Congratulations, it’s a boy, oh wait, it’s a girl?! You’re now the proud parent of a young guinea pig! Being a new parent can be stressful, but don’t worry, you’ll be just fine. There are no diaper changes, 3 am feedings, or parent-teacher conferences involved.
Do you know what your new bundle of joy needs for care? Have you purchased a bigger house so your guinea pig can have its own bathroom and bedroom? Luckily, a guinea pig doesn’t need an entire home to itself, your bank account will thank you!
Care: Do you know what your new bundle of joy needs for care? Have you purchased a bigger house so your guinea pig can have its own bathroom and bedroom? Luckily, a guinea pig doesn’t need an entire home to itself, your bank account will thank you! Check out Guinea Pig Hub for more helpful information on guinea pig care.
Housing: Your new guinea pig needs a proper cage; nothing too small! A guinea pig needs to roam free and stretch those tiny legs. Make sure there’s Carefresh bedding or layers of fabric, such as fleece, with newspaper underneath that lines the bottom of the cage. Wood shavings can irritate your guinea pig’s feet, causing blisters and cuts.
Bedding: Just like a baby diaper, your guinea pig will need a changing too! Luckily, a guinea pig changing just consists of replacing their soiled bedding on a regular basis. Guinea pigs poop and potty a lot, so be sure to keep an eye on the bedding. If the bedding isn’t changed regularly, a guinea pig can become very ill. Change that bedding!
Food: Young guinea pigs need more calcium than adult guinea pigs, so that they can grow strong bones. A diet should consist of guinea pig chow, fresh fruits and veggies, and water, complete with a Timothy Hay buffet, 24/7. Reread Essential Foods for Guinea Pigs!
Vitamin C: A young guinea pig is more likely to suffer from a Vitamin C deficiency than older guinea pigs. Make sure you give your young guinea pig fruits and veggies rich in Vitamin C. Be careful with the fruits; lots of sweet fruits can cause diabetes in guinea pigs!
Health: A healthy guinea pig is a happy guinea pig! If your guinea pig isn’t happy, you’ll be notified with loud wheeks, squeaks, or a guinea pig that hides and is depressed.
Baby Proofing: Just like with human babies, you should baby-proof just about the entire home for a young guinea pig. Young guinea pigs can get into a lot of trouble. They’re also quick and hard to catch!
Inspection: Look at the cage for harmful things such as sharp corners, dented bars, holes in the cage, bars too far apart, etc. Any furnishings that you put in your young guinea pig’s cage, inspect them to make sure they are safe! Pigloo’s, food dishes, water bottles, toys; the list goes on.
Escape: Do you have a little escape artist on your hands? Guinea pigs are excellent at escaping areas they want to get out of. If don’t want to wake up in the morning with little guinea pig poo pellets in your shoes, make sure the cage is escape proof. Carefully inspect the cage; guinea pigs love to chew and will chew their way to freedom if not watched. Take a look at Baby Proofing Ideas to help you stay ahead of the young guinea pig!
Toys: Your guinea pig will want to explore its new surroundings once it adapts. Bring in a few toys to help your guinea pig to adapt and explore, not to mention, it’s cute to watch them play! A simple toy could be a paper towel or toilet paper tube, stuffed with timothy hay. Keep your young guinea pig active both physically and emotionally!
Bonding: It’s very important that you, as a parent, bond with your young guinea pig. A solo guinea pig requires extra attention than two guinea pigs due to the social nature of these animals. Also, the more your guinea pig is handled, the easier it is to pick them up and love on them!
As a new guinea pig parent, you’ll be so enthralled with cuteness, that you won’t sweat the small stuff. Your young guinea pig will bring you many years of happiness, fun, and love. Enjoy your new baby!
If you plan to adopt a young guinea pig as a pet, please do your research before making this important step. Any pet is a responsibility that you must undertake, your pet deserves the best care possible.
Written by Nikki Harbeston, Creative Stuff, for LAA Pet Talk. She resides in South Carolina with her husband and dog. Her blog features Diary of a Chubby Piggie and Into the Journey of Dog. Copyright August 2013-March 2014.
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