Guinea pigs are social creatures, and creating a happy guinea pig home helps them immensely. You want your guinea pigs to have the best life possible, and that means everything from their space to how you interact with them matters.
The Cage in a Happy Guinea Pig Home
Creating a happy guinea pig home starts with where they spend most of their time, the cage. Guinea pigs have significant space requirements, with a single big needing 7.5 square feet. A pair needs at least 10 square feet, and so on. Guinea pigs are not generally climbers, so any space up ramps and such should not count.
Then there’s the bedding. Your guinea pigs are sensitive to smells, so you need to avoid anything aromatic, especially if it gets aromatic when wet (see cedar and pine). You also want it to help contain the mess, rather than letting your guinea pig track it all over the cage.
Another factor in your guinea pigs’ cage is shelter. Guinea pigs are used to being at the bottom of the food chain, so an enclosed space to hide is a must for happy guinea pigs. Fortunately, there are many safe options you can add to the cage.
The Guinea Pig Food
Guinea pig digestion is delicate, and providing too much of something can lead to deposits. When looking at creating a happy guinea pig home, it’s important to avoid foods with lots of sugar, nuts, seeds, and things like that.
The other important factor is ensuring your guinea pigs get enough vitamin C. Often, companies enrich pellet foods with it. You can also supplement it with your guinea pigs’ treats, such as dark leafy greens or citrus fruits.
Water is a key to life, and your guinea pig is no different. Providing your guinea pig with freshwater that you change daily is straightforward with a water bottle. Ensure you keep the bottle clean since growing bacteria or mold is not good for your guinea pigs.
Creating Happy Guinea Pig Home Interactions
How your guinea pig interacts with your family is also essential to creating a happy guinea pig home. You will need to acclimate your guinea pigs to being handled before it can become a low-stress event. Then you’ll need to maintain the same level of handling, whether it’s a daily pet or a ten-minute cuddle time.
If you live with children, it’s essential to monitor their interactions with your guinea pigs. Children do not always comprehend that what they are doing can harm the guinea pig or make them fearful. Make sure you address children should touch the piggles often and ensure that your guinea pigs are okay.
Stimulating Guinea Pigs
Like all critters, guinea pigs should not merely sit in their cages with nothing to do day in and day out. Their minds need stimulation just like yours does. Try adding a cereal box or collecting a small selection of toys to rotate as part of creating a happy guinea pig home. You can also try training your guinea pig.