Cavy Pet- such captivating characters!
Considering a cavy pet? Also known as Guinea Pigs, a cavy pet might be perfect for your family. While these little fur-friends are often overlooked, those that enjoy their companionship, know the joys that these adorable little characters bring to their people.
Why choose a cavy pet for your family?
Simply put, these little mammals may bond with their families, even learning the sound of your distinct footsteps coming toward the room. Yes, they recognize their own favorite people and often greet them with a very distinctive “wheel” vocal. Guinea pig owners recognize the different sounds their cavy pet makes, just dog owners differentiate between their pet’s vocals.
Train your cavy to walk on a leash and he can accompany you on a neighborhood walk, much as a small dog might. Avid chewers, they require a careful watch when they are out of their pens, but will happily snuggle while you watch tv, if socialized.
These little pets eat a variety of vegetarian foods but should be fed a quality diet, easily found at your local pet store. Unlike rabbits, they require the addition of Vitamin C. Most enjoy a treat of fresh citrus fruit, in addition to their commercial cavy food. Be sure to include high-quality hay and plenty of fresh water, too. Pet stores carry various treats that you can feed, in addition to fresh vegetables and fruit.
With only a few disease problems, they are hardy little pets. Given proper care, your cavy pet will enjoy a healthy lifespan of 5-10 years, depending on his breed and genetics.
What does your pet cavy need?
Cavies have simple needs. The basics are:
- Cage or pen. With little toes that catch easy, your cavy needs a roomy cage with a solid bottom, not wire like some rabbit cages. Also, look for chew proof. Guinea pigs like to chew!
- Shelter. Most cavies like a small shelter to rest inside occasionally. As prey animals, they seek a dark, quiet area when life becomes a bit much. Make sure it fits inside the pen with plenty of room to spare.
- Food dish. Or consider two dishes, for feeding treats and pellets. Shallow dishes allow easy access. Easy to clean versions are stainless steel or ceramic. Plastics often become part of the chewing, so might best be avoided.
- Water dish or bottle. Again, consider a product for easy access and easy to keep clean. Bottles keep water cleaner, but some cavies prefer an open dish. If you opt for a bottle, make sure it can easily be cleaned.
- Bedding. Cob bedding, pine shaving, and shredded paper are all options at your local pet store.
- Food. As mentioned, choose a quality cavy pet food that includes the necessary vitamins and minerals. Ask your pet store what brands they recommend and which are freshest.
- Hay. Providing roughage for digestive health, hay also gives your cavy pet something to chew. Choose high-quality hay and feed in small amounts to ensure it stays clean.
- Treats and chews. Your local pet store will have a selection of safe treats and chews for your cavy pet. In addition, cavies enjoy fresh vegetables and fruit. Your local pet store or your vet can help you choose the best options. We also found a list here.
- Optional: A cavy harness and leash, cavy toys, and a safe cavy exercise play yard might be included in your cavy pet needs.