TOP TEN TIPS
Guinea pigs are social animals and so should be kept in groups of at least two. Unless a pair are needed for breeding, two young littermates of the same sex should be chosen, or a father and son or mother and daughter. Keeping more than two males together is not recommended, as they are likely to fight.
Guinea pigs should be kept in a weatherproof hutch that is raised off the ground, well ventilated. However it should be draught free, as guinea pigs can be prone to colds. Guinea pigs can also be kept indoors.
Provide your guinea pig with plenty of hay to eat and sleep in. Hay also helps provide roughage in the diet and aids digestion. Never use straw or sawdust as bedding as it will get in the guinea pig’s eyes and ears.
Since guinea pigs, unlike many other animals cannot make their own vitamin C. Vitamin C has to be provided to prevent your guinea pig from becoming ill. Vitamin C tablets can be placed in the water.
Guinea pigs are vegetarian and so their diet should consist of hay, grain and vegetables. Provide a daily supply of vitamin C enriched guinea pig mixes and fresh vegetables and fruit such a carrot, broccoli stalks, dandelion leaves, a piece of apple or a quarter or an orange.
Feeding a guinea pig lettuce is not recommended since it is very harmful and too much can kill a guinea pig.
Guinea pigs teeth grow all the time. Provision of a log to gnaw will help keep their teeth short.
Your guinea pig’s hutch needs to be cleaned out daily removing soiled litter, droppings and uneaten vegetables. Periodically the hutch should be completely cleaned using hutch disinfectant.
Guinea pigs can become quite tame with gentle handling. Talk to your guinea pig and spend time beside it to get it used to you and then start gentle handling. Always use two hands to pick up your guinea pig, placing one hand underneath, just behind its front legs and the other hand supporting its hindquarters.
Enrich your guinea pigs environment using logs, tunnels and hidey places as guinea pigs are prey animals, and therefore like to hide.