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Befriending Your Guinea Pig

March 1 2021
March is Adopt A Rescued Guinea Pig Month! If you’re considering adding a new pet to your home, you may want to take a closer look at these little furballs. Guinea pigs really do make great pets! They are often more personable and affectionate than most small animals. Many of them even love to cuddle up with their humans! Of course, like many pocket pets, they can be quite shy. Here, a Oshawa, ON vet offers some advice on befriending your pet and helping him settle in.

Getting Set Up

The first way to help your little buddy feel comfortable in your home is to provide a great cage. This should be at least 10 square feet. However, if you have more than two cavies, you’ll likely need a bigger one. Your Guinea pig will also need some chew toys, a hidey-hole, and perhaps a good, safe exercise wheel. Ask your vet for advice on getting the cage set up properly.

Treats

Treats are a great way for you to gain your furry friend’s trust and affection, and help him bond with you. Just be sure to stick with things that are safe for Guinea pigs. Some good options for special treats are fruit tree twigs, Vitamin C tablets, rolled oats, and safe fruits and veggies. Don’t give your pet anything without researching it first, to make sure that it is safe. Ask your vet for you more information on safe and unsafe treats.

Handling

You should give your cavy time to get settled before you try to hold him. Once your miniature furball is feeling comfortable, handle him every day, for at least 10 minutes. One option is to let your pint-sized pal sit on your lap as you are reading or watching TV. Talk to him, play with him, and pet him a bit. If you have a dog or cat, keep them in a separate area when you are hanging out with your Guinea pig. Also, take care not to startle your furry friend. Don’t pick him up from behind, or when he’s sleeping. As you can imagine, being swooped up unexpectedly can be pretty frightening! Just be patient, and teach your tiny pal to associate you with positive things, like toys and treats. Please reach out if ever we can be of assistance. As your Oshawa, ON veterinary clinic, we’re here to help.

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