MEET THE GUINEA PIG

Guinea pigs, also known as cavies, are charming little rodents hailing from South America. They are known for their happy squeals and generally docile natures. They've been kept as pets since the 16th century! 

Medium
High
High

Lifespan

5 - 7 years

Diet Difficulty

Medium

Good With Kids

Yes

Care Difficulty

Medium

Space Requirement

Large

Cleanliness

Messy

Time Needed Outside Cage

High

Human Interaction Needs

High

Potty Trainability

High

Cuddliness

High

CARE GUIDE

SUPPLY LIST

ADOPTABLE

GUINEA PIGS

ENCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS

MNPPR Recommends

Exercise Pens

C & C Cage

One of the best cage options is a homemade cage called a C&C (cubes and coroplast) cage. They are fairly easy to make and are quite inexpensive compared to cages sold at pet stores. They are also very easy to clean and provide appropriate space. The bigger the better! If you decide to put in a ramp to add a second story, make sure it is long with a gradual incline and traction on the bottom so your guinea pig can easily use it.

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Other Notes

Most guinea pig cages you find in the stores are much too small on their own. It is recommended to either build your own cage or expand your cage with fencing or an exercise pen. Guinea pigs cannot climb or jump vertically so they rely on lots of floor space.

 

Pocket pets should never be housed outside as they are vulnerable to predators, parasites, and weather conditions. 

 

MNPPR strongly recommends avoiding all wood-based beddings due to the general sensitivity of pocket pets. We like to use fleece to line the cage and cover any exposed wire floors, then use paper bedding as litter placed in a litter box. When the fleece is soiled, simply throw it in the wash and replace it as needed. Some guinea pigs can be trained to use a litter box, which can make cleaning even easier.

Minimum Dimensions

One - two pigs: 7.5 sq ft

Three pigs: 13 sq ft

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ENRICHMENT REQUIREMENTS

Essentials

water bottle

food bowl

lots of chew toys (wood or lava)

at least one shelter/hide

Variety

toilet paper tubes

fiddlesticks

tunnels

bird toys

bits of fabric

ladders

cardboard

treat balls

homemade toys

Other Items

pet bed

pet carrier

fleece

FEEDING REQUIREMENTS

Hay

Guinea pigs’ digestive systems require a constant supply of hay to function properly. An unlimited supply of timothy hay, orchard grass, and/or meadow grass should be available for them to eat at all times. Adult guinea pigs should not be given alfalfa since its calcium content is too high and can cause stones to form.

Leafy Greens / Fresh Vegetables

Each day, offer about 1 cup of veggies per 2 lbs of body weight per guinea pig. The bulk of this should be leafy greens, such as romaine, green leaf, or red leaf lettuce. Iceberg lettuce should never be given as it can cause diarrhea.

Pellets

Each guinea pig should be given 1/8 cup of timothy pellets per 5 lbs of body weight a day. Seed mix food should not be used because they are often missing vital nutrients and many animals will only eat their favorite tasting pieces causing an unbalanced diet. At MN Pocket Pet Rescue we prefer to use Oxbow brand pellets.

Supplements

Like humans, guinea pigs are unable to produce vitamin C on their own. While you can provide vitamin C to them by feeding certain vegetables, we recommend giving them oral supplements such as Oxbow Vitamin C. Do not use water additive supplements as this may alter the taste and may discourage them from drinking.

Leafy Greens

75% of daily fresh food.

arugula

basil

bok choy

dandelion greens

dill

endive

green leaf lettuce

kale

mint

mustard greens

parsley

red leaf lettuce

romaine lettuce

spring greens

swiss chard

turnip greens

watercress

wheatgrass

Vegetables

15 - 25% of daily fresh food.

broccoli

brussels sprouts

carrots

celery

cucumber

radicchio

spinach

summer squash

zucchini squash

Fruit

Treats only.

apples

bananas

berries

cherries

kiwi

mango

melons

nectarines

peaches

pears

Unsafe Treats

Do not feed.

avocado

chocolate

dairy 

garlic

meat

nuts

onion

potato

rhubarb

tomato leaves

DISCLAIMER

All information shared by MN Pocket Pet Rescue is researched, up to date, and accurate to the best of our ability. We are not a licensed veterinary organization and do not intend to present ourselves as such. All educational material contains our best recommendations for care specific to each species. However, all animals are different and some may have unique needs. MN Pocket Pet Rescue does not assume any liability for the well-being of any animal not under our care. Always use your best judgment and follow veterinary recommendations whenever necessary. If you have any questions or find inaccurate information please contact us.

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© 2021 by Burpingcake. Stock photos from Canstock.

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