.
Now you may worry about the smell two of these creatures will emanate. You can contain the smell if you get an appropriately sized cage. You will hardly notice any difference in the smell in case you regularly clean up the mess in the cage.
Yeah, we know it is going to cost you double, but it was your decision to take care of the guinea pigs in the first place.
3. A cage has to be of the right size
Cage is important, but you cannot be reckless in your decisions. In case you purchased a cage from any pet store, it is most likely of inappropriate size.
The best way to get a good sized cage for a guinea pig is to design and build one yourself. It is easier and less expensive. You can build a C&C cage without much difficulty. All you need to do is to brush up your carpentry skills and put them to work.
You must keep in mind that hamsters need to exercise to maintain their longevity. It, therefore, is important that you create a cage keeping in mind that adequate space has to be allocated to exercising equipment.
4. You cannot neglect the nutrition requirement
You cannot be careless when it comes to nutrition. Your pets are like your babies; they need every bit of your attention in all necessary matters, particularly nutrition. Considering the delicate nature of hamsters, you need to do some homework before feeding them with anything.
Your hamster needs the following things:
- Pellets or dry food is available in all kinds, prices, and brands. We strongly recommend not to get pellets sold in stores. There have been brands which proved harmful to hamsters; study well and then purchase.
- Hay is what your guinea pig needs in a huge amount. Your little friend needs it all the time, and therefore you must keep an eye on the supplies.
The reason why they need so much hay is that their digestive system requires high-fiber diet to ensure smooth functioning. Moreover, their teeth are always growing, and chewing helps in keeping the molar growth under control.
The love for hay is so much that hamsters do nearly everything on it: they play, sleep and eat on it. Hay is their life so give them what they want the most!
- Veggies and Fruits are so needed.To supplement their nutritional needs, you need to give them a good range of veggies and fruits on a daily basis. Hamsters’ tastes vary so you might as well experiment with all possible fruits and veggies to decide on which one is the favorite.
- Avoid feeding your hamsters saccharine treats. Also, do not get them hay balls which are sold in the market these days; these balls get stuck in the feet of the hamsters and cause injury. One last thing, yes, always feed your pigs with plain pellets, not the fancy ones.
5. Bedding should be a priority
Guinea pigs need comfortable beddings. The most commonly used beddings are paper or wood-based. These are okay as long as they use the right kind and not the ones made of sawdust, cedar or pine. Wood shavings are the not best beddings.
It is recommended that you get fleece bedding for the pigs. Fleece is gentler and more comfortable. Plus, fleece-made beddings are actually cheaper and do not hurt the little creatures. You can get the bedding cleaned every day since it does not absorb poop or urine like wood beddings but enables seeping through.
Using fleece bedding may be a little difficult at first, but once you grow used to it, you will not be able to move to any other form of bedding.