Let’s show some love for the guinea pig this month, after all, 16 July is your squeaky little friends’ official appreciation day. These adorable pets are one of the longest-serving companions to humans, having been domesticated as far back as 5000BC in South America, and they’re hardy too, living five to eight years on average.
The team at Northampton are big fans of the little piggies and have some suggestions for how you can show your appreciation of your pets – not just on their special day, but throughout the year. As always, if you have any questions, do contact us for more advice.
In the wild, guinea pigs live in herds as they are extremely sociable creatures and, being prey animals, rely on each other for security. It’s never a good idea to keep just one as it will feel lonely and become depressed.
So, once you’ve got your double bundle of cuteness, our head nurse, Katie, says that you can start showing your appreciation with some special treats – they particularly love fresh green vegetables. Then there are some fun activities you can provide for them.
- They love places to hide, so give them cardboard boxes with holes cut into the sides, tunnels made of willow, plastic or cardboard, and piles of hay to frolic in.
- Like rabbits, guinea pigs’ teeth grow continuously so they need to keep them down by gnawing on things like fruit tree branches, such as apple and willow.
- To encourage them to forage for their food, as they would in the wild, try filling paper bags with natural treats or hide some vegetable in plant pots. This will keep them happily occupied too.
- Keep your guinea pigs alert and active and changing their environment regularly – move around their play objects and change the position of the hutch and layout of the run regularly.
All these things will be much appreciated by your guinea pigs and who knows, the attention could see them beating the lifespan of world record holder Snowball, who lived to the ripe old age of 15. We’ve plenty more tips on guinea pig care when you call us on 01604 478888.