Sharing my tips on taking care of guinea pigs here!
Hi friends! Hope you’re having a wonderful morning. I’m hopping in with a totally random post today about our family’s most recent pet additions: Donut and Lollipop.
A while after we got the guineas, I shared this post on how to keep your guinea pig cage clean. It’s been one of my top posts every day since then! (I have a fitness blog but my most popular posts are about baby food, potty training, and guinea pigs lol.) In the weeks before we finally pulled the trigger, I researched a ton about how to take care of them and what they would need so we’d be ready. I thought I’d share all of the info here in care you’re looking to add furry friends to the family any time soon.
I have to confess that I like the guinea pigs WAY more than I thought I would. I was happy to take care of them because they were a successful bribe for Liv to stop waking us up in the middle of the night, but fell in love with them. They’re so cute and funny, they can learn tricks (!) and their happy “Week!” sound and popcorn jumps are pretty adorable.
Guinea Pig Care 101
Some of the major things I’ve learned about caring for guinea pigs:
– They need a large space; much larger than anything you’d find in a pet store. The minimum requirement is 7.5 sq ft and for two guinea pigs, they recommend a minimum of 7.5 sq ft but up to 10.5 sq ft.
– They don’t like to be alone. Guinea pigs are social animals and like to have a buddy, so if you’re thinking of getting one, you have to get two! This way they have a friend. 🙂 Just make sure you get the same sex, otherwise baby guineas could be in your future. Also, try to pick two that have already been together so they don’t have aggression towards each other. Put them in an area with lots of family traffic so they can hear you and know you’re around.
– You will need enormous amounts of hay. They eat a LOT of hay. I just order this giant box from Amazon and keep it in the garage.
– Do the fleece bedding! It’s less stinky and if you litter train them, it’s easy to keep it clean. Here are my tips for keeping their cages clean.
Guinea Pig Care Tips
– Feeding: Guinea pigs mostly eat hay and pellets, which are fortified with extra nutrients. It’s common for guinea pigs to be deficient in Vitamin C, so many resources suggest a Vitamin C supplement. Ours hate the liquid Vitamin C that was highly recommended, so instead, I focus on giving them lots of fresh veggies that contain Vitamin C and the pellets are also fortified with Vitamin C. For the veggies, they love greens (romaine, chard, kale, cilantro, parsley, etc. but limit the amounts of spinach because they can cause kidney stones), veggies (like carrot, bell pepper, cucumber and zucchini) and minimal fruits. We mostly give them apples for fruit max 1-2 times per week.They get timothy hay twice a day, pellets once per day (about 1/4 cup) and fresh greens and veggies once per day.
– Wood chews. They’re rodents so their teeth grow indefinitely! Make sure you have some wood chews that they can chew on to naturally file down their teeth.
– Water: They drink a TON of water. I like the glass water containers and the entire thing needs to be refilled almost every day.
– Grooming: We haven’t given them baths because they don’t seem to get too stinky. I have noticed their nails are getting long but I’m too afraid to clip them… If you have any tips, please let me know.
– Cleaning the cage. I clean out their kitchen tray every 2-3 days and the entire cage once per week. Since we have a large cage and they’re litter trained, it’s very easy to keep it clean. Cleaning the entire thing takes about 20 minutes from start to finish. Here’s the process that I use!
– Play: Guinea pigs are playful little things! They’re also prey animals so they like to have hiding options. Get a couple of hidey huts or sleep sacks for them and some toys. They like little wooden roller balls, Timothy hay pops, and chew toys. They’re also surprisingly smart! Ours have learned to stand on their hind legs for a piece of lettuce or veggie.
Guinea pig resources:
– And just for fun: this guinea pig doing SO many awesome tricks!
Tell me friends: any unique stories about how or why you got your pets? What are your pets’ names? I love hearing these.