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Guinea Pig Information

If you are thinking of keeping guinea pigs here are 5 helpful hints:

1. Make Room

Guinea pigs are small but they do need plenty of space to move around.  Their living quarters should be at least 45cm wide, 35.5cm high, and 63.5 inches deep. 

The following hutches are ideal for two guinea pigs:

If the guinea pigs have plenty of space they will be more active and therefore more healthy.  Do not use aquariums, as they provide extremely poor ventilation.  Mesh or wire-floor cages are also not advised as they hurt guinea pigs' tender feet.

When you choose your floor linings and cage furnishings remember that guinea pigs will chew on anything to wear down their constantly growing teeth.  Everything placed in the cage must be nontoxic. Use plenty of lining material, shredded ink-free paper or commercial nesting materials available at pet-supply stores are fine. Guinea pigs will use the material as both bedding and bathroom.

You will also need to provide plenty of high-quality hay for nesting and snacking. Do not use materials such as sawdust, pine or cedar chips or fabrics that may cause respiratory or other health problems. Provide your guinea pig with a gnawing log (such as an untreated fruit tree branch), tunnels to crawl through, and platforms to climb on. Add a heavy food bowl resistant to tipping and gnawing and a water bottle with a sipper tube.

2. Get a Little Closer

Guinea pigs are easily stressed, so they require careful handling. To pick up a guinea pig, slowly place one hand under his chest just behind the front legs, and gently cup your other hand under his hindquarters. Once you have a firm but gentle grip on the animal, lift him. Then immediately pull him close to your chest or lap so he feels safe and doesn't thrash around.

3. Keep them healthy

Feed your guinea pig a commercial guinea pig food, formulated especially for the species. These herbivores require a lot of vitamin C, so provide veggies such as kale and cabbage. Vitamin supplements may be required. Treat guinea pigs to fruits, including melon slices and apples but ensure that you remove the seeds, which are toxic.
By providing your guinea pig with tunnels, platforms and plenty of room you will encourage your guinea pig to be active.
The York Guinea Pig Hutch is one of the best guinea pig homes on the market.  With a large run space you will have the most active Guinea Pig in the neighbourhood.

4. Help with the Cleanup

Guinea pigs try their best to keep clean, fastidiously grooming themselves with their front teeth, tongue, and back claws. Long haired breeds require frequent brushing and combing to stay clean and tangle-free.
Because their cage lining doubles up as bedding and toilet, guinea pigs require daily housekeeping assistance.  The cage shouuld be disinfected daily, then let it dry before lining the floor with fresh bedding and replacing the cage furnishings. Also clean the water bottle and sipper tube daily to prevent build up of food, algae and bacteria.

5. Pair Them Off

Guinea pigs are happiest when with other guinea pigs, so many pet care books urge owners to keep two or more together. Choose pairs that are the same sex  as they breed extremely quickly.  Ensure compatiblity, for example more than two males can create a very hostile environment.

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