Visits to a vet are not frequent. Guinea pigs don’t need any vaccinations. If it catches a cold, it’s not a big problem. The pig will have a runny nose and will sneeze for a few days. When your pig has a cold, keep windows closed and take care of proper heating.
Guinea pigs are quite healthy animals, but if you notice any worrying changes, it is necessary to go to a vet.
Things that Should Worry You
Changes in the pet’s behaviour, for example: it’s apathetic and stays in its house most of the time;
– Diarrhoea or no feces;
– Skin changes: rashes, growths, spots;
– Poor appetite – too long teeth might be the reason. Rodents’ teeth grow continuously throughout their lives – guinea pigs should have teething toys in order to systematically wipe the teeth off. Sometimes vet’s intervention is needed, only the doctor can trim teeth;
– Green or/and stinking water in the water bottle. Fungi or algae may be the reason. You may exchange equipment and wash the cage. If it doesn’t help, you should go to the a vet with the pig and contaminated water. The vet may want to do water analysis;
– Scratching. Pigs don’t scratch themselves very often. If the piglet scratches much more than it used to, it can be caused by parasites.
You shouldn’t give your pet any medications on your own initiative, it may cause more harm than good.
Guinea pigs don’t get sick too often, and when you take your pet to the vet quickly, it will get better soon. It’s good to know where a 24 hour vet is – in your town, although I’ve never need it, and I’ve had lots of guinea pigs in my life (including two unexpected births).
Each pig has its own preferences… the majority likes to be petted behind the ears(they have bare skin there), some on the nose, other on the back, the head or the chin. They don’t like touching the tummy and it is better not to touch their paws.
They love juicy food (fresh vegetables and fruits), but they shouldn’t eat too much of it. Some pigs love milk – however, remember that adult mammals should not drink milk. Some pigs like tea with lemon and sugar (unfortunately), what is also forbidden, although you can give your pig a little bit of tea from time to time. Dill is one of the most favourite guinea pig treats. I haven’t met a piggy, which doesn’t love it.
Guinea pigs enjoy walking around the flat. Their curiosity about world will lead them everywhere, also into places rather dangerous for them. Touring the space under the bathtub or corners behind wardrobes is highly inadvisable. A smart piggy, which is able to leave the cage on its own, will find “its places” at home. When a piggy hides there, it’s almost impossible to find it. Your pig will come out when it wants to.
You can also make a paddock outside – use a metal fence and remember to cover the top of it (rodents are food for many birds). The paddock must be really reliable. If it is made from a string, the piggy may bite it through and go for a walk.
The best way is adopting a piggy from a shelter. It’s the best way to get any pets Shelters are run by real enthusiasts of animals, what guarantee, that we will get a healthy pig without the surprise inside :).
In some pet shops, pigs are treated like an object – like any other article in the shop. Before you buy a pig in a pet shop, make sure that the seller has basic knowledge about them. We should be given information about feeding, care, and the most important thing – the seller has to know how to tell the sex of a guinea pig. Don’t believe it’s difficult, it’s not true (on our website: PHYSIQUE – How to determine gender?). Moreover, in bad pet shops pigs of both sexes are kept together too long, and when you choose a female piggy, it is possible to get a pregnant one. Before buying a pig, choose a good pet shop.
We don’t advise buying guinea pigs in a street market, because they usually come from uncontrolled breeding. These pigs are more often ill and they aren’t provided with neither a vet care, nor a well-balanced diet. There is a high probability that you buy a pregnant pig.
Nowadays, such breeding facilities are liquidated, often successfully. However, there are people who don’t care about animals they breed. Buying guinea pigs from this kind of breeders is, in my opinion a kind of animal abuse. Pets should not be bred in such conditions.