For both people and pets, spring is a period of transition. As we move from the cold weather, snow, and ice of winter to the warmer, rainy days of spring, there are lots of changes that must be addressed. Keeping small rodents as pets requires someone to really pay attention to the change of season. Small pets must be provided with warmth to survive a northeastern winter, but as the temperatures warm up, heating sources must be removed to make sure they don’t get overheated.
This transition time is important, as weather patterns can fluctuate. One day it seems as though spring is here and summer is on its way, but the next it could be cold and dreary, looking like snow could still be on the horizon. Extra bedding can be provided inside the habitat to allow the Guinea pig to regulate the temperature as needed. Just make sure that you keep an eye on the temperature or keep your home in an even range to prevent your little furry friend from getting too cold.
Get Professional Advice
It is important to make sure that you provide proper Guinea pig care and feeding for your pet. One way to do this is to find a Southeastern Massachusetts veterinarian who provides vet care services for small rodents as pets. Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth is both a veterinary care clinic and an emergency vet hospital, which is important in case you need to have your pet seen in an urgent or emergency situation.
Check with your vet about temperature recommendations for your specific area. Talk about the habitat that you have set up for your Guinea pig, as well as the diet you are providing on a regular basis. The nutrition that you provide will also change, depending on the season. Your veterinarian can make recommendations for fresh fruits and vegetables in addition to your regular Guinea pig diet to ensure proper and complete nutrition for every stage of your pet’s life.
Taking Guinea Pigs Outdoors
One reason why people who keep small rodents as pets get excited about the spring season change is that they often enjoy taking their Guinea pigs outdoors to play in the grass. It is important that you wait until there is no more frost on the grass or on the dirt. Guinea pigs who eat frosted grass can end up getting an upset stomach and diarrhea. When the new spring grass does arrive, make sure your Guinea pig does not eat too much of it, as it is richer than summertime grass and can also cause upset stomach, diarrhea, and possibly bloat.
Some people like to keep Guinea pigs outdoors in hutches or other types of cages when the weather is nice. If you plan on housing your Guinea pig outdoors in the late spring and summer, it is important to give them some time to become acclimated to living outdoors. Some days you might have to bring them in if the weather turns cold. It is important to check nighttime temperatures as well, as there can be a big difference between the weather during the day and night. Speak with your Southeastern Massachusetts veterinarian about your specific Guinea pig to find out if outdoor living is a good idea or not.
In addition to your regular Guinea pig diet and a little bit of fresh grass, there are other things that you can feed your pet. When you keep small rodents as pets, it can be tempting to just give them a little bit of everything that might seem okay for their diet, but it is always best to check with the local vet just to make sure before feeding anything new. It could save you a trip to the emergency vet hospital if a reaction were to occur. Some things are toxic to rodents that aren’t toxic to other animals.
Some great ideas for seasonal nutrition additives can include:
- dandelions (fresh from the backyard, as long as fertilizer, insecticide, and herbicide are not being used on the lawn)
- bell peppers
Increase the amount of water that you provide as part of your regular Guinea pig care and feeding and, due to the increased amounts of water and fresh food, make sure to increase the number of times that you clean the cage. If it gets very warm, some pet owners will wrap a frozen brick of ice in a thick towel and place it in the corner of the cage. Just make sure that there is a wire rack underneath to allow the melted water to run off. You don’t want a rodent to ever be sitting in water, urine or other types of moisture. Your Guinea pig will sit next to the cooled space when it gets too warm.
Visit Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth
If you are in need of care for your small rodents as pets, visit a Southeastern Massachusetts veterinarian at Anchor Animal Hospital. We can provide you and your pet with comprehensive care, whether you need a simple check-up, require emergency vet hospital services, or need advice. Give us a call at 508-996-3731 to schedule an appointment or to speak with one of our veterinary team members.