Guinea pigs are adorable, social little animals with really unique personalities. While they do generally live in cages, it's a common misconception that they're simple to care for. Many pet owners unknowingly make care mistakes that lead to illness or a reduced lifespan. If you want your guinea pig to be in great health and live a long and happy life, here are three ways you can probably improve on his or her care.
Put His Cage Somewhere You Frequent
Guinea pigs bond with their humans, and they don't want to spend all day alone. If you put your guinea pig's cage somewhere more public, such as in your living room, he or she will be able to see you and other family members. This will help him feel less lonely, which will reduce his stress and vulnerability to illness. Plus, you're more likely to notice any signs of illness in your guinea pig early on when he's in a more frequented area. This is very important since prompt vet care is so essential for many common guinea pig ailments like pneumonia and pinkeye.
Give Him Time Out of the Cage
If you don't already let your guinea pig out of his cage to explore on a daily basis, start doing so. Your guinea pig may be a bit apprehensive about roaming or may be hard to catch at first, but he will get used to freedom over time -- and it is very good for him to roam since he'll get exercise that keeps his heart and muscles strong and healthy.
If you're worried that your guinea pig will be tough to catch, turn him loose in the smallest bedroom in your home at first. Over time, you can start letting him loose in larger spaces once you're confident you can catch him.
Give Him Fresh Foods
Guinea pig pellets are formulated to offer a balanced diet for your guinea pig. However, the problem is that as pellets sit, the vitamin C leeches out of them. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for guinea pigs. They cannot make their own as rabbits and hamsters do. To ensure your guinea pig gets enough vitamin c, as well as other essential vitamins, give him some fresh food each day. Romaine lettuce, carrots, apples, grapes, zucchini, and cabbage are all favorites among guinea pigs.
To learn more about ways to better care for your guinea pig, speak with a veterinarian.