While there are a multitude of vaccines available for more common pets like dogs and cats, it brings up the question of whether or not guinea pigs also need vaccinations, or if there are any available in the first place.
This is a very important question because guinea pigs are pretty susceptible to infections and we as guinea pig parents want to make sure that we’re doing what we can to maintain the health of our piggies. Read on to learn more about whether or not guinea pigs require vaccinations and how to prevent illness.
Do guinea pigs need vaccinations?
Despite other domesticated animals having a variety of vaccinations available to them as preventative measures, there aren’t any vaccines for guinea pigs, and they don’t actually need them either. This is just a testament to how well guinea pigs and their bodies are able to bounce back and fight against illness!
However, this doesn’t just happen magically. It’s important that as guinea pig owners, you’re doing what you can to make sure that you don’t put your guinea pig at risk for infections, illness, and any other health issues that they may encounter.
How to keep your guinea pig from getting sick
A lot of the illnesses that guinea pigs get can be prevented by making sure that your guinea pig has a balanced, healthy diet. When it comes to the basic daily diet of guinea pigs, they should be eating hay, drinking plenty of water, with some pellets and fresh vegetables and fruits.
Hay is something that should be provided in abundant, practically unlimited amounts each and every day. There are different types of hay that are good for feeding to guinea pigs, which you can read about here. In that post, we detail the different types and the nutritional values they have for your guinea pig, as well as some of the negative effects they may have on piggy health.
Not only is hay good for their overall health, it also helps guinea pigs with maintaining their teeth. While hay should make up a majority of a guinea pig’s diet, you shouldn’t give them too much of just one thing outside of that! This is important because guinea pigs are susceptible to urinary tract infections if they have too much of foods rich in calcium. However, foods with calcium shouldn’t be outright avoided, because calcium is necessary in the guinea pig diet.
Fresh vegetables are super important for guinea pigs because the nutrients they get from them helps balance out their overall diet and ensures that they’re getting the nutrients that they need daily. Fruits are great as treats, but shouldn’t be given too often because of their high sugar content.
For more information on how much to include when it comes to fruits and vegetables into your guinea pig’s diet, check out our Vegetable Master List and Fruits Master List. Both have nutritional facts, serving sizes, and serving frequencies that can be read at a glance!
Proper Cage Size and Proper Guinea Pig Bedding
It’s important that guinea pigs not only have the correct amount of cage space, but the best bedding possible. According to the Humane Society, there is a minimum amount of space that they need depending on the number of guinea pigs that you have. For example, two guinea pigs need a minimum of 10.5 square feet. The Offbeat Piggy Condo Guinea Pig C&C Cage comes in multiple sizes and is great for providing ample space for multiple piggies.
It’s important to keep in mind that guinea pigs should be living together in pairs or more, because one guinea pig living alone will get lonely and it can affect their quality of life. Proper cage size and guinea pig companionship are just a couple of the keys to keeping your guinea pig active. A healthy guinea pig usually starts with an active one!
You can make the cage more stimulating and encourage them to be more active by adding a variety of features to their cage—you just need to get creative! You can add ramps, tunnels, and other items to encourage them to run around and explore, and even including more hideys in various spots throughout their cage can encourage them to run back and forth between them.
In order to make the cage as comfortable as possible for guinea pigs to run around and exercise in, they need comfortable bedding that will cushion their feet and treat them gently. Guinea pigs have very sensitive, delicate feet, so they should be treated as such! Guinea pig bedding is not just for comfort, but for proper absorption of urine and making sure that we eliminate the possibility of infections from lingering bacteria.
The fibers that the GuineaDad Liner and GuineaDad Premium Liner are made of are coated in antibacterial agents that inhibit bacterial growth and prevent it from lingering. This is important because the presence and growth of bacteria is what causes and worsens infections. Your guinea pigs also shouldn’t be walking around or laying in puddles of their own urine.
The GuineaDad Liners are ultra-absorbent, which ensures that your piggy stays clean and dry at all times. To read more about the best bedding for guinea pigs and the difference between the different types, read this blog post. In it, we detail the pros and cons of each kind, as well as tell the story of our journey trying out different types with our own guinea pigs.
While it’s important to have the right bedding, it’s also important to spot clean their cage daily, and clean the cage overall weekly. Consistent cleaning routines ensure that the guinea pigs are living in the safest and cleanest environment possible. Sanitary living conditions are the best way to keep your guinea pig from getting sick and from having to go through an arduous recovery period. You can read more about cleaning your guinea pig cage here, and learn more about cleaning your GuineaDad Liners here.
Reduce guinea pig stress
This one might be a surprise and you might be wondering how to do this! As you know, guinea pigs are quite anxious, skittish animals, and even once they’ve gotten comfortable in your home and around you, they still might have some tendencies that linger. Hiding is one that will always stick around, just because hiding away in dark corners is what makes them feel safe and comfortable.
Our GuineaDad Queen’s Castle is our solid wood hidey that is great for hiding, but also for maintaining the constantly-growing teeth! They’re super long-lasting and durable, and your guinea pigs will definitely love it tucked into the pocket of their GuineaDad Liners, which is a feature of our products that guinea pigs love! The same goes for our GuineaDad Crunchy Condos, which are another great hidey option for them!
As piggy parents, we should encourage this behavior in order to make them happy and reduce their stress. By doing this, we’re able to ensure that their immune system doesn’t need to be strained or weakened by their stress levels. Even humans need their own safe space in order to relax, and our guinea pigs should be receiving the same treatment as well!
Another way that you can ensure that your guinea pig feels safe and comfortable is by making sure that their cage is placed in a spot in your home where they won’t be disturbed by loud noises too often, or won’t be bothered by any other animals if you happen to have other pets.
It’s important that guinea pigs are housed somewhere safe and not accessible by other pets. Even just knowledge of a cat’s presence can stress a guinea pig out. Give your guinea pig their very own room somewhere in your home, and keep the door closed so no one can go wandering in and disturb them.
Prevent illness in your guinea pig!
It’s the easiest way to ensure that your guinea pig lives a long and happy life! Whenever your guinea pig gets sick and gets infections, it strains their body and makes it more difficult for them to live comfortably long-term!
It’s important that you take the measures and actions necessary to make sure your guinea pig is eating a healthy diet, is living in a safe, sanitary cage, and to do what you can to reduce their stress and make sure they feel safe and trust you! By doing all these things, you can ensure that your guinea pig doesn’t get sick and extend their lifespan.