By Clementine Fortin, pigmum to Bagpipe & Mini
As a guinea pig parent, I am particularly excited by the return of the sunny days. And for a few reasons! Here below are the five things that change in my guinea pig routine with the return of spring.
1. My guinea pigs enjoy some time outdoors in the garden
Every afternoon, when the day is sunny and warm enough (I live in the UK), I place Bagpipe and Mini in their C&C outdoor enclosure for a few hours. I wait until the afternoon so that the temperature rises up to a comfortable level for them. They are typically out for a couple of hours between 2-4pm and they enjoy hopping around from one patch of grass to the next. They love nibbling grass too. I can also see them raising their head smelling the wind and listening to the chipping birds. I like to believe that they enjoy this experience.
My guinea pigs absolutely love being in the garden
Of course, I take all the precautions required to keep them cool and sheltered from predators. I always provide several shelters and spots for them to hide. I never leave the house with my guinea pigs in the garden as you never know what could happen. Also make sure to provide a water bottle. If you would like more advice on how to safely take your piggies outside, please check the ultimate guide to taking your guinea pigs outside on a sunny day.
2. I manage to keep my guinea pig fleece liners clean for much longer
Air drying the fleece liners for a few hours lengthen the time before washing
Every time Bagpipe and Mini are outside, I will take the opportunity to clean their cage and hang their fleece liners outside to dry. Their waste is added to the compost heap. I sometimes spread the fleece liners on top of their C&C run to provide shelter for them while the fleece liner is drying. With this trick, I manage to keep the same fleece liners for up to week and my guinea pigs are always dry and happy.
3. My guinea pig C&C cage is always clean
As explained in the previous section, I do a cage clean every time I take the piggies out, as an opportunity to air dry the fleece liners outside. At the end of the afternoon, I bring the piggies back home with their now-dry liners. So they enjoy a clean cage every day!
Back to a clean cage at the end of the day!
4. I forage wild herbs for my guinea pigs
A few of the plants you can pick for your guinea pigs
I am a huge fan of nature walks with my dog and I will always take the opportunity to forage for the piggies. Where I live in the UK, there is an abundance of chickweed, grass, dandelion and wild mallow. My guinea pigs absolutely love their wild plants. It seems to me that this is their absolute favourite food. I always pick from clean areas with no dog fouling and clean the plants when I come back home. If you would like to know more about foraging, check this ultimate guide to foraging for guinea pigs and bunnies.
5. I can provide homegrown herbs and veggies for my guinea pigs
Growing vegetables and herbs for your guinea pigs is very rewarding
With Spring, avid gardeners like me can take to their veg plots to provide for the guinea pigs. There is nothing better than homegrown, freshly picked herbs and vegs. You will find that parsley, mint and spinach are early spring favourites! if you have a greenhouse, you can even get a head-start with your crops and be flooded with yummy greens.
Spring is a happy time for so many reasons! As a guinea pig parent, I find that spring makes it a lot easier to provide top-notch care for the piggies. Do you do anything differently according to the seasons?