Are you looking for a small, cute pet that is lots of fun but is easy to care for? A Guinea pig may be the perfect choice for you. These adorable little furballs, also known as cavies, can make very charming pets! A local McHenry, IL veterinarian goes over some basics of Guinea pig care in this article.
Making sure your pet has a comfy cage is very important. For one cavy, you’ll need a cage that is at least 7.5 square feet. If you have more than one cavy, you’ll need an even bigger cage. Choose a cage that offers plenty of ventilation, such as a wire cage. Once you’ve picked out your little buddy’s home, you’ll need to add a suitable substrate, such as aspen or a fleece blanket. Your furry pal will also need a cozy hidey-hole, food dishes, and a water bottle. Cavies can be litter-box trained, so get a litter pan as well.
A proper diet is crucial to your cavy’s health. Grass hay, such as Timothy hay, is very good for cavies. Make sure to give your little furball plenty of fresh, quality hay. Your tiny buddy can have commercial food for his main meals. You’ll want to supplement these things with fresh produce. Guinea pigs must have Vitamin C in their diets, so make sure to give your pet plenty of foods that contain this essential vitamin. Some safe foods include carrots, cilantro, and sweet green peppers. Not all fruits and veggies are safe for Guinea pigs, so always research a new food before giving it to your pet. Ask your vet for specific recommendations.
Cavies are very playful, so be sure to provide your little furball with plenty of fun toys, including lots of chewable playthings. Cardboard, wood, paper, wicker, and straw items can all make great cavy toys. For a cheap and easy DIY toy, simply stuff some hay into the cardboard tube from a toilet paper roll. Voila! Just be sure to put your pet’s safety first. Avoid toys with small pieces or sharp edges, as these could choke or hurt your cavy. You’ll also want to stay away from toys that have been coated with toxic paint, stain, or varnish.
Do you have any questions about caring for a cavy? We can help! Contact us, your McHenry, IL vet clinic, anytime.