Newest Review: ... had them as a pair rather than a single animal. Living Quarters ~ The beauty of these small pets is that they can be housed both indo... more
Gorgeous little bundles of joy!
Author Name: WackoStepho
Advantages: Lovable, friendly, rarely bite
Disadvantages: Do require space and run time, need vegetables daily which could be expensive
I'm quite new to keeping Guinea Pigs but decided to take the plunge in October 2009. I am now the proud owner of two rex cross boars who will be celebrating their first birthday in September!
After my cat and parrot had to be put to sleep within months of each other I wanted some more pets but something different so as not to replace the ones I'd lost. My friend has had guinea pigs and rabbits for years and I'd always loved guineas especially, I was attracted to their loving nature. So I began researching online and read that they made great pets for adults and children alike, it was after this that I decided to get mine.
I have discovered that guineas make fabulous little pets who rarely bite. They're such adorable little things but although they do make great pets for children I'd still recommend adult supervision.
For two guinea pigs the minimum amount of space they need is around 7.5 sq ft, the cages you see in pet shops really aren't big enough. As well as their hutch/cage, guineas do require exercise every day. Mine are content for at least two hours in their run per day. Although mine prefer to nibble on their veggies than run around!
When keeping guinea pigs as pets you must have two! Guineas are very social animals and like the company, they may become depressed if housed on their own. They are also a long-term commitment with an expected life span of 5-7 years, it's been known for guineas to live to ten years or longer.
When you first get your pigs it's usual for them to be a bit nervous at first, it took mine a few days to settle in and even longer to become used to people. With regular handling they become very tame little chaps and although I've had a few nibbled fingers in the past I've never been properly bitten.
When feeding your guinea pigs you must feed them on a food with added vitamin C as they are unable to make their own. Fresh hay must also be available at all times, this is natural roughage for your guinea and will also help to keep their teeth from overgrowing, it's a staple of their diet.
You should offer your guinea pigs a selection of fresh vegetables and some fruit daily, although take care when introducing new foods as this could give your pig a tummy upset if he's not used to it. Leafy greens should be the bulk of the vegetables, good choices include:
* turnip greens,
* romaine lettuce,
* dandelion greens.
Avoid or limit cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, collards, pok choy as they can lead to gas production in the digestive tract. You should also avoid starchy vegetables like potatoes. Carrots, carrot tops, green and red bell peppers, apple, apricots, bananas, blueberries, cantaloupe, grapes, oranges, strawberries, and tomatoes can also be fed. My boys adore parsley especially.
I wouldn't be without my two boys now. But remember, they will need their nails trimmed regularly as well as baths, flea treatment etc. Don't forget to also keep an eye on your pigs teeth as they can become overgrown and cause problems, always give them something to chew on. Mine love to chew on cardboard and wood.
I would recommend them as pets, they're gorgeous creatures but do require looking after. If you look after them right they will become your friend for years to come.
Summary: I wouldn't be without mine. :)
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