As a Outcome of the pandemic, like many pets, guinea pigs have gained popularity in American homes.
Samantha Vincent, operations director at Chattanooga’s Humane Instructional Society, says the Quantity of guinea pigs they’ve seen come by way of their care has grpersonal exponentially over The Earlier couple of years.
“In 2020, we solely cared for 4 guinea pigs complete,” Vincent says. “In the direction of this, we cared for 28 guinea pigs in 2022.”
Vincent clarifies That the majority guinea pigs Destayred to HES Weren’t surrendered As a Outcome of of pandemic however for Pretty a Little bit of causes. The animals maintain at HES for barely Greater than a month on common earlier than being adopted, she says.
“Guinea pigs Might Even be surrendered by somebody who takes good care of their pets, however issues happen out of their administration like household well being factors, sudden housing modifications or monetary hardship,” Vincent says. “Completely different occasions, people Might be not ready to deal with their care wants.”
Caitlin Jarvis, HES animal care particularist, assumes social media may partly be behind the pet guinea pig enchancment.
“I really feel A lot Of people see cute internet movies of [guinea pigs], and that makes them Want to have A pair of of Their very personal as pets,” Jarvis says. “It is terribly nice To watch them work together and munch on veggies.”
Although the small, fuzzy rodents are cute, They’re social creatures, and Vincent and Jarvis each stress that guinea pigs aren’t as straightforward to Look after as many assume. They require a reasonably extreme diploma of care to thrive in captivity.
“They Are actually fairly extreme upmaintain, simply as a lot work as a canine,” Jarvis says, “however A particular Sort of labor.”
To thrive, guinea pigs need a buddy — a member of Their very personal species. Inside the wild, They will stay in As a lot as teams of 10. Additionally they require huge cages, spot cleaned Daily and deep cleaned weekly, with right bedding to burrow in and enrichment objects Similar to disguise bins, ladders and tunnels. Supervised play outdoors of their enclosure May even be a should. Vincent recommends playpens as a secondary space for play.
Furthermore, guinea pigs require month-to-month nail trims and chew toys To promote oral well being. Prolonged-haired breeds Want to be brushed a few occasions Every week to maintain away from matting or tangles. The animals require a particularised food regimen of extreme-extreme quality pellets containing vitamin C, timothy hay and leafy greens.
“Most well being factors are a Outcomes of food regimen factors,” Vincent says.
When guinea pigs are properly cared for, they exhibit a conduct referred to as “popcorning.”
“Typically A cheerful guinea pig will run, hop And provides Slightly twist,” Jarvis says. “This suggests They’re very joyful.”
Like all pet, frequently scheduled visits with a licensed veterinarian Is An important An factor of Sustaining with their care. It Might be useful To discover a vet that has previous expertise with guinea pigs, which have A imply lifespan of 5-7 years.
Do you have to’re contemplating including A pair of guinea pigs to Your liked ones, maintain in thoughts: Undertake, Do not store.
“There are On A daily basis native rescues and shelters Which have guinea pigs to rescue. Look at on-line pet listings earlier than going to the pet retailer To buy any critter pets,” Vincent says.
All adoptable pets from the Chattanooga Humane Instructional Society Can be found to view at hes.org.