Urban Farmer’s Almanac – Guinea Pigs

Guinea Pigs - Care and Maintenance

Guinea Pigs – Kings of Cute

Face it, Guinea pigs are the definition of cute.

They make terrific pets from city apartments, to suburban homes to ranch houses on property, but to keep them happy and healthy we need to be aware of their unique make-up and dietary needs.

Guinea pigs are funny little creatures as well as affectionate once they get to know and trust their owners. Making sure they are well-looked after, have interesting environments to live in and regular interaction, helps build up this bond.

Kept as pets the world over, guinea pigs hail from the Andes Mountains and are rodents without tails. They are however, neither pigs nor come from New Guinea. They keep similar hours to humans, being active in the day and less so at night. A typical lifespan of a guinea pig is 4-7 years, with longer lives attributed to healthy diets and consistent care. They are also social creatures that come to trust after a time and can be playful and extremely affectionate.

Guinea pigs (also called Guinea Lynx) have special nutritional needs as their bodies do not synthesize Vitamin C. Making sure they have fresh vegetables rich in vitamin C, as well as pellets containing large doses of Vitamin C especially made for them will help their systems process the vitamin.

Fiber is also critical to their diet. Lots of Timothy Hay, along with high fiber pellets will keep their intestines running smoothly. Guinea pigs are herbivores and need a constantly supply of food, including:

Fruits & Vegetables

  • Fresh leafy greens, such as spinach, parsley and kale
  • Asparagus
  • Cabbage (in moderate amounts due)
  • Pesticide free dandelion greens
  • Oranges
  • Tomatoes

Water

  • A constant source of fresh water is essential.

Pellets

  • When using commercial pellets make sure they are always fresh. Approximately 1/8 cup per day (also check manufacturer’s recommendation for amounts).
  • Feed consistent flavors as guinea pigs can be finicky.
  • Plain, dye free, high quality guinea pig pellets are best. Also look for pellets high in both vitamin C and fiber.

Things to avoid

  • Dried fruit
  • Nuts seeds
  • Dairy
  • Meat products
  • Refined sugars

Coastal has all of your guinea pig habitats, feed and supplies, as well as any number of lovable guinea pigs which would make a wonderful addition to any family.

FUN FACTS

  • Guinea pigs in the wild live in social groups, known as herds. Though, no one’s going to get trampled by a marauding herd of Guinea Pigs…
  • Donkeys can live over 50 years old and are stronger than a horse of equal size.
  • There are 24,000 species of butterflies and they are found on every continent in the world…except Antarctica. But really, can you blame them for not wanting to go there…?
  • We spend an average of 4 hours per week taking care of our lawns. That adds up to an average of 208 hours per year, or over 8 days taking care of the green. No wonder we want to hire the neighbor kid.
  • Along with blooms and sunshine, Spring also brings hay fever. Pollen levels are actually higher in the morning and at night. And hay fever is classified as a disease. What the hay…?

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