Guinea Pigs As Pets: How to Raise Healthy, Happy Guinea Pigs

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If you have ever considered raising guinea pigs as pets, you are not alone. Many are attracted to the idea of ​​having guinea pigs as pets, mainly due to their cuteness. Not only that, they're actually one of the easiest pets to own. But even they will need some attention for both their health and safety. As with all pets, being a responsible owner is always important.

Before you go to your local pet store and bring home a guinea pig, you should educate yourself on some of the basic requirements for taking care of a guinea pig. Even though they are popular as pets, finding all the guinea pig information in advance will help you and your new pet enjoy a long and happy life together. There is a lot of info on guinea pigs that's available today, and you'd be wise to gather all the information on guinea pigs you can before bringing one home as a pet.

By finding as much information as possible, and then apply it, you are showing that they're more than just a pet, they're a living, breathing animal. The following are some general responsibilities necessary to properly care of guinea pig pets:

Their Nails

To begin with, just as it's with humans, their nails are growing and must be trimmed from time to time. If not, they'll be too long and will be painful for your pet. However, instead of using nail clippers as you do for yourself, using bricks, rough stones, rocks or other rough surfaces for your guinea pig to walk on enabling them to naturally keep their nails short. Make sure that whatever you choose will have no holes that they might get done in.

If you decide to trim their nails with nail clippers, ensure you do not cut them too short. If you do snip them too close, you could hit the blood vessels located at the top of the nail. This is usually referred to as 'the quick'. You can easily see this area because the nails are generally clear in color and the area containing the blood is pink in color. However, there are certain breeds who's nails are darker. If so, it'll be difficult to see where the blood vessel in the nail lies.

If the nails are clear, cut just above the pink area. If the nails are dark to black, you would be better to trim them more often and not let them get too far grown in order to ensure that you do not cut into the blood vessel area.

If you cut the 'quick', they'll bleed. To stop the bleeding, many pet shops sell 'Quick Stop' to stop the bleeding. If you do not have this handy, iodine will work.

Of course, until your pet is used to this routine, they're probably squirm a bit. If you have someone to help hold them steady while trimming their nails, this will make the job much easier and minimize cutting too deeply. Wrap your guinea pig in a towel so that their feet stick out and have the person helping you hold them still.

If there is no one to help, another way to trim their nails is to place them on a tennis racket so that the toe nails are sticking out the other side of the rack. Make sure to cover them with something warm to keep them calm.

The Teeth

Without exception, most rodents have teeth that grow continuously. You must ensure that your guinea pig's two front teeth do not grow too long. If this happens, they'll not be able to chew their food. Should this be the case, take them to the vet and have their teeth cut shorter.

Other ways to help them keep their teeth short is by providing a hard surface for them to chew on. They are natural chewers and this will help to keep their teeth from getting too long. Items such as hay cubes, toilet paper cores, or old stale bread will provide them with something to chew on to keep their teeth short. You will want to provide these items to keep your pet from chewing on objects that may harm them, such as their wire cage or nesting box.

It is also a good idea to perform a regular inspection of their teeth to make sure nothing is cracked or broken. Broken teeth can result in them suffering pain or discomfort as a result. If you find chipped or broken teeth, contact your veterinarian as to what should be done to correct this problem.

Brushing

Another aspect of the regular care of your new pet is to keep their hair clean, shiny and healthy. A way to do this is with regular brushing. If the length of their hair is long, you will need to brush them daily. If their hair is short, a few times a week should be enough.

A type of hair brush that works well is a baby's brush. The brushes are often soft and gentle and will not be too hard on their scalp. If your guinea pig has long hair, a metal grayhound comb will easily remove any tangles. Regular brushing will remove excess hair, especially during the shedding season.

Bathes

Without they get dirty, it is not necessary to give them a bath. In fact, guinea pigs do not much like a bath, no matter what! They can become stressed when placed in water, and it has been known to lower their immune system as well. Guinea pigs can go their whole lives without ever needing a bath. So, unless directed by your veterinarian, it's not necessary to give them a bath.

If it becomes necessary, make sure you use a shampoo that's gentle to their skin. You can use shampoos that are made for kittens or babies. It's also wise to stay away from any shampoo that's medicated without designed by the vet.

Well, there you are! By first learn everything about guinea pigs and then applying the guinea pig info listed above, you and your new pet will have a long and healthy life together!

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Source by DP Brown

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