Guinea Pig Care
Your guinea pigs water bottle should be emptied and filled with fresh water every day, even if its almost full. The dry food bowl should also be emptied and refilled with fresh dry food, if the bowl still has food in it reduce the daily amount that you are feeding. Fresh foods that are not eaten throughout the day should be removed before feeding more, as it is likely to become rotten quickly and will cause stomach upsets as well as attracting flies.
Remove any wet bedding and refresh the hay, always make sure your piggies have warm dry bedding at night.
Do a quick daily check to assess your guinea pigs health. Scan the accomodation to see if there are any loose droppings. Take a few minutes to watch your guinea pigs, do they look bright and active? Or does one look listless with its head down in a corner? Are the eyes clear? Is any of them limping? Listen for wheezing or unusual sounds. If you have any concerns about your guinea pig seek professional advice.
If your guinea pig has long hair it will need a daily brush to avoid tangles.
The guinea pigs home will need to be thoroughly cleaned at least once a week. All of the bedding and floor covering should be removed and the hutch disinfected with a pet friendly spray, found in most pet shops. Make sure you thoroughly wet the corners and joins between floor and sides to kill off any unwanted pests. If possible wait for the disinfectant to dry then replace shavings with clean ones and put in fresh bedding.
Wash food bowls in warm soapy water, as you would normal dishes, rinse thoroughly and dry before filling with fresh dry food. Water bottles should be washed with a bottle brush taking extra care to clean the spout.
It is advisable to give your guinea pig a weekly health check, can be done whilst waiting for cleaned cage to dry, I always weigh my guinea pigs to ensure a steady constant weight. (or an increase if the guinea pig is growing or pregnant) I trim the nails if they need doing, check the eyes are bright, check the ears are clean with no crusty bits, nose and mouth clear with no crusty bits, check that there are no running or wriggly things in the hair, check for lumps or bumps, make sure there are no scabs or sore patches and that the guinea pigs rear end is clean. Often, problems can be dealt with quickly and easily if caught early.
Once a month I give my guinea pigs a herbal, natural 'wormer', it does not harm them in any way and ensures that any internal parasites are kept at bay. It also balances the gut flora and keeps the digestive system working efficiently.
I also like to bath the piggies every couple of months and I alternate between a herbal based lice shampoo and a lovely luxury conditioning shampoo, this ensures that any little creepy crawlies are kept away and the coats of the piggies are glossy.
There is no need for regular veterinary visits unless there is a health worry or you prefer a professional to trim the nails.