Guinea pigs need the company of another guinea pig to keep them happy – they play together and snuggle up together and will often ‘talk’ to each other. Keep them as pairs or in small groups. Two or three males can often be housed together if they have enough space and no females close by. Females will often get along with other females in groups of two or three or even more. If a female and a male are kept together the male should be neutered to avoid breeding.
If you are looking for a gentle and entertaining pet, guinea pigs are a great choice. They are more robust and easier to handle than some of the smaller rodents and very rarely ever bite. They can also be trained to come to their owner when called and will often give a vocal greeting. Like any pet, they require care and commitment. Their accommodation has to be cleaned out regularly and they need space to exercise and explore. They do, however, require much less space than a rabbit, making them a good choice for people with smaller homes and gardens.
Guinea pigs should be given a selection of foods each day. Hay is extremely important for their digestion and should be given daily. A mix or kibble will contain balanced nutrition and you should expect to feed around 40-50 grams a day. A small handful of leafy green vegetables is ideal. There’s room for a few small treats to help build a bond with your pet. And don’t forget fresh clean water in a bowl or a sipper bottle.
While guinea pigs need to be fed a healthy diet, there are some foods they really love and that can be used to help with bonding with their owner and training. Prepared treats that are made with their specific nutritional needs in mind often contain attractive flavours such as apples or carrots which need to be given in moderation due to their higher sugar content but are fine within a healthy no added sugar treat recipe. Cucumber, strawberries, fresh and dried herbs and dandelion leaves all provide new tastes and textures and are real favourites with guinea pigs but should all be given in moderation.
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