Gorgeous ruby-red eyes and eye-catching colorpoint coats characterize Himalayan guinea pigs. Their eyes, noses, ears, feet, and tails have darker spots of black or brown fur surrounding their white coat.
If you are already familiar with taking care of guinea pigs, then Himalayan guinea pigs don’t need any more attention. They require a sizable cage, companionship from at least one other guinea pig, and a diet high in vegetables, hay, and pellets. Contrary to popular belief, guinea pigs are difficult “starter pets,” and there is a lot of incorrect care information available!
We’ll go over how to take care of your Himalayan guinea pig and provide additional details on this lovely breed in this article.
Himalayan Guinea Pig Temperament
Though there are various myths about particular varieties, guinea pigs generally act in the same ways across different types!
Because guinea pigs don’t often bite, especially when treated properly, the majority of Himalayan guinea pigs make calm pets. They can be wary as prey animals and take time to tame, however some are more gregarious than others.
Although they don’t play as much as you might anticipate from a dog or cat, guinea pigs do prefer toys that they can eat or gnaw on. They might even throw them about the cage!
Himalayan Guinea Pig Care Feeding
Himalayan guinea pigs require continual access to hay and clean water. Guinea pigs must always eat and poop because of their quick digestive processes!
Every day, they should also receive ⅛ cups of high-quality guinea pig pellets and an assortment of dark, leafy greens.
Himalayan guinea pigs, like all guinea pigs, are herd animals. They must not be left alone at any point!
Even if it’s extremely unlikely, your Himalayan guinea pig will still benefit from sharing cage walls with another pair or group so they can see, hear, and smell each other without having to come into contact with each other.
Adopting two or three guinea pigs that have already formed a bond is advised for novices. As long as they are neutered, males can be maintained with as many females as you’d like or in same-sex pairings.
Females can be housed with one neutered male or in groups or pairs of the same sex. Don’t maintain more than one female in your herd because males will fight for females if given the chance!
The Humane Society of the United States states that the minimum cage size for two guinea pigs is 7.5 square feet, while many knowledgeable caregivers advise 10–12 square feet or larger. There is no enclosure that is too large!
Larger gatherings will obviously require considerably more room. In general, men need more room than women do. The least expensive cage is the DIY C&C (cubes and Coroplast) seen above, but if you’re not feeling crafty, these cages may also be purchased online!
You can use either disposable bedding, like paper bedding, or reusable bedding, such fleece liners, for your cage. Reusable bedding creates a lot of laundry but is cheaper in the long term.
Steer clear of bedding that is smelly, dusty, or difficult to walk on. Bad bedding or enclosure selections can cause respiratory illnesses or bumblefoot in Himalayan guinea pigs.
Because guinea pigs enjoy hiding, make sure each pig has a place to hide. This could be a tunnel, a hideout house, or just a blanket overhanging a corner of the cage.
In order to lessen territorial behaviors, you should also give each guinea pig a single water bottle. Toys are considered by some people as optional, but they’re a terrific concept for further enrichment. Just make sure that nothing that could choke someone is there and that it is safe to chew and eat.
You cannot expect guinea pigs to engage with other animals in the same manner as predator species, such as dogs and cats, because they are prey. In their new surroundings, your Himalayan guinea pig is probably going to be cautious and possibly even fearful of people.
Sitting close by and having hushed conversations with your guinea pigs is the ideal approach to build bonding. If their cage is on the ground, allow them to come over to you while you sit inside and eat some vegetables. This can also be done in floor time!
Make sure you approach your guinea pig from the side rather than the top when lifting them up. Most piggies find it frightening when you reach down and pick them up because it seems like a hawk taking them away.
When transporting children from one area to another, support their entire weight and keep them close to your chest to avoid injuries.
Veterinary Care and Lifespan
At home, perform monthly or weekly health examinations for your Himalayan, checking their body for signs of common conditions including ovarian cysts, parasites, fungal infections, respiratory disorders, and dental illness. To make sure they aren’t gaining or losing weight arbitrarily, note their weight.
Your Himalayan guinea pig should have a checkup with an exotic pet doctor once every six months to a year.
These two items will assist you in identifying any ailments early on, which is essential for guinea pigs. Due to their fragility, illnesses can swiftly advance to advanced stages in these animals.
Although they can live up to ten years old, guinea pigs typically live five to seven years. A longer lifespan can be achieved by providing your guinea pigs with proper nutrition, housing them with other piggies, learning about common health issues, and keeping a close eye on them. Large cages that allow for exercise are also beneficial.