In this video, we will talk about 15 common mistakes that guinea pig owners unknowingly make when they are caring for their guinea pigs
The wrong diet
A guinea pig’s digestive system is very sensitive.
Guinea pigs should have a constant, unlimited supply of high-quality hay, such as Timothy and orchard hay, to graze on throughout the day.
Hay is critical not only to help wear down their continuously growing teeth, but also to keep their digestive system healthy.
It is important to remember that guinea pigs cannot make their own vitamin C, so they require vitamin C-rich foods in their daily diet. Without vitamin C, guinea pigs can become very ill with scurvy.
A dirty or smelly living space
Maintaining a clean environment is vital to your guinea pig’s health. Dirty, smelly homes will create mental and physical health problems for your pet.
Feeding them too many fruits
Fruit is also high in sugar. Feeding too much high sugar content may lead to obesity and an imbalance of intestinal bacteria and may cause serious and potentially life-threatening diarrhea.
Keep in mind that some vegetables and fruits such as avocados, mushrooms, rhubarb, and garlic, onions are unsafe for piggies and should be avoided. Fruit seeds should also be avoided. Grass clippings from your lawn are also a serious health risk.
Poorly set up housing
Guinea pigs need well-ventilated living space; this means no aquarium-types.
Hard or wire flooring can cause discomfort and damage to guinea pigs’ feet with a condition called Bumblefoot, so provide an enclosure that has solid floor with bedding or blankets in place.
Suitable options for bedding include soft grass hay, fleece fabric, and shredded paper. Sawdust can cause respiratory issues and should be avoided.
Exercise balls and wheels
Wheels and exercise balls are deadly for guinea pigs.
Guinea pigs have a different anatomy, and they can badly injure their backs with a wheel or an exercise ball. On top of that, there may not be enough ventilation in exercise balls for your guinea pig’s comfort.
Guinea pigs are known to be very clean animals who groom themselves often. Therefore, they rarely need to a bath. These animals also have sensitive skin and unnecessary baths may result in dry fur coats and skin.
Poor handling includes chasing a guinea pig around their living space with your hands, not supporting their abdomen while holding them, and allowing children unsupervised playtime with guinea pigs.
You can get your guinea pigs used to you by hand-feeding them.
Guinea pigs are very vulnerable to heat. Piggies cannot sweat because they have no sweat glands. If it gets hotter than 80 degrees Fahrenheit, your pet could get heatstroke. With high humidity, heatstroke can happen even at lower temperatures.
It is advisable to keep your guinea pig in a ventilated room, but do not to aim a fan directly at your little pet.
Lack of attention
Guinea pigs are prey animals, so they instinctively hide signs of pain and illness to avoid attracting predators’ attention.
Unfortunately though, this also means that it’s very difficult for guinea pig owners to tell if their pet is sick. Any change in their posture, eating, grooming, urination habits, or even increased aggression or a lack of energy, can be a sign of illness.
Not enough space to exercise
Although guinea pigs are small, they need plenty of room to exercise, explore tunnels, and play hide and seek. This is because their bodies are built to run and jump around. Be sure to provide them an environment as large as possible.
Free-roaming them in an unsafe place
An unsafe place is any space you haven’t guinea pig-proofed. This means any area with toxins, accessible power cords, sharp objects, toxic plants, and rooms with other pets such as cats or dogs. Some rooms such as bathrooms and garages should be off-limits to your pet because they often contain toxic chemicals and cleaning products that may be hazardous to your little pet.
Keeping them outside
The outdoors are full of dangers for guinea pigs.
There are predators like owls, stray cats or dogs who want to eat your little pet.
And remember, outdoor guinea pigs may also face extreme weather conditions which lead to heatstroke.
Keeping their enclosure in a high traffic environment
As prey animals, Guinea pigs can be prone to stress, so their enclosure should be placed in an area where there isn’t a lot of noise or traffic. Like where there aren’t many people and young children constantly walking around.
Yelling at them
Yelling is another thing you should never do to your guinea pig. Piggies don’t understand the word “No”. When you yell at your pet, you’re just frightening them.
Lack of socialization
Guinea pigs are very social animals, and they need constant companionship.
Ideally guinea pigs should be kept in pairs.
The footage at 3:32 is from Skinnypigs1 channel.
Licensed under Creative Commons