Our pets can bring extra joy to our lives and empower us. Whether we are talking about a dog or fish, a pet is a significant responsibility that comes with the benefit of companionship in difficult moments, but it can also be a challenge. However, one of the most accessible pets to keep is a guinea pig.
These social and complex animals don’t need as much extra effort on your part as you would with dogs, for example, but even so, you need to make some investments for their health and safety, and you need to be well-informed before buying one. And one of the investments you need to make is selecting guinea pig cages. But how do you choose the right cage for your pet? And besides, why is it so important to be well-informed before you start scouring the market for cages for guinea pigs? In this article, we will try to answer these questions and more.
Why Should You Get a Guinea Pig as a Pet?
Guinea pigs are one of the first animals domesticated by people. There is evidence that humans began keeping them in their company more than 5,000 years ago in the Andes Mountains of South America. Guinea pigs are intelligent and active animals that are used to living in complex social groups, and on top of all that, they look adorable. Which is the main reason why you want them, right?
Guinea pigs don’t need as much attention as fish, nor need to be walked like a dog, but they need a cage that provides them with enough distractions. But what should you look out for when looking for guinea pig cages? First of all, the best cages for guinea pigs are those with a flat floor, over which you need to come up with bedding that is constantly changed. The ammonia in their urine can be toxic, so it is necessary to clean your furry friend’s cage every few days.
You should also think carefully about the size of the guinea pig cages you are interested in. Guinea pigs are very active animals and need many distractions for optimal health, and the size of the cages for guinea pigs is paramount for their proper development. The enclosure you choose should also be at least twelve inches high and have a volume of a minimum of three thousand square centimeters.
Think About Their Social Structure
Guinea pigs are social animals that do best in groups of at least five individuals. Nowadays, domesticated guinea pigs are no longer found in the wild, being utterly dependent on human help for survival. However, their animal instincts are still present, and they are most comfortable when grouped together. So, if you are interested in guinea pigs, you should always take them in pairs. The guinea pig cages you are looking at should be sufficiently accommodating for them. Also, the accessories you can stuff inside the cages for guinea pigs are essential. Being prey animals, they need hiding places to retreat when they feel threatened; otherwise, they would start to get stressed, which can be dangerous. They also need movement, and a hamster wheel can be the ideal way to keep your furry friend busy.
Since the origin of these animals is from the Andes mountains, the maximum temperature that guinea pigs can withstand is not very high, so they should always be kept in a cool, well-ventilated room that does not exceed 24 degrees Celsius. Humidity should also never exceed 50%, so if you live in an environment where you have problems with moisture, a good idea might be to install a dehumidifier.
What Should I Feed My Guinea Pigs?
We talked about cages for guinea pigs and their social structure, but how about their food? Guinea pigs are herbivorous and need a varied diet of low-calcium hay combined with pallets to provide them with the necessary fiber. An interesting thing about Guinea pigs is that they can’t naturally produce vitamin C, so they need to get it from food. You must occasionally feed them supplements or foods rich in it, such as kale or broccoli. Although they would happily eat them, try to avoid giving them fruit regularly, as the sugar they naturally produce can destabilize the intestinal flora and lead to intestinal problems that are difficult to treat and unpleasant to live with.
Guinea pigs should also have constant access to a clean water source that is changed regularly. True, they can generally get their required fluid intake directly from food, and their wild relatives, such as the Brazilian guinea pig, do this. But as our fluffy friends feed more on Timothy hay, the fluid intake they have access to is lower, so you need to provide a constant source of liquids, so they don’t become dehydrated.
Guinea Pigs Can Be the Ideal Pet for You
They may not be as fun as a cat or as smart as a dog, but guinea pigs are undoubtedly just as cute and are a low-maintenance option for anyone who wants a pet but doesn’t always have the free time to be active with them. The most important things to pay attention to when buying a fluffy guinea pig are related to the selection of guinea pig cages on the market and their food.
Cages for guinea pigs come in various sizes and colors, and their food can be pretty diverse as well. But simplicity is sometimes the key to a healthy lifestyle, and you should aim for a cage that primarily gives your pet enough room to move around and simple food, such as Timothy hay, that provides the daily nutrient requirements. And most importantly, don’t forget that, after all, we are talking about a social animal, so although it requires less maintenance than a dog or cat, you will still need to interact with it often and take care of all its needs. A pet is, first and foremost, a responsibility, which remains true no matter what animal we are talking about.