As a guinea pig owner, you understandably care that your animals are comfortable and happy.
But do they?
How can you tell how your guinea pigs are doing?
In this article, we’ll tell you the answers to these questions and give you some clear signs to make sure your guinea pigs are doing well.
How can you tell that guinea pigs are comfortable?
If you want to understand guinea pigs, you should be familiar with their behavior.
With a little background knowledge, you can always tell if everything is okay with your guinea pigs.
1: The harmonious guinea pig group
One thing everyone who wants to get guinea pigs needs to know is that these extremely social animals cannot live alone.
Other guinea pigs are elementary for the rodents to be happy.
Ideally, a group should consist of at least three animals. There should be one male for every two females. If you don’t want to breed, the male must be neutered. Otherwise the population will explode quickly.
Happy mullets have a ranking in their group.
This is normal and you should not intervene in small fights – for example over a treat.
They settle this among themselves, the ranking gives the animals behavioral security and thus contributes to their well-being.
This is how you can tell that the animals feel comfortable with each other:
They communicate and react to each other.
They retire to sleep, which means they feel safe.
No animal is chased or permanently prevented from access to food and water.
The group is harmonious.
2: Communication among guinea pigs
Relaxed animals communicate with each other constantly.
They do this on the one hand with body language and behavior, but of course also with their characteristic guinea pig noises, cooing, squealing and whistling.
3: Exuberant romp
When guinea pigs are really boisterous and happy, they just jump in the air sometimes.
This looks a little messy and also fun!
Joy is contagious, usually everyone soon joins in.
4: Happy life in the enclosure
Guinea pigs need a lot of space.
You can calculate at least one square meter per animal. However, the principle of the more, the better applies.
Guinea pigs like to move around. If they feel safe and comfortable, they will run around curiously in their enclosure.
The following aspects show you that the piggies are happy in their enclosure:
They use the entire area
Each piggy finds a home or a cozy corner to retreat to.
They like to return to their den once they leave it.
They greet you when you step up to their enclosure, which means they are not afraid and feel safe.
5: Fun run
Running out means a welcome change for guinea pigs.
They explore everything – not just what’s edible! That’s why it’s important that the rodents can’t reach anything that will harm them.
If they are not afraid outside the cage, i.e. they do not go into shock paralysis, but walk around curiously, they are doing really well.
6: Fun outside
Some guinea pigs live outside, that is, in an enclosure in the garden.
A net or other cover is important to protect them from birds of prey or other animals in the garden.
If the animals remain outside at night, foxes may prey on the peaceful rodents, depending on the situation.
Most Meeries also enjoy intermittent “grazing” with fresh grass and dandelions.
Important for outdoor-only housing
Outdoor enclosures must be protected from wind and rain.
Shady places are important, direct sunlight can be dangerous (danger of heat stroke!).
In case of frost, the enclosure should be additionally insulated.
Wild animals must be prevented from entering.
Fearful piggies will hide or go into shock.
If the guinea pigs are happy in their outdoor housing, they behave openly and curiously.
7: The right diet
The digestive system of guinea pigs consists of a so-called stuffing intestine. This must always be filled in order to work.
Therefore, your animals need access to food around the clock, ideally hay or grass.
Rules of thumb for the Meeri diet:
Main ingredient is hay or grass
several times a day fresh food as a supplement, e.g. cucumber, tomato, carrot, lettuce, peppers…
rarely treats like pea flakes, strawberries or fresh herbs
8: The right drinking
Water should always be available to guinea pigs.
Many use water bottles because it keeps the water clean.
The downside is that the piggies have to stick their heads up to drink. This is an unnatural position and can cause them problems.
A water bowl is therefore a better alternative, even if it is more work.
Happy piggies have preferences of course, they are individuals as in behavior so also in eating. Fruit should be fed sparingly because some varieties have a lot of sugar.
Steinobst (Kirschen, Pflaumen, Pfirsiche usw.) ist nichts für Maulwürfe!
Kernobst (Äpfel, Birnen) ist in Maßen gut.
Besonders süßes Obst (Bananen, Himbeeren, Erdbeeren) sollte wegen des hohen Zuckergehalts vermieden werden.
nrr selten auf dem Speiseplan stehen.
9: The guinea pig has appetite
Do the piggies like to eat and come to you already curious, if you bring fresh vegetables, they are doing well.
To be on the safe side, weigh them regularly.
Don’t be too impressed by their squealing. Even if they beg, you shouldn’t spoil them too much, and if there’s extreme weight gain, cut out the treats.
Final tips for keeping guinea pigs properly
To keep them healthy, guinea pigs’ claws and teeth need to be checked regularly.
In healthy animals, the teeth usually rub off enough on their own. Occasionally giving them something to nibble on, such as a hazelnut branch, aids this process.
However, rodent teeth do grow back.
If these become too long, the pelt-noses can no longer eat properly. So make sure all guinea pigs can enjoy their treats.
Happy guinea pigs walk back and forth a lot.
Depending on the surface, their claws will wear down on their own. However, if the animals move mainly in soft litter, you must regularly look at the claws and shorten or have them shortened by a veterinarian.
Ensure sleep rhythm
Part of well-being is a good night’s sleep.
Guinea pigs usually sleep by themselves, which does not mean that they have stress with each other. However, they need a protected place, such as a house or a tube, so that they feel safe. Especially tame animals sometimes take a nap in the middle of the enclosure.
Day and night
Mergansers are generally active during the day, but they do take regular breaks.
So it may be that the piggies also lie down sometimes during the day. Conversely, they usually wake up at night and have a midnight snack.
So make sure that hay and water are available around the clock.
In short, your guinea pig is happy when it moves around a lot and is curious.
It explores the environment and notices you when you enter the room.
If your rodents move very little or refuse food, then your animals are missing something.
In such a case, you can activate them well with fresh vegetables. This will keep them healthy and lively.
My name is Mark and the senior editor
I take great pride in being the best possible author and giving you the knowledge that i have on all different types of animals!
I have spent a lifetime learning about pets and animals, and have worked in the pet and vet industry for over 20 years now!
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