General Questions!

rinlalin

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hello all! i just had a few questions about caring for my new piggie.

1) should i change the food pellets every day? i've heard some people say yes and some say no, but that would mean i'd be throwing away so much food. shouldn't i just wait until the bowl is almost empty?

2) same as above, but about water. i'm not worried about "wasting" water because it's so easy (and free) to access, but should i dump it out and refill it daily? i'm using vitamin c drops in the water to keep him healthy, so does that make it more so that i should change it daily? if so, then i'm wasting a LOT of the vitamin c drops as i have to use 24 of them for each full water bottle.

3) i know about spot cleaning every day or every other day, but when should i change the bedding completely? once a month? once every two months?

4) how effective and efficient is litter box training? does it make it so you don't have to change the bedding completely as often? is it hard to train them?

5) how can i make my piggie (soon to be plural on saturday) the happiest he can be? does all of the above help him?

let me know anything else that might be important! much love
 

Swissgreys

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I will try and answer your questions, but please remember this is just one persons opinion, and I am not always right!

1. Your piggy should be getting enough pellets to eat so that the bowl is completely empty after 24 hours. I think from memory he is a baby, so can have unlimited pellets, but in most cases this will still only be 1 - 2 egg cup fulls per day. It is better to put in a small amount, wait until they are all gone, and then top up again. If the bowl is never empty you are putting in to many pellets.

2. Water bottles should be fully emptied and refilled once a day. But you should never add anything to their water. If his diet is good then he doesn't need any additional Vitamin C drops in his water, and this can actually affect the amount he drinks. Feed him a proper diet and don't waste your money on a supplement that he doesn't actually need.

3. How often you do full clean is really up to yu and depends a lot on your cage size and the bedding you use. But I would certainly not go longer than a week without doing a 'proper' clean. If you let us know what bedding you use we can offer more specific advice.

4. You can't litter box train a guinea pig. But you can catch around 80% of their wees and poos by using large hay boxes which you keep filled with fresh hay. Guinea pigs spend a lot of time munching hay, so if you give them a big area to eat hay they will go to the toilet a lot in that area.

5. You are doing everything right to make your piggy happy. The best thing you can do is try to learn as much as posible and always be open to suggestions. Being on this Forum is an excellent start. I have learnt so much on here, and my piggies have far better lives becasue of all of the kind and helpful advice I have been given.
 

Wiebke

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hello all! i just had a few questions about caring for my new piggie.

1) should i change the food pellets every day? i've heard some people say yes and some say no, but that would mean i'd be throwing away so much food. shouldn't i just wait until the bowl is almost empty?

2) same as above, but about water. i'm not worried about "wasting" water because it's so easy (and free) to access, but should i dump it out and refill it daily? i'm using vitamin c drops in the water to keep him healthy, so does that make it more so that i should change it daily? if so, then i'm wasting a LOT of the vitamin c drops as i have to use 24 of them for each full water bottle.

3) i know about spot cleaning every day or every other day, but when should i change the bedding completely? once a month? once every two months?

4) how effective and efficient is litter box training? does it make it so you don't have to change the bedding completely as often? is it hard to train them?

5) how can i make my piggie (soon to be plural on saturday) the happiest he can be? does all of the above help him?

let me know anything else that might be important! much love
Hi!

1) Pellets should only make 5% of the daily food intake, which in adult piggies means about 1-2 tablespoons per day. Babies under 4 months should not have more than 20-40g max, which is about what they can eat in a day.
The vast majority of what they should eat (over 80%) is unlimited hay. The more you encourage them to eat hay, the better the teeth get ground down, the digestive system is working and the greater general health and longevity.
Please take the time to read our detailed diet guide, which explains all food groups and tells you what you can feed how often - from hay and pellets to veg, inlcuding a balanced sample diet!
Don't leave pellets hanging around and don't feed dry mix, which is scientifically proven to be detrimental for rabbits; it is safe to assume that the same is the case with guinea pigs! Only feed as much as they can eat in one sitting and then remove the bowls. That way, you do not have waste and your bowls don't ge pood and peed in. ;)
Long Term Balanced General And Special Needs Guinea Pig Diets
Pellets Or Muesli / Dry Mix?

2) Water bottles need to be emptied and refilled daily. This guide also explains how you best clean bottles.
All About Drinking And Bottles

3) You spot clean daily and change the bedding once or twice a week; how much depends on your guinea pigs. Some are messier than others (including where they pee) and some drink/pee more than others. Don't leave it any longer to avoid attracting vermin!
It would also be good if you invested in a vet strength disinfectant like F10 to deep clean your cage at least 2-4 times a year. Unlike pet shop and most commercial disinfectants, F10 is not just antibacterial but also antifungal and proven to kill ringworm spores. For regular cleans a normal disinfectant will do the trick perfectly well.
White/cleaning vinegar is excellent for removing limescale/dried in pee patches on the cage itself if you mix it with hot water and let stand for 15 minutes before draining and scrubbing the patches away. It is the safest product for guinea pigs. This you need to do occasionally as well. I would recommend that you do it before you do a deep clean.

4) You can't litter train guinea pigs. They generally poo everywhere. You can encourage them to pee more into a tray filled with soft meadow or orchard hay (to prevent hay poke injuries in the eyes) if you place it in their favourite peeing corner and have a rack with stalky timothy hay above. A hay tray should be cleaned daily or at least twice daily.
How often you need to clean depends on how smelly your cage is getting.

5) It is great that you want to learn to care for your guinea pigs well. Take the time to read up on our guides. You will find them very helpful and interesting, from making friends with your piggies, to understanding their behaviour and being able to use that to piggy whisper. Learn what is normal in a guinea pig body, what are the signs of illness; what to feed, how to enrich their life with safe toys etc. ;)
Getting Started - New Owners' Most Helpful Guides

You are of course always welcome to ask any questions you may have in our various Care sections.
 
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