Keeping your guinea Pigs Safe Around the House
“Most people keep their guinea pigs confined a lot of the time, but I’m a big fan of letting them out to stretch their legs and get some exercise, but before you do that there’s a few common household poisons that you have to look out for.
There’s a few items that your guinea pig might decide look tasty that are actually pretty poisonous to them. Some of them are actually components to cages. Zinc is a major poison in these little pocket pets, remember because they’re so small it takes even less of a poison to make them really sick. So if there’s any zinc, nuts or bolts or anything like that on the cage make sure you tighten those up or just use a completely different material. The other way they will get zinc is from pennies, specifically American pennies minted after 1982, those pennies are mostly zinc and not copper and probably the most common source of zinc poisoning that I see.
There’s another metal that can poison your pig and that is lead, specifically lead that is in paint. Your curious little pig, running around the house, will quite happily chew on the wood, quite easily chew down some of those flakes of lead and because they’re so small it doesn’t take that much to make them really sick. So if you’re letting your pig run free in your house just keep an eye out on what they’re chewing on and where they’re running to.
Before you let them run around your house, take a broom to your kitchen because there’s a lot of human foods that while not technically poisonous can definitely over time make your guinea pig really sick and potentially kill them. Anything really starchy, like breads, anything really sweet, like cookies and cake, your pig is going to love. Peas and nuts and things like that, it’ll take time, but if you’re a bit of a slob like I am, your pig could definitely get enough to make them sick. So keep an eye out for that.
One thing that we have in common with guinea pigs, we all find carbon monoxide to be extremely poisonous, but again, because your pig is so small, they’re like a little canary in a coal mine, they’re going to be the first ones to get sick. So make sure you’ve got a working carbon monoxide detector and make sure your changing those batteries on a regular basis.
Now lastly, if you like to take your pig outside to run around in the yard, which again, I’m a huge fan of, they will love you for it. Don’t do it if you’ve sprayed any chemicals in the garden, either on the grass or in the flower beds and make sure if you’ve got them outside that you do have them confined in a little cage like area so at least they’re not going to take off if they get suddenly scared. Remember these are little pray items and the big wide world can be a pretty scary place to a little tiny guinea pig.”