Guinea Pig Care – A Quick Guide
Guinea pigs are very popular pets due to their docile nature, responsiveness to handling and ease of care. They come in lots of shapes and sizes and lots of people are known to breed them to produce distinctive coats and appearances, much like dogs. Guinea pigs are also well known for the wide range of cute noises they make which help them communicate. We’ve put together a quick guide below on the best guinea pig care you can offer them, including top tips.
Things to Consider With Guinea Pig Care
- Guinea pigs can live for 5 – 6 years so be sure that you can care for them over this long period.
- They must be taken care of every single day, if not their health and well-being may suffer.
- Their housing will take up a large space in your home/garden as they need plenty of room to move around.
- They are quite social animals and so they’ll prefer living with at least one other guinea pig.
- Rabbits and guinea pigs should not be kept together as they have differing diets and forms of communication. Rabbits are often known to bully guinea pigs.
- Guinea pigs can be quite messy, so make sure you’re OK with regular cleaning out of their home with pet-safe disinfectant.
What You’ll Need
- Large housing
- Nail clippers
- Disinfectant that’s safe for pets
- Water Bottle
- Food bowl
- Toys (including hiding places and things to chew)
- Guinea Pig food
HousingGuinea pigs can live either indoors or outside, but either way they’ll need large housing to allow them to move around. Where you locate the housing shouldn’t have draughts, should receive natural light and should be well ventilated. Make sure their housing has an area to sleep and an area to exercise in. The sleeping section should feature plenty of bedding so they can feel warm and snug. The exercise area should feature toys such as tubes, boxes and tunnels for them to go around. It’s also important, as with most animals, for them to have a hiding place where they can escape other guinea pigs or humans if they become too scared. If you’re choosing an outdoor home, please make sure the housing is strong, secure and weather proof. In winter it may be a good idea to bring them indoors or put them in a garage or shed for extra warmth.
FeedingGrass and hay should be the main food offered to your guinea pig, as they need a high fibre diet. Special guinea pig foods are a must, as they’ll contain much needed Vitamin C and other vitamins and minerals essential for their development. Try to never suddenly change your guinea pig’s diet as this can upset their body, instead steadily introduce the new feed mixed into the old feed over a number of days until it completely replaces the old feed. Other foods that will need to be fed include healthy greens such as broccoli. Only feed apples and carrots occasionally as they’re high in sugars. Finally, guinea pigs should have clean, fresh water always available. Make sure to check it at least once a day to make sure this need is being fulfilled.
Guinea Pig Care Top Tips
- Never feed your guinea pigs lawn mower clippings as this can make them ill.
- We recommend Megazorb bedding instead of wood shavings, as it is ultra absorbent, biodegradable, non allergenic and is softer on guinea pig’s feet, as well as being of lower cost.
- If your guinea pig jumps suddenly into the air a little bit over and over again, don’t panic. This isn’t a seizure but instead something that guinea pigs do when they’re very happy or excited and is known as ‘popcorning’.