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A Healthy Guinea Pig is a Happy Guinea Pig

Guinea pigs are, by their very nature, happy and enthusiastic, and their charming antics and sweet noises are incredibly endearing. But how can you tell if your guinea pig is truly happy in your home? Read on to learn some of the best ways to ensure your guinea pig's happiness.

Home sweet home

Make your guinea pig happy by providing them with a lifestyle conducive to good health. According to the Humane Society of the United States, guinea pigs are social animals who prefer being in the company of another guinea pig. For this reason, you may wish to consider adding a pair of guinea pigs to your family rather a single guinea pig. Obviously, to prevent the arrival of unexpected babies, you'll want to make sure that your guinea pig pair consists of two females, two males, or guinea pigs that have been altered (spayed or neutered). While spaying and neutering eliminates the possibility of unexpected baby guinea pigs, it's important to find an experienced veterinarian who is capable of performing these delicate operations on guinea pigs. Always remember that guinea pig pairs must be raised together, as they may fight if introduced as adults, and male guinea pigs may have an increased tendency to argue.

While companionship can be achieved through the presence of a second guinea pig, guinea pigs can also thrive living by themselves as long as you, the pet parent, provide personal attention on a daily basis. Spend time with your guinea pig and enjoy their company. Guinea pigs are intelligent animals that have an impressive capacity for learning, so take the time to interact with them, play games, and teach them new things. You'll both enjoy the opportunity to bond!

Your guinea pig's habitat is another factor in their overall happiness. Opt for a large habitat that offers plenty of room for your guinea pig to safely live and play. Provide ample bedding and keep the habitat as clean as possible by regularly changing the bedding and removing wet spots. Position the habitat so that it is out of direct sunlight and away from drafts—guinea pigs don't appreciate temperature extremes. (The Humane Society of the United States recommends an average temperature of 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit for guinea pigs.)

Plenty of fun

Guinea pigs love to hide! In addition to a safe habitat, they also appreciate accessories such as a hide box or nesting box. Guinea pigs also enjoy a variety of toys, and a chew stick for proper dental maintenance. Additionally, guinea pigs thrive on a daily schedule, so aim for regular times for exercise and feeding.

A happy guinea pig

A healthy guinea pig is a happy guinea pig. Signs of good health in a guinea pig include:

  • Clear eyes and a dry nose
  • A good appetite and enthusiasm for food
  • Plenty of activity (not at all lethargic)
  • "Popcorning" (when a guinea pig leaps into the air with happiness)
  • Lots of communication in the form of their various vocalizations, including "wheeking" and other squeaks, whistles, and purring sounds.

If your guinea pig exhibits all of these signs, it's a very good indicator of happiness. By providing your guinea pig with a healthy environment, plenty of companionship, and lots of love, you'll put them on the path to a lifetime of happiness.