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Adopt a Rescued Guinea Pig

March is Adopt A Rescued Guinea Pig Month! These charming little furballs make really wonderful pets. Read on as a local Matthews, NC vet talks about Guinea pigs, also known as cavies.

Basics

Originally from the Andes, Guinea pigs have been domesticated since about 5000 BC. They are quite easy to care for, which is one reason they are such popular children’s pets. Friendly and playful, cavies are very sociable, and tend to do best when they have a buddy or two to play with and snuggle up to. They are also quite smart, and can even learn some simple tricks, like coming when called or turning in circles.

Temperament

Guinea pigs are typically very timid and gentle, as long as they have been properly socialized and are handled correctly. In fact, many of these guys are quite cuddly, and will even sleep on their humans’ laps!

Habitat

Your pet cavy will need a roomy, comfortable cage. For one Guinea pig, we recommend getting a cage that is at least 7.5 square feet. Of course, the more furballs you get, the more room you’ll need. One way to give your little buddy extra room without taking up more floor space is to get a cage with more than one story. Pick one with an enclosed ramp for access.

Accessories

Once you’ve chosen a cage, you’ll need to add a good substrate. Fleece blankets are fine. You can also use paper products. Avoid anything made from pine or cedar, as they aren’t safe for small animals. Your Guinea pig will also appreciate having some hiding places, such as little tents. Dishes and a good water bottle are also a must. Finally, be sure to include lots of toys, including plenty of suitable chew toys.

Food

A proper diet is an important part of any good pet care regimen. Guinea pigs are no exception! You can give your pint-sized pal commercial food for their main meals. This should be supplemented with plenty of grass hay. Your cavy will also need fresh produce. Include lots of foods that contain Vitamin C, which is crucial for these cute furballs. Ask your vet for specific nutritional advice, including portion sizes, safe and unsafe foods, and snack suggestions.

Please contact us with any questions or concerns about Guinea pig care. As your local Matthews, NC vet clinic, we’re here to help!

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