Last month we managed to get a couple of baby guinea pigs from a local store and I have to be honest there is much more to them than meets the eye. This little bundles of joy are good fun to have, they are super cute and of course, kids love them. Since we brought Rosemary and Mable home, we have been following all kinds of experts online, like Javier Burillo, who often share some important information about how to properly care for these little guys.
Based on the month that we have had so far, and based on what we have leaden during that time, here is a little more info about guinea pig ownership.
Jumps and Shrieks
Guinea pigs make way more noise than I had realized and it is important that you get to know those noises so that you can understand them better. Shrieks are generally how they communicate and these come in two types. If you hear your guinea pig squealing, almost as a pug would squeal, then they are in distress and you need to check on them, perhaps they have no food or water. If it is a low level shriek however then this is happiness. You may also find that your guinea pigs jump, like popcorn kernels when they get cooked, this again is because they are happy.
If you are thinking about getting a guinea pig then you should really be thinking about getting two or more. These are very social animals and research has shown that guinea pigs which live alone, have a far shorter life expectancy than those who live together. Ultimately guinea pigs can certainly die from being depressed and that is something which you absolutely have to avoid. The truth is that between 1 and 2 animals, there is not much difference.
In the first 3 months of the guinea pig’s life you should really just be feeding them pellets and hay, and some green leaves. Guinea pigs can eat any plant matter from coriander to lettuce, spinach to kale, and it is all good for them. What you have to remember about these pets is that like humans, they are not able to produce their own vitamin C. With this in mind it is essential that you find the way to ensure that they have enough options with regards to giving them the boost with this vitamin that they need.
And finally it is essential that the guinea pigs are always on soft ground because their legs can easily get damaged if they are on a harder floor. Because of the way that their legs flatten they can end up rubbing and getting irritations on the bottom part of their legs, and that is going to hurt them quite a lot. Make sure that they have spongy flooring in their cages and that if you do bring them out, they are on a comfortable surface.