If you’re here, you’re probably looking for information on how to look after guinea pigs and as a first time guinea pig owner, this is a guide to help you as you start out in the world of guinea pig care.
We will go from the absolute things you need for your guinea pig and then move onto the things that you may not know about caring for your guinea pig.
So lets dive right in….
What you need to buy for your guinea pigs.
Here are 8 things your guinea pig definitely needs.
- A good sized hutch/cage/pen for them to play/sleep in
- 2/3 water bottles. Its good to have spares. Whats the best water bottle? Find out here
- Fresh Timothy Hay. What’s that? good question! Its good stuff, honest!
- A crockery food dish
- vitamin c pellets
- a pet brush
- a regular supply of vegatables
- Newspaper or hay for bedding
Your local pet store can supply most of these things.
Additional things your guinea pig will appreciate
- your old cardboard tubes, boxes and anything else they can crawl into and through
- a chew toy
- A large run
- a garden with grass to chew on.
Things you’ll probably know
- Make sure that the guinea pig hutch/pen/cage is spacious, waterproof, and fun. One guinea pig needs 4 sq ft of space at a minimum. The more space the more they will appreciate it.
- They need newspaper and bedding which can be hay or shredded papers
- They need food like hay, guinea pig pellets, greens and vegetables.
- They need a water bottle that measures 1 quart.
- Make sure that they have clean fresh water at all times.
- Clean out poo each day from their cage, and then once a week give it a proper clean to keep it clean of parasites. This means removing the guinea pig from the cage and put it elsewhere for that time so you can give it a proper clean.
18 Things you may not know about Guinea Pig Care
But these are the things I definitely didn’t know about when we first got a guinea pig, but have picked up along the way.
I’m still learning now!
- If you want to keep them warm, give them blankets or hay
- Guinea pigs shouldn’t be just shut in a cage. They need to be loved and cared for. Guinea pigs have feelings too! 🙂
- Guinea pigs need a companion. Most people don’t realise this but they are social creatures and get very lonely living by themselves. If you want them to be at their happiest and best, then get them a friend from a rescue. Guinea Pigs should be kept in two’s at a minimum, but if you can they’ll be happiest in threes, fours or fives.
- They don’t like cold drafts or weather extremes.Simple rule of thumb, if you wouldn’t’ stay outside, your guinea pig is probably not liking it either and should be brought in the home or at least an outhouse.
- They need hiding places. You can use old shoe boxes, breakfast cereal boxes, flowerpots and anything else like this.
- Watch where you keep them. Steer clear of wire bottom cages, instead use cages with solid floors and line it with newspaper or hay.
- A guinea pig’s main food source should be fresh timothy hay. Give them as much as they need.
- Beware of foxes and other animals getting your guinea pigs at night if they’re outside. lock hutches and cages.
- They need vitamin c supplements either from high vitamin c food or most preferably vitamin c tablets. You can also get guinea pig pellets that contain vitamin c.
- They need a handful of fresh vegetables a day like peppers, cucumbers, carrots and kale.
- They love to play. Give them ball’s and low ramps for exercise. They love things like branches to clamber and chew on.
- Give them plenty of floor time each day in a place that is free of wires and other dangers.
- Guinea pigs love their hair brushed. Long-haired guinea pigs need to be brushed each day
- Their nails grow. Purchase a set of nail clippers to cut their nails on a monthly basis.
- Consider getting a run. They need plenty of space to run around.
- Don’t let small children handle your piggie. They need to be handled with care and gentleness.
- Don’t get straw for bedding as they can become irritable for the gunea pigs
- Clean your water bottle out weekly to keep it clean of algae.
Pheewwww. More involved than you thought?
Guinea pigs are amazing animals to keep and they’re many people the world over who have fallen in love with these amazing creatures and there are lots of amazing people who work tirelessly to ensure that they are protected and looked after well.
One plea. Be a good guinea pig owner!
If you’re here, then you probably want to be and will be as well.
There are lots of great places you can go to meet other guinea pig owners as well and share stories, laughs and pick their brains, the more you dive in, them more you’ll learn about good guinea pig care.
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If you have any questions, just ask 🙂