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Guinea Pig Rescue Centers

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If you are thinking about buying a new pet guinea pig, a great alternative to a pet store is to look up your local animal rescue center or animal shelter, or your town may even have a guinea pig rescue center that specializes in guinea pigs.

It is not uncommon for an owner of a pair of guinea pigs to suddenly find out that the female is expecting a litter and then find themselves with a cage full of guinea pig pups. In no time at all this will cause cage overcrowding which can then very quickly become a health issue for the babies and the parents. If the owners are unable to sell the guinea pig pups to a local pet store, or to individuals through a classified ad, and they are unable to keep the pups, they will often turn to an animal shelter or a rescue center to take the baby guinea pigs to.

Thankfully there are such things as guinea pig rescue centers. They can be found in every city and town where there is an individual or a group of compassionate animal lovers that want to give a sweet and gentle guinea pig another opportunity to be placed with a caring family. They are a safe place to take abandoned or unwanted pets, and for people who are looking to adopt a new pet they will be able to find a cute and cuddly new guinea pig friend as easily as going to a pet store.

If you do choose a shelter or a rescue center to find your new guinea pig, always take time to find out from the people at the shelter or rescue center what the circumstances were that brought the guinea pig to the rescue center. If it was abused or neglected, for example, the guinea pig may never be able to bond with a human again, and so he wouldn‘t make a good “cuddle” pet. Of course I’m not suggesting that a neglected or abused guinea pig shouldn‘t be considered for adoption – quite the contrary. He or she may be the one that needs a good home the most. But you get the point – its a good idea to see if you can learn the animal’s history.

Of course you will also want to check the guinea pig very carefully for signs of illness, like discharge from the nose, watery eyes, or loss of hair, to name a few, which may indicate poor health or an infestation. These may be minor illnesses that a quick trip to the vet can cure very easily.

Don’t be surprised if a guinea pig that that you find at a rescue center appears to be nervous, frightened, or timid. Remember he is in a new and unfamiliar place, and guinea pigs by their nature don’t like change. If they were treated well by their original owners and by the staff at the rescue center then they will likely adapt quickly to you and their new home, and their shy nervousness will soon disappear.

If you should ever find yourself with an unwanted litter of guinea pig pups, or even grown guinea pigs that you are no longer able or willing to care for, remember that there are people and places, guinea pig rescue centers for example, that will accept your pets and find a good and loving home for them.

The Perfect Guinea Pig Hutch

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One of the most important things that you can do for your pet guinea pigs is to give them a home with plenty of room to run around and play and get exercise. This will ensure that your guinea pig is healthy and will live a long and happy life.

The guinea pig hutch that will be home to your furry little pets should be sufficiently large to allow them to run laps! They love to do this, and it’s good for them. A good guideline for the appropriate size for your guinea pig hutch is between seven and eight square feet for a single guinea pig (but you should get two – they are sociable creatures and do better with a companion) and between ten and eleven square feet for a pair of them. So a single guinea pig hutch might have dimensions of 2.5 feet by 3.0 feet and a hutch for two piggies might measure 3.0 feet by 3.5 feet.

Make sure that your hutch has wire walls and is not a glass enclosure like an aquarium. Aquariums are great for fish, but not for guinea pigs. The wire-walled hutch will give your guinea pigs better ventilation and will help keep the cage dryer and better smelling, plus the fresh air is obviously much better for the animals. The floor of the hutch should not be made of wire however, because the wire mesh is hard on the guinea pigs small feet and they can get caught up in the mesh. The floor should be solid but not made out of wood. A wooden floor tends to soak up the animals urine and then will be a source of bad smells and a breeding place for bacteria. A plastic hutch floor is most common, and is very easy to clean. If the floor can slide in and out easily all the better!

A good size door into the hutch is also a good idea. this will allow easier access for cleaning out the cage, and it will also make it much easier for you to reach in to pet, or pick up your little friend, and easily remove him from the cage without hurting him.

You should line the floor of your guinea pig hutch with paper, and then put in a layer of bedding material. Even though you may be tempted to use cedar or eucalyptus chips because they smell nice, don’t use them because they contain elements that can lead to respiratory problems with your piggies. I have found that the best type of bedding is a combination of shredded paper and hay, specifically timothy hay. Not only will the guinea pigs play in the hay they will also eat it! It actually help with their digestion.

Sometimes guinea pigs need a little place to hide. Maybe they are feeling shy or a little timid or just need a little time to themselves for a nap. A box with a hole cut in it, or even a section of plastic pipe will serve this purpose very nicely. Have a little fun putting together this hiding place – your guinea pig will be grateful!

Remember that this hutch is your guinea pig’s home, and where he will be spending most of his life. Make it as comfortable as possible, and keep it clean. The bigger the guinea pig hutch, the better, as it is essential to having happy, healthy and furry little companions that will keep you company for many years to come.

The Best Guinea Pig Food

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Your pet guinea pig depends on you completely for it’s food and nourishment. In order for your furry little friend to stay as happy and healthy as possible you will need to make sure he’s eating the right types of food and getting all the necessary vitamins and nutrients. This article will help you learn everything you need to know to be a knowledgeable and loving guinea pig keeper.

The primary guinea pig food for your guinea pigs will be pellets. Young guinea pigs, under 10 months old, can be fed alfalfa hay-layered pellets. However, when they reach 10 months of age you should switch them to timothy hay-layered pellets because alfalfa hay is high in calcium and high doses of calcium are not good for adult guinea pigs. A good guinea pig pellet should also be hard and firm, making it necessary for your pigs to bite, chew and gnaw through it. Guinea pigs naturally like chewing and gnawing on things so your little piggies will definitely love munching on their hard pellets.

Be sure that you get pellets that are specifically formulated for guinea pigs and is therefore a complete food, meaning it has all the right nutrients in it. This includes an extra-dose of vitamin C which is a vital supplement to your guinea pig’s health. As in humans, vitamin C is not naturally produced in guinea pigs. A lack of vitamin C may cause your pet to develop scurvy. If the pellet food you are feeding your guinea pig isn’t fortified with vitamin C, supplements can be found in pet stores and can also be added to their drinking water. It’s best to give your pet guinea pig approximately 20mg of vitamin C supplements each day.

Guinea pigs also love to eat fresh vegetables, and they are also important source of required nutrients and vitamins. Green leafy vegetables help provide your pig with additional vitamin C. A list of healthy vegetables that your guinea pig will like include watercress,turnip greens, Swiss chard, spinach, mustard spinach, kale, dill weed, dandelion greens, cabbage, beet greens, cilantro, collards, and chicory greens.

I have found that the best food bowl for your pet is a heavy ceramic bowl because its hard to tip over while eating, and the sides of the bowls should be high enough to hold back any dirty and contaminated bedding. Your guinea pigs needs a constant source of clean, fresh water, and the best way to make water available is via a water bottle equipped with a “sipper” tube. Take care to keep your guinea pig’s water bottle clean because they can tend to become contaminated and clogged as the guinea pig chews on the end of the sipper tube which can backwash food particles up the tube.

This should be just about everything you need to know about guinea pig food and feeding your furry and friendly companions. If you’re new caring for guinea pigs then there are many things you need to learn about proper guinea pig care. So, click here now to pick up even more tips to ensure excellent guinea pig health.

Not All Guinea Pig Cages Are Equally Good

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Do you want to have a really happy guinea pig? One way to make sure of this is to make sure your guinea pig has a nice clean home to live in, and that he has plenty of room run around!

As a general rule guinea pig cages should be as big as your available space and your budget will allow. You don’t need to go overboard, but it is better to give your guinea pig more room than he needs than to give him less room than he needs if you want him to stay healthy and happy. As a guideline, guinea pig cages should be between seven and eight square feet if you have just one guinea pig, and between ten and eleven square feet if you have two guinea pigs. For each additional guinea pig in the cage you will need between two and three additional square feet of living space. If that sounds like a lot just remember that guinea pigs need room to run around and get exercise, and the more exercise a guinea pig gets, the happier he’s going to be. Without adequate exercise your pet will get fat, and overweight guinea pigs are more likely to develop health problems, and you don’t want that to happen. If your guinea pig is lucky enough to have a 2-story home remember that additional levels should not be counted in providing the minimum square footage.

It shouldn’t be too difficult to find  good quality guinea pig cages at your local pet store. If you can’t find a cage that is big enough you should consider making your own. It won’t take you very long, and it can be very rewarding. Not only because you’ll have a cage that your guinea pig really loves, but because it will very likely outshine most guinea pigs cages sold in pet shops or online.

Guinea pigs should be housed in cages made of wire rather than glass enclosures because cages provide much better ventilation for your pet, and if a glass enclosure breaks it could cut your guinea pig. Wood cages are easily chewed through and so are not a good choice for your guinea pig cage.

Guinea pig cages should never have bottoms that are made of wire mesh. Wire floors are hard on your guinea pigs’ feet and can trap your pet’s toes and legs. Wire can also corrode so it is not so popular among pet owners. The best type of floor for your guinea pigs cage is a solid plastic bottom which is the most common that you will find at pet stores. The cages must also be free from all sharp edges and should be secure enough to prevent the guinea pigs from escaping. A convenient feature that makes cleaning guinea pig cages a lot easier is a slide-out tray type bottom – this should be on your list of must-haves for a cage. A big cage door is also a good addition to a guinea pig’s cage so that you have plenty of room to get your hand in to pet, love, and pick up your guinea pig.

The final tip I want to pass on is to be mindful of where you keep your guinea pigs cage. Because guinea pigs are susceptible to upper respiratory infections you should avoid keeping your pet’s cage in any high-humidity locations like a laundry room, and bathrooms with showers and baths should also be avoided.

Remember, keep your guinea pig happy – he depends on you!

What You Must Know When Bringing Your Guinea Pig Home

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Remember your first day of school? You were probably nervous because this was a strange place, and there were strange people, strange sounds, and strange smells. These are the same feelings experienced by your new pet guinea pig when you bring him home for the first time. If you can be patient and mindful of this then you and your furry new friend will get off to a great start on a friendship that can last many wonderful years.

Your new guinea pig will need time to adapt to his new surroundings. The idea of being in a strange new place is quite scary for the timid and shy little fellow. You may be really anxious to make friends with your new guinea pig, but the first three or four days can be very stressful for them. Loud noises and your constant presence can also be very scary. Although it may be difficult you need to avoid touching and and trying to hold your new pet until they are adjusted to and comfortable in their new space.

One of the best things you can provide your new guinea pig during this period of acclimation is a place for him to hide. A simple section of plastic pipe or a box with a hole cut in it would work just. If you get more than one guinea pig be sure you get each of them their own separate hiding area otherwise someone will get left outside or they might fight over the hideout.

The best way to observe your new guinea pig is not by hovering over his cage from above. When you do their instinct is to hide from what they may perceive to be a predatory bird or animal. Instead you should kneel down to guinea pig-eye level. It will be particularly hard for your children to be patient enough to refrain from wanting to hold their new pet. But you must remind them that their new guinea pig needs peace and quiet to get used to his new home.

Slowly but surely your guinea pig will begin to feel comfortable in his new home. Now it is time to begin building a bond of trust with your new pet. Offering treats is a great way to build trust. As you might have guessed your furry new buddy loves to eat and there are no shortage of items to treat him with. Once again you have to take this slowly. Gently show the treat to your pet and then slowly place it just inside the cage’s door. Then quietly move away, making sure you are still at guinea pig-eye level (no hovering), and wait. If your guinea pig is reluctant to move towards the treat to check it out then reach into the cage slowly and pick up the uneaten treat and then slowly close the cage door. It takes a little bit of partience but keep trying this until your guinea pig learns he must come and pick up the treat himself. Eventually your guinea pig will get accustomed to your presence, and he will trust you enough to take the treat right out of your hand. After a while you will find he will begin to associate your presence with treats and he will come to enjoy taking his treat from you!

Now that you and your guinea pig have become friends and you’ve taught him to trust you by offering him treats, it is now time to learn how to get him used to being held. One important thing that you don’t want to do is use treats to lure your pet into being held. Remember, if you pick your guinea pig up against his will he will likely struggle to escape because he is afraid. The fear he may experience over being held when it is not used to being held can damage or destroy the initial bond that you have built with treats. Instead what you want to do is get him or her used to being touched by simple, gentle petting.

When your guinea pig is comfortable with your touching and petting it won’t object to being picked up any longer. When picking up your guinea pig remember to be gentle. Gently grasp your pet’s torso with one hand then slide your other hand under their rear end – make sure you are being gentle and providing full body support. Always supervise young children as your guinea pick can be injured easily if mishandled or dropped. If it begins to struggle set it back down in its cage very gently. If you try to hold on tight when it is squirming to get away you can actually damage the guinea pig’s lungs by squeezing it too hard.

Before long your furry, warm, cuddly little friend will actually look forward to being held and petted. Your patience will be rewarded when you see your new friend get excited and squeal for joy when he sees you!

What You Must Know About Breeding Guinea Pigs

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Most people buy a pet guinea pig, or maybe a pair of guinea pigs, just for the sheer joy of caring for an animal. For some folks, however, the idea of breeding guinea pigs is intriguing, primarily because they seek to sell the pups and make a little bit of money.

I will caution you however, breeding and selling guinea pigs is not a huge money-making endeavor, and to my knowledge nobody has ever become rich by doing so. Nevertheless it can be a rewarding and educational experience.

Can You Sell Your Pups?

If you do decide to buy a pair of guinea pigs with the intent to breed and sell make sure you have a market to sell your guinea pigs to. Maybe before you begin breeding your guinea pigs it would be a good idea to establish a relationship with one or several local pet stores that would be interested in buying your litter. It might also be a good idea to check the classified ads or Craig’s List to see if there are other breeders in the area.

If the local pet stores tell you they already have breeders that they are buying their guinea pig pups from, and/or the classified ads indicate that there are lots of local breeders, it s apparent that you have a lot of competition and you may have a hard time finding buyers. If that turns out to be the case you may end up with more guinea pigs on your hands than you anticipated.

In Preparation…

First of all you need a boy guinea pig and a girl guinea pig. Make sure the cage is sufficiently large for two guinea pigs. For health reasons the female guinea pig should be between four and six months old before she is bred for the first time. They are mature enough to mate before this time but its better to wait until this age.

The female menstrual cycle is about 16 days, but the window of opportunity for mating is much smaller than that – only between 8 and 24 hours. Therefore you need to make sure that your guinea pigs are together constantly during that 16 day cycle. There is not much involvement on your part other than to make sure the lighting and the music are just right. Just kidding about the lights an music!

The Mating

As mentioned previously, you’re going to want to make sure that your guinea pigs plenty of space. If the guinea pigs cage is too small the female guinea pig can somehow sense that, and mother nature will tell her that there isn’t enough room for a litter of pups. Mother nature is pretty smart!

Guinea pigs have their own sort of subtle mating ritual. When the male senses that the female is ready and he becomes aroused he will lower his head and walk toward the female with very deliberate steps as an attempt to entice the female. Sometimes the male guinea pig will even do something of a mating dance where he will stand on their hind legs, front paws holding onto whatever is within reach, and wiggle his rear end back and forth.

If the female is interested she will be vocal about it, squealing with excitement, and the volume and intensity of the squealing will get louder as the male gets closer to her. If the female isn’t interested because she’s not in heat, or it isn’t the right time during her cycle, she will let the male know by nipping and biting him, running away, or even urinating on him to make her point.

Although this doesn’t occur very often in nature, if the female is ready to mate but the male isn’t aroused, she may be the one to approach him with the same deliberate steps that he would typically use on her, and she will have her head down and her rear end up in the air a little. Sometime the female will back up into the male as an indication that she is ready to be mounted by him.

Summary

If you have successfully bred your guinea pigs then you will have a litter of pups within 63-68 days. The pups should be weaned after 14-21 days, and are ready for a good home.

Unfortunately large numbers of guinea pigs die each year because their owners let them breed excessively and they couldn’t or didn’t take care of them properly. This is why it’s important to have a pet store lined up to buy your guinea pigs when they’re fully weaned and you’re ready to sell, and hopefully the pet store will sell them to a caring and loving family and the little piggies will grow up and have long and happy lives.

Pet Guinea Pigs Are for Young and Old Alike

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Guinea pigs are cute, cuddly, furry, and have all the qualities of the perfect pet. If you are thinking about getting a new pet for yourself or your children then you should give serious consideration to getting not just one, but even two pet guinea pigs (I’ll explain later). They are easy, relatively low-maintenance pets and will give you and your children many years of love and affection.

Guinea pigs are found in the wild in South America. The South American guinea pigs are herd animals and live in large family groups. Guinea pigs don’t burrow and hide from other creatures, instead they live in tall grass and trees to escape their enemies. Sometimes they borrow holes that are abandoned by other diggers.

Guinea pigs in the wilds of South America have the same basic temperament as guinea pigs you would find in a pet store. Pet guinea pigs are very docile and gentle and make perfect first pets for children. They very rarely bite or scratch. They are, however, easily stressed, so they require careful handling. By nature they are timid and shy.

Guinea pigs come in several breeds. The most common are the English short hair and the Abyssinian. The English Short Hair has a short, smooth coat as opposed to the longer-haired coat of the Abyssinian. The short haired version is easier to keep clean as the long-haired version tends to get matted fur and needs to be groomed more often.

Some rodents like to live alone and sometimes will even become aggressive if kept in pairs or groups. Pet guinea pigs on the other hand are very sociable creatures, and love to live with one or more other guinea pigs. This makes them the perfect pets if you have children, because often each child will want their own pet.

Pet guinea pigs are very affectionate animals and love to be held and petted, fed, and played with. Sometimes they will purr when being held or petted. Unlike a hamster or a pet mouse, they are quite content to sit on your lap while being petted, and they won’t try to jump off your lap and wriggle away. This makes them very easy to control.

Pet guinea pigs are not really very agile and therefore do not climb well. That means that you won’t have to worry too much about having them escape from their cages. They don’t see very well either, but they have a very good sense of hearing and smell. And guess what? They’re good swimmers! Guinea pigs are very curious and always rummaging around looking for something to chew on.

After a while your pet guinea pig will consider you to be part of the herd and will recognize you. When they do they will sometimes whistle as an expression of excitement when you approach their cage or feeding is expected!