Smart Tips To Make Your Little Guinea Pig Happy

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Guinea pigs are intelligent and sociable creatures. They are popular around the world as pets for children. However, a major downside of having such an adorable and small pet is that they easily get bored and are prone to getting fat and unhealthy. The good news is that making your guinea pig happy is not too hard if you follow some basic rules. If you are looking for tips on how to make your guinea pig happy, then read on.

Learning to bond with your guinea pig is vital for keeping them happy. Keep in mind that each guinea pig is distinct – some are more relaxed and laid back whereas others are more playful and outgoing. Learning the subtle clues about them will help you keep them happy and fulfilled longer.

Here are few ways to keep your little guinea pig happy and healthy for a long time.

1. Feed Your Guinea Pig Well

The most apparent sign that can tell you if your Guinea pig is not happy is their eating pattern. Not eating a healthy and balanced diet will lead to digestive issues and will have a detrimental effect on their mood as well. You need to provide fresh water to your pet every day to help keep their bodies running appropriately. Besides this, you also need to ensure that their hay supply is topped up regularly as it would help improve their dental health too.

Do you know what a Guinea Pig’s favorite food is? It is Lettuce. You can also supplement it with various green vegetables such as green parsley, Brussel sprouts, celery, cucumbers, and green peppers. You can also add watermelon and strawberries to their diet to make it healthier and more balanced. However, a few foods have proved to be quite dangerous for Guinea Pigs and must be avoided completely. These include onions, garlic, and avocados. Provide them with fresh hay as food pellets do not contain enough amounts of fiber as required by their digestive tract.

All in all, make sure that they consume fresh food only. Remove any uneaten, decomposed, or wilted food from their cage regularly.

2. Maintain Proper Hygiene

Keep the nails of your guinea pigs properly trimmed. This is quite easy to do, though some pigs can wriggle about a bit. If you are not able to do the same at home, ask your vet to show you how you can go about it. Remember to be very careful while trimming the nails to ensure that you do not injure the guinea pig.

Remember to keep an eye on your pets’ teeth as well. You need to ensure that their teeth do not grow into the roof of the mouth. In most cases, your pet should not face a problem with this as long as they get enough food and toys to chow down on.

3. Keep their cage clean

The cage of your pet guinea pig should be a place of fun and relaxation. Therefore, it is vital that you keep it clean and tidy and giving it a spruce up every now and then. A happy pet can definitely tell the difference between a dirty and clean cage. So make sure you keep it clean to prevent the growth of bacteria.

We recommend you do the following cleaning chores on a daily / weekly basis:

·      Clean the water bowl and provide fresh water daily.

·      Replace the dirty bedding and change the soiled litter daily.

·      Declutter the hay feeder daily and top it up whenever required.

·      Look out for any broken accessories and remove them on a weekly basis.

·      Replace the old toys and clean the existing toys weekly.

·      Once a month, clean the entire cage including all the accessories and toys.

4. Help them get enough Exercise

Exercise is vital for keeping your Guinea Pig healthy and happy. Allow your pet guinea pig to run outside on the grass. However, for their own safety, keep them in an enclosed pen. This is a great way to ensure that your guinea pig gets enough exercise along with the opportunity to nibble on some grass as well.

However, when taking them outside, keep in mind that you should never place them in direct sunlight. This is very important because guinea pigs can overheat very quickly, which can be fatal for them. Also, you should not leave them alone as they easily become food for bigger animals. Before bringing them back into the house, take a quick glance over their fur and bodies to ensure that no bugs or insects are sticking to them.

5. Bonding time

Guinea Pigs are one of the most sociable pets out there. There crave a lot of attention from their owner. Hold, stroke, and pet your guinea pigs as much as possible while making sure you are gentle with them. It is quite easy for guinea pigs to wriggle out of the hands and fall if you are not holding them correctly.

Aim for a minimum of 15-20 minutes of playtime on a regular basis. During this time, you can also carry out a visual scan for any marks, scratches, or anomalies on their body and coats.

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6. Bathing

You can give baths to your guinea pigs once in a while. Just make sure that the water is warm and don’t use too much soap. Guinea pigs can catch pneumonia and a number of other upper respiratory diseases quite easily so make sure that you dry them well after a bath. Guinea pigs are great swimmers and will enjoy swimming in the bathtub as well. However, make sure never to leave them alone in the tub and if you see them struggling at any time, take them out immediately.

7. Provide them a Proper Sized Cage

Ensure that the cage of your guinea pig is large enough. According to the Humane Society in the US, most of the commercial cages available are quite small. Guinea pigs love to move around and are happiest when there is enough space in their cage to exercise, run, and play. They need at least 8 square feet of space on the floor of their cage. For a single guinea pig, go for a cage of around 30 inches by 36 inches. In case you have two guinea pigs, aim for a cage size of about 30 inches by 50 inches.

Ensure there is room in the cage for a food bowl, a box or tunnel, exercise space, as well as a place for them to go to the bathroom.

8. Place the Cage in the Right Location

Guinea Pigs are extremely sensitive creatures and tend to become unhappy in breezy and loud areas of the house. Therefore, it would be a good idea to place their cage in a quieter part of the house that does not witness constant movement or access to continuous cold breeze. Also, try to keep them away from loud radios or TVs as their ears are quite sensitive. However, do not keep them away from you completely as they are sociable pets and would want to be near you.

Besides this, also avoid putting their cage in direct sunlight, excessive darkness, or near an AC / heating vent. Aim for a space that is around 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit and not near any draft or heat sources.

9. Provide them with a Companion

One factor that is often overlooked in keeping your Guinea Pig happy is to add an additional playmate into their cage. As we know, Guinea pigs are quite sociable and love being near other pets. Getting them a companion in the form of another guinea pig is one of the best ways to keep them happy. Did you know it is actually illegal to own a single guinea pig in Switzerland? A bond between a human and a guinea pig can never be as strong as the companionship between two guinea pigs.

It would be a good idea to add another guinea pig as most of the cost is already covered in the form of the cage, accessories, food, and the like. They can give each other company when you are not able to socialize with them.

10. Provide soft bedding in the cage

Guinea pigs have delicate feet; so they require abundant amounts of soft bedding in their cage. Make sure to add at least 2-3 inches of bedding so there is enough absorption and padding. The ideal bedding for the guinea pig cage is wood shavings or fleece. Whatever bedding you go for, make sure it is soft and high quality. Avoid straw-like hay as it can injure their eyes.

Whenever you notice the bedding becoming sodden or wet, make sure to change it. Damp bedding can lead to health issues and is quite disliked by the pet as well. Therefore, if you are wondering how to make a guinea pig happy, provide them dry and clean bedding to make them feel comfortable. Also, avoid wire bottom cages as they can cause various diseases like bumblefoot.

11. Provide your guinea pig with toys

Guinea pigs love to play with toys. A huge variety of toys are available in the market these days. However, while buying any toy, the top concern should be safety. Many commercial toys can break and leave behind small pieces that your pet could choke on. Only add large toys inside the cage that the pig cannot swallow. 

Wooden dowels or blocks are great choices as guinea pigs can chew on them. The teeth of a guinea pig don’t stop growing and chewing on toys helps to gnaw the teeth to a length that is comfortable for them. A tunnel is another great option for their cage as your pet would run through as well as sleep in the tunnel.

You can also make hiding spots for your pet as they can be quite shy and enjoy hiding under things. Tunnels and hiding spots help them feel safer and comforted. You can either buy it from a pet store or make one at home.

Those with a soft corner for DIY can build your pet a toy at home. Here are some quick ideas:

·      Crumple a piece of paper to make a ball and let your pet play with it when it is out of the cage. The pig will enjoy the rustling noises made by the paper.

·      Make a stylish pillow using an old sock stuffed with animal bedding material. Tie it on one side using a hose and cut off the other end till it resembles a pillow. Your pet will enjoy chewing on it for hours.

·      Hang apples or carrots on strings in different parts of the cage to let them have fun while enjoying some healthy treats.

12. Regular Checkups

Besides making sure your meet all the above-mentioned ideas, another important point is to get regular checkups for your pets by VETs. Make sure to take your pets to see their VET once or twice a year or as required. This is the best way to prevent any serious illness from happening.

Now you must have understood how to make a guinea pig happy and keep it entertained. All you need to do is provide them with a lots of activities, healthy food, and tons of love and care. Guinea pigs are curious, intelligent, quick, and adorable. Nurture them with companionship, affection, and of course, lots of treats.

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