One of the most popular pocket-sized pets–especially with small children–is the guinea pig, or cavy. These pets are relatively easy to care for and are very small. They generally live to be between five and eight years old.
Find out the basics on guinea pig care, here:
1. Diet. Guinea pigs should eat a balanced diet of hay, pellets, and fresh fruits and vegetables. The latter are especially important because guinea pigs cannot manufacture their own vitamin C. Pellets contain vitamin C, but most experts believe it is important to supplement them. Other C sources include red and green bell peppers, broccoli, kale, cabbage, spinach, chicory, and leaf lettuces.
2. Feeding bowls. Ceramic dishes are best for feeding, as is true for most animals. Do not feed in plastic, because this can precipitate various conditions.
3. Symptoms to watch for. These might warrant immediate attention by a veterinarian: decreased appetite, weight loss or gain, discharge from eyes or nose, diarrhea, limping, lethargy, hair loss, and lumps or bumps.
Adapted from Why is Cancer Killing Our Pets? by Deborah Straw (Inner Traditions, 2000). Copyright (c) 2000 by Deborah Straw. Reprinted by permission of Inner Traditions.
Adapted from Why is Cancer Killing Our Pets? by Deborah Straw (Inner Traditions, 2000).