Proper nutrition is the key to active growth and development of the guinea pig. Therefore, in any case, do not try to experiment on your favorite. To make the animal grow strong and healthy, feed it properly.
The origin and domestication of the guinea pig
For the first time guinea pigs were domesticated by the Andes of South America 5 thousand years ago. It is true then they did not act as pets, but as a source of tasty meat or sacrifices for various rituals and rituals. In the 13th century ne Indian tribes became seriously interested in their breeding, and until 1533 they bred a fairly large number of different breeds.
Modern breeders, of course, did not stop there. As a result, today there are a huge number of varieties of guinea pigs, quite different from each other. These are both long-haired, and short-haired, and short-haired animals. There are even guinea pigs with no fur at all or with a slight down.
In general, the length of the guinea pig is 25 - 35 cm. The muzzle of the animals is blunt, the ears are drooping, the body is round, and there is no tail at all. Male weight reaches from 1 to 1.5 kg, and females - from 0.8 to 1.2 kg.
Guinea pigs are rather pleasant pets with a good-natured and gullible character. They love to play and sit in the hands of the owner. But only when handling them you need to be extremely careful, as the fall of the animal, even from a small height can lead to sad consequences. Guinea pigs are able not only to grunt, but also to make others. No less interesting sounds. For example, when they like something, they can purr. Males sometimes purr during courtship. Females chirp during pregnancy like birds. They do, of course, it is not always. But the attentive owner will be able to notice when his pet "gives out" something new.
How to choose a house for the guinea pig?
Your new friend must be provided with his own house: any single-story cage or aquarium. Since the guinea pigs are endowed with short paws, they do not need rides, ladders, hammocks, etc. But some kind of shelter in the cage should be so that the animal, if necessary, could hide there. It is better to make it from a small piece of bark, about which the pet can also sharpen teeth.
According to some veterinarians, due to the presence of such a construction, the animal will become less tame: it will constantly sit in its house, afraid of light and noise. If you notice this, then in the daytime clean the house, and put the night back.
Put the litter on the floor. As it can act as timber, hay, straw, sawdust or wood filler. Tyrsu choose a large, as a small animal can score a nose. Make sure the hay is fresh, not raw and without mold. Change the hay and hay at least 1 time a day, otherwise a sugary unpleasant smell will appear in the apartment. Wood filler has a good absorbency, so you need to change it 1 every 3-4 days.
The guinea pig house must also be equipped with 2 feeders and a drinker. The drinking bowl should be vertical ball. A simple bowl is not suitable for the reason that the filler can get into the water, because of which it becomes unsuitable for consumption. Change the water at least 1 time a day, even if the pet did not drink it at all. Feeders are needed for dry and wet food. They must have good stability so that the animal could not turn them over.
What can feed a guinea pig at home?
The diet of guinea pigs - exclusively vegetable food. Be sure to stock up on hay, which has a beneficial effect on the teeth of the animal and digestion. You can buy it at any pet store or do it yourself. The latter option is possible only if you have experience in this matter. Hay should be well dried, without putrid odor, without poisonous herbs and parasites. In addition, guinea pigs are lovers of straw and various dry herbs, especially dandelion and plantain, bark and leaves of oak and birch, as well as cereals and legumes.
The menu of this pet should be 80% dry food. In pet stores a huge selection of specialized feed intended for guinea pigs. And too often, you do not need to change the feed, as the addictive animal to a new taste can take a long time. The remaining 20% is wet and soft food. This norm must not be exceeded in order to avoid health problems of the animal. Guinea pigs are very fond of apples, cucumbers, broccoli, white cabbage, lettuce, parsley, etc.
Go on about the pet and give him these goodies more than expected, in any case impossible. This will end badly. To calculate the permissible rate of wet food, use a simple formula: for every 100 g of pig weight, no more than 5-7 g of wet food is allowed.
It is forbidden to feed guinea pigs with cheese, bread, cottage cheese, cookies, all boiled, fried and smoked. Such a food, even in small quantities, can provoke a severe allergic reaction and a change in the consistency of the animal’s feces, leading to such consequences as clogging of the feces, infection with parasites and inflammation of the anus.
In addition, veterinarians advise in the winter to give the guinea pig vitamin C, diluting it in water at the rate of 1 mg per 1 ml of water. The animal will receive the remaining vitamins from food.
Remember that your pet will be healthy only if you monitor its nutrition. It is important to know what to feed the guinea pig in the winter and in the warm season, which give supplements. For the proper growth and development is also important to properly decorated the house, with comfortable feeders and drinkers.