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Caring for your Guinea Pig

Feeding: We recommend Oxbow Guinea Pig pellets or any guinea pig specific Timothy-based pellet. Pellets should only be fed once a day. 90% of the diet is Timothy Hay. Other hays (Orchard, Meadow) are more of a treat hay but a good addition to the Timothy Hay. Fresh hay should be provided consistently throughout the day.

Fruits/Vegs list:

Vitamin C: There are several forms and it really depends on what your piggy likes. Oasis Vita C drops go into their water, Child’s Life Vitamin C is given orally with a syringe, Oxbow Natural Science Vitamin C is like a cookie.

Bedding: CareFresh (or any paper bedding), fleece or towels are the best options. Do NOT use  any type of wooden shavings or bedding as it can lead to respiratory issues, splinters, and bumblefoot. Underneath your preferred bedding we suggest using a puppy pad so that the bottom of the cage stays more sanitary.

Cages: A cage should be at least 2'x4' but preferably bigger. Do NOT use a fish tank, a hamster cage, a rat cage, a ferret nation, a critter nation, or anything that is enclosed it glass or plexiglass. Guinea pigs need air circulation.

Cage Cleaning: Cages should be cleaned every 3-4 days, depending on how messy your piggy is. Once a month, there should also be a thorough cleaning of the cage and everything in it.

Water Bottles: These should be cleaned daily. Use a Q-tip to clean the nozzle and a bottle brush to clean the bottle. Sediment builds up quickly as piggies tend to backwash when drinking.

Piggy Cleaning: Unscented baby wipes can be used to wipe down piggy bums and bellies. If a bath is necessary, we suggest OGX Coconut Milk Shampoo. Wash the piggy from the waist down and be extremely careful not to get water on their faces as they can aspirate. Rinse well with warm water. Dry with a towel. Piggies do not normally get baths except in case of peeing on themselves, hair matting, or poop stuck in the bum area. You can always trim a half circle around the bum area to help lessen the amount of poop stuck in the hair.

Mite Prevention / Treatment: Revolution for Kittens can be used on the back of their necks. The Revolution is prescription only so you must go to a vet for this.

Teeth: Guinea pig’s teeth never stop growing. They require hard things to chew on.

NO: No balls, wheels, harnesses, or leashes. Piggies are not meant for these. No yogurt drops - piggies are lactose intolerant. No starches - their bodies cannot digest it properly. No seeds - they are a choking hazard.

Nails: Clipping nails is fairly easy as long as you don’t cut into the quick. If needed, you can always file down the points with an emory board. If you happen to cut into the quick, they may bleed but you can use a Styptic Pencil, Bleed Stop, or (in an pinch) flour or cornstarch to stop the bleeding. It generally does not hurt them but it will make a mess. We check nails weekly and offer nail service and instruction at no cost.

Guinea Pigs of New England” is our group on Facebook. Please join us there to ask any questions about piggies. If at any point you think your piggy could be ill, please call us immediately or take them to the vet. Don’t take chances on your piggie’s health and well-being.

More questions? Feel free to ask our

Vet Coordinator

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