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Guinea pig breeds – Take A Look!

Three musketeer guinea pigsPhoto by Karlijn Prot on Unsplash

There are many breeds of guinea pigs, some people who maybe don’t know much about them, will probably not realise the different breeds that there are. Some will need a lot of time, more than others with grooming. You need to consider the extra work involved with longer haired breeds and whether you may go for shorter haired instead. Long haired will probably need bathing in a small sink, because the coat is long, it may get dirtier, as its brushing along the ground. Another point to mention is it could be harder to spot for example red patches on the skin, because of the long coat covering over. Also, they come in lots of different colours. Some of these listed below are common and others not so common, so please take a look.

 

 

Guinea Pig Poppy

Abyssinian

This is one of the most common breeds and is known to have rosette swirls over the coat. The hair is a bit thicker than a smooth haired and appears more rough looking. I compare it to someone who has just washed their hair and its sticking up from drying with a towel. But they do look very cute and are softer to stroke. Along with the crested, skinny and hairless, abyssinians have smaller eyes than all the others. Three of my four guinea pigs are abyssinians.

Guinea Pig Charlotte

American

Is another one of the popular breeds and has a short and smooth coat. Of course there won’t be as many loose hairs coming off them.

Peruvian guinea pig

Peruvian

They are long haired and need grooming more regularly, as well as hair trimming to keep the coat in tip-top condition. The hair goes over the head and parts at the centre of the back. Also, grows up to several inches.

Sheltie

Is one of the longest haired guinea pigs, where the hair grows right back from the head and the coat is shiny. Another name that is known for this breed is silkie.

Crested

A short haired piggie but with one rosette on the top of the head. There are a couple of types, one is a white crested, where the single rosette is white and the coat is a different colour and the other is a self crested, where it is the same colour as the rest of the coat.

Teddy

Another short haired guinea pig, where the hair stands on its ends and has a fuzzy appearance, probably hence the name, as you could liken to a teddy bear.

Texel

A breed where the hair looks amazing and is extra long and curly, but needs a lot of maintaining. It is not a very common breed.

Skinny pig

Skinny & hairless (Baldwin)

Just like other hairless animals, here we have skinny pigs and hairless or baldwin pigs as the proper term for them. Skinny pigs have very fine areas of hair, where hairless has no hair at all. Obviously they are not for everybody, you will have your preferences to a skinny/hairless or a guinea pig with hair. But they still have the same cute personality as any other guinea pig.

Coronet

Another breed that needs more time spent on grooming. It has long hair but with a single rosette on the top of the head

Merino

Longer curly haired with a single rosette swirl on the top of the head.

Alpaca

Longer and curly hair that goes over the head. You will struggle to properly see the face.

If you have any comments for me, please leave them below. Thanks for reading.

 

Source: https://www.thesprucepets.com/guinea-pig-breed-guide-1238896

2

Rosewood Reversible Snuggle Tunnel Review – Come On Through!

 

Product Rosewood Snuggles Reversible Snuggle Tunnel    

Purchase Amazon

Price £6.49

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This fleece tunnel could be a big hit with your guinea pigs. It is a good size and measures 28cm long and 20cm wide. This can be placed into the washing machine at 30 degrees. The main advantage is that it can be reversed, so on the inside you can have polycotton and soft plush on the outside or vice versa. This is useful as it can adapt to different environments and also my guinea pigs love actually just lying on it, like a bed with the soft plush. The tunnel can stay open and shaped, as it has a wire frame inside the material.

Pros

  • Good price
  • Provides guinea pig with adequate room
  • machine washable
  • Long lasting
  • Easy to clean
  • Is cosy for your pet

Cons

 

 

  • Polycotton will attract a lot of hairs
  • May need to be washed quite a bit
  • Could have more material to soak in urine

 

Do you need something that provides a comfortable experience and a good hiding place for your guinea pigs, well this might be for you. I have now had my tunnel for over 18 months and it is still in good condition after being used in a hutch every day. They love their hiding spots and tunnels are great at giving them that security.

One of the little designs that I like, is the red paw print. It is a nice effect and stands out well, obviously this is pleasing to our eyes, guinea pigs are probably not that bothered, as they might not be able to see it. It is a quality made product by the well known brand of Rosewood, they produce no end of various pet items. It’s not a heavy item and is sleek looking.

As can be seen on the cons list, I think that maybe a thicker fleece base could have been used along with the polycotton layer on top, so it can soak up more urine. So they may be walking or lying on a bit of wet, with how it is currently. Of course it’s not a serious problem, as they won’t be spending all the time in the tunnel. You may like to place a little fleece pad inside. The colour as can be seen is grey, but it would be nice if there were more colours available, probably more for our own benefit. I don’t think the piggies could care less what colour it is.

I personally think it is a great tunnel to use and would be a good addition to their habitat or playpen. Guinea pigs love fleece items as they are obviously soft for them. Considering it is a fleece based item, it actually is at a decent price. Because it is flexible, it is not something that will always be standing up like a wicker one for example, which is not a bad thing, as it has got two uses. There is a thicker material on the openings, so they can keep open.

 

My Ratings
choose the stars

Guinea pig use 9 out of 10

Cleaning 7 out of 10

Quality 8 out of 10

Overall 8 out of 10

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have any questions for me, I will be more than happy to answer them below. Many thanks for reading. 

6

Overweight guinea pigs

Guinea pig lying downOverweight guinea pigs are at risk from many health issues. They must have daily exercise and the correct diet. Having the right sized cage and being out of it everyday is crucial, to get that much needed space to run about in. By feeding a diet that is high in sugar and calcium will make them gain quite a bit of weight. A guideline that is always used in books and by professionals, is the average weight for female guinea pigs is 700 to 900 grams and males 900 to 1200 grams. But they can be perfectly healthy out of these ranges, it depends on their body structure. Although it is good guideline to go by.

It is worth purchasing or using kitchen scales to weigh them every week. Keep a record in a diary and observe whether the weights are going down too much, which may indicate health problems or weighing too much, to indicate they need to lose it. Encourage exercise by placing tunnels and wooden castles with a ramp inside their home or playpen.

Use vegetables as a bribery for them to move. Of course, they do love lounging around a lot, if you have tried everything to get them moving and they need to lose weight, then making them move. Just by moving your hands above them, it does Ginger haired guinea pigscare them a little bit. But there are no other ways to get them to exercise unfortunately, just don’t it too much and let them have a drink and clean or scratch when they need to. If you do this everyday for about 20 minutes and when they have lost the weight, decrease the time.

To give you an idea of what to look out for, with an overweight guinea pig and even an underweight guinea pig, I have included the link to a chart from the pet food manufacturers association in the UK.

Guinea Pig Size-O-Meter

So I hope the chart helped you, overweight guinea pigs is certainly a concern for a lot of vets. It can really affect guinea pigs, for example being lethargic and being at risk of diabetes, yes you read that right, guinea pigs can get diabetes. Bumblefoot can happen, where painful sores occur on the bottom of their feet. We want them to live long and healthy lifes and be happy. Please do not worry if your guinea pig is overweight, this can be simple to reverse to a healthy weight. Remember to feed the correct type of hay, the main being timothy. Feed very little alfalfa hay if at all, as more of it, is meant to be fed to the very young and pregnant sows.

Feed very little or maybe better to not feed them chicory, as it is very high in calcium and is known as a root vegetable. Very little carrot and fruits. Once you start keeping to a routine of feeding the right amounts and the healthier vegetables then it makes it easy. Getting the correct nuggets that again are high in fibre and low in calcium, also including no artificial flavours.

You will find when your guinea pigs starts loosing weight, along with the usual benefits, bloat or finding it uncomfortable may have been an issue for them. Because, of feeding too much of the veg that can cause added weight. They will find it more comfortable when going to the toilet and having better feces. By cutting down on veg amounts and nuggets, as well as increasing exercise, it will promote a better functioning digestive system. Eating unlimited amounts of hay will help in having that healthy and controlled diet. So if needs be cut down the veg amounts by 50 per cent or more, but always do your research and maybe even talk to a vet, to see what they advise on the information you give them.

Conclusion

Yes it can be hard to get guinea pigs moving about, as they love lying in their comfy places. My tip is in their playpen move Poppyout all the items and sit in with them. They may move about a bit when there is nothing to go into. Although it may sound like it stresses them out a lot and is unkind, if it is the only way to make them exercise. Then just move them along with your hands, do not do it for ages. It does scare them as it is their natural instinct, but you do not want them to be overweight. If you do it in the right way, it won’t stress them out that much. Another tip is to spread veggies around an area so they have to go around to get them.

Please if you have any comments, place them below. Thank you for reading.

 

Sources: 

https://www.wikihow.com/Get-Your-Guinea-Pig-to-Lose-Weight

https://lafeber.com/mammals/is-my-guinea-pig-fat/

16

Bonding with your guinea pig – So sweet :)

girl with guinea pigWhen you bring home new guinea pigs, give them at least 24 hours to settle in, before handling. Do not try to pick them up or stroke them, so they can adjust to their new surroundings. Patience is needed as they will be jumpy a lot of the time as you try to handle them, so keep at it. Bonding is vital to build that everlasting relationship with your new pets. Over time, they will trust you more and be tamer. A great way of handling is picking them up, but not all guinea pigs will like being picked up. So the best way, is to use a fleece cosy to transport them around. You can place them on your lap or chest and stroke and speak to them.

Hand feed some vegetables to your little ones and they will start to appreciate the little gesture and trust you just a little more. As you begin to handle and be in their company every day, they will get used to your scent and voice. Keeping to a daily routine will make them feel secure, they love that. Do not change anything too much, like the diet, as it may cause upset, make tiny steps. Grooming also plays a part in the bonding process, so keep to brushing them once a week.hand feeding guinea pig

It is said that when your guinea pig starts cleaning in front of you, they trust and feel safe being around you and in general will display their natural behaviour when they feel comfortable with you being there. Spend time every day, even for just 30 minutes handling and just being with your furry ones. Please don’t shout, as they will not understand why you are behaving like that. Speak with a quiet voice and be calm, if they are doing something you do not want them to do, then all I do is call their name or make a tutting sound, like you do with a cat and this usually makes them stop.

Making sudden movements near them can be a stressful experience, as they will think it is a predator. If you do this too much, they may well be more wary. Move your hands slowly and in front of them, when you are going to pick them up. Keep to safe places, where you can spend time with your guinea pigs and where they will get used to. I always find when you have other people come into the room where they are in, like an inside playpen, they will build confidence up, with hearing other peoples voices and gradually get used to different social situations. My guinea pigs are located in a different room to the TV in my house, but they can still hear it. I think this gets them used to hearing many varied voices and sounds.

Guinea pigs are intelligent and will be very curious when you start talking to them. They will eventually associate with their name with the certain tone in your voice. Wherever they may be, it might be up stairs in a double tier hutch, just face them and speak softly, not too close to scare. They will realise you are facing them as they can feel your breath. It is a great way of bonding, but do it after a period of time, when they start getting a bit more used to you, otherwise each time, you will really frighten them.

If you are a parent and are supervising your children, whilst they sit with their new friends, just tell them to be delicate with handling. If they are dropped, it could result from serious injuries or handled roughly, where children sometimes can be inadvertently. They will learn to be really careful with them. It is a great experience for anybody to bond with their guinea pigs, but especially children, as they build that relationship with maybe their first ever pet.

Steps to letting guinea pigs settle into their new home

So just a reminder really of what to do when you first bring your guinea pigs home and how to start a bonding experience fivewithin the first 24 hours.

  1. Place them straight into their new home
  2. Do not attempt to pick them up or try to stroke them
  3. After a few hours, speak to them softly as they explore the new surroundings
  4. Slowly place the food in their habitat
  5. Avoid making fast movements around them

So follow these few steps and you will allow them to have a more comfortable time and after 24 hours, try to hand feed them once.

When will they to start to trust me?

By following all the points you have come across in this article, over time you will start to build a wonderful relationship. Remember take things slow, at their own pace. Keep working on building trust up every day.

Thank you for reading and if you have a question for me, then please leave a comment below.

Sources: http://gizmoandco.com/2018/03/09/how-to-build-a-bond-with-your-guinea-pig/

http://guineapigsaustralia.com.au/taming%20your%20guinea%20pig.htm

 

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Guinea pig poop

A guinea pigs poop is a good indicator to what their health is like and can be a sign of what they are missing out on or whether they have an illness. This important topic is just something I wanted to cover. Compared to other pets their poop doesn’t actually look disgusting and hardly smells depending on if there are any problems or you haven’t cleaned out the home for a long time.

Providing the right diet will certainly help them to have a healthy digestive system. But as we know, there can be things out of our control and they just happen.

Guinea pigs poo a lot as their digestive system moves along like a conveyor belt. In this article I will be going through different shaped feces and what they mean. Many owners have probably come across most of, if not all of these shapes. Don’t worry you won’t need a degree, if you don’t know, you will soon learn about all of them here.

Normal

Normal poop should look like a perfectly formed capsule. It means they are eating the right amount of hay and the digestive system is moving how we would like it to. Males will probably have bigger feces and be a bit banana shaped.

Small

You could call it constipation and can appear to have pointed ends, this indicates that they have not eaten enough hay or there may be other problems. Either the right amount has not been supplied, they have not eaten as much because of warm weather etc and will catch up or maybe slightly bloated from eating too many gassy or high in phosphorus vegetables like broccoli and parsnip. Also, a diet high in calcium can cause smaller feces, which if continues on for too long, can turn into painful kidney stones that have to be removed in an operation.

Clumped

Males will suffer with this a lot more than females and you will need to get the renal sac cleaned as there are blockages. This process you may research to do yourself or to go to the vets. The appearance will be small feces all stuck together.

Wet

Eaten too many watery vegetables and can be a bit more smelly than the others. If this carries on over a day, then it has started onto diarrhea, you will have to go to the vets for them to investigate and they will provide you with medication to treat. Hopefully it might not come to them going to the vets, as it may be a temporary situation and soon go back to normal.

Teardrop

Will tell you that the guinea pig is dehydrated and as its name suggests will be shaped like a teardrop, with one curved point at the end and are obviously small. They need to drink more water and eat a bit more hay.

Squashed and sticky

May have eaten too much grass, limit the time outside or grass given for a 24 hour period. Too many watery veg can also cause this shape.

Blood feces

Take to a vet immediately, it indicates that there is a serious problem going on, which needs immediate investigation. Also don’t confuse slightly pinkish, reddish feces, as you have probably given them beetroot, which may come out in the feces and urine.

Stringy

This will most likely be a parasitic infection, if it continues over a longer period. The feces will be small or varied shapes and be linked together by a stringy gooey substance, two or three maybe a bit more, at a time. Treat with medication from the vets. This can happen if their home is not being cleaned out enough and have started getting nasty bugs.

No feces

If there are none present after a period of 24 hours, this is saying that the digestive system is in a statutory status. Where they are producing no feces, take to the vet as soon as possible, it might show up that they have an infection. This is life threatening, but don’t worry the vets will help you.

If you have any comments for me, please leave them below and I will answer them as quick as I can. Thank you.

Source: https://animals.mom.me/guinea-pig-feces-diseases-2980.html

 

 

 

12

How to keep guinea pigs cool in summer?

We are now fully into the summer months here in the UK and an important consideration is how to keep guinea pigs cool in summer. They struggle to cool down as well as humans, simply because they cannot sweat. Signs of them trying to cool down is by lying right down on the surface they are on, like grass or fleece, as it can be colder in this area. Obviously they will have less energy and spend more time sleeping and resting. Now if they are kept inside, this is easier to deal with as most of the house may be cool. But if it does get too hot inside and whilst they are in their playpen outside, there are a few things you can do to help them.

Make sure that all water bottles are filled up and if needs be, refill again in the day. Place them where it is easy for the guinea pigs to get too and you could add one to two ice cubes, but not any more as it can shock them. Feed only once in a week and still a tiny amount, some watermelon or high water content fruit. You may feed them these anyway, but cucumber and romaine or sweet gem lettuce will help. A good tip is to freeze some bottled water and place it in wherever they are situated. Also, regular weekly grooming can get rid of any loose hairs that can make the guinea pig even hotter. Do not place them in garages and sheds as they can build up in temperature very quickly.

Now the ideal temperature range is 18 to 24 degrees celsius. If the temperature lets say suddenly goes up to 27 degrees celsius, I will already have the playpen located in a very shady part of the garden by the fence and below the tree and I create a sheltered area inside. So they will be cool even if it does rise, but I will not have them outside if I know the day before that it will be above or at 27 for most of the day. If your able to provide some shade with items but you don’t have shady parts of the garden, then the real max temperature I would say to keep them outside is at 25.

When outside make sure the playpen has a roof cover and if your able to place them nearer to the corner of the garden by the fence, even under a tree. Do not use plastic hideys, as the temperature will be too high inside them. Plastic tents are of thin material and provide great shade and even peg up a towel to the walls of the playpen to create a small cover. Guinea pig beds are good to use as they can hide underneath. There are specifically made cooling mats that you can buy that can keep them cool, but they may tend to not just lay on them, but try it out and see what happens.

To keep them cool inside, close windows as it will not let the heat in. Make sure they are away from windows and doors and in the coolest part of the house. I find in my hutches that it acts as a cool place for them. You could use a little stand up office fan, but do not direct right at them. Maybe place a little piece of flat wood or a concrete slab in the inside playpen and their home, so they can lay on to keep cool, as they are colder surfaces.

Signs that a guinea pig is getting too hot

They will be breathing very fast and lying down but starting to shake or rolling slightly. Get a wet towel but not too wet and wrap around the guinea pig and give it a bit of water to drink, when starting to recover. Quickly bring inside and relocate to a cooler part of the house. You will need to go to the vets, but you really want to avoid them getting too hot in the first place. It is a serious matter and can cause death, if heat exhaustion is not treated properly. Older and young guinea pigs will be more affected, so provide shadier areas and bring them inside if they are struggling.

Concluding

Summer can be a great time for guinea pigs to spend time outside eating grass, just relaxing and running about, but we just need to be extra vigilant in the care we offer in this hotter period of the year. Keep them hydrated and provide places of shelter. If in doubt, do not have them outside and be safer than sorry. Remember even indoors, you may need to take appropriate measures, depending on different circumstances like where they are usually kept in the house. When outside in the garden, shady areas will really help.

If you have any questions for me, then please leave a comment below. Thank you so much for reading.

Source: https://squidgypigs.com/2017/06/15/squidgypigs-hot-weather-care-for-guinea-pigs/

 

8

Guinea Pig Checklist – Tick It Off!

There are a certain set of basic items you need to get before you bring home guinea pigs. I will be adding in some additional items that you may want to get, but it is not crucial to get these. Having good preparation will make it easier for you and your new friends will thank you for it, as they settle into their new home. Other items are more expensive than others and will be with start up as well as be concurring costs. I am including items that you want to completely avoid, at the bottom of this page. So please check out this guinea pig checklist.

Mush have items

1. The home

Buy a home that will be big enough for all the guinea pigs you are going to be bringing back. A minimum space recommended by the RSPCA for two guinea pigs is 4 by 2 foot. There are various options that you can purchase like a wooden hutch, making up a canc cage, plastic cages, make your own out of wood for example and even a shed. Hopefully the new home can last there entire lifes, make sure it is of good quality and will suit their needs.

2. Bedding

Fleece, hay, vetbed and paper based are some examples of bedding you can find on the market. Just make up the bedding of three layers. It needs to be a solid base that will soak up urine.

3. Food

Bags of hay, fresh vegetables and nuggets are what you need to purchase before getting them and are concurring costs.

4. Carrier

A small cat carrier is something you need to get to transport your guinea pigs around. It can fit two guinea pigs in quite comfortably and purchase one that has a soft pad included or place a bit of fleece inside. Ferplast are a good brand and produce sturdy carriers.

5. Food bowl and water bottles

Ceramic food bowls that can’t be tipped over and water bottles that are ideally 320ml, which will provide plenty of water throughout the day.

6. Hideys

It is vitally important that you buy different types of hideys as guinea pigs love and need hiding places to feel secure. I would say for two, buy at least three to four. Examples of hideys are tunnels, plastic igloos, fleece cosies are also good for transporting them from one place to another, fleece and wooden houses provide good space for even two to fit inside and plastic tents are ideal for outside.

7. Brushes

They will need weekly grooming, to get rid of any loose hairs. There are either soft or hard bristled brushes.

8. Cleaning Supplies

Items like j cloths, baby wipes and disinfectant like the Johnsons brand will be needed to clean out the home and playpen. Distilled vinegar will help to clean calcium deposits from urine, on surfaces like wood and plastic. If you have fleece or vetbed bedding, purchase non bio washing liquid as powder will cause them irritation, again vinegar to help clear stains as well as vanish stain remover will just make sure that heavy-duty marks will die down. A portable hoover to clean away poos and hay if using that bedding with the home and playpen, will keep everything in tip top shape. A rubber dog hair brush will remove hairs and hay of the fleece, before going into the washing machine. This is a life saver and really does clean it well.

9. Playpen

Can be a metal fenced, maybe a little play sandpit or made from wooden walls. For inside place the appropriate flooring down like a plastic covering and three layers of absorbable bedding like fleece and two layers of toweling is just one example. Remember the outside playpen will need to have a roof cover.

10. Vitamin C supplements

Makes sure they are having enough vitamin c on top of the veg you will be feeding. But buy the solid tablets as dissolvable ones will decrease in vitamin c quickly in the water bottles.

11. Toys

Wooden and wicker toys are a favourite like balls and chews and they need to be animal friendly. Guinea pigs are not big on playing with loads of toys like some other pets are. So there is no need to get too many, just a few for more than two piggies. Some will like playing more than others. I think at a young age, they will be more fascinated by toys and as they get older, they will not be as interested.

Optional extras

1. Nail clippers

If you are able to straight away or in the future, then purchase nail clippers. But it is not a must purchase item like the others, as you may have to go to the vets for clippings. It is good to have them anyway though, just in case.

2. Herb mixture bags

Can be added with hay for extra variety and texture. They are great to get as it helps with them getting some more nutrients and for mental stimulation. Only feed once or twice a month depending on what is in the bag, as they could have too much of something that they can only have occasionally.

3. Medical supplies

For peace of mind and just in case you can buy some medical supplies like the special food mixture by Oxbow for guinea pigs that are not well enough to eat all their food. To be honest, there may be many situations where a trip to the vet will be the only solution to the problem.

Completely avoid these

1. Wheels

Hamsters love running in their wheel, but it is bad for guinea pigs as they can hurt their spine. They are just not designed to run in a wheel, so please avoid.

2. Leashes

You may walk a dog with a leash, but its cruel to do this with a guinea pig. They are animals that like to roam free and of course placed in a fixed area anyway. They will hurt the fragile spine and be squeezing their bodies too much. Plus you would probably get wierd looks from members of the public as you walk your guinea pig in the local park.

3. Junk Food

Don’t start giving your pets mcdonalds to eat or human snacks like crisps, as this will kill them. There digestive systems are used to eating hay and vegetables. Also do not purchase foods like yoghurt drops in pet shops. They might say alright to feed small animals, but they are packed with a tonne of sugar and additives.

0

Guinea Pig Behaviour – What are they doing?

To make out how a guinea pig is feeling is not only understood by the sounds that they make but by their behaviour/body language to. Like humans and other animals, guinea pigs also behave in various ways. You may be looking at your piggie and looking perplexed at what it is doing.

Popcorning

Jumps up with its back end in the air. A sign of happiness, being fed hay or vegetables for example. Just an overall satisfaction with its current surroundings. It certainly is a great joy to see them jumping about all over the place.

Bar Biting

They are trying to get your attention and are begging for their food, if they are in a hutch with metal bars. Also, can mean loneliness or boredom of being in a tiny cage.

Biting

Guinea pigs will very rarely bite, but when they do it is saying that they are feeling in danger by your actions or even another guinea pig is really upsetting it. They can bite when they misunderstand of thinking your fingers or toes are food, you need to make sure you wash your hands before touching them.

They may bite their fur because of mites, which is extremely uncomfortable, as you can imagine.

Stop fidgeting

They want to not be held anymore or just don’t want to at all.

Frozen in time

A loud or sudden sound that they don’t like and are thinking it is a predator. It’s a natural instinct just to stay completely still and boy can they look like a statue when they are. A vibrating sound will follow as part of the freezing. They are trying to be invisible like harry potter did with the invisibility cloak, until they feel that the apparent danger has passed. Usually it will last over a couple of minutes and then go back to being completely normal.

Runs and hiding or just runs away

A frightened guinea pig will run and hide from hearing sounds that they find scary. They will run away to avoid being picked up, but eventually may get used to it.

Heads in the air

Both will hold heads up in the air facing each other, with their teeth showing, which means a physical fight or chasing will start. Place a towel over them if a violent fight begins and this will confuse them. Then quickly split them up or if it is just chasing, make a clicking sound with your tongue and use your hands and this will make it stop.

One guinea pig can go right up to the other and with its nose make the other move its head up as much as it can. This is a sign of domineering, saying I am boss.

A tossing up of the head is saying it is being annoyed from getting stroked, so just stop.

Skittish

Similar to a cat, guinea pigs can suddenly have lively moments, where they will run around very quickly for a little time. They sure can run as fast as Usain Bolt. This behaviour is just to use some of that unused energy up.

A bit of sniffing going on

A sign of wondering what is going on by sticking their head up in the air. You may be talking to them from a distance, that can make this happen. Also, a short sniff along with a chattering of teeth and running away signifies that a guinea pig is falling out with the other, saying back off and leave me alone.

Scent marking

Will rub certain parts of their body like cheeks or hind ends on items to mark territory. Another way is they will drag their bottoms along the surface that they are on, like a fleece flooring over a little area.

Nibbling

If you are holding them, they want to be put back down again to go to the toilet or just have had enough of being held. They will nibble at clothing or if being held in a fleece cosy, nibbling inside this.

Need a nap now

Only sleep for up to four hours a day in fits and bursts throughout. Also, can mostly have eyes open when sleeping, but will close if feeling very comfortable and are safe with its surroundings. You can see when they are dreaming, because their eyes will slightly flicker about and legs may move a little. If also feeling relaxed will spread their bodies out when having a snooze.

Cleaning

Are very clean animals and always constantly looking after their appearance and being hygienic. I would say they clean themselves similar again to cats. Standing on its back legs will start in a motion to clean with its front legs around the head and down with the tongue. Over time, trust will develop and they will even start to clean by you, when sitting in with them in a playpen.

Lick your face off

They won’t actually lick your face off. But may lick your skin for the salty taste or could be showing affection. I personally have not experienced this a lot and you may find this to be the same.

Depressed

Just not their usual selves, may be sulking in a corner and not moving about for ages. See if they perk up by offering some fresh hay or veg. If they continue to be depressed, then it is worth a trip to the vets to see if their is a major problem with them. Guinea pigs will hide illnesses so well, that is very hard to work out what is wrong with them. It is a natural instinct of there’s, but certain signs can be seen like not drinking or eating and may show up in the poops.

Scratching

A normal display of behaviour and you will see a lot of this. Just a need to scratch, but if you are seeing too much of it, then they may have mites that need eradicating. You need to give a check over their skin to see what is going on.

Eating own droppings

Will move its head down to the bottom and place a specially formed pellet into its mouth to eat. This process is called coprophagia and the pellets are made up of vitamin c. It has to be re digested again to break down from the food it has eaten before.

Give us a stretch

Will stretch out which shows signs of relaxation and being comfortable with its environment. Obviously will be stretching after being sat or lying in one area for some time or when feeling tired.

Mounting

Either gender will start mounting onto the back of each other. A sign of being amorous and will happen mostly in the summer months, because of the warmer weather. It really is not unusual to see males performing on their own gender and the same for females, it is something they can’t help. But obviously males get females pregnant this way, so in this way it is normal.

Source: https://www.thesprucepets.com/guinea-pig-vocalizations-and-body-language-1238882

6

Cut Guinea Pigs Nails – How to do this safely

Cutting your guinea pigs nails is a really important aspect of their general care. Overgrown nails can be very painful for them and by cutting properly, as well as regularly, it will prevent potential injuries. Do not allow the nail to grow so long that it starts curling and going into the foot pad, they will not be able to walk properly and be in a lot of discomfort. Some grow quicker than others and will need trimming down at different lengths. They do not love their nails being cut, but in time and by gaining their trust, it can make it a more comfortable experience. You will find when trying to hold them that they might squeal and wriggle about.

How to cut the nails safely

As soon as they start becoming sharp or near the double the length of the quick, they need cutting back a little. An average period is every two to three months, but others will differ from this. The quick is a blood vessel that you do not want to cut into. But if you do cut into it, you can use a styptic pen or dab a smudge of flour or talcum powder and this will stop the bleeding, just double check after. Cutting dark nails is harder and you will need to shine some light underneath or just cut a tiny bit back.

As a beginner, it can seem quite daunting at attempting to cut their nails for the first time. But don’t worry you will get there. Make sure that each foot is held securely but not tightly. Personally I now start cutting their nails in the bottom part of a cat carrier whilst they are standing up. This way takes longer with four guinea pigs and I do have to be very careful in cutting. Unfortunately I am actually not confident enough in holding them to cut the nails, but that way works for me. Either get someone else to hold the guinea pig whilst you do the cutting or if your confident enough, complete the task yourself.

What to use?

Human nail clippers might hurt them a little as it will push down on the nail, so I would recommend small animal clippers like the ancol brand, they are cheap to buy. Using scissors might be dicey, because if the guinea pig really is a mover and you can’t hold on, you might accidentally catch the foot.

Should I go to the vets?

If you are very uncomfortable with doing their nails, then definitely go to the vets and they will be able to do them for you. You still might have to help some inexperienced vets hold the guinea pig. Just to mention you might have read another article where I say that vet fees are quite expensive and getting nails done is no exception, but there might be a free health check included. Different vet practices will charge various fees across the country.

Hopefully in time you will find that it might be a possibility that you’re able to cut the nails, as in the long term it will save a lot of money. Also, less stress for the guinea pig, in not having to be in a busy waiting room and coping with the journey to the vets. Saving time as well, not having to travel and wait around. But as I have said, if confidence is an issue, the best and safest way is to go. The vet can give tips and its a good learning experience in being able to watch how it is done.

Where should I do the cutting, if attempting to cut myself?

On your lap on a towel, soft pad or pillow, which will put the guinea pig at ease and make it feel more comfortable. On a table or worktop holding the guinea pig gently. Which ever way is easier for you and the safest for your pet, either holding or on a surface. Complete in a quiet place that will allow you to concentrate in the job in hand and not stress out the little one even more.

Finally – tips in keeping nails down

There are a few ways that may keep them trimmed down before cutting, but these might not make a difference and you will still need to cut them often anyway. Having them walk and run on a rough surface like wood or concrete. A wooden felted ramp, if they are kept in a hutch, will help as they go up and down. Try putting them out on a bit of the concrete patio in the garden, they may not venture onto it though. So I wish you all the best in trimming the nails for the first time.

 

 

If you have any questions to ask me, please place a comment below and I will reply back as soon as possible.

 

Source: http://guineapigsaustralia.com.au/nail%20clipping.htm

2

Are Guinea Pigs Good Pets – Will They Suit Your Lifestyle?

They are truly fascinating creatures that you can learn a lot about, but I want to give you information on what guinea pigs are like to look after. I spend much time each day caring for mine and having a fixed routine is important. In this article I’m going to be honest about what it is really like and remember I am not trying to put you off, but it is information to think about.

THE COST

Do you have enough finances or does your parents. A lot of items are needed from bedding, food and housing etc. Start up costs can be a sizeable sum and ongoing needs are something to think about. For example hay is what you will be getting all the time for their entire lifes. Yearly costs could range around £800 to £1000 per year for two guinea pigs. So really think if this financial commitment is going to be too much to bare and look at getting a cheaper pet to look after. It is always good to have some reserves for any unexpected costs like vets fees, which depending on the severity of the medical situation can be large amounts. Of course there are items that are not necessarily needed, but what you might like to get for your furry ones.

TIME

Time made available each day is needed in terms of cleaning their habitats, feeding and bonding with them. If time is an issue for you, then unfortunately guinea pigs might not be for you. Cleaning out the homes can take at least a couple of hours, depending on what you have. Setting up and clearing away playpens will take some time as well. I am not saying looking after guinea pigs will take a whole day up and in time you can get quite quick with everything that needs to be done. If there is someone else helping, then this will make it quicker. Also, if you come back home from school or a job, will you have enough energy to then look after them. Many guinea pigs can be found at rescue centres, one cause is the fact people find out that time is a problem and other commitments gets in the way of giving their pets what it deserves. Before deciding, please give some thought on time.

LIFESPAN

You need to commit to looking after them their whole lifes. They are one of the small animals that live the longest from 4 to 8 years, some can live past this average range. With old age comes other considerations of care, maybe you might have to change from a double tier hutch to one on a single level, but this may not have to be the case.

SPACE

Is there plenty of room in your home to occupy all the items that are needed. Space for their home to go either inside or outside, this can take up a good area. A cupboard to store away bags of hay and bedding, hay can take up a good chunk of space.

OTHER PETS

Do you have any other pets, guinea pigs may not be able to live with them. For example cats and dogs may see them as something to eat or attack as that is in their nature. There are ways that you can teach them to get on with the piggies or they may naturally be ok with them, but it is risky. There have been situations where this has been the case. Always speak to vets or pet store/staff members to see what their opinion is about guinea pigs being around other pets.

NOISE

They are not very loud but do make different sounds to communicate their feelings. Wheeking is loud and it will ring in your ears all the time, joking. You might be dreaming of the sound. They beg for their food, but seriously it is a cute thing they portray and is not probably going to upset the neighbours. Now this is if they are in a hutch indoors, but noise will be made if they’re running up and down a ramp if in a double tier. Overall, noise isn’t a serious issue and they are quite quiet most of the time, just certain considerations to be made when they can make the noise. I love hearing all of their voices, but it might not be everybody’s cup of tea.

We need positives 🙂

Of course there are plenty of positives, they are great for children and it teaches them how to look after something with the help of parents, which is a good way of spending time together and also gives them responsibility. Guinea pigs are loyal and are quite intelligent, knowing what is going on around them, even though they cannot see that much of it. Are skittish to start with but in time can me very tame and will mostly love being stroked, but not all will like being stroked as much. No need to buy insurance like cats and dogs. They have funny personalities and can make you feel ten times better after feeling miserable. They might be able to settle your nerves if you have an important exam coming up or give you more confidence. Not just a pet for children but for adults to, who also enjoy them. Not going to need walking like a dog and will be in a fixed place unlike a cat where you don’t know where they go.

Generally speaking are hardy animals, but must be looked after correctly to have a full and healthy life. All the hay and poops can be placed into garden waste in the UK, so will not have to fill up the general waste bins, but depending on what area you live in, with the recycling set-ups. Help towards cutting the grass down in the garden, that’s if you have a garden with grass. Even though you might think now that looking after guinea pigs may be a bit more than you first thought, there are a lot of basic things to do to care for them.

Thank you for reading this article, if you have any questions you would like to ask me, then please feel free to drop me a comment below.

Source: https://www.wikihow.pet/Know-if-a-Guinea-Pig-Is-Right-for-You