Guinea Pig Care

Guinea Pigs
Guinea Pigs. Getty Images/Robert Daly

Guinea pigs are popular pets, especially for families, largely due to their wonderful temperaments. They are social and rarely bite, even when they are stressed. Guinea pigs do need a large cage and opportunities to exercise outside of the cage as well as a diet that provides adequate vitamin C and roughage.

An Introduction to Guinea Pig Care

  • Introduction to Guinea Pigs - Guinea pigs weigh about two to three pounds, come in a variety of colors, are very social, can live to be close to ten years old, and make great pets for children and adults alike. Learn some facts about guinea pigs and what you need to consider before choosing a guinea pig as a pet. 

    Guinea Pig Breeds

    • Introduction to Guinea Pig Breeds - Did you know there is a hairless variety of guinea pig? There are actually about a dozen different breeds of guinea pigs, all of which can be categorized by their hair, or lack thereof. Find out what a texel, coronet, baldwin, and teddy are.

    Guinea Pig Cages

    • Cages for Guinea Pigs - Guinea pigs need a lot more room to run around than most people provide them with. Large cages can be purchased online or in a pet store or a custom enclosure using small fencing or pens can be created to give your cavy plenty of space to run around safely. But even if you have a large cage, don't forget that your guinea pig will love some time to roam about freely!
    • Bedding for Guinea Pigs - Guinea pigs use the bathroom wherever they please so you'll need a bedding that is absorbent but doesn't cause harm to your pet. Wood shavings used to be popular but more information on how they can harm our pets has been discovered over the years, especially with cedar shavings. Popular choices include fleece, which can be purchased from a craft store and then washed and reused when it gets dirty, and various kinds of paper based small animal bedding.

      ​Feeding Guinea Pigs

      • Feeding Guinea Pigs - Vitamin C is the key ingredient in a guinea pig diet. Like us humans, guinea pigs cannot make their own supply of vitamin C to meet their daily needs therefore we must supply it for them. Guinea pig safe vitamin C supplements and special guinea pig food that is fortified with vitamin C can be given to your pig to meet their needs. They also need a large amount of roughage, such as timothy hay. Stay away from sugary treats and seeds which can cause issues with their gastrointestinal tract.

        Grooming Guinea Pigs

        • Grooming Guinea Pigs - Should you bathe your guinea pig? How do you trim guinea pig nails? Find out how to groom your guinea pig and what shampoo you can safely use on your cavy.
        • Guinea Pig Teeth - Don't worry, you don't need to brush your guinea pig's teeth. But you do need to pay close attention to them. Guinea pig's teeth grow continuously throughout their lives and due to various reasons they may be overgrown. Overgrown teeth can cause your guinea pig a lot of pain and they may stop eating. Their teeth can be trimmed or removed but hopefully this never needs to happen to your pig.

        Guinea Pig Names

        • Names for Guinea Pigs - Some people find naming their pets incredibly difficult. Thankfully there is a huge list available for those of us that need a little help in this department. Find that perfect name for your new guinea pig or just check to see if your pig's name made the list!

         

        Edited by Adrienne Kruzer, RVT