How to care for a guinea pig

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If you’re thinking about adopting a guinea pig, consider adopting one from the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society! Guinea pigs make great pets, and we want to help prepare you for adopting.

Careful consideration before adopting, including research and planning, plus plenty of love, patience and a sense of humour, will foster a strong and loving relationship that will help you discover the joy of these sweet little animals, and make you friends for life!

Nutrition

A complete daily diet consists of an unlimited supply of Timothy hay, plenty of fresh vegetables, a small amount of guinea pig pellets enriched with vitamin C, and a small portion of fruit. Guinea pigs develop individual food preferences, but some favourites include:

  • Basil
  • Oranges
  • Turnip greens
  • Bell peppers
  • Cantaloupes
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Clover
  • Broccoli
  • Plums

Fresh water is required daily, and is best provided in a sipper bottle on the side of their enclosure.

Health

In addition to good nutrition, guinea pigs benefit greatly from supervised exercise in a well-secured room or yard with no access to cords, wires, stairs or open vents. Provide your pet with toys to play with and a special place to hide.

Their constantly grow which means that chewing items are essential for their dental health. Hay, firm vegetables and non-toxic plastic or wood are great additions to their enclosures for
this purpose.

Males can be neutered by veterinarians who are very familiar with guinea pig surgery. By neutering males you can pair them up with females while preventing unwanted pregnancies. Other pairings that work well are females together and males who were raised together.

Life span

Typically four to eight years. Some guinea pigs may live as long as 10 years!

Check out our full blog for more tips on handling, grooming, behaviour, and things to avoid!

We hope you enjoyed these tips and found them helpful!

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