A BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO GUINEA PIGS (Part 3)
TWELVE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE BECOMING A PIGGY PARENT
Hi guys, it’s Helen and Rik here, from award-winning small animal accessories brand, HayPigs!® We’re here today to give you our beginner’s guide to guinea pigs. Here are twelve things we think you should know before becoming a piggy parent!
Note: If you missed Part 1 & Part 2 click here!
NUMBER 9: A GOOD VET IS SO IMPORTANT!
As mentioned earlier, trips to the vet can and most probably will happen at some point during the lifetime of your guinea pigs. Finding a vet that has specialist knowledge of guinea pigs as a species could make all the difference. In the UK they are known as exotic vets. So, do your research and don’t be averse to looking a little further afield for a vet you have confidence and trust in, as ultimately it could save you time and money in the long run.
NUMBER 10: BONDING WITH YOUR GUINEA PIGS.
Not only is it important for your guinea pigs to get along well with each other, it’s also great for you to build a strong human bond with your piggies. Some guinea pigs will naturally be bold and outgoing, whereas others will be shy and prefer to hide away. The more time you spend with them the more you will understand their characters. You can earn their trust and with time and patience, even tame the most nervous of guinea pigs. Guinea pigs love food. Find a really tasty treat and feed this to them whilst they are having a cuddle on your lap. If they are nervous, keep cuddle time short, but do it regularly and their trust in you (and the tasty food you always have!) will grow. Speak to them in a quiet and gentle manner and use their names – you may find they start to learn what their names are! Above all, persevere, handle your guinea pigs regularly, show them lots of love and affection and they will start to love you back!
The HayPigs!® Piggy Crash Mat™ is great for lap time cuddles!
NUMBER 11: GUINEA PIGS TAKE UP TIME!
There is plenty of time spent on keeping guinea pigs. They are a good choice of pet if you work away from home during the day, for example. But you do have to ensure that you have the time every day to feed them, clean up after them, give them their daily ‘floor time’ exercise and have some cuddles with them! As mentioned earlier, you also need to make the time to do things like ‘at home’ grooming and also potential vet trips too.
NUMBER 12: WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU GO ON HOLIDAY?
No one is expected to stay at home 24/7 if they have a pet, but do take a moment to consider what you would do with your guinea pigs when you go away on holiday. Who will look after them? If a friend or family member can care for them while you are away, then you will need to ensure they have all the necessary instructions from you, so they can look after them properly – especially if they are not familiar with guinea pigs. Some rescue centres will also take in guinea pigs while you go on holiday, as will dedicated pet sitters or people offering small animal boarding. Bear in mind that there will be a charge for these services, so add this fact to our previous point about finances! (And your holiday budget!)
We hope this guide has been useful, it’s by no means exhaustive, but just some really useful tips that we’ve learnt along the way. Guinea pigs really do make wonderful additions to your family and as long as you are prepared to put the time in and keep learning, we’re sure you’ll make great piggy parents! Enjoy!