Congratulations! Preparing for your guinea pigs is a very exciting time. Here’s what you need to get for your new guinea pigs.
You’ll need to buy a cage that is at least the recommended or minimum size for your guinea pigs. A Midwest Guinea Pig Habitat or AmazonBasics Small Animal Habitat is the minimum size for 2 guinea pigs. Why do I need 2 guinea pigs?
80% of their diet is hay. For guinea pigs over 6 months, timothy hay is a great choice. Baby and pregnant pigs can eat alfalfa hay (high in calcium). If you are allergic to the hay, there are other types of hay to try. Because they eat so much, you’ll want to buy the biggest bag available. You can also save some money by bulking in bulk at your local livestock feed store.
Additionally, guinea pigs need approximately ⅛ cup of a hay-based pellet. Stay clear of any pellets that contain dried fruits, seeds, grain, or added sugar. Ideally, no soy either.
Finally, guinea pigs love their fresh veggies! They do not make their own vitamin C, so to prevent a deficiency, fresh veggies are the easiest and best way to get them their vitamin C! ¼ of a bell pepper contains all of their vitamin C for the day! Daily staples include lettuce (romaine, green leaf, red leaf), parsley, bell peppers.
You can choose between disposable or fleece bedding. There is no right or wrong, it’s whatever works for your lifestyle! I personally use fleece because I like reusing! What type of bedding works best for you.
Pet stores often claim that you must have wood chews to wear down their constantly growing teeth. This is false. Guinea pigs’ teeth are ground down by the amount of hay they eat daily. So you do not need to buy toys with the intention of grinding teeth, rather, to keep their little minds mentally stimulated! Steer clean of toys with added colors, loofahs, choking hazards, or anything they could potentially get a paw or head stuck.
My favorite is a variety pack of edible hay balls. I also enjoy baby stacking cups. It’s something that you actually have to teach them how to use. Not all guinea pigs can figure it out, but it’s great fun to try!
Expensive doesn’t always mean they’ll have more fun. Try these fun DIY toys that you can make with items around your house.
There needs to be at least one hidey per guinea pig. If you have two guinea pigs, you’ll have at least two hideys! Look for something spacious that has good airflow and bonus points if there are two entrances/exits.
Like all animals, they need access to fresh water to drink. It does not matter whether you use a bowl or bottle. Should I use a water bowl or bottle?
Guinea pigs love flipping their pellet bowls over! Choose a thick rimmed, shallow bowl. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy.
Guinea pigs do need their nails clipped regularly. It might seem kind of scary, but after some practice, you’ll pick it up in no time! I use large, human toenail clippers. You can use curved pet clippers, but I’ve found that they are sticky, bulky, and difficult to use. But if those work for you, great! How to cut guinea pig nails.
Make sure you find an exotic vet near you so you have a plan in case of emergency. That being said, I like to have items on hand just in case! How much you put in the emergency kit is up to you, but I’d recommend at least Child’s life vitamin C supplement, Guinea pig Critical Care, 1ml oral syringes, and 12ml oral syringes.
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