If you’re a first-time pet owner, taking care of guinea pigs can be a big step. So in case you’re wondering, are guinea pigs east to take care of?
Yes, a guinea pig is easy to take care of in every way possible! However, they need regular attention, food, a good living environment, and other necessities to live well.
Naturally, your cavies are quiet, friendly, and affectionate animals that hardly cause problems.
Moreover, you won’t spend a lot of money to maintain your guinea pigs because they are easy to look after.
It’s great you now know that guinea pigs are easy to take care of. But what about the boars (male cavies) and sows (female cavies)? Is a male or female guinea pig better?
Just continue reading as I provide answers to this question and more in this article.
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Is A Male Or Female Guinea Pig Better?
It depends on several factors, including differences in their behaviors. Considering the fact that personal choices also differ from one person to another, there is no particular answer to this question.
Nevertheless, we’ll discuss the differences between the male and female guinea pigs to help you choose the better one.
These are the differences between the male and female guinea pigs;
Most times, the female cavies are usually quieter and more withdrawn than the males. In other words, the male guinea pigs connect to their owners quickly and play around more than the females. Knowing this behavior in guinea pigs helps you identify them easily.
Your guess is as good as mine! Male guinea pigs don’t make a mess the way females do. There’s a high chance that you’ll see remains of food in the same place you left it in the female cavy’s cage. But this may not be so when you check the male guinea pig’s cage.
Even though factors such as diets, and a safe living environment contribute to long life, male cavies live longer than females. Regardless, it is important to always care for both male and female guinea pigs the same way.
Due to their need to exercise dominance, male cavies show more aggression than females.
Whenever another male tries to take over their space, the males put up a fight to prevent it from happening. Although it is not common, the sows show signs of aggression too once in a while.
Normally, male guinea pigs have more energy levels and are more active than the females. That’s why the boars need a large cage to move around, especially if they are more than two.
Female guinea pigs, on the other hand, get along well with one another and don’t run around much.
With the explanation above, you can decide on whether a male or female guinea pig is better.
Are Guinea Pigs Easy To Take Care Of In Summer?
No, it is not easy to take care of your guinea pigs in the hot weather; this requires a lot of effort and time to prevent heatstroke.
This is an illness that happens after exposing an animal to too much heat above its ability to control internal temperature. Symptoms of heatstroke in guinea pigs include panting, restlessness, tiredness, salivating, and worse, convulsion.
Naturally, guinea pigs function well in temperatures between 21°c to 32°(70° to 90°F). If the weather becomes too cold, there will be a problem likewise if the temperature is too hot.
So, your job as a pet owner is to ensure the tiny pets maintain a normal temperature despite the hot weather.
To keep your guinea pigs cool during summer, follow these tips;
1. Give Them Enough Cool Water
Now, note the word “cool” because giving your cavies warm water in summer is not advisable. Ensure you give them cold water at least 4 times a day so that they’ll feel refreshed after drinking. Preferably, always keep enough water bottles in your fridge to make this easy.
2. Protect Them From Direct Sunlight
At this point, make sure your guinea pigs’ cage is not facing the sun. Regardless of whether their cage is indoor or outside, rays of sunlight can enter their house if you are not careful.
Place the cavies’ cage under a shade outdoor and if indoor, put it far away from the window side.
3. Always Provide Hydrating Fruits
Apples, oranges, berries, watermelons, and other fruits that contain water are highly nutritious and prevent dehydration.
During summer, your guinea pigs need a lot of water to remain active all day long. Feed them with these fruits once or twice weekly but only with a small quantity to avoid stomach problems from excess sugar.
4. Ensure Their Cage Is Cool
Place cold water bottles, or a wet blanket in your guinea pigs’ cage, especially when the weather is super hot. They’ll feel much comfort once they get close to these cool sources. Freezing water bottles and pouring cold water on a blanket is easy to do at home.
5. Remove Excess Fur
Good hygiene is important for your cavies in the winter months. Trimming their overgrown fur can prevent overheating and provide relief in the hot weather. Consult a professional pet groomer to care for your guinea pigs if you cannot do it.
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Are Guinea Pigs Easy To Take Care Of In The Winter?
No, to take care of guinea pigs in the winter is not easy work if you’re willing to keep them safe. Same as during summer, the winter months affect the tiny pets a whole lot. Too much cold can be dangerous to their general health and cause serious health problems.
To keep your guinea pigs warm during winter, follow these tips;
1. Keep Them In A Warm Environment
To ensure your guinea pigs remain warm and safe in the winter months, it would be better to keep their cage indoors.
However, if you are allergic to these small creatures, consider leaving them outdoors with an extra source of heat in the cage.
Always provide enough dry hay, blankets, and old newspapers especially where they take a nap. With this, they would not have to sleep on the cold ground, thereby becoming uncomfortable.
2. Add More Guinea Pigs To The Cage
Having two or three guinea pigs in a large cage during winter will hardly make them warm. But when they are at least 5 in the same place, playing around, they would hardly feel cold.
Also, remember that these little pets are social animals; keeping one or two of them in a cage is not favorable.
3. Provide Enough Toys
Go to the pet store and buy enough play materials for your cavies. Entertaining them with activities such as hide and seek all day long will make them feel warm from the inside. Just make sure their cage is large enough and they have playmates.
4. Ensure Their Cage Is Always Dry
Another way to keep your guinea pigs warm in winter is to prevent water from entering their cage. A wet environment will likely make them colder, causing respiratory diseases. Watch out for dampness in your cavies’ cage regularly and change the wet materials if you find any.
How To Take Care Of A Guinea Pig For Beginners
If you plan to have a few guinea pigs around, no doubt, you need to know how to protect and provide for them. Don’t worry, I’ll list out ways to take care of your cavies as a beginner.
Follow the tips below;
1. Get a Large Cage
One of the ways to take care of your guinea pig is by preparing a large space as cage to play around. Their living conditions should almost be the same as being in the wild. Ensure you keep more than one of these tiny pets in a cage for companionship.
2. Maintain Good Hygiene
Regular cleaning of the cage is not only important, but it is also the best option. Flies, mites, and all sorts of dangerous insects survive in a dirty environment. Create a schedule on when to clean your guinea pigs’ cage and don’t miss it.
In addition to this, trim their nails and furs once in a while. If possible, visit the groomers to ensure your cavies are perfectly clean.
3. Always Give Them Healthy Diets
A good diet helps your guinea pigs grow well and also prevents diseases. Hay is the primary food of guinea pigs, therefore you need to supply this diet at all times.
These small pets also need clean water, vegetables, and fruits to get vitamin C, since they cannot produce the vitamin themselves.
4. Pay Attention To Changes In Health State
Under normal conditions, your guinea pigs should remain healthy. However, they may sometimes show signs of stress, illness, and pain. If you spend much time with them, noticing strange symptoms will not be difficult.
Once or twice a week, check their teeth, nose, ears, nails, eyes, furs, and even their droppings for anything unusual. Contact the vet doctor if there is a problem. Keep in mind that delay can be dangerous.
5. Buy Enough Toys
Did you know that guinea pigs can experience boredom too? Not being able to play around their environment can increase the stress levels of the small creatures. Most times, this leads to aggressive behaviors such as biting, hissing, and more.
Get toys from the pet store for your tiny cavies to keep them active throughout the day. Preferably, buy chewable toys that will keep their teeth growth in check.
There are other ways to take care of guinea pigs as a beginner, follow the tips above for a start.
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How To Take Care Of A Long-haired Guinea Pig
Compared to guinea pigs with short hair, long-haired cavies need haircuts to feel free and comfortable.
Droppings, food remnants, mites, and other unpleasant things can stick to excess hair. Besides, it will likely take a long time to notice an injury on the body of the guinea pig.
To protect your guinea pigs with long hair, always keep their hair as short as possible.
Below are ways to care for them;
- Regularly trim their hair with sharp scissors. While doing this, be very careful.
- Remove twigs, knots, remains of food, and dry leaves on their body with a small, soft brush.
- Keep their environment sparkling clean to prevent flies from laying eggs on them resulting in flystrike and sudden death.
- In the winter months, trim a little hair only as fur provides warmth. However, do not ignore good hygiene.
- Once or twice weekly, bath them with lukewarm water and recommended shampoo.
- Consult pet groomers to help you out with the guinea pigs if you’re busy.
- Comb and style their long hair regularly.
Which Is Easier To Care For, A Hamster Or Guinea Pig?
A hamster is easier to take care of than guinea pigs because they are small, independent, and free creatures.
With little food, a large cage, and something to keep them busy, hamsters are good to go. Although cavies are wonderful pets, they need extra care and attention every day.
There’s a general belief that hamsters are great pets for children while guinea pigs are perfect for adults.
Older people tend to be patient with small animals than the younger ones. Without enough effort and attention, the guinea pigs’ overall health may be at risk. It is best that the cavies don’t fall sick at all because of their weak nature.
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All we’ve discussed in this article is that taking care of guinea pigs is easier than you think. Choosing the better one between a boar (male) and soar (female) depends primarily on you.
In the summer months, keep your cavies cool and during winter, keep them warm.
Also, if you have a long-haired guinea pig, constantly keep its hair short.
Finally, hamsters are smaller, friendlier, and more independent than guinea pigs, making them easier to look after.