[TSR Recommends] Essential Guinea Pig Supplies
So you're thinking of getting a guinea pig? (hopefully a Rescue One
and a pair since guinea pigs dont like to live on their own
) maybe you already have some and are wondering what supplies you could treat them to.
Look no further for I have complied this guide on my top recommended guinea pig ownership essentials :
Firstly you will need somewhere to keep your rodent friends, i do not recommend keeping them outside. Obviously i cant stop you and it's your decision but imo guinea pigs just aren't outdoor creatures. Grass is full of parasites like lungworm and guineas are also really sensitive to temperature, it's very easy for them to get too cold or too hot. There are also predators outside like foxes and birds (the natural predator of guinea pigs) really scare them. Additionally outside there is less opportunity to bond with them, guineas are sociable little things and like company and to hear voices and know you are around, if you pay attention to your guinea and talk to them and spend time with them you will get a lot more out of them than if you just shove them in the garden and see them once in a while. So i highly recommend keeping guienas as indoor pets. If you are worried about them not having enough space then the cages im about to talk about should suffice just fine (even if you were to put them in a run in the summer it still wouldnt be as large as some of the cages you can buy/make!). If you are still worried then you can give your piggies floor time, this is when you get them out to have a run around the room, not all piggies like this (personally i have found rescue guinea pigs dont really because they like their own space and to know they are safe) but my first two pigs loved it. If you spread veg around and give them tunnels and what not its really stimulating for them.
One cage you can buy (be aware you can only buy this online as they dont have them in stores) is This One
from PetsAtHome. It is absolutely ginormous and can house 2 guineas very comfortably. I wouldn't really recommend going any smaller than this but if you really had to then This one is ok
just make sure that with this one you give them some floor time to get some exercise.
If neither of those float your boat you can also get these things called CandC Cages
. These are cages that are more customisable in terms of shape and size.
Bottles and Bowls:
You will need something for your guinea to eat and drink from. In terms of bottles its very simple, these
are the only bottles i will use. The bottles that come with pets at home cages are terrible, they block and break easily. These deluxe ones are the most reliable in my experience. In terms of bowls a ceramic bowl is better than a plastic one as guinea pigs put their feet on their bowl when they eat usually and can very easily tip the contents all over their cage floor. A weighty ceramic bowl prevents this happening.
In terms of bedding there are a few options when it comes to the cage floor. You can use Woodshavings
to cover the floor (this is what i use as they are very absorbent and odourless). Please NEVER
use sawdust. It is not suitable for guinea pigs
. You will give them a respiratory infection as the particles can get into their lungs because they are so fine. I would also not recommend scented woodshavings, scented isnt needed anyway as long as you clean them out regularly (every couple of days to every day depending on the size of the area) and im not convinced the smell doesnt irritate them as piggies use their noses to make sense of the world.
You can also use newspaper to line the floor of the cage if this would be cheaper for you, i would recommend cleaning them out daily if you do that though as it's not as absorbent. If your guinea has an operation you need to put them on newspaper whilst they heal as woodshavings can get into the would/stitches.
is really important for guinea pigs not only as bedding but also to eat. They need a constant supply of hay as they need the fibre for their digestion and it helps to wear their teeth down. This is very important as rodent's teeth grow constantly and it can cause major problems if their teeth overgrow.
Guinea pigs are prey animals and need
places to hide away when they get scared. Most cages from PetsAtHome do come with houses which are good but you can also buy additional houses such as Pigloos
and Stick Houses
(these are good for them to gnaw). Make sure to fill their houses with lots of hay to make it homely for them.
Your guinea pig will obviously need some food (this is what you put in the ceramic bowl) which can either be Nuggets
. There is some sort of controversy over muesli which is that a pig will just pick out their favourite bits from the mix and not eat the rest, thereby not getting all the nutrients. Personally i have never had an issue with this (have had guinea pigs on both muesli and nuggets) and i think its nice for the pigs to have different tasting bits in their food but if you really do have a selective pig then nuggets would be best. Be sure not to overfeed either the nuggets or the muesli as they contain quite a bit of sugar and guinea pigs can get fat off of it. One bowl a day between two pigs is plenty. You can get Vitamin C Powder
to put on their dry food if you want to (Vitamin C is important with guinea pigs as they cannot synthesise their own
so, like humans they can get scurvy) but really if you are feeding enough veggies you shouldnt need to tbh.
In terms of veg here is a list to show what pigs can and cannot eat:
Safe to eat:
Not safe to eat:
-Bell pepper (no seeds or pulp)
-Kale (in moderation as contains high calcium amounts which can make them pass calcium deposits in their urine)
-Parsley (guineas go mad for this!)
-Sweetcorn and babycorn
-Cauliflower leaves (not the white heads!)
-Cucumber (good for hydrating piggies in a long journey)
-Strawberries (very occasionally)
-Celery (try to take some of the strings off cos guinea pigs can choke on these)
Never ever give guinea pigs these foods
-Potato (causes heart failure)
-Anything dairy or meat (goes without saying but still)
Veg is important for guineas as it gives them their vitamins and most of their water and they also enjoy it so it is enriching for them. I would recommend a handful of veggies in the morning and a handful at night. Be mindful that things like strawberries and apples are acidic and full of sugar and so can hurt a piggies mouth so only give these as rare treats.
The general rule is
-HAY = ALL THE TIME
-NUGGETS/MUSELI = A BOWL PER DAY
-VEG = 2 HANDFULS A DAY
Honestly i have never found that guinea pigs are very interested in toys, they are much more interested in food! However if you are adamant you want to get your guineas some toys you can buy them some Willow Chew Sticks
, A Willow Chew Ball
(they do quite like this, just be mindful to take it out once it gets too chewed and worn as it can poke them in the eyes if they try to stick their head in it) or some Popcorn Sticks
which you can clip onto the side of the cage.
The likelihood is that at some point you will need to take your guineas somewhere, whether that is to the vet or to a new house etc you need some sort of carrier. Unfortunately a lot of the carriers on the market are quite flimsy. For this reason i recommend always carrying your carrier underneath using your arms and not using the handle as i never trust the handle not to come off. The best caddy i have found is This
, although it's not great (due to the flimsy) it does the job and has enough space for 2 pigs.
Human cleaning products are no good for guinea pigs, the chemicals in them are too harsh for them. You need special guinea pig disinfectant to clean out their bowls, carrier and houses with etc (make sure you rinse after). Personally i have found This
to be the best disinfectant on the market as it is antifungal so protects cavies from ringworm etc. Common sense but dont spray it on the guinea pigs
its to clean their enclosure etc with.
Hopefully that helped at least one prospective cavy owner
Last edited by CoolCavy; 6 months ago