Hello Guinea Pig Lovers!
In this article I’m showing you some tips I have for starting your journey as a piggie owner! These are things I wish someone had told me when I first got my little guineas!
1. Hutch size
Your guinea pigs hutch must be at least 2 by 1 square metres per guinea pig. This is for their comfort and health, as they need space to run, sleep, eat, toilet, and play. If they don’t get enough space this can trigger health problems. For more information about the dimensions of your hutch, see this website. Also know that you will have to get more than one guinea pig, as stated in the next tip, so you will need to find a hutch to suit.
2. Get more than one
This guinea pig tip is very important, as guinea pigs are social animals, and enjoy the company of other guinea pigs. They can get lonely by themselves and nothing can replace a fellow cavy. In fact, in Switzerland, its illegal to have only one guinea pig. It’s actually considered animal abuse, in this country, to only have one. Also, (as mentioned above) make sure that your hutch is big enough for the number of guinea pigs you have/are likely to have.
3. Don’t get second-hand hutches
If you can, avoid second-hand hutches -especially wooden ones – as they can harbour things like insect infestations, parasites like mites, or rotting wood. I’d recommend this hutch for two guinea pigs outdoors, and a c&c cage for indoor guinea pigs, as they’re easy to make, customize, and clean. Also, they’re reasonably priced, always a bonus!
4. Don’t keep guinea pigs with rabbits
Rabbits can transfer multiple diseases to guinea pigs, such as Bordetella bronchiseptica, a respiratory disease. There is also a strong risk of bullying, leading to stressed out guinea pigs which can then cause stress related sicknesses. Rabbits can sometimes seriously harm a guinea pig and have even been known to break backs.
Another issue with combining rabbits and guinea pigs in the same cage is that guinea pigs have different dietary needs. Rabbits can produce vitamin C on their own and guinea pigs can’t, so guinea pigs need foods high in vitamin C, such as capsicum/peppers, broccoli, and cauliflower in their diet. Rabbits can sometimes steal your piggies’ nutritious food – not good!
As well as this, guinea pigs and rabbits use different means of communication, which really does not make them ideal companions. They may look cute together, and some may think it is saving money and space, but your guinea pigs’ health and well being are too important to sacrifice!
5. Keep learning!
You should never stop learning about how to take better care of your guinea pigs, and I am no exception! If you stop searching for more ways to improve your guinea pigs way of life, you’ll never know of a more efficient or more beneficial way to look after them! I love learning new facts about guinea pigs and learning new ways to help my ‘little guys’enjoy their lives. As I find new ideas and interesting facts, and even great quality products, I will update you here at For The Love of Guinea Pigs!!
6. Follow other guinea pig owners
I highly recommend you follow guinea pig owners on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, whatever, as they can often give you great information about taking care of guinea pigs! It is also entertaining!! Who doesnt love to watch adorable little guinea pigs on camera being themselves – cute!! I recommend Erins Ark and Little Adventures on Youtube for a start, as they both love guinea pigs and know a lot about them! Make sure you double check the information you get from these sites though, as people don’t always get it right! And, of course, always refer any serious health concerns to your local vet.
These are some useful tips that I hope will help you to be a great guinea pig owner! Remember that guinea pigs are a major responsibility and need the utmost care and affection to be happy. If you can not care for them for at least 1 hour a day, I would not recommend guinea pigs as a pet. So, for the love of guinea pigs, goodbye, and see you soon!