Some people under-estimate that level of commitment that is necessary to bring a guinea pig home successfully. Although many people think they are a beginner pet for children, they do require a fair amount of work as well.
If you’ve decided to take the plunge this will work as a good checklist for you. If you don’t know how to take care of a guinea pig or if you are still deciding if hen this should help you figure out if you are prepared to get a guinea pig in the near future!
Obviously, you need to have your cage prepared before you’re able to bring your guinea pig home. Your cage doesn’t need to have the cliché things like an exercise ball or tubes for a guinea pig to run through – those can actually be negatives or dangerous if they are not sized appropriately.
Your cage should have at least 7 square feet of space. There are lots of buying options and DIY outlines online as well that can help you if you aren’t sure about the requirements for a healthy cage area.
It’s important to remember that guinea pigs aren’t hamsters. Some people struggle with the differences, but bedding is probably the biggest difference.
Fleece bedding is your best bet here. It can be used for a long time and you can clean it easily. Again, you have the option to buy from a site like Amazon or to go the route of making your own. Your budget may decide what is the best option for you.
Guinea pigs are considered to be fairly shy animals and require places to “hide away” from their new environment. This will help them adjust to their new belongings and help them live a healthy life in general. As a general rule, you should try to have 1 or 2 more hiding spots than guinea pigs you have in an environment.
If you have 2 guinea pigs, it’d be optimal to have 3 or 4 hiding spots.
Hay / Pellets
Guinea pigs have a steady diet of hay – timothy hay to be specific. Your pet store should have this in stock or you should be able to search online and find an appropriate amount for a guinea pig.
Don’t be afraid to give your new pet an ample supply. Pellets are also definitely an acceptable way of getting your guinea pig the hay that it needs.
Your guinea pig will need a bottle as opposed to a bowl. A water bottle that hangs outside the cage is probably ideal but there are chew-proof models you can use inside the cage as well.
Guinea pigs’ nails are famous for growing at a fast rate. Most people don’t trim their pets nails enough and when they do they may be using the wrong equipment if they’re using scissors that were designed for bigger pets like their cat or dog.
With all this in mind, you should be ready to bring your guinea pig home!