HOW LONG DO GUINEA PIGS LIVE FOR?
Guinea Pigs can live for up to 8-9 years, so it is important to bare this in mind when taking on a Guinea Pig(s). The average age for a Guinea Pig is between 4-6 years.
DO GUINEA PIGS BITE?
Unlike many other small animals, Guinea Pigs do not bite.
CAN MALE GUINEA PIGS LIVE TOGETHER?
Yes. Male Guinea Pigs can live together, providing that the balance of personalities is right. Two or more males can also be successfully bonded if a single male Guinea Pig remains after the loss of a cage mate.
CAN GUINEA PIGS LIVE WITH RABBITS?
Definitely NOT!! Guinea Pig and Rabbits should not live in the same hutch/cage under any circumstances. Rabbits have extremely powerful back legs and can seriously injure (or kill) a Guinea Pig. They also have completely different dietary requirements and it is vital that the right diet is administered or they may suffer health problems.
Rabbits have also been known to carry certain diseases and pass them onto Guinea Pigs, which has resulted in the death of the Guinea Pig.
I HAVE A SINGLE GUINEA PIG, IS IT OK TO INTRODUCE ANOTHER GUINEA PIG?
Yes, it is possible to bond two Guinea Pigs. Some Guinea Pigs take to each other straight away; others may need a little time to get used to each other.
Tips on bonding Guinea Pigs:
Clean out their cage/hutch thoroughly.
Make sure that there is two of everything so that there is nothing to fight over, (Bowls, water bottle, toys, houses/tunnels)
Place both Guinea Pigs in an environment that they haven’t been in before, (i.e. different room, fresh clean towels, outside play pen). This means that neither pet has previously scented the area.
Introduce fresh veggies and hay so that there is a common interest.
Bath both pets together so that they smell the same.
Place a small amount of Vicks Vapour Rub just above their noses and near their bottom to eliminate any person scent temporarily.
WHAT IS THE BEST TYPE OF BEDDING TO USE?
The most widely used Guinea Pig bedding materials are newspaper, wood shavings and hay. This combination is ideal for keeping your pets clean and dry. Please be careful however because you sometimes find that wood shavings with either a lot of aroma or a lot of dust in them can cause health problems. Guinea Pigs like to forage close to their cage/hutch floor, thus any fine dust particles can be inhaled. Shavings with big flakes and very little aroma are therefore the best sort.
IS IT OK FOR GUINEA PIGS TO LIVE OUTSIDE IN THE WINTER?
Yes. Providing that their hutch is in a sheltered place where there are no drafts. During cold spells, it is important to place plenty of hay in with them, and to also cover the hutch with warm blankets, towels and tarpaulin. Any loose covers should be secured with drawing pins.
ONE OF MY GUINEA PIGS HAS BEEN MOUNTING THE OTHER, IS THIS NORMAL BEHAVIOUR?
Guinea Pigs tend to mount each other for one of two reasons; either they are trying to show their dominance over the other, or they are in season. Both of these are completely normal behaviours. Mounting is normally done simultaneously with a rumbling sound and motion. Again, this is perfectly normal, and providing that there is no teeth chattering or aggressive behaviour, they should be left to sort out whose boss!! Just keep an eye on them to ensure that the one being mounted is not becoming drained from being chased.
MY GUINEA PIG IS VERY VOCAL, IS THIS NORMAL? AND IF SO WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
Guinea Pig are very vocal creatures. Here are some of the noises to listen out for:
Wheeking – feed me now!!
Rumble – male romancing or female in season
Purring – experiencing enjoyment/pleasure (cuddles)
Shrieking – (Very sharp high pitched) Suffered pain or very afraid. Often heard when cage mates nip each other
Mutter/Chunter – happy Guinea Pig going about their business (Muttering to themselves)
Whining – when a Guinea Pig is resting and they are disturbed.
Teeth Chattering – upset/angry
Chirping – sounds very much like a bird song and is very rare!
WHAT FOOD(S) SHOULD MY GUINEA PIG BE EATING?
The vital elements in a Guinea Pigs diet are dry food, hay/grass and fresh veg/fruit. Please refer to our downloadable Care Sheet for further guidance on diet.
I THINK MY GUINEA PIG HAS MITES, WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Ivermectin spot on, available from Manor Pharmacy, is ideal for treating mites. A small spot on the back of their neck once monthly should help prevent mites from taking hold.
If the infestation is causing real irritation and sores/cuts, then please seek veterinary advice.
MY GUINEA PIG HAS RUNNY DROPPINGS, WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Stop all fresh vegetables and feed only dry food mix and hay until their droppings return to normal. Also, make sure your pet is drinking plenty of water during this time so that they do not become dehydrated. If the problem persists for more than 48 hours, please seek veterinary treatment.