The Basics of Guinea Pig Care

For the right family, a guinea pig can make the perfect pet. If you don’t want the more typical dog or cat, you may consider getting one. Make sure you’re aware of the basic care requirements, though. Learn more here from an Oakville veterinarian.

Personality

Most guinea pigs are very sociable, friendly, curious little creatures. If properly socialized, a guinea pig shouldn’t bite, although they may try to nibble on fingers. If you spend enough time with a pig, they’ll get used to your presence and being handled. Ask your vet for a demonstration of the right way to pick up and hold a guinea.

Generally, guinea pigs live anywhere from five to seven years. Make sure your family is ready for this commitment, and ensure that children understand that the pet may not be around forever.

Diet Requirements

The bulk of a guinea pig’s diet is made up of pellet feed, which is widely available at retail stores, pet supply shops, and veterinarian’s offices. In addition, pigs need a regimen of fresh fruits and veggies. Their bodies can’t manufacture vitamin C, so it needs to be provided through fruits and greens. Consult your veterinarian to find out what sort of fruits will work best.

Housing

Most pigs will be perfectly happy in a solid-bottom cage with a wire siding. Wire or mesh floors will hurt your pig’s feet, so avoid them. The cage will need to be lined with hardwood shavings, grass hay, or a combination of both. Consult your vet to find out more about the items your pet will need, including a water bottle, food dish, and hiding spots.

You may even consider housing two pigs in the same cage, since they are so social. It’s best to put two females together—two males might fight, and a male and female will probably produce a litter of baby pigs!

Ask your Oakville veterinarian for more information about basic guinea pig care. Working together, you can determine if a guinea pig is the right choice for you and your family!