7 vital tips about guinea pigs I wish I knew Sonner

7 Vital Tips about Guinea Pigs I Wish I Knew Sooner

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As a guinea pig owner of 3 years. here are some tips, tricks and things about guinea pigs that I would have saved a lot of time, money, energy and sweat if I had known earlier. So, let’s get on to it!

1. Guinea Pigs Poop a LOT

Obviously, guinea pigs’ stomachs digest foods very quickly, especially with their high-fibre diet, there’s no doubt they produce a decent amount of poop every day.

But how much, exactly?

On average, 100 per pig every day.

No, I’m not kidding. read more here for more info, and when I found out the amount I was quite shocked too. In addition, these potato-shaped furballs got their nicknames “poop factories” from us poor poop and pee butlers.

This is why we should clean the guinea pigs’ cages, or at least their litter box, every. Single. Day. Because their cages can get smelly. Moreover, guinea pigs are prone to UTIs and mites, and a dirty cage is one of the main causes of these painful conditions.

2. Clipping Nails is a 2 Person Job

guinea pig on owner's lap cuddling

Needless to say, I have tons of respect for the guinea pig owners who can hold their guinea pig in one of their hands, and clip the piggy’s nails on the other.

However, it’s quite dangerous and makes clipping nails more stressful for your guinea pig too. That is because it’ll be harder to see their quick, which is the pink part of the nail that contains the blood supply.

To make the entire progress easier and less stressful for you and your guinea pig, here are some tips to clip your piggie’s nails:

  • ask a trusted person to hold your guinea pig. The other person, say maybe you, will clip
  • Buy a high-quality nail clipper for pets. I use this one and highly recommend it, as it’s very comfortable to hold and clip. I know that some people say that baby nail clippers work too, but the shape of pet clippers is easier to clip and more comfortable for guinea pigs.
  • Feed some veggies to your guinea pig while you clip. If your piggy is well-behaved, give it a small treat a few times during the process to thank it for being such a good piggy! Popcorn gets anxious when we clip his nails, so we feed him cucumbers while I clip.
  • stay calm. To all first-time guinea pig owners, I know it’s scary. However, your guinea pig can sense your stress, so please try to stay calm. Practice makes perfect, you’ll be able to clip their nails in a few tries comfortably.

Here’s a full guide on how to clip a scared guinea pig’s nails for beginners.

guinea pig

3. Guinea Pigs are Vulnerable to Heart Attacks

When I first read about the higher chances of guinea pigs having a heart attack than other animals, I was skeptical about it and didn’t give much thought to it, since Popcorn is a very adaptable piggy and can sleep even when I’m vacuuming next to him.

Nevertheless, when Cookie, a timid and anxious guinea pig who was traumatized and poorly treated by his previous owners was introduced to our home, he was freaked out during the car ride on the way home. After that, he didn’t eat or drink at all, even though I put hay and veggies inside his hideout.

That evening, my sister was watching television on the lowest volume in order not to scare Cookie even more. Cookie didn’t move the slightest, so when my sister later picked him up to check if he was okay, we realized he had died.

We were horrified and were not sure his exact cause of death, but my guess is he died from a heart attack

Rest in Peace, Cookie.

Read more: What to do when your guinea pig dies

4. There are tons of ways to save money on guinea pigs

Sigh, I wish I had known this sooner. I could have saved lots of money. Here are 5 incredible tips to save more than $1200 on guinea pigs (Canadian dollars!) These tips are not something other websites give you, so be sure to check them out!

5. Guinea Pigs’ stomach = Black Hole

Without a doubt, Guinea pigs are known for their endless appetite, but do you know how much they eat? It depends on the piggy, but guinea pigs eat a great deal of hay every day, way more than you think.

For example, at my guinea pig Popcorn’s birthday party, I made a veggie cake out of lettuce, bell peppers, cauliflower, celery and carrots ( I know, that’s a lot). The cake was half of Popcorn’s size. He ate half of it, finally feeling full, only to finish the rest ten minutes later, like he was starving. It’s pretty impressive.

So, to save money, don’t buy hay in pet stores! Buy them at farmhouses if you’re near one, or pass by when you’re on the way home from a trip. Here’s more information about it

Also, finding a good hay rack can save a huge amount of hay from lying on the ground as bedding for guinea pigs 🙂

cute guinea pig eating lettuce

6. Do your research

I can’t stress this enough. Have you seen the dozens of Guinea Pig Facebook group posts asking self-explanatory questions on how to care for their piggies? I mean, you can rarely get the full answer with all the nuances in forums. I just don’t understand why don’t people just do a quick Google search. 

Okay, enough ranting. When getting a pet, aka something they will be caring for for 5-8 years, with the animal’s life and wellbeing fully depending on the human, you’d think that people will do at least some research. Right? 

Sadly, not all people are responsible. And even though you should be doing at least the basic amount of research on how to care for Guinea pigs before considering adopting a pair, some people neglect this crucial step altogether. 

And the consequences are huge. You can see the effects just by scrolling on platforms like Facebook. Here are some quotes from the posts of Guinea Pig Facebook groups. If you don’t know why they should’ve known, you might need to do more research. 

“Omg today I just found out the Guinea pigs are supposed to live in pairs. I feel so guilty. What do I do?”

“What do Guinea pigs eat? Tysm!” 

“So i already have a male guinea but i was given a wayyy smaller female. when would it be safe for me to introduce them? the cage is big enough for both. or should they be seperate?”

“Hi everyone! So my guinea pig, just gave birth and I have no clue what to do. Is there something I have to do? She has another female cage mate that is just eating food and chilling. Do I need to separate them? Any tips will help so much!”

Facebook

But how do you know that you have enough guinea pig knowledge? Take this free quiz to find out!

best enrichment toys for guinea pigs

7. Guinea Pigs are THE BEST pets on Earth!

That’s right. You might think that dogs or hamsters make better pets than guinea pigs, but these little potato-shaped furballs are:

  • super duper cute – big round eyes and cheeks, potato-shaped body, the size and shape of a stuffy
  • make great emotional support animals – you don’t need to get your piggy certified to enjoy the benefits of having a guinea pig that brings you a smile, laughter and warmth every day. As a person who has depression, Popcorn has helped me in a thousand ways
  • They don’t take much space of time – one of the main reasons why guinea pigs are great for busy people. They don’t need to be walked every day, just letting the piggies free roam in your home is already exercise for them
  • Moreover, guinea pigs keep themselves clean by grooming often, like cats. They don’t need a shower except for long-haired- guinea pigs and very dirty piggies
  • Easy to care for and tame – guinea pigs don’t need special lamps or other fancy materials. In addition, guinea pigs are easier to be picked up and more harmless than rabbits. They don’t bite unless your finger is full of carrot smell. If you’re still in the bonding phase, here’s how to bond with your guinea pig fast.

There are so many more meaningful points of having guinea pigs, trust me, you will love these little critters!

guinea pig

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