Introduction: How to Take Care of Guinea Pigs
I have three guinea pigs. They're full of personality and they are a lot of fun. They are also are a lot of responsibility. First, I'll introduce you to my three guinea pigs. There is Shadow. He is all black and shy. There is Fluffy (my little brother named him). Fluffy is a shiny, rust color with a splotch of white on his head. Fluffy and Shadow are inseperable. Jovi (named after Jon Bon Jovi) is the spunky one. He never hides and he will eat and play with everything. He is also rust colored. We got them from a dingy, little, family owned pet store. They all came from different families that didn't want them. I could never imagine how some one could not want one of these guys. They're adorable!
Step 1: Buying a Guinea Pig
You can buy a guinea pig from any pet store. It's hard to raise a newborn. They aren't hardy and can die easily. You shouldn't buy just one. They are like humans and they can get lonely. It's easiest to get two or three from the same litter. My three guys are from three different litters and there is still tension in between Shadow and Jovi. Try to go to your local pet store and find your guinea pigs when they are at least one month old. Make sure that you have a cage set for them when they come home.
Step 2: Setting Up a Cage
A cage is your guinea pigs' home so it shouldn't be boring and plain. You can get a plastic castle for them to hide in, some cardboard tunnels to through and chew on, some toys like rope balls or thin wood toys, and wood chewing blocks for your pigs to grind their teeth down. There should also be about an inch of litter in the bottom of the cage. I don't really have a prefrence to which kind of litter. There is crinkle cut paper, thin wood shavings, and soft bedding. They all work fine. You should be cleaning out the cage at least once a week. If it is really dirty or smelly by all means clean it out. It isn't heathy for your guina pigs to be living in a super dirty enviornment. Cleaning the cage means that you through away all the litter and clean their castle and other things. To wash it out use Nature's Miracle Cage Cleaner or any other pet friendly cleaner. Nothing like Windex or Scrubbing Bubbles.
Step 3: Food for Your Guinea Pigs
Like all other animals, your guinea pigs need different foods. Hay is their source of nutrition. Whenever they run out be sure to replace it. The should always have hay available. You also should have a small dish of guinea pigs food. It's just like kibble. They don't really eat this as much as they eat the hay. Guinea pigs also love treats. Some nice treats for guinea pigs are dried papaya bites, carrots, grapes (without seeds), and sunflower seeds (these are Jovi's favorite). Those are only a couple of them. They should have a lot of other choices at your local Petco, Petsmart, or other pet stores. You can give each guinea pig one to three a day. There should be a full water bottle in their cage too.
Step 4: Playing With Your Guinea Pigs
Guinea pigs need to be let out of their cage to play. You can either have a play pen or a space where there isn't anywhere to hide under or escape through. There shouldn't be any little pieces to things that your guinea pigs could eat, so sweeping the area first is a good idea. As long as you don't put fertalizer on your lawn or yard, your guinea pigs can go out side. Eating the grass won't hurt them as long as there aren't any pestasides or fertalizers.