Guinea pigs are just as popular pets as rats or hamsters. They have a relatively calm disposition, they adapt to the person and lead a daily lifestyle. Therefore, it is not difficult to learn how to care for a guinea pig at home.
Guinea pigs are larger than many domestic rodents, they reach 22-28 centimeters in length and weigh from 850 to 1750 grams. Wild representatives - Cooi pigs are even larger and can weigh more than 2 kilograms.
How to choose a guinea pig, what you need to pay attention to.
Animals can be taken from the mother at the age of 4 or 5 weeks.
Previously, they are still dependent on the mother.
Later, puberty sets in, and if the boys are not jailed, the mother and sisters may suffer.
Wherever you choose a pet, it is important to first examine the mumps. In a healthy pig, the hair is shiny, without bald spots (the skin behind the ears and the back of the paws can be seen), the skin is pink, does not peel off, the behavior is mainly active, willingly takes treats from the owner's hands.
To date, there are many breeds of these cute animals. By type of wool there are 4 categories:
• Wool outlets.
Guinea pigs are social animals, at home they live in same-sex couples or flocks. The best option is to take a same-sex couple from the nursery. Otherwise, a baby 2-3 months old is hooked up to an adult mumps. You can not plant adolescents under the age of 10 months.
Before you add a friend to your pet, first of all, it is necessary to quarantine for a beginner at least 2-3 weeks. This is followed by a first acquaintance in neutral territory. For example, put a blanket or a bedspread in the bathtub, pour some hay and vegetables and leave the pigs there for several hours. The senior pig will drive the younger one - this is normal. The main thing is to prevent fights to blood.
What kind of cage is needed for a guinea pig: size and inventory.
Pigs like to run, so the most important thing when choosing a home is length. The minimum dimensions are 60 centimeters for one pig or 120 centimeters for two pigs. It is allowed to keep one pig during quarantine in a cage with a length of 70-80 cm.
If it is difficult to find such a huge cage, an aviary or shelving is suitable. Guinea pigs categorically do not fit dunes, aquariums, containers or terrariums.
Animals can be walked around the house.
What should be in the home of guinea pigs:
1. Ceramic food bowls.
2. Large volume nipple drinker (minimum 250 ml).
3. Iron sennik. The Sennik ball is dangerous for pigs and other rodents and rabbits!
4. The filler may be a combination of large sawdust, wood pellets + absorbent diapers for animals or a PVC mat.
5. Wide pipes (many breeders use the most common plumbing) or wooden bridges.
6. Beds made of any soft tissue, pigs will sleep on them.
7. You can make a shelter in the form of a house. It should be roomy and have two ways out in case the pigs begin to sort things out in it.
What guinea pigs eat at home.
Guinea pigs food consists of three main components - tasty-smelling hay, vegetables and greens, properly selected food.
1. Hay in the cage should always be! This is necessary for the proper functioning of the digestive system and grinding of teeth. Overgrown teeth interfere with food intake, back teeth grow into the upper jaw, mumps may die.
2. The vegetable component is approximately 10-15% of the weight of the animal and should contain a minimum of 5 species, including greens.
3. Regarding the dosage of store feed, it is usually a tablespoon per pug daily. A good feed should be grass based and free from cereals. Take specialized feeds specifically for Guinea pigs, as they contain the right amount of vitamin C, which they get only from food.
For more information on what guinea pigs eat at home, you can in the article Guinea pig ration.
How to care for a guinea pig and how to cut it at home?
The main task of the owner in the question of how to care for a guinea pig at home is to maintain cleanliness in the home and variably feed the pets. Then there will be no need for additional hair care even for Peruvian pigs. How to cut a guinea pig at home? You can cut with ordinary scissors, the main thing is not to pull the wool so that the pig does not hurt. Some breeders cut their long-haired pigs shortly with a trimmer. This method is not suitable for beginner pig farmers.
Guinea pigs cannot be washed in water. Even if they get dirty. Eliminating the dirt in the cage and cutting long-haired pigs will solve this problem. An exception is chemical contamination, which the animal can poison. If possible, wash the mumps locally at the site of contamination. For more information about the process of washing a guinea pig, see the article Can I wash a guinea pig?
Important! Each owner of a fluffy herd of pigs must be able to cut their claws. In nature, the claws grind naturally. At home, even on any hard surface, it is impossible to achieve the desired effect.
Therefore, do not torment the animal, and about once every 3-4 weeks do this procedure.
To do this, you need a light source to illuminate the claw and find a vessel, special nippers for small animals and snacks (for example, flattened peas) to occupy the mumps. Gradually, the animals cease to be nervous.
How to water a guinea pig with water?
In most cases of illness, the pet will have to give plenty of drinking water. An animal cannot always drink on its own. Therefore, the owner of the guinea pig will have to water the pet. To do this, you need to take a clean syringe without a needle or a pipette, draw warm clean water and pour the animal into the cheek pouch dropwise.
How to feed a sick guinea pig?
Sometimes, for example, due to dental diseases, a guinea pig cannot eat on its own. To solve this problem, you can grind or grind food into porridge by mixing it with water or tea. If the pet refuses the proposed porridge, put it into a syringe without a needle and insert it between the molars and incisors. If you gently press the back of the tongue, it will cause a swallowing reflex and the pig will make a swallowing movement. The main thing here is not to overdo it so that the animal does not choke. Similarly, you can give your pet and medicines.
How to measure the temperature of a guinea pig?
The normal body temperature of a guinea pig varies between 37.2 - 39.5 ° C (according to some sources 37-39 ° C). An increase in the body temperature of the pet to 39.6 ° C and above may indicate a disease.
Veterinarians without special need do not recommend taking temperature measurements in guinea pigs, only if there are obvious suspicions when the combination of signs indicates a pet’s disease: changes in normal behavior, apathetic state, refusal of food and water or severe thirst, the animal clogs into a dark corner, tries hide, etc.
You can not judge the temperature of the body of a guinea pig by palpating the nose - even with an obvious illness, the nose in the animal can remain wet.
In some cases, guinea pigs have hypothermia, that is, a decrease in body temperature. As a rule, this is the result of improper keeping of the animal: reduced air temperature in the room where the cage with the pet is located.
Follow these steps to measure the body temperature of a guinea pig.
1. Prepare a veterinary or medical thermometer (preferably electronic, because it has a narrower tip and the temperature measurement process will be much faster):
- disinfect the thermometer with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol,
- wipe the tip, let it dry
- grease the tip of the thermometer with petroleum jelly.
2. Take the guinea pig in your arms, gently talking to her, pet and calm.
3. Place the animal on a soft surface, such as the knees or the left hand in the supine position, with the tummy up, with the thumb of the left hand slightly pressing on the groin area of the guinea pig.
4. With your right hand, take the prepared thermometer and very carefully insert into the rectum of the pet.
5. The thermometer is introduced in a special way: at first it is held almost vertically, and then it lowers into an almost horizontal position.
It’s not always possible to carry out this procedure on your own and the first time, so you may need an assistant. In order not to injure the anus and the rectum of the animal by forcibly and incorrectly introducing a thermometer, it is better to measure the temperature of a guinea pig for the first time under the supervision of a veterinarian.
Features of guinea pig care for infectious or parasitic diseases
If an animal has an infectious or parasitic disease, the litter in the cell must be changed 2-3 times a day. Once a day, both the cage and the equipment in it should be disinfected using a mild, harmless disinfectant purchased from the pet store.
At the same time, personal hygiene must be strictly observed: after any contact with a sick animal, after cleaning the cage, changing the litter, replacing the water, the owner of the pig should thoroughly wash and disinfect his hands.
Guinea pig inhalation
The common cold, especially in neglected form, poses a considerable threat to the guinea pig. In addition to drugs, veterinary preparations, the animal can be treated with alternative methods. In case of a cold, chamomile inhalation is appropriate - everyone knows the anti-inflammatory and soothing properties of this plant. The broth is prepared like this: per liter of boiling water you need 3-4 tablespoons of chamomile. A container with a hot broth is placed next to the cage (but not inside it), the vapor of which is inhaled by the animal at a distance. Sitting on a chair, a guinea pig can be kept above the bowl with a hot broth, while the pet should be at the level of the knees, and the bowl should be on the floor.
In some diseases, for example, with a cold or joint pain, the veterinarian can prescribe not only medication, but also warming up. To do this, use a red lamp (lamp with a red light). The distance between the guinea pig and the lamp should be approximately one meter. The light of the lamp is directed only to part of the cage with the animal so that the pig can bask on its own under the light and hide if it becomes very hot.
What to do with allergies in guinea pigs?
Allergies can be caused by the smallest amounts of harmful substances, for example, in the litter, and lead to irritation of the nose, eyes, skin and sometimes to inflammation of the paws.
First of all, try to identify the source of allergies. To do this, temporarily remove or change possible allergens from the cage - litter, hay, green food (herbs).
After determining the source of the allergy, pick up a different litter or other food.
In some cases, allergies in guinea pigs may also occur with certain medications or veterinary drugs. In this case, on the recommendation of a veterinarian, such drugs are changed to other drugs with a similar effect.
If a guinea pig is scheduled for surgery
First, follow all the recommendations of the veterinarian who will operate the animal. Usually, on the advice of a specialist, 7-10 days before surgery, guinea pigs are given vitamin C daily.
Approximately 12 hours before the start of the operation, the animal is no longer fed, unless there are special instructions on the time of feeding from the veterinarian
After the guinea pig is brought home after the operation, it needs complete rest, silence and most importantly, warmth (it is best to keep the pet under the lamp).