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Cavies or Guinea Pigs need proper housing. I like the wire cages. You can get them custom ordered (check my links page for custom cages by Sunny Meadows Cages) or the pet store ones are fine but make sure you only buy the large or extra large cages that are big enough for ferrets or large rabbits. Anything smaller is too small! Never place a cavy in a cage with wire flooring. The bottom of the cage has to be solid plastic or metal. It will severely hurt their feet if they live on wire or mesh flooring and they will develop a painful condition called bumblefoot. I have a wood/wire eight tier cavy condo that my husband custom built me and I also use large wire cages for a mating pair or young cavies. (Check out pictures of my cavy condo.)


I use Pine bedding because you can get it very cheap in large bulk quantities from wood mills or tack shops and it smells good. NEVER use Cedar shavings, the aromatic oils in the wood will cause upper resperatory infections eventually killing your cavy. You can also use Aspen shavings, or Yesterday's News or Bedding Fresh products as well-they are very costly though.


Very Important-Cavy Nutrition

Always feed your cavies a guinea pig pellet food which contains Vitam C. Never give your cavy rabbit food because rabbits do not require Vitam C therefore their food does't contain any. Without Vitam C, your cavy will die of scurvy! Also provide your pet with small quantaties of veggies every day if possible and limited fruits. Mine love carrots, romaine lettuce and sometimes apples. (Check my links page to find out what veggies and fruits are okay to feed your cavy.) Never Forget - your cavy needs hay every day to aid in digestion, and to help keep their always growing teeth trimmed. Timothy hay, meadow hay/grass, alfalfa hay (only used for young or pregnant cavies). I get mine by the bale for $5.00 Check my links page for HAY contact info. Petstores charge way too much.


If you have a young cavy, they will be very skiddish for a while. Give them time and handle them a lot, they will learn to trust you and will calm down. Give them a calm and queit environment to help them adjust to their new home. KEEP ALL OTHER FAMILY PETS AWAY AS THEY MAY HARM YOUR CAVY. NEVER TRUST A DOG, CAT OR REPTILE AROUND YOUR CAVY.


Trim their nails as you would for a kitten or puppy being very careful not to cut too much off or the nail will bleed. Use very small nail clippers made specifically for small animals.


Brush their fur often, especially if you have a peruvian or other long haired cavy. This will avoid matting in their fur. Only use a soft bristle brush like one you would use on a human baby. Anything else will hurt the cavy's very sensitive skin.


You can bathe your pet as well. I use a small plastic basin of warm water, small animal shampoo, then rinse them off making sure you don't rinse their face and ears directly. Use a face cloth for their face. Don't leave your cavy damp, they will begin to sneeze and can get sick. Dry thoroughly using a hair dryer at the lowest setting. DON'T BURN YOUR CAVY WITH THE HAIR DRYER, treat it like a newborn baby. A hair dryer will get very hot!


If your cavy encounters a health problem, which usually they won't beacuse they are very hardy animals provided you care for them properly, take them to a responsible vet which deals with small or exotic animals so they will know how to properly treat your pet.


Lastly, don't buy from pet stores. Their suppliers don't breed for quality or soundness, they breed for money. They are often like puppy mills where there is disease,

overcrowded cages and malnutrition is present. A breeder will provide you with a pure bred animal which is healthy and meets all the standards and requirements of the breed. Do your research before you buy!!!


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