What to know before adopting a guinea pig

When you’re fascinated by adopting a guinea pig, right here’s what you have to find out about guinea pig vitamin, housing and extra!

Cautious consideration earlier than adopting, together with analysis and planning, plus loads of love, persistence and a way of humour, will foster a powerful and loving relationship that may enable you uncover the enjoyment of guinea pigs, and make you associates for all times!


A whole each day guinea pig weight-reduction plan consists of an infinite provide of Timothy hay, loads of recent greens, a small quantity of guinea pig pellets enriched with vitamin C, and a small portion of fruit. Guinea pigs develop particular person meals preferences, however some frequent favourites embody:

  • Snap peas
  • Apple
  • Carrots
  • Cilantro
  • Cucumber
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Broccoli
  • Grapes

Recent water ought to all the time be accessible and is greatest offered in a sipper bottle on the facet of their enclosure.

Well being

Along with good vitamin, guinea pigs profit drastically from supervised train outdoors of their major enclosure. This house ought to be in a secure, well-secured room with no entry to cords, wires, stairs or open vents. Present your pet with toys to play with and a particular place to cover.

The enamel of guinea pigs always develop, which implies that chewing gadgets are important for his or her dental well being. Hay, agency greens and non-toxic wooden chews are nice additions to their enclosures for this function. 

Males may be neutered by veterinarians who’re very acquainted with guinea pig surgical procedure. By neutering males, they are often paired with females whereas stopping undesirable pregnancies. Different pairings that work effectively are females collectively and males who had been raised collectively.

Dealing with

Permit your guinea pig to smell your hand and use his or her favorite meals to realize their belief. As soon as they’re comfy, decide them up gently and slowly. Gently place one hand behind their entrance legs, cupping their chest, whereas utilizing the opposite hand to assist their hind finish and again toes always. Guinea pigs are most comfy when horizontal and near your physique or in your lap.

Leaping down may cause severe harm to guinea pigs, so dealing with them whereas sitting on the ground is most secure. Guinea pigs shouldn’t be picked up or carried by younger kids, as they will simply free themselves from a toddler’s grasp. When returning your pet to his or her enclosure, they need to be launched immediately onto the ground.


Nail cutting ought to be finished month-to-month and may be simply demonstrated by a veterinarian or an RVT. Each lengthy and short-haired guinea pigs may also want common brushing, with a smooth child brush.


Cages ought to be as giant as you may accommodate. The minimal measurement for a cage for one or two guinea pigs is 7.5  sq. toes, however the bigger you may accommodate the higher. The perfect location to your guinea pigs enclosure is in a shared a part of your property the place your guinea pig may be a part of the household and monitored carefully, out of direct daylight and off the ground shielded from different household pets.

  • Enclosures ought to have stable bottoms to forestall foot accidents and be lined with shredded newspaper, grass hay, aspen or hardwood shavings. Take away dirty shavings each day and provides the enclosure a radical cleansing every week. As guinea pigs are startled simply, a hiding place should be offered. They need to have entry to a hiding place always, for after they want some quiet. To advertise the well being of your guinea pig, gadgets equivalent to toys, hammocks and platforms with ramps ought to be added to their enclosure. The checklist of toys is infinite, however some very inexpensive gadgets embody:
  • Paper luggage full of hay
  • Ping pong balls
  • Paper towel rolls (lower lengthwise)
  • Shoeboxes

Guinea pigs are very social animals and are happiest after they have one other guinea pig companion, and a focus from their human relations. Even effectively socialized guinea pigs could nip if startled, so solely permit older kids and adults to deal with them.

Guinea pigs have good color imaginative and prescient and nice listening to, enabling them to study to reply to particular sounds. With some persistence and persistence, they will even be educated to make use of litter packing containers!

Issues to keep away from

Keep away from the next potential hazards to supply your pet guinea pig with a secure setting:

  • Sawdust, cedar, pine and corn-cob bedding may cause sickness and toxicity
  • Train balls and working wheels that aren’t designed for guinea pigs may end up in severe accidents
  • Entry to handled or painted wooden
  • Unsupervised time with younger kids, outdoor or free-roaming in the home
  • Toxic meals equivalent to rhubarb, chocolate, potato, seeds and nuts
  • Inserting the cage in fixed direct daylight, a storage or a laundry room
  • Offering grass, clover or dandelions from a yard handled with pesticides or fertilizers

Guinea pigs dwell, on common, 4 to eight years so be certain you’re prepared for the dedication earlier than adopting. Some guinea pigs could dwell so long as 10 years! 

When you’re fascinated by adopting a guinea pig, maintain your eye on the Ontario SPCA adoption web site to observe for guinea pigs in search of a loving dwelling. 



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