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Guinea Pig Training

Training a Guinea Pig:

Guinea pigs are perhaps some of the most difficult animals to train in nature though it is not completely impossible.

Guinea pigs have been longstanding companions of human beings and are natives of the South American Andes, where they have been used as a source of protein during lean winter months. They are also very popular as pets due to their naturally domesticated behavior and docility. Before you figure out how to train guinea pigs, you must remember that each pigs is quite a unique personality and some will not take very well to training at all; the younger that you start with your pig the better, since it is more difficult to train an adult pig.

One of the most commonly required training by pet owners is guinea pig litter training. Given the uniqueness of the animal, guinea pig potty training is one of the things that take the rodent a very long time to pick up and the whole exercise has to be broken down into tasks. Naturally, the guinea pig is quite a clean animal except for an odd habit it has of consuming its own feces.

This is not something that is without reason. The animal will consume its own soft feces as this was incompletely digested material. In addition, the animal tends to lose a lot of vitamin B12 and enterobacteria or intestinal bacteria during a normal course; therefore, the recycling just ensures the health of the individual. This activity should never be met with scolding and punishment. Scolding and punishment will only serve the distress the animal as it cannot understand negative feedback. When you litter train your guinea pig, start by placing some fecal pellets in the litter box. It also makes sense to add some hay into the litter box to ensure that the rodent has something to much on when he or she is defecating.

A typical litter box should be changed every day to avoid the spread of any kind of bacteria. Using aerosol based disinfectants would be a very bad idea because the guinea pig is prone to respiratory infections and fumes and dust can even cause pneumonia. Do not use any wood shavings for litter and try and substitute it with sand or marble chips instead. If your guinea pig does not pick up the point of using a litter box, try again and when you are successful, reward the animal for its good behavior.
  Submitted on January 21, 2010  

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