In our last discussion, we went over What Your Guinea Pigs Need. Now, the thing that I have been wanting to share with you for so long is what not to buy your guinea pig. This is an important topic because so often I see people who buy these items. Please read below to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes.
Why? This is the question I often find myself asking when I see people have bought these for a guinea pig. I suppose there are companies who probably market them for guinea pigs, etc. but please, DON’T. If you research a guinea pig’s anatomy, you will see that their spine and legs are rather delicate. If you allow them to use the exercise balls and wheels you could severely injure your pet. Guinea pigs are also large, often the size of a small or medium rabbit. Another consideration is that your guinea pig would probably be scared out of his mind if you put him in an exercise ball. I know my Patrick would be. And George would be frantically trying to escape (he doesn’t like being restricted from going where he wants to). Please, for the safety of your guinea pig, do not, DO NOT give them either of these. You may say, “I bought these for my guinea pig and he loves them!” Perhaps, but my guinea pig also liked eating plastic bags and chewing on electrical wires when he was a baby. Guinea pigs may love certain things, but it doesn’t mean it’s good for them.
Somewhere along the way, people began recommending that you buy a salt or mineral block for your guinea pigs. Three guinea pigs later, I have yet to understand why. Regardless of if it’s on the cage floor, hanging on the cage, or right in front of their face, they totally ignore it and don’t do a thing with it. Don’t ask me why it’s still hanging on their cage because I don’t have an answer. They also do not need anything found in either of these items. As long as you are feeding your pigs a decent brand of pelleted food, they should be receiving enough salt, minerals, etc. Salt and mineral blocks are not necessary and you’ll end up wasting your money on it.
Special Nail Trimmers
Special nail trimmers is another item that is really not necessary. I have always used regular 99¢ nail clippers and they work great. For other pets, such as dogs, you will probably want to get special trimmers. For guinea pigs? No. Some people find pet nail trimmers to make it an easier task; but honestly the hardest part of trimming a guinea pigs nails is training them to sit still while you do it. Once you get past that stage in their piggy lives, it should be easy to trim their nails, no matter kind you use.
I’m sure there are plenty of guinea pigs out there who love getting all those tasty store bought treats (mine do not), but I would avoid these all together. While some advise you to give them sparingly, the best thing you can do is give your piggies some fresh fruit for a treat. Not only will it be tasty, but also it will be nutritious. There are several items (such as lettuce) that should be given throughout the week, but items such as oranges, grapes, and cucumbers should only be given occasionally–giving you the perfect opportunity to give it as a special treat.
These are just a few of the items that I wanted to share with you that I don’t recommend buying for your guinea pigs. I know there are probably several others items that could be added, but these are some of the ones that I see all too often. If I missed any that you think should be added to the list, share in the comments below.