Guinea Pig Care Mistakes

Did you know that today is Pig Day? While this honorary holiday may have been meant for porcines, there’s no reason that Guinea pigs can’t join in on the fun. These little furballs—also called cavies—are very cute and fun little pets, and are very popular children’s pets. However, like any other animal, they are susceptible to illness and injury, and need good care to thrive. Read on as a local Michigan City, IN vet lists a few common cavy care mistakes.

Having Only One

Guinea pigs are very sociable creatures. In the wild, they are always with their families, and are rarely, if ever, left alone. In fact, it’s illegal in Switzerland to have just one. Of course, you only want to house same-sex ones together. Otherwise, you may end up with a herd! (That’s the official term for a group of Guinea pigs.)

Small Cage

Guinea pigs often end up in cages that are more appropriate for these smaller pets, like gerbils or hamsters. For one cavy, we would recommend having a cage that’s at least ten square feet. If you have more than one furball, you’ll need a bigger cage. If you want to give your pets extra room without sacrificing more floor space, opt for a multi-level cage.

Improper Substrate

Did you know that pine and cedar substrates are actually toxic to small pets? Many pocket pets are allergic to the oils in them. Paper-based products are usually a good option. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Not Enough Chew Toys

Guinea pigs have open-rooted teeth, which means that their little choppers never stop growing. Your pint-sized pal will need plenty of things to nibble on. Fortunately, you don’t have to spend a fortune on this. You can make lots of cute cavy toys out of common household items, like paper and cardboard. Just be sure to avoid anything small, sharp, or toxic. Ask your vet for more information.

Poor Diet

Vitamin C is crucial for cavies. If your furry friends don’t get enough of it, they could develop scurvy. Your Guinea pigs’ diet should contain lots of fresh produce. However, not all fruits and veggies are safe for these little guys. Plus, many things are only safe if fed occasionally. Ask your vet for recommendations.

Do you have questions about Guinea pig care? Contact us, your Michigan City, IN veterinary clinic, today!

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