Points to Consider Before Buying a Guinea Pig
This page aims to get you thinking about what you might need to think about before you go down the pet shop to 'pick up a pig.'
The guinea pig is technically known as a 'cavy' and there are 7 species. Whilst we love, cherish are adore our guinea pigs, our south American cousins are not so charitable, often breeding the guinea pig for food. So we are told, each different species has a distinct flavour... however we at lovingyourpet.co.uk would certainly not recommend this approach - you can get much more out of a good 'guinea hug!'
Guinea pigs, (whilst boasting a huge amount of vowels,) are very loving pets and if cared for correctly can bring pleasure and happiness into your life. So what needs to be taken into account when looking after 'a pig?'
Guinea Pig Grouping
Females are easily kept together and will often form a strong bond. Males however (unless they are from the same litter) may struggle to get along. It is not uncommon in male pigs for bullying to occur and one pig to become the weakest and therefore have less access to the best food, water etc...
Also you need to bear in mind that if you house a male and a female pig together they may ('ahem') have a tendency to produce many more baby pigs!
Each guinea pig needs a decent amount of space to move about. Their cages should never be cramped. It is best to seek advice from the seller as to how much space they would recommend for the number of pigs you have.
Cost should not be a factor. If you cannot afford a big enough cage - you shouldn't be buying a pig! The cage should not have a wire mesh floor and should be maintained with clean wood shavings.
To keep a guinea pig as a pet you will need a bowl for them to eat out of, a water bottle (which should be regularly cleaned and changed) and some toys to keep them occupied. Pigs love to play and will make the best of an old toilet roll if provided.
TIP - the water bottles can become green with algae after a short time, either buy a bottle scrubber or for a free alternative put a small amount of uncooked rice in the bottle and shake vigorously. The algae will come off. You should then wash the rice out and rinse the bottle thoroughly before returning to the pig.
If you are providing a wooden toy for the pig, make sure it is not painted and is untreated wood.