Guinea pigs are cute and wonderful pets. When you have a baby guinea pig from a farm, a petshop or else where; or when your guinea pig gives birth, you need to know what proper care is required for the baby guinea pig. If you take care of it properly, baby guinea pig grows healthy and its life would continue as a happy adult.
- 1 Suitable Cage for Baby Guinea Pig
- 2 Baby Guinea Pig Care
- 2.1 Begin Handling Early And Repeat It Frequently
- 2.2 Identify The Sex Of Offspring
- 2.3 Separate Male Guinea Pigs From Females
- 2.4 Learn What You Need To Feed Baby Guinea Pigs
- 2.5 Learn How To Feed Baby Guinea Pigs
- 2.6 Weight Control For Baby Guinea Pig
- 2.7 Nail Care And Teeth Control
- 2.8 Observe Pups For Not Being Sick
- 2.9 Regularly Clean Litter Boxes
- 2.10 Supply Toys For Pups
Suitable Cage for Baby Guinea Pig
Measure your cage. Pups reach their adult size in a short time, so the cage you choose for your pups should have an adult guinea pig size. The cage should be at least 1 square meter. If you get your guinea pig from the pet-shop, don’t leave the pet-shop without checking the size of the cage you take.
- Although your cage may seem large for a baby guinea pig, it is very important for it to have enough space to run and play, so staying active.
- If you have a mother guinea pig with her offspring, the cage should be large enough to keep them comfortable during the breastfeeding phase. ( At least 1 square meter )
- If the cage you have before is not large enough, you can go for a new one which has the proper size.
The majority of the guinea pig cages are designed for adult ones. For example, the distance between each wire is 2.5-3 cm. The baby guinea pig may be small enough to escape from this range. To avoid this, try to select a cage with a deep plastic base. Thus, it will be difficult for the offspring to climb to the wires.
- As an alternative to picking up a new cage, you can also surround your cage with small intermittent wire panels. Trixie hamster playground will serve you.
The water bottle should be sufficiently below so that the baby guinea pig can easily reach the spout and drink. You may need to position the water several times. You can also get your water bottle from pet-shop.
- The water you take down can be very low for the mother. If you see that the mother has difficulty while drinking water, it is useful to place a second water bottle and place it in the appropriate height for the mother.
Suitable Area For Cage
Place the cage in a quiet area. Quietness is very important for your new baby friend or your mother guinea pig with her offspring. Guinea pigs can be very sensitive to noise, so the pups should be in a silent environment for the first few weeks.
- Your cage should not be in a place exposed to direct sunlight. In addition, the cage should not be in the areas where the wind is taking place.
- It is ideal to have the height of the cage at your waist, so cleaning will be easier for you.
Baby Guinea Pig Care
Begin Handling Early And Repeat It Frequently
The pups should be treated as early and often as possible so they can maintain a comfortable relationship with people. The more they get used to people, the more they will socialize and become good pets. The mother guinea pig does not reject her offspring because of touching, the rejection rarely occurs, but her offspring will need some time until the birth process is completed.
- Female guinea pigs give birth 3 pups at an average birth. The birth process takes about 30 minutes , three or 5 minutes between each baby’s birth. When the mother gives birth to all the offspring and cleanse them, you will realize that the birth process is over.
- Generally, pups are not accustomed to being handled and will be frightened when you touch them. It will take some time to get your baby guinea pigs familiar.
- To get a baby one in your hand, slowly approach and slowly spread your hand from the front, not from behind. Hold one hand under the chest and support it with the other hand. Take it gently and place it on your own chest as much as it allows. Talk to him/her in a gentle tone as long as you hold.
- If the pup is too much bother and starts shouting, slowly drop it into the cage again.
- The offspring may start yelling for taking them from mother. So take care not to take too far from mother.
- Do not take while sleeping or breastfeeding.
Identify The Sex Of Offspring
If you took your baby guinea pig from a pet-shop, you may not need to define it as female or male. However, if your adult guinea pig has given a birth, try to determine their gender as soon as possible after birth. If you are unfamiliar with gender identification, you can read our Guinea Pig Sex Definition topic.
Separate Male Guinea Pigs From Females
When the male offspring reach sexual maturity, you must place them in a cage that is different from their parents and sisters. Male guinea pigs’ sexual maturity to be completed in 3-4 weeks. This distinction is for preventing pregnancy in case of accident.
- Ideally, male offspring should be taken to a different cage when they are three weeks old. The female babies should remain with their mother until four weeks of age.
- Generally when the guinea pigs are six weeks old, they become independent on their own, but still be ready to separate them when they are three or four weeks old.
Learn What You Need To Feed Baby Guinea Pigs
Pups are usually fed in the same way as adults, so there is no need to apply a special baby diet, but there is an exception that they need extra calcium during the first few weeks. Extra calcium helps the bones to develop properly.
- Dry clover contains high calcium.
- Pellet feeds with dry alfalfa are also suitable.
- Meadow grass and fresh fruits contain high vitamin C, so you can use these foods with high nutritional value while feeding your offspring.
Learn How To Feed Baby Guinea Pigs
Feed them twice a day and place the food in a container that will not topple over. Clean the scattered food around so that no pollution occurs.
- Pups need fresh water regularly. Fill your water bottle with fresh water daily and clean the bottle with hot soapy water once a week.
- If the offspring is with their mother, they will start sucking milk within 24 hours of birth and will continue for three weeks. (Until they reach sexual maturity) The first few days they will continue to breastfeeding from their mother and then they will pass on solid foods and begin to mimic the way mother’s eating food.
Weight Control For Baby Guinea Pig
Controlling the weight of pups on a weekly basis will be useful to evaluate their health status. Newborn and baby guinea pigs with an average of 90-120 grams will increase 2.5-3 times of their weight in 3 weeks. Likewise , they will grow to about 1 years of age and will continue to gain weight on a regular basis. Health Guinea Pig Weight and Weight Control can contain more about this topic if you want to read.
Nail Care And Teeth Control
Nail care and tooth control are the most neglected ones in guinea pig care, but regular nail care and dental control can prevent much more serious problems. For juvenile guinea pigs, the nail cut should start at the 2nd or 3rd month. Otherwise, the live nail root will move to the nail tip. This will make the next nail cuttings more risky and difficult.
Regular dental control will also help to diagnose mouth problems and make treatment much easier. For detailed information on these topics, please see our topics below;
- Guinea Pig Nail Cutting – Nail Care
- Guinea Pig Dental Health and Dental Problems
Observe Pups For Not Being Sick
Guinea pigs are susceptible to many types of diseases such as fever, foot infections and pneumonia. The pups need vitamin C for not to be caught in the disease called scurvy. The symptoms of scurvy are as follows; bulging joints, loss of appetite and unwillingness to act.
- If the offspring shows the signs of scurvy, take them to the vet for immediate treatment. According to the degree of vitamin C deficiency, your veterinarian can inject vitamin C to the offspring.
Regularly Clean Litter Boxes
The ideal litter box for your pups should contain sawdust or pine pellet, but this material can be quickly contaminated with food and feces. It can also be quickly wetted by water dripping from the water bottle.Therefore, you should change this material twice a week.
Supply Toys For Pups
Just like the adult guinea pigs, pups enjoy playing games. Toys that your baby ones will love are tunnels and ramps (if your cage has floors). You can buy the toys from the pet shop or you can do it yourself at home with shoe boxes, empty milk boxes and toilet paper rolls.
- You can also release your pups to play outside the cage. For this, you must secure the room you will use before releasing them.
- There should be no spacing that you can’t reach and no power cables in the environment.
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