Assuming you have just got some sweet guinea pigs as domestic pets, you are very excited to have some fun with them and promise to give them the best you can.
However, you are a young and fresh beginner, you have no or less experience in taking care of this breed, things are getting harder in the long run. You piggies suddenly stop eating, or sometimes they seem like big eaters.
You have no idea if they are sad or happy, when they need food or when they need rest.
It is unavoidable to every pet owner, questioning about pets shows that you worry and care for their needs. Below are commonly asked questions about guinea pigs’ diets and personalities.
Read carefully to find the best answer if you are facing the same situation as the followings.
FAQs Forum – Guinea Pigs’ Diets and Personalities
Why is my guinea pig always popcorning when I am near him?
“Popcorning” in guinea pigs is when they start running around and jumping in the air over again. Sometimes, cavies will kick their legs out and make a squeaking sound as well.
It is usually the sign of happiness and excitement happened when there is a human approaching, new environment, or good food.
It is very entertained to watch your pets showing their joy through this cute behavior. If piggies start popcorning whenever you are near him, they are happy to see you around and appreciate your company.
Some people mistake this behavior as some sort of seizure of spasm, actually, guinea pigs just want to express cheerfulness. However, popcorning is also said to be some kind of anxiety.
You can tell from the situation whether something is frightening to your piggies; predators, loud noise, or uncomfortable cage for instance.
If none of these is the cause, you can be assured and enjoy watching their funny movements.
Don’t be worry if your guinea pigs do popcorning when you are with them. If you provide a cozy place for them to sleep, toys to play with, fresh food to eat, they will react by jumping as a way to say thank.
Young guinea pigs are more likely to popcorning than adults. What a playful kid!
Do rats get along with guinea pigs?
Probably yes, but it is not a recommendation. Rats and guinea pigs are sociable animals which share the same rodent family, but it doesn’t mean they can be friends.
Guinea pigs are herbivores while rats are omnivores. Rats eat plants and animals, even though they might not eat your piggies, yet they might bite.
Guinea pigs can fight against his neighbor to show dominance, especially the males when they see other males in the same habitat.
You can definitely have these two species as pets, but be careful if you intend to pair them in the same cage. What you can do is to first, introduce them to each other.
You can put them into two different cages, and see if they enjoy sniffing one another through the cage bars. You can also let them run on the floor and monitor how they react for a few days.
If things go smoothly, you can try to house them together whether they like each other under supervision. This can be done when the two are still at young ages.
Don’t put two males together to avoid fighting risk, unless they are neutered.
It depends on the preference and personality of your pets. Nevertheless, the vet warns that putting different species in the same house increases the health risk because of the disease transmission.
So, the advice is not to try to house them in the same cage.
Rats need a taller cage where they can climb while guinea pigs need a large cage to run. Always make sure you understand the differences, and give them the best to suit their energy levels.
Read more: Best Guinea Pig Cages
Why won’t my guinea pig eat hay?
Hay is the must in every guinea pigs’ diet. With a high number of fibers, hay is very friendly to piggies’ digestive system. Also, guinea pigs can chew hay the whole time to decrease the dental growth without worrying about weight gain.
Hay is not only the main food source for guinea pigs but also serves as comfortable bedding for your buddies. Guinea pigs are rodents, so hay is their favorite food ever.
It is a problem if they stop eating hay, so you need to consider the following causes to find your way.
The reason might start with the hay itself. You have to feed your pets the high-quality hay, Timothy hay is the best pick. Guinea pigs also love to eat delicious food, poor-quality hay seems tasteless for them.
Fresh hay is a must for their health safety. You have to make sure there is no dust or mold in the hay. Wet hay is not good as well.
If a bunch of dry, soft hay can’t interest your guinea pigs, try different types of hay, or mix with some grass to be more varied.
Have a check on their teeth to see if there is something wrong. The back teeth might be hurt so that they can’t chew hay properly. If they also refuse other food, so it is more likely to be the cause.
Take them to the vet to have a look and treatment. But if cavies enjoy eating pellets, veggies, and fruits which means they are bored of hay. Treats are always tastier, therefore, limit them to the appropriate level.
You can encourage hay eating by having friends for a guinea pig. If they are alone, they will be stressed and skip the food is a common sense.
Try to have at least a pair of piggies, so that they can be happy to eat with each other.
Read more: What Do Guinea Pigs Eat?
How often do guinea pigs need to be fed?
Every day, or twice a day. The fact is that they are herbivores, they need food all the time. You might catch a guinea pig is munching hay every time he is awake, but piggies are not very big eaters.
However, hay and water must be always available in the cage as basic requirements.
You don’t have to accompany them the whole day, but you need to calculate how much food they need a per meal and adjust yourself to how many times you should feed.
It is very easy to overfeed guinea pigs, and they can get fat if they eat more than needed.
You can give them an unlimited amount of hay, and a bottle of water, just make sure it won’t get clogged if you are not home. The about ⅛ cup of pellets per day is a must to have your pets stay healthy with vitamin C and minerals they provide.
One cup of veggies and fruits a day and three times a week is a plus to have balanced and nutritious diets.
If you are too busy, or too lazy to feed those veggies and fruits in certain days, again, hay and water have to be there all the time as the needs for their survival.
Read More for Trimming Guinea Pig Nails
Can you leave a pair of guinea pigs on their own for a weekend?
Sure, you can do that with some following tips. Make sure you provide enough hay for them to chew for a day or two. Change the bedding in advance to prevent dirtiness and smelly cage, which might cause sickness to your piggies.
Have a check to the indoor temperature, a fan/conditioner machine should be equipped for cavies in hot weather or a heater machine if it is too cold.
Don’t put a pair of the two males in a cage to avoid fighting. You can separate them into two cages place next to each other so that they are able to interact with one another through the cage bars.
It is better to have two females in the same cage, they will live in harmony and accompany each other well.
Nonetheless, if any of them is pregnant, try not to pair them as cage mates.
Don’t forget to add water, the essential element for all beings.
You can add one extra water bottle in case the other doesn’t work, or it can be dried up and not enough for guinea pigs’ needs. Remember that piggies have less chance to survive without water in 12 hours.
Read more: Guinea Pig Water Bottle
In general, if you are not sure to leave them all alone for a weekend, try to find somebody whom you trust to take care of your buddies. Give them a detailed and clear note of what to do to keep cavies full and healthy.
Animals do speak, not by words but actions. They express their emotion through body languages, sounds, and gestures. It is important to understand what they want to tell us, therefore, we can interact and look after them in effective ways.
The more you stay with guinea pigs, you will get to know more about their personalities, what they like and what they don’t, which can only be done in a certain period of time.
Raising guinea pigs with proper care, they will be blessed and you will be too. Spend your days with these beautiful animals to understand how awesome Mother Nature is informing the connection among beings.