Guinea pigs originate from the grassy areas and the lower slopes of the Andes Mountains of South America. They are "social" animals and live in herds. They are prey animals, so you need to make sure that their accommodation is safe, secure and predator proof.
Did you know?
Guinea pigs are social animals and are happier when in a group of two or more pigs. Having social interaction with other pig's will keep them occupied and should avoid undue stress due to boredom or loneliness.
Ensuring that your guinea pig has the right diet and nutrition will help keep them happy and healthy. Below we share tips to help create a balanced diet for your guinea pig.
Make sure they have access to plenty of fresh water, make sure that their water bottles / bowls are refilled daily with fresh water. As the guinea pig's natural home is on the grassy slopes of the Andes they are natural grazers, eating grass, herbs and plants such as dandelions.
The guinea pigs gut is constantly active, so they need to be able to graze.
They need an adequate source of Vitamin C daily, so feeding them a proprietary grass based food specially formulated for Guinea Pigs along with fresh vegetation and good quality hay.
Vitamin C is destroyed over time and quickly with exposure to air. Make sure that any food given is fresh each day and that any bags of food are kept in an air tight container.
Make sure that your guinea pig also has access to good quality hay, and offer fresh vegetables every day.
General health and welfare
You can prevent many diseases and avoid suffering for your guinea pig by being informed and prepared. Here we share our advice to help keep your guinea pig in good health.
Check your guinea pig daily to make sure that they are in good health. You can then check for any abnormalities or wounds and make sure that the back end is clean. In the warmer months this is very important as it can lead to fly strike, which can be fatal.
Regular handling of your guinea pig is beneficial to both you and your pets as it will make it easier for you and your vet to examine when the time comes for a check up.
Make sure that their hutches are cleaned out daily, this will give you the opportunity to monitor any changes in faecal output. This is very important as should the number of pellets being passed by your pig reduce or stop you need to call your veterinary surgery immediately.
Like Rabbits, the guinea pigs teeth continually grow, so allowing them to graze as they would in the wild will help maintain their oral health and help to wear down the teeth.
Don't make sudden changes to your guinea pigs diet as this can upset their gut making your pet ill. Any changes to your Guinea Pigs diets should be done gradually over a 7-10 day period.
If food and/or water intake suddenly changes you will need to call your veterinary practice immediately.
A subtle change in your Guinea Pigs behaviour is always a good indicator that something may be wrong. Consult your vet if you are concerned in any way.
Do not keep Guinea Pigs together with Rabbits as this can lead to bullying of the Guinea Pig.