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Pet Information: American Guinea Pig
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"The basics about the care of guinea pigs: Guinea pigs need at least five hours every day on grass in a reasonably sized, covered partially (with plastic or wood; for shade and for protection) chicken wire run, regardless if it's rainy or sunny. It's essential to put a small box with woodshavings and hay inside the run, so they can sleep during the daytime. At night, you may choose whether to have a large outdoor cage, or a large box in the house to house your guinea pigs in. Indoor cags can be obtained, but these are rarely big enough for the guinea pig, and are widely impractical. In any case, shelter should have the essentials; newspaper/magazines- to absorb any leakage or liquid waste. woodshavings- to absorb any liquid. These should thickly cover the newspaper. Hay- bedeck shelter with this bedding material in excess. This is a staple food, bedding, and even toy for guinea pigs. Food bowl- containing plenty of fresh dry food. Selection of fresh fruit and vegetables. Food plays a large part in your guinea pigs life. Hay, grass, dry food, and carrots are needed in large amounts by any domestic guinea pig. (water is not neccesary, contrary to popular belief. Guinea pigs often do not utilise water bottles or water bowls; instead, source their water from foods such as tomato, lettuce, celery, or cucumber- guinea pigs will respond enthusiasticly to these in comparison with other hydrating techniques.) Fresh food that is great for guinea pigs includes- carrots, apple, pear, clery, sprouts, cabbage, turnip, grass, lettuce, leaves, plum, berries, etcetera. You'll find that guinea pigs have wise judgement, and won't go near anything that they don't like or that is remotely harmful to them. Some guinea pigs are very fussy with food; don't indulge them in their fussiness, as this will lead to later inconveniences and fussy preferences. Instead, give them as much of that particular food as you would under usual circumstances; they will then eat it gladly and get used to it, whilst being well nourished. Of course, be sure to accurately draw the line between giving them harmful food as opposed to food that they simply don't like. Give them three choices of fresh food every evening, and refill their food bowl with dry food whenever the level goes past halfway down the bowl. Some brands of dry food which I find appealing to guinea pigs are Supa Guinea dry food Wagg Guinea pig Gerty Guinea pig dry food Brush your guinea pig's coat every week, and bathe them gently every two months to mantain ultimate standards for your guinea pig's looks. Guinea pig brushes can easily be bought from a local pet shop, but a large toothbrush or soft bristle brush will be equally substantial. To bath a guinea pig; A guinea pig can be bathed in either a full size bath, a sink, or a basin. It would be unhygienic to bath guinea pigs in a sink, but would give them added security to be bathed in a small space. Basins are ideal, since they comfort the guinea pig because of its confined space, and are clean for guinea pigs to use. A bath will be good for releasing guinea pig's pent up energy, but they'll be more frightened in such a large space, it will waste water, and be unhygienic. Guinea pigs will be scared during bathtime, and will often try to either jump out or cling onto one's hand. This is no cause for concern. They will recover completely if placed in a warm, comforting hay box with plently of care, attention, and special treat foods, such as banana (don't give them this as a regular food, as it doesn't wear down their teeth well enough, and is too sweet for them to eat on a regular basis). First, buy some guinea pig shampoo/ mild tea tree shampoo fro any chemist's or pet shop. Hsve a large, fluffy towel ready, and a brush. Fill the {basin} {3/4} of the way full (depending on the size of the guinea pig) with tepid water. Place the guinea pig in it gently, yet firmly. Lather your guinea pigs coat with a small squeeze of shampoo. Do not lather any further then the ears, and take especial care not to get any soap in the mouth, eyes, ears, or nose. Rinse with plenty of warm water so that no soap suds or traces of shampoo are left in his coat. Lift the guinea pig out, onto a towel, and roll it around him, so that it looks like an Egyptian mummy. This covers his fur evenly on all sides, and makes him feel protected. Cuddle your guinea pig, stroke it, rub him gently, and talk to it comfortingly. This will put your guinea pig at ease. Most guinea pigs love to be brushed after their bath, but some will sqeauk with the unfamiliar sensation. More often the not, you will not be hurting your guinea pig as you are brushing him. Brush with steady, even strokes that sopan the length of his body. Finally, guinea pigs need to be paid much attention. They must be handled, stroked, and talked to, every day. This developes their sociable tendencies and affectionate nature. If you get to know your guinea pig well enough, it will feel comfortable enough to run towards you, purr, or sqeauk when it sees or hears you; it will fall asleep on your lap; it will take food from you; it won't be scared of you; it will recognize you; it will lick you, and, most importantly, develop a relationship with you."
"Eleanor"

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