Some good advice and basic information to remember for new guinea pig owners…
1. Guinea pigs need company! They are naturally herd animals and do best when they have a friends. A pair of males or a pair of females is a great option.
2. Keep them indoors, they will become more naturally accustomed to human goings-on, helping them become tame quicker. Also less risk from bad weather/wild animals!
3. Give them the biggest cage you can, I recommend C&C cages, they made so much difference to me and my piggies. If you are desperate to bring your new guinea pigs home and plan to expand their cage later on, re-plan and give them the added space that they can enjoy as soon as they come to live with you.
4. Timid/shy/scared piggies? Taming takes a long time, sometimes months. Be prepared to take things slowly and eventually they will be the perfect tamed piggies. Watch my video “The Theory Behind Taming Guinea Pigs” for more useful information!
5. Diet! This is such a huge consideration, especially as guinea pigs pretty much eat non-stop! However, the best advice I can give here is to provide fresh hay in abundance 24/7, give a pellet with added vitamin C and provide a variety of fresh vegetables daily. If you are unsure about a vegetable or a plant, google it, as some plants are harmful to piggies.
6. If you are unsure about bedding, try some different ones out and find what suits you most as a cleaner of piggie mess! If you would like to use fleece, it is a good idea to provide litter trays or separate areas for their hay. They will use these areas for the toilet and your fleece won’t get as much hay stuck to it!
7. Floortime: This is a great way to combine stimulation and exercise, and is very important if they don’t have that big a cage. Put out some different toys and tunnels for them, if you use hideys bear in mind that they may pee on the carpet. If you are attempting to litter train them then put out the litter trays from their cage, which will also give them some hay to munch on when they take a break from running around! With young piggies watch them carefully and remove any hazards, they can squeeze into small spaces! Do not use exercise balls for guinea pigs!!!
8. Recommended items to buy for their cage are ceramic food bowls, high quality water bottle that won’t leak, a variety of hidey huts and tunnels, hay racks to keep hay clean and other wooden chews or toys to hang from the cage.
9. Please avoid sugary unhealthy treats! The packaging is designed to attract people to buy them, but your guinea pigs will enjoy healthy snacks like fresh forage, vegetables or simple dried herb treats just as much, probably more, than wacky colourful treats packed with artificial ingredients.
10. Read up on guinea pig healthcare and common health problems they may experience. This will help you to realise when something may be wrong. Also, have an exotics vet who is experienced with guinea pig care in mind for if they ever need medical attention.
I hope you enjoyed my video! Here are some useful links to great websites on various things I talked about, check them out if you want to know more!
Guinea Lynx piggie care guide: http://www.guinealynx.info/healthycavy.html
Space and C&C cages: http://www.guineapigcages.com/
Common mistakes article: http://wymyczak66.hubpages.com/hub/5-Most-Common-Guinea-Pig-Owner-Mistakes
Bringing new piggies home: http://jackiesguineapiggies.com/bringingaguineapighome.html
Diet plus a list of good/bad veggies, still look up something new if you aren’t sure though! http://wheekandsqueak.webs.com/feedingyourguineapig.htm