The simplicity of caring for a pocket pet can be misleading. Just because they’re smaller than a cat or dog doesn’t mean they require less care! Here are some tips from a professional animal hospital on guinea pig maintenance.
Your guinea pig
It all starts with maintaining your guinea pig, which means making sure he’s well-groomed. Some pigs don’t have to be brushed regularly, while others do. Animals with long hair, like the sheltie or Peruvian, will need to be brushed frequently, while the American or Himalayan won’t need to be brushed. Some varieties even do well with a quick trim or a shave.
Don’t forget about the nails. They can get pretty long! Although regular human clippers can work just fine, heavy duty clippers tend to work best. Wrap your pet in a towel and expose a single foot at a time. Try your best to avoid clipping the quick, as it’s quite painful, but make sure you have some styptic powder handy just in case you do. Having a friend or family member on hand can be extremely helpful too.
When most people think of guinea pig maintenance, they think about the cage. Finding the right cage is important, but it’s even more important to keep that cage clean.
Plan on replacing soiled bedding every day or two. To make this process easier, try setting litter corners in areas where your pet likes to go potty. It’s much easier to clean a potty spot when it’s confined to a litter pan.
The entire cage needs to be cleaned at least once a week, but you may have to clean it more often if you have more than one guinea pig in a small space. Not only should the bedding be replaced, you should also scrub or wipe down the cage with a pet-friendly cleaner.
Don’t forget to clean your pig’s accessories! The nest box should be completely washed and cleaned at least once a week. You should also thoroughly clean the food bowl and water bottle once a week. It’s easy for these accessories to develop a sticky film or harbor bacteria.
Toys should be cleaned too! If you’d like help grooming your guinea pig, or if you’re looking for more advice on keeping the cage clean, give your local animal hospital a call. For further details animal care, click on the link.