Guinea Pig Care
Guinea Pigs are a prey species, meaning that sudden movements and loud noises can startle them, and stress them out. I recommend that you handle your guinea pig every day. This should be done gently and on a surface where they cannot get away and hurt themselves. (Ie not on a table or high in a chair) When children are handling the guinea pig, I recommend them sitting on the floor with the animal, and that an adult is supervising. This is just done to make sure the handling isn’t too rough.
The guinea pigs cage should have a flat bottom, and have good air flow from the top. A bed made from paper, or care fresh bedding should be used. The amount depends on you and your guinea pig. It is not uncommon for guinea pigs to shred their bedding, and even make small nests out of it. The cage should be changed at least once a week. The guinea pig should have a hide box; somewhere he can get away from prying eyes, and feel safe. I recommend using a small cardboard box or a guinea pig igloo you can buy at the pet store. Guinea pigs should have quite a bit of feces and urine. If the feces ever changes from the normal feces (little brown firm crescents) it is something to be concerned about. If it is watery that is an emergency. Guinea pigs are very good at hiding when they are sick.
When it comes to what your guinea pig eats, his diet should be mainly hay. Approximately 90% should be hay, and the last 10% can be the pelleted guinea pig diet, and treats. Do not give your guinea pig anything that is high in carbohydrates, even things like fruit and the yogurt treats should be avoided. These things can cause the normal intestinal bacteria to change and make your guinea pig extremely sick. Guinea pigs like a variety of veggies things like kale, cilantro, parsley, carrot tops, green peppers, and pretty much any green leafed veggie (do not give iceberg lettuce, broccoli or cauliflower).
Guinea pigs need a significant amount of vitamin c in their diet. Unfortunately I have seen many cases where the guinea pig was given vitamin c in their water or through their diet and it just wasn’t enough. I recommend giving your pig a quarter tablet of a chewable human vitamin c (500mg) tablet. Most guinea pigs take it as treat, but the first three or four times you may have to place it in his mouth.
You will get to know your guinea pig very well. You will learn what his different vocalizations mean. They can be very expressive. Most guinea pigs like attention and very rarely bite making them good pets. Keep in mind the more bonding you do with your guinea pig the better pet he will be. (This can be the handling, and even hand feeding him his treats.) If your guinea pig ever has signs of being ill (nasal or ocular discharge, not eating, bloating, diarrhea etc) please bring him to a vet.