Guinea pigs, also called cavies, are members of the rodent family. They make docile pets and are a favorite among households with children. It's important to note, however, they can become easily stressed when taken out of their home. Therefore, owners might want to consider alternatives to boarding if leaving town for the holidays.
“With the holidays upon us, many people consider boarding their pets,” said Dr. Joe Martins, DVM, Belle Mead Animal Hospital. “However, guinea pigs are at risk for stress due to environmental changes and may stop eating.”
Not only do environmental changes cause stress to guinea pigs. Dietary changes may adversely affect your pet cavy as well.
“Even though certain guinea pigs can get used to a variety of foods, others may simply stop eating,” cautioned Dr. Martins. “For these reasons, guinea pigs should not be boarded anywhere outside their home unless absolutely necessary. If you need to go away, it’s best to let the cavies remain in their home with a caretaker.”
Dr. Martins suggests that caretakers pay close attention to your guinea pig’s diet and eating habits. If your pet stops eating, the caretaker should contact your veterinarian and perhaps arrange for boarding at that point in time. Under veterinary care, your cavy can be force fed if necessary.
“Remember, if your guinea pig goes for three or four days without eating, that is real cause for concern. An emergency visit to your veterinarian is in order,” advised Dr. Martins.
The Belle Mead Animal Hospital (BMAH) is located at 872 U.S. Highway 206, Hillsborough, NJ 08844. Telephone: 908-874-4447.
BMAH is one of the few hospitals in their area with a special interest in small and furry creatures often referred to as exotic or pocket pets. Their team of experienced veterinarians and technicians understand that exotic pets have special needs, and they partner with pet owners to ensure their pets live healthy lives. Learn more about their services on their website here.
BMAH is accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA).
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