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Info. on Guinea Pig Care

Caring for your Guinea Pig

  • The guinea pig makes an excellent pet. He has lovable manners and is easy to care for.
  • His proper name is the Domestic Cavy and he is one of the oldest and most popular of all the small domestic animals.
  • They are cheerful, friendly little animals who will respond to your kindness wholeheartedly.
  • Please remember that looking after your guinea pig is much more than just feeding and cleaning up. They need you for company especially if they live on their own.
  • Cavies can live for eight years.

Housing

  • Two storey hutches with a ramp provide added interest, more room to exercise and extra space for your guinea pigs to stretch their little legs.
  • The positioning of the hutch should be considered carefully as well because it should be placed out of bright sunlight and away from any draughts.
  • If the hutch is placed in draughts your guinea pigs will easily get colds or eye infections and if the hutch is in direct sunlight your guinea pigs could soon be exposed to heat stroke.
  • Guinea pigs don't like extreme weather conditions and most guinea pig owners prefer to bring the hutch into a utility room or shed for the winter so that their pets are kept out of the cold.
  • It's also important not to forget that extreme heat can be just as harmful.
  • NEVER put the hutch in a garage that you are currently using for your car as exhaust fumes are lethal.

A large number of guinea pig owners keep their guinea pigs as indoor pets.  Indoor cages are available on our site for this purpose. Most have a solid plastic base and a plastic coated wire top with a lift off lid. If you intend to keep your guinea pigs in this way please remember to give them a box or little bed that they can hide in. Unlike an outdoor hutch that has a separate bedroom an indoor hutch is open on all four sides and can be very frightening for a guinea pig if it has no place to hide.

Indoor Guinea Pigs

  • Make sure the cage is in a quiet area of the house, away from any loud noises which may frighten him. See our range of indoor Guinea Pig Cages.
  • Keep him in a room where he will see people so that he does not feel lonely.
  • Keep him away from radiators, heaters, bright lights and draughts.
  • Let him have natural light but away from direct sunlight.
  • The cage must have enough space for him when he is fully grown and it should be split into two areas: one closed in for his bed and the other open to view through strong mesh for his living quarters.
  • There are a number of different types of cages that can be used to keep your guinea pig in the house but generally they are quite small and so separate exercise must be given.

Whether you choose to keep your guinea pigs indoors or outdoors, they will need an outdoor run so that they can be put outside on good days to play & graze on the grass. Guinea pigs love to play outside on the grass. There are lots of runs on the market so you must decide which is the most convenient type for your needs. A covered run will keep your guinea pigs safe from predators such as cats, dogs, foxes and large wild birds. Unlike rabbits, guinea pigs don't dig holes in the lawn and tunnel out. NEVER put the exercise run on a lawn that has recently been treated with weed killer or fertilizer or that has been urinated on by the family dog as this is harmful to guinea pigs.

Runs

  • We have a good range of quality Guinea Pig Runs to choose from.
  • A guinea pig cage or guinea pig hutch is the most costly item required to keep a guinea pig whether the guinea pig is to be kept outdoors or indoors. We have an excellent range of both indoor Guinea Pig Cages and outdoor Guinea Pig Hutches.
  • It is important that the guinea pig cage or guinea pig hutch provided is as large as possible.
  • As a general rule the cage or hutch should be at least 4 times the length of the guinea pig stretched out when it is full grown.
  • See our excellent range of Guinea Pig/Rabbit Hutches which are all made to high quality standards and suit most pockets.
  • The longer the time periods that the guinea pig is expected to remain contained in the cage or hutch or the larger the number of guinea pigs to be kept together, the larger the cage or hutch should be.

Bedding

Your will need some bedding in your guinea pigs' hutch and there are several different bedding materials that you can use. Bedding serves two purposes, it soaks up the urine and also provides warmth. The most commonly used bedding is a layer of newspaper on the floor of the hutch with a 1"- 2" covering of wood shavings with a layer of hay on top. You can then lift the newspaper with the soiled bedding on top out in one go. Straw can also be used but take care that is not too hard as this can cause damage to your guinea pigs' eyes. Woods havings from a timber merchant are very often treated with chemicals so make sure you purchase untreated and dust free wood shavings.

Excercise

  • Guinea pigs are playful and enjoying running and so will also need a safe exercise area with plenty of room that allows them to do this daily.
  • See our excellent range of Guinea Pig Runs which allow your Guinea Pig to run around in safety.
     

Diet

  • Guinea pigs drink quite a lot and a water bottle should be used to make sure the water stays clean and fresh all day.
  • Please remember to change the water daily.
  • Your guinea pig will eat guinea pig mix and hay as the main part of his diet.