Pet sitters offer care for a variety of animals, such as cats, dogs, fish, and hamsters, to the more exotic, such as snakes, lizards and geckos. But if you will be caring for a guinea pig for the first time, you should know what to expect and how best to take care of the animal.
Handling Guinea Pigs
Guinea pigs spend much of their time in their cages, but they should not be ignored, as guinea pigs thrive on personal contact. Over time, they will even come to recognise their owners and others who care for them on a regular basis. Try to spend some time at least once a day handling the guinea pig.
Support the guinea pig’s bottom with one hand and use the other to cup its back, so that it feels secure as you hold it against you. Gently wrap the guinea pig in a clean towel or blanket while handling it, in case he urinates or defecates all over your hands.
Guinea Pigs Need Exercise
Even though guinea pigs may seem content shut away in their cages each day, they still require plenty of exercise to keep them in tip-top shape. Take the guinea pig out each day and let it run around freely. This works best in an enclosed area, where the guinea pig will not come to any harm from any other pets or predators.
Even if there are no other pets around that will pose a threat, such as cats or dogs, it is still important to keep an eye on the guinea pig. Stay in the same room as the guinea pig while he is getting his exercise so that you are on hand if anything goes wrong.
Provide Fresh Salad and Water
Guinea pigs do not need any persuasion to eat their greens; in fact, they love salad and will happily take it right out of your hand! Along with the guinea pig’s regular diet, make sure you also provide plenty of fresh salad and water for the guinea pig each day so that it receives a healthy, balanced diet.
Clean Out the Cage
Guinea pigs need to have their cage cleaned out on a regular basis, to keep it looking, feeling and smelling fresh. Remove all soiled, damp bedding and litter. Then clean out the cage with warm, soapy water, dry it out and add clean, fresh supplies.
Pet sitters who have never cared for a guinea pig before should not feel intimidated. Guinea pigs are very easy to care for. Make sure you spend time handling the guinea pig each day and be providing it with plenty of exercise, fresh salad and water, and do not neglect to clean out the guinea pig’s cage.
More from this contributor:
A Pet Sitter’s Responsibility Toward Pets.
How to Teach Kindergarten Children to Care for the Class Rabbit.
Pet Sitters: How to Spend Time with Pets.