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Raising with care

Guinea pigs are delicate creatures that make great pets – they are hassle-free, do well in families and are always energetic

Raising with care

Is it alright to let my young children play with guinea pigs?

Guinea pigs are delicate creatures, so ensure your children are supervised while playing with their pet guinea pig. Teach your children how to carefully handle their pet with love and care, bring them their daily dose of fruits for Vitamin C, cleaning up the cage and other duties so that your children and their pet bond together.

My guinea pig has become slow and listless these days. Is something wrong?

Generally, if you notice a change in behaviour in your Guinea pig, it is wise to check for other symptoms as well. Immediately check if your Guinea pig has laboured breathing, bloated abdomen, is he/she eating and drinking normally, are there any changes in the faeces or urine passed? If you notice any of these symptoms it is best to consult a vet as a disease or any condition can make your pet go downhill very quickly.

Generally, if you notice lethargy in your guinea pig, it can be a sign of an URI (Upper Respiratory Infection) or allergies. URI is a serious condition and will require immediate action. Guinea pigs are prone to pneumonia because they do not do well in cold environment. Ensure that your guinea pig is warm and there are no drafts and stay away if you have a cold.

My guinea pig is chewing on the plastic bars of the cage. How do I make it stop?

There could be several reasons why your guinea pig is chewing on his/her cage. One of the more concerning reasons is that he/she is have some dental problem like an overgrown teeth, this can be easily diagnosed and fixed by a vet. Other reasons are that he/she is bored or nervous or just wants your attention. To stop him/her from chewing on plastic, you could observe your guinea's chewing habits for a couple of days.

Notice if there is a particular time or incident when he/she starts chewing on the plastic. Has there been a change in the environment? Does it happen if there is commotion or loud noise nearby? Or does he/she start chewing when left alone for some time? If this is the case, then the chewing can by psychological.

You can introduce some non-toxic chew sticks or nibble toys for your guinea pig to chew on.

If your guinea is feeling lonely or needs more attention, try to spend more time playing with him/her. If your guinea pig is bored then try changing things up in his/her cage by putting in new toys or some new hay or putting in a new hideout. Or take him out of the cage.

(Views expressed and information provided are personal. Send your questions to manekaanimallove@gmail.com)

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