Thanks to its friendly nature, charm and relatively simple care, guinea pig has become one of the most popular pets. They are very sociable little animals, so it is recommended to buy two of the same sex. A pair of females is the best solution, as well as a pair of males. Just pay attention with the males, because they are more likely to start a mutual conflict. Guinea pigs are extremely loyal pets and their life expectancy is about six years, if you keep and feed them in a proper manner. Some specimens of guinea pig can live even longer.
When you decide to bring a guinea pig to your home, make sure that you choose a healthy one, or a couple. Determine if it is in good shape and healthy looking. Avoid guinea pigs that panic when you take it in your hands, but also those that are to quiet.
Guinea pigs are naturally very active and it is a good indicator that the animal is satisfied and of a good health. Buying a guinea pig requires some basic taking care knowledge, for it is one of the least demanding pets to keep. You just need to provide them a large cage, regular physical activity and, the most important, proper nutrition.
Proper guinea pig nutrition
Proper diet of a guinea pig consists of hay, which is the basis of their diet and helps them to keep their fast growing teeth in good shape, commercial food and fresh fruits and vegetables. Guinea pigs are herbivores, so it is highly recommended not to give them any food of animal origin. Their tiny bellies are delicate, they cannot digest this type of nutrients and they don’t need it at all.
Fresh food, like fruits and vegetables is good, but do not go overboard with it. Raw food meals should be given just a few times a week, because they can get stomach problems, if they eat it more often. You can treat your guinea pig with bread, but it should not be a replacement for hay.
Do not fall for their charm and do not give them your food like sweets, for example. They would love the food that you eat or drink, but t can be really harmful for their health, make them really ill and even lead to death.
Chocolate is dangerous
If you consider giving even just a small piece of chocolate to this charming rodent, the answer is simple: do not feed it with chocolate. Guinea pigs are exclusive herbivore and any food of animal origin or with the high sugar content can cause serious problems your pet. You should avoid feeding them with vegetables of higher sugar content, like corn or carrots. It should be given moderately.
You have certainly heard that chocolate is dangerous to dogs, but it this rule also applies to guinea pigs. Chocolate contains theobromine, a stimulant with the effect similar to caffeine. Increased heart rate which it triggers can be fatal for animals with rapid metabolism, such as of a small animals.
Theobromine stimulates the central nervous system, causing an increase in blood pressure, excites the cardiovascular system and can cause vomiting and nausea.