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!
5 - 7 years
Good With Kids
Time Needed Outside Cage
Human Interaction Needs
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.
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.
One - two pigs: 7.5 sq ft
Three pigs: 13 sq ft
lots of chew toys (wood or lava)
at least one shelter/hide
toilet paper tubes
bits of fabric
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.
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.
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.
75% of daily fresh food.
green leaf lettuce
red leaf lettuce
15 - 25% of daily fresh food.
Do not feed.
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.