Many people may not realize that hundreds of guinea pigs are relinquished to shelters each year when their owners decide they can no longer care for them.
Domesticated guinea pigs are also known as cavies. Guinea pigs are generally gentle animals, and make good family pets, especially for children over six years of age.
As with all other pets, small children, should be supervised by an adult while handling a guinea pig.
Guinea pigs may live as long as 10 years, so the decision to adopt one must be made carefully.
Guinea pigs require daily care including feeding, watering, cage cleaning, exercise, and companionship. They are social animals, and will definitely want to be a part of your family.
There are 13 breeds of guinea pigs, differing in hair types, colors, and markings. The variety certainly is remarkable.
To adopt a friend for life, the Humane Society of Broward County requires the following adoption fees.
- $30.00 for Guinea Pigs
These fees include:
- Spaying/neutering for every animal
- Treatment for fleas & ticks
- Preliminary vaccinations and de-worming
- Overall wellness check
- Lifespan: 4–6 years
- Also called: Cavies
- Weight: 1.5–2.5lbs
- Related to: Rodents
- Originated from: South America
- Personality traits: Docile, gentle, cheerful, harmless
If you are considering adding these fury friends to your family, here are some caring tips to consider.
Guinea pigs love to eat! They should always have fresh timothy hay available to munch on, as well as clean water in a ceramic bowl they can’t tip over. Guinea pigs should be fed pellets daily, as well as a variety of fruits and vegetables, such as grapes, corn, cucumber, carrot, apple, kale, red and green peppers, and strawberries. Foods with vitamin C are especially important since guinea pigs cannot synthesize it on their own. Remove uneaten food from the cage daily.
Treat your guinea pigs to the largest cage you possibly can, especially if you have more than one. Avoid cages with untreated metal bottoms, which can hurt their feet. You can easily build your own custom cage: find instructions at guineapigcages.com/cubes. Cavies (like their name suggests) should live indoors so they are protected from the elements and predators.
To clean your furry friend’s home, please stick to mild soap and water
Many guinea pigs enjoy being brushed. Brushing helps remove loose fur so they don’t ingest it when they groom themselves. Brush them at least once a week. Do not bathe your guinea pig unless you absolutely have to. Be very careful that you don’t cut your pet’s claws too short. To be safe, have your veterinarian show you how to do it the first time.
Ideally, your guinea pigs’ cage is large enough that they can run around and play with each other throughout the day. These little guys don’t need exorbitant amounts of exercise, but they will surely enjoy being allowed to explore a room in your house for a short time while you supervise them.
To see all of the adoptable guinea pigs at the HSBC, just click here.