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Guinea pigs are adorable and sociable little creatures that make great pets for families. Caring for guinea pigs requires a lot of dedication, attention, and love, but it’s definitely worth the effort. In this blog post, we'll be sharing some essential tips on how to care for guinea pigs.
1. Provide the Right Housing
Guinea pigs require a spacious cage to live comfortably. Choose a cage that is at least 7.5 square feet in size, or bigger if you have multiple guinea pigs. The cage should be lined with soft, absorbent bedding, such as fleece liners or aspen shavings. Avoid using cedar or pine bedding as they can cause respiratory problems in guinea pigs.
If you are on a budget and looking for a cost friendly option, then we recommend the Guinea Habitat Plus Cage by MidWest.
- Inexpensive compared to other suitable habitats
- Multiple habitats can be connected to create an even larger space for multiple Guinea Pigs
It's important to point out that this habitat does not include feed and water dishes, or a hay feeder. Additional hiding places may be required.
Another great option is the Living World Deluxe Habitat. It does cost a little more than the MidWest Cage, but this one is a little more durable and includes a hay feeder, water bottle, tip-proof dish and a hideout with balcony. If you can afford to spend the little extra money, we definitely recommend this one for 1st time piggie owners.
Recommended Cage Lining
When it comes to cage linings, it really depends on your preference. If you want to spend a little more in the beginning but save more in the long run, then a reusable, washable liner is the way to go, like the Super Absorbent Anti Slip Liners from Pequano. These come in a 2 pack so that you have a replacement for when one is being washed.
If you're looking for disposable liners so you don't have to worry about washing them every week, then we recommend the Bamboo Charcoal Odor Control Liners from The Paw Inspired Store.
If you would rather go the shavings route, then check out the Premium Natural Aspen Bedding from the Small Pet Select Store.
2. Provide a Healthy Diet
Guinea pigs are herbivores, which means their diet should consist mainly of hay, fresh vegetables, and a small amount of fruit. Provide fresh hay for your guinea pigs to nibble on throughout the day. Vegetables such as carrots, romaine lettuce, and bell peppers are excellent choices to add diversity to their diet. Avoid feeding them foods high in sugar, fat, or salt.
Timothy Hay is the best choice for Guinea Pigs.
3. Provide Plenty of Water
Guinea pigs require fresh, clean water available at all times. Use a water bottle with a sipper tube and ensure it’s securely attached to the cage to prevent leaks.
If you're looking for an easy to refill waterer for your guinea's we recommend the Top Fill Small Animal Water Bottle from Vannon. The nozzle and holder stay attached to the cage and the bottle detaches for easy filling so you don't have to reposition every time your piggies need fresh water.
4. Keep Their Habitat Clean
Cleaning your guinea pig’s cage regularly is essential for keeping them healthy. Remove soiled bedding and uneaten food daily, and clean the cage with mild soap and water at least once a week. Change the bedding completely once a week, and disinfect the cage every month or as needed.
5. Provide Playtime and Bonding
Guinea pigs are social animals that enjoy interacting with their owners. Set aside time each day to play with your guinea pigs and let them run around in a safe, secure area outside their cage. Use tunnels, toys, and hideaways to keep them entertained and engaged.
Check out these great Guinea Pig Toys!
Caring for guinea pigs can be relatively easy with the right knowledge and commitment. With proper housing, diet, water, hygiene, and playtime, your guinea pigs will live happy and healthy lives. If you’re considering getting a guinea pig, remember that they require attention and care to thrive. But, the joy and companionship they provide make it all worthwhile.