The UK’s first Guinea Pig Awareness Week (GPAW) will be launched in March 2021.
To be held from 22 – 28 March, the inaugural event aims to throw the spotlight on the UK’s guinea pigs in a week-long online festival. Designed to highlight guinea pigs' welfare needs, it will also allow veterinarians to share their expert knowledge and insight with owners.
The GPAW initiative was created by Burgess Pet Care in partnership with the RSPCA, Wood Green The Animals Charity, Blue Cross and PDSA in the UK.
It started when Burgess Pet Care ran online surveys with guinea pig owners and vets. Results showed that:
• 90% of vets and vet nurses think guinea pig muesli should be removed from sale.
• 94% of vets and vet nurses think feeding muesli contributes to health issues in guinea pigs.
the most common health issues seen in guinea pigs are dental disease, abscesses and lumps, gut stasis and bladder and urinary issues.
• 94% of vets surveyed felt that the most common mistake owners of small animals make is feeding them the wrong diet.
Suzanne Moyes, operations and technical director at Burgess Pet Care, said: “Guinea pigs are always a popular choice of pet – particularly for families – but the survey results show a clear lack of understanding around their particular welfare needs.
"GPAW is a fantastic opportunity for vets to get involved; raise the profile of their practices; showcase their guinea pig expertise; and actively engage with their clients, communities and fellow practitioners online.”