To keep your guinea pigs healthy and happy for as long as possible, there are a few things you should pay attention to when keeping them. We have 10 tips to prevent illness and keep your guinea pigs healthy.
The most common diseases in guinea pigs are related to housing, for example, problems with the teeth, the gastrointestinal tract, or the respiratory tract. Therefore, a species-appropriate and good attitude of guinea pigs are so important. Of course, it cannot be ruled out that guinea pigs will still become ill. Nevertheless, with these 10 tips you lay the foundation for a long and healthy life for your guinea pigs:
Tip 1: Good hay ensures health
Always feed your dog good, dust-free hay, suitable green fodder, vegetables, and a little fruit as basic fodder. Water should always be freely available.
Tip 2: Avoid unhealthy feed
Avoid feeds that contain sugar, grains, nuts, animal products, or similar ingredients that are unhealthy for guinea pigs. Therefore, most dry food for guinea pigs is unsuitable and more likely to cause obesity.
Tip 3: Check the guinea pig’s incisors
Pay attention to the length of the incisors and whether the animal has recently left harder food behind. This could be a sign of dental disease.
Tip 4: Regular health checks of the guinea pig
Do a quick daily health check on your guinea pig and check for any symptoms of illness. Signs of illness can be, for example, a hunched back, diarrhea, unusual breathing noises, traces of secretion, or clouding of the eyes. In order for the guinea pig to recover, you need to recognize these symptoms as early as possible.
Tip 5: Early vet visits
If you notice any abnormalities or signs of illness, go to the vet in good time. The sooner a disease is recognized and treated, the better the guinea pig’s chances of recovery. The following applies here: It is better to go once too often than once too little!
Tip 6: Bathing is unhealthy for guinea pigs
Never bathe your guinea pig. The animals cool down severely and often develop severe respiratory infections. For parasites in the fur, there are now effective and harmless treatment options at the veterinarian.
Tip 7: Hygiene is the be-all and end-all for healthy guinea pigs
Proper hygiene is very important for the health of guinea pigs. Neglected enclosures are often the trigger for parasite infestations or other skin and coat diseases. Therefore, make sure the enclosure is well ventilated but draught-free and clean the feces and urine corners every two days and the entire cage once a week.
Tip 8: Avoiding stress keeps you healthy
Stress is a common disease trigger. Therefore, avoid scaring your guinea pigs and do not stress them. Accept when the animals want to be left alone and convey this to their children as well. Avoid placing the guinea pig run in a room that is constantly in use or in a room with a television. This makes it difficult for the animals to rest. This is also stressful and unhealthy in the long run.
Tip 9: The location of the enclosure can prevent diseases
Pay attention to the correct location of the guinea pig enclosure. It should be neither too hot nor too cold there. In addition, the guinea pigs should be protected from moisture and direct sunlight. If you keep the guinea pig indoors, you should not smoke in the room of the guinea pig enclosure!
Tip 10: Exercise and activity keep you mentally and physically healthy
Guinea pigs need to be able to get enough exercise and activity to stay healthy. Otherwise, they may develop behavioral problems. You absolutely need:
- one or more conspecifics, keeping them alone is not species-appropriate and can make guinea pigs sick!
- a large enclosure with space to run and species-appropriate interior design for occupation
- regular freewheeling, both indoors and outdoors, so that they can exercise properly