Veterinary Practice and Pet Dentist Leipzig

 

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Dr. Cornelia Fricke

VETERINARY PRACTICE & PET DENTIST

Oelhafenstr. 7, Leipzig

Pet Clinic Leipzig - Location

+49 341 4616264

Pet Clinic Leipzig - Phone Number

Ein glückliches Meerschweinchen durch korrekte Fütterung und Haltung

Keeping and Feeding Guinea Pigs

A short guide FOR PET OWNERS

Keeping guinea pigs is very popular. These small, sociable animals bring joy to many households. In this short guide, we look at the most important aspects of feeding and keeping guinea pigs so that these adorable rodents can lead a long, happy and healthy life.

 

Understand your guinea pig

Before we get into the nitty gritty, let's take a quick look at what makes guinea pigs so unique. Originally from South America, guinea pigs are prey animals by nature. This instinct also influences their behavior in the home environment, which means they need safe, quiet habitats with plenty of places to hide. For this reason, they do not like being picked up, but feel threatened by it.

 

The right housing

Size of the enclosure

A key element for the well-being of your guinea pigs is a suitable enclosure. A minimum of 2 square meters should be available for two guinea pigs, but the bigger the better. A larger enclosure allows the animals to perform their natural behaviors such as running, exploring and playing hide and seek.

Furnishing the enclosure

You should invest a lot of love and care in furnishing your enclosure. Make sure that there are various hiding places, toys and tunnels to keep the animals occupied. Branches, cork tubes, willow bridges, cuddly sacks and hammocks are also suitable. Hiding places for guinea pigs should always have two entrances.

 

Nutrition: the key to health

The right diet is crucial for the health of your guinea pigs. Here are the basics you should consider:

Hay

Good quality hay should always be available in the enclosure and should be available to the guinea pigs in unlimited quantities. It aids digestion and helps to wear down their constantly growing teeth.

Fresh feed

Fresh feed is the main component of guinea pig food. Approximately 70 - 85 percent of the fresh feed is green food, which includes grass, lettuce leaves, wild herbs and twigs. This green, leafy food is the only way to shorten the constantly growing teeth. Vitamin C, which is vital for guinea pigs, can also be obtained from this. A small amount (!) of root vegetables such as carrots or similar can also be fed. As these vegetables are very firm, there is a risk of too much pressure on the tooth root area and resulting tooth damage if larger quantities are fed.

Dry feed

Just like bread, dry food should not be fed as it makes guinea pigs ill and leads to severe obesity and tooth damage.

Water

Fresh, clean water must be available at all times. The use of a water tray is recommended.

 

Social behavior and interaction

Guinea pigs are very social animals and should never be kept alone. Keeping them in groups or at least in pairs is essential for their well-being. They communicate with each other using a variety of sounds. Neither a rabbit nor a human can replace a second guinea pig.

 

Health care

Regular health checks, including weekly weight monitoring and dental checks, should not be forgotten. If you notice any changes in behavior or signs of illness, an immediate visit to a vet is advisable. As guinea pigs are flight animals, they hide their symptoms for as long as possible, otherwise they would become prey in the wild.

 

Conclusiuon

Keeping and feeding guinea pigs in a species-appropriate manner requires commitment, knowledge and, above all, love. With the right home, the right diet and the necessary care, these adorable animals can become wonderful and happy members of your family.

Our veterinary practice in Leipzig-Wahren is on hand with help and advice to support the well-being of your guinea pigs. We offer regular health checks, nutritional advice and many other services to ensure that your little friends can lead a long and healthy life.

Written

2024/03/20

Dr. med. vet. Cornelia Fricke  

Specialist veterinarian and practice owner

Additional qualifications in cage, zoo and wild birds and reptiles

Veterinary densist (German Society for Animal Dentistry)

Autorin: Dr. med. vet. Cornelia Fricke

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Dr. Cornelia Fricke

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