Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Secrets to a Guinea Pig's Long Life

  1. How can you ensure your piggy will live a long, happy life? Here are some top tips.

    Find a vet. Many vets will see guinea pigs, but finding one that specializes in guinea pigs will help your guinea pig out in the long run. A guinea pig and exotic specialized vet may be able to detect illnesses more efficiently than a regular vet.
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    Make sure to have all the essentials for looking after your guinea pig. Do not forget a place to hide.
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    Provide at least 10 square feet of living space for two guinea pigs, this can prevent impaction in males, fighting between guinea pigs, and reduces the risks of bloat, obesity, and gas buildup by providing adequate room to exercise. If you find that your guinea pigs are fighting, then separate them with something like a wire shelf, which allows them to see and smell each other, but prevents them from fighting.

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    Do not allow females to become pregnant. Pregnancy and especially birthing is hard on females and one in five females that is bred will die as a result of complications during pregnancy or birth, or as a result of toxemia after birth.
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    Keep guinea pigs in same sex or already spayed/neutered pairs. Guinea pigs are social animals and are happy living with compatible guinea pigs of either the same sex or spayed/neutered. Living in pairs also encourages exercise which promotes good blood flow and greatly reduces the risk of obesity which takes a toll on the joints, impaction, and bloat or gas buildup.
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    Buy Oxbow or Kleenmama's Hayloft guinea pig food (Timothy hay based for guinea pigs six months and older, and alfalfa based for guinea pigs under six months). Look for a food enhanced with Vitamin C, as Guinea pigs can't make it themselves.
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    Keep your pet in a comfortable temperature range. Guinea pigs can't stand high temperatures, drops or increases.
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    Change bedding regularly. The more your guinea pig is living in it's own feces, the worse their health is going to be.
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    Wash your hands before and after you play with your guinea pig. This will decrease the amount of germs transmitted between you and your guinea pig.
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    Provide fresh, preferably organic, well washed (you can use a commercial vegetable wash or water and vinegar mix, rinse well after) leafy greens. These include green leaf lettuce, escarole, red leaf lettuce, cilantro, and curly endive.
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    Constantly check for any injuries. Older guinea pigs sometimes have a problem under their feet. If this happens, see a vet and get softer bedding or spread out a soft cloth for it. Observe your guinea pig actions. If anything seems wrong, take it to the vet. Don't take too long or a small infection can turn bigger.

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