Guinea Pig Care – Beginners Guide

Guinea pig care isn’t as simple as you may think. You will need to put a lot of time and effort into ensuring that your fluffy little pet is happy and in good health.

On this page, we are going to introduce you to the main things that you will need to know. However, do not think that this is a complete guide to guinea pig care by any stretch of the imagination.

You will need to do more research on our website, and you will need to learn what your individual animal’s needs are. After all, each guinea pig is an individual.

Guinea Pig Care – Preparing a Guinea Pig Home

Although the pigs may spend their time outside the cage, chasing around the apartment, you will still need to provide them with their own private space.

If the guineas spend time outside of the cage, make sure they do not have access to cables (they like to chew them) and poisonous plants.

The cage, obviously, is where your guinea pig is going to be living most of the time. Some people will allow their guinea pigs to run around their homes or in an isolated space in their garden, but this is not something that they are going to be doing 24/7.

They will need to have a dedicated space where they can eat and sleep.

For a guinea pig’s cage, the more space they have in it, the better. Guinea pigs do like to have a lot of space to walk around. At the minimum, there should be at least eight square feet of space for for a single guinea pig, but if you can afford a bit of extra space, then make sure that you give it to them.

If you have more than one guinea pig in the same cage, then you will need to have even more space than this. In an ideal world, you will need to have multiple guinea pigs, because they are social creatures. They can get lonely if they live on their own.

These two are great guinea pig’s cages for beginners, considering their affordable price on Amazon.

You do not have to have a lid on the cage if there is a high wall. Your guinea pig won’t be able to get out of it. You will also probably want to skip having cages that have multiple levels too.

This is because guinea pigs have incredibly fragile feet, and if they have to climb about everywhere, then they will probably end up getting hurt.

Typically, the cage will feature:

Cage Bedding

Your guinea pig will need to have paper bedding. The animal has a very sensitive respiratory system, and if you don’t have a properer bedding it will make them sick, or could perhaps kill them.

You can use recycled paper shavings or fleece bedding.

You can check our review of Best Shavings Bedding for Guinea Pigs and Best Fleece Liners for Guinea Pig Cage.

It is important that you clean the cage out regularly and replace the bedding. Every three or so days should be fine. The longer you leave it, the more chance there is of your animal getting sick.

Litter Box

Sometimes called a litter tray or litter pan is an indoor feces and urine collection box. Guinea pigs instinctively or through training will make use of such a repository. It does not need to be fancy, a cheap guinea pig litter box will still get the job done.

Water Bottle, Food Bowl and Hay Rack

These are integral part of every guinea pig cage. They will be included with the most commercial cages available.

Numerous and Various Toys

If you do not allow piggies to be busy all the time, they will find their own fun in the forms of your carpets, couches, armchairs and other furniture. Therefore, especially if you keep your guinea pigs out of the cage, you must provide them alternatives for chewing. 

See more: The Best Guinea Pig Toys.

Where Is the Best Place To Put the Guinea Pig Cage

The location of the cage matters.

Once you have the cage ready, you need to know where to place the guinea pigs cage. The cage should be indoors. While there are some people who will place their guinea pigs outdoors, it is not recommended. Guinea pigs do get sensitive to temperature, and outside could prove fatal. Keep them in your home.

The cage should be positioned in a place where there is not too much sun and most importantly near the family activities, as they are very social animals and do not like being left alone all day.

The ideal place to put a guinea pigs cage is in some corner of the room, quiet, warm, well-ventilated area in your apartment. Not near outside wall or where strong draft blows.

The living room is preferable, because it means they will also have regular contact with humans.

The cage need to be kept in a clean and sanitary condition in order to promote a healthy living environment for the animals. The cage needs to be washed and sanitized with an appropriate sanitizing agent on a regular basis.

Guinea Pigs Diet

how to take care guinea pig

Obviously, your pet guinea pig is going to need to have some food and water.

Your guinea pig should always have fresh water available. This means that you need to change it every single day.

Even if they do not drink a single drop of that water, it still needs to be replaced. Remember; still water can gather bacteria quite quickly, and if you do not change the water, then your guinea pig is going to get sick.

In addition to this, you will need to have a constant source of fresh hay available too. If there is no hay available, then they will not be able to digest their food.

In terms of food, there should be fresh vegetables put into the cage of the guinea pig every single day. Look for vegetables that are high in Vitamin C here. Try to steer clear of fruits. These are going to be high in sugar.

They may be good as a treat on occasion but, for the most part, if you give your guinea pig too much of them, it will cause them to have tooth decay and other illnesses.

You don’t actually need to give nutritional pellets to most guinea pigs, as long as they have a healthy mix of vegetables fed to them daily. However, on occasion, your vet may suggest that you feed the guinea pig pellets as it could be good for their health.

See more: Guinea Pig Diet.

How To Entertain Your Guinea Pig

guinea pigs care

The guinea pig cannot be cooped up in a cage all day. Sometimes, even a guinea pig that has a lot of space can become “bad”. The main reason is that the pig is bored, so you need to provide them with a variety of fun toys.

Some DIY guinea pig toys you can make are: old boxes, baskets, snacks, toothbrushes, baby toys that can be pushed, wooden sticks, rolls of used toilet paper,  plastic bottles, old magazines etc.

They will also need to regularly exercise. In fact, they should be let out of their cage at least once a day.

You can set up a pen in your home that they can roam in. If it is warm outside, then you may even want to put the pen out there too.

It is vital that you also interact with your pet several times per day. Obviously, guinea pigs are prey animals in the wild, which means they are going to be naturally scared of potential predators.

If you interact with your guinea pig each day, they will eventually warm up to you.

Grooming Your Guinea Pig

guinea pigs care

Every few weeks, you will need to cut the toenails of your guinea pig. You can’t let them get too long, otherwise, it will cause them pain. Remember; they have very sensitive toes!

You will also want to ensure that you clean gently around the genital area on occasion. It is important that you give the guinea pig a bath a couple of times per year.

Do not do any more than this, because it could end up making your guinea pig sick as you will be washing away protective oils!

Other than this, you are going to want to keep an eye on your animal to ensure that they are healthy. Check their weight regularly, and look for other forms of sickness that may be present.

If you notice any change in their health, then you will want to head to a vet right away. The sooner you treat their illness, the easier it will be to handle.