guinea pigs

Here are some handy tips to help you care for your guinea pig!

Where will your guinea pig live?

Your guinea pig needs a good well constructed hutch, if being kept inside. Acton Pet shop can help you choose a suitable one. Ensure the hutch has a water proof roof with an overhang and the floor should be treated with a suitable protective sealant. Ideally the hutch should have two rooms to allow the guinea pigs to have a separate bedroom.

If being kept indoors then a cage large enough to allow the guinea pig to run around should be purchased. Do not place the cage in a draft or in direct sunlight.

The bedding provided should be either, peat or whitewood sawdust or wood shavings. Hay should also be provided for insulation and warmth. Wet or soiled bedding should be removed daily and changed completely once a week after the hutch has been cleaned thoroughly with suitable disinfectant

What do guinea pigs eat?

Guinea pigs are vegetarian and like to eat cabbage, sprouts greens appeal and celery in small quantities as well as the usual special guinea pig food provided in pet shops. Guinea pigs also enjoy a locust bean occasionally. These are available from your local pet shop. The food dish should be cleaned and refilled each day.

Fresh drinking water should be provided preferably through a drip feeder and the water bottle should be cleaned and the water changed daily.

A mineral lick and vitamin drops will also help to keep your guinea pig healthy.

Can I play with my guinea pig?

Guinea pigs are naturally nervous but if handled properly and fairly often they will soon become happy to be handled. Small children should be supervised when handling small animals. Using firm but gentle movements the guinea pig hold the guinea pig across the shoulders and around the neck with the other hand supporting the hind legs and rump. This prevents injury to the guinea pigs back legs from kicking.

General care of your guinea pig

Change hay frequently as mouldy hay can cause respiratory problems in small animals. Guinea pigs that have long hair can be groomed to keep their coats in good condition. A small soft brush can be purchased for this.

Occasionally a guinea pig’s teeth will need trimming as they can overgrow. Ask your pet shop or vet for advice.

If you are in any doubt about caring for your pet then please ask your pet shop or consult your vet. This leaflet gives only basic advice. Invest in a good book about your pet. This will help you care for your pet safely. We would be happy to help you choose a suitable title.