Guinea Pig Care Guide for Beginners

Guinea pigs are cute and fluffy species that make excellent pets because of their friendly nature. These furry animals are easy to take care of and can bring their owners a lot of joy. However, to ensure that your guinea pig has a long and happy life, you must have some knowledge and put some time into caring for it. You should know which breed is best for you and what they should be called when you take care of them. You should also know their cage size, food, and disease treatment.

Guinea Pig Care Guide for Beginners

All aspects of guinea pig care, from nutrition and housing to playtime as well as grooming, will be covered here.

Guinea Pig Housing

The ideal environment for a guinea pig is spacious, warm, and comfortable. If you just have one guinea pig, its cage should be at least 7.5 square feet; for each extra pig, add 1.5 square feet. In order to reduce the risk of injury, the cage must be constructed from a durable material such as plastic or wire and should include a stable base.

Guinea pigs require a large amount of room to go around, which is why their enclosure should have a variety of hiding places, tunnels, and ramps to explore.  Give your guinea pig some chew toys, such as wooden blocks, to maintain their teeth healthy and to keep them from becoming bored.

Choosing the Right Cage

A guinea pig needs a cage that is spacious in size. Guinea pigs have an instinct to explore their environments, so their cages should provide them with adequate space to do so. Your guinea pigs need a lot of fresh air; therefore, the cage you buy for them should have many ventilation vents. When selecting your pet’s habitat, you should consider purchasing a litter pan with a deep rim. This will prevent your animal companion from dumping their bedding out of their enclosure.

Because Guinea pigs cannot withstand temperatures that are too high or too low for long periods, it is essential to locate their cage in an area with proper temperature regulation. You should avoid putting them in areas where they might be exposed to direct sunlight or chilly drafts throughout the winter and the summer, respectively. The ideal temperature range for them is between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

As long as plenty of bedding is in their cage, they may remain comfortable at temperatures as low as 60 degrees Fahrenheit. They are also sensitive to high humidity levels; therefore, the space where their cage is located should ideally have access to a dehumidifier at all times. Use a hygrometer to check the relative humidity and keep it below 50 percent.

A grated floor might be simpler to clean, but this does not guarantee that it would be the most suitable environment for your Guinea pig. The excrement from your pet will be able to fall through a wire floor, but your pet’s feet may be injured as a result. Guinea pigs also eat their waste. This indicates that for them to digest their food thoroughly, they will consume part of their waste a second time. For this reason, a solid floor is preferable so that they may have access to these waste products.

In addition to this, the enclosure should be completely sealed. Guinea pigs aren’t climbers, but they enjoy to leap for fun and can escape if their cage has no cover. 


The kind of bedding you give your guinea pig is essential since it may affect their health and the level of comfort they experience. To prevent respiratory irritation, guinea pigs should not be housed in cedar or pine shavings. Instead, select bedding made of paper or aspen, which are non-toxic and absorbent options.

Provide your guinea pigs with a mound of hay or some fleece blankets so they can curl up in a warm and comfortable bed. Guinea pigs take pleasure in having a bed that is both soft and comforting. Be careful to clean the bedding at least once a week to maintain a clean smell in the cage and to eliminate any odours that may have developed.

Cage Accessories

Before you bring your new pet into the house, the crate must be furnished with the appropriate accessories. To prevent your pet from contaminating their drinking water, you will need a water bottle with a sipping tube supplied by gravity. Install it to be visible outside the cage, and thread the tube through the bars to protect it from being chewed.

You may prevent your pet from knocking over its food by using an attached food dish, which features a screw that secures the dish to the cage bars. It’s a good idea to put a hayrack near their food bowl. It protects Timothy hay from becoming dirty and may be disassembled to access the blades. You can put a place to hide on the other side of the cage. This will give a calm space for your Guinea pig to sleep


Guinea pigs need a diet high in hay, fresh veggies, and a small quantity of pellets. Hay is an essential part of a guinea pig’s diet since it is the primary source of fiber for these animals, which is necessary for the digestive system to remain in good condition. It is recommended that the majority of their diet be composed of hay of a high grade, such as timothy, orchard, or oat hay.

A guinea pig’s diet should also include plenty of fresh vegetables, as these foods are a vital source of vitamins and minerals. You should provide your guinea pig with a wide range of veggies, including carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, and leafy greens. Starchy veggies like potatoes and maize should be avoided since they might irritate your guinea pig’s digestive tract.

Your guinea pig’s food should only consist of a small amount of pellets, somewhere in the range of 1/8 to 1/4 cup of pellets daily. Look for a high-quality pellet designed for guinea pigs, and avoid combinations that include seeds, nuts, or dried fruit.


Your pet will only require vitamin C to meet its nutritional requirements. All the nutrients a guinea pig needs may be obtained through its diet or its ability to manufacture vitamins and minerals. However, guinea pigs cannot produce vitamin C naturally within their body as other animals do. Because of this, it is of the utmost need that you offer sufficient supplies of this vitamin to your cherished animal companion.

Scurvy is a disease that can develop in guinea pigs if they do not receive enough vitamin C in their diet. The amount of vitamin C that your pet needs might, of course, be different from one animal to another. Guinea pigs that are pregnant, sick, or have recently given birth require a greater quantity. 

Clean Environment

It is important to ensure that your guinea pig has a comfortable living space free from direct sunshine and temperatures that are either too hot or too cold. Clean their cage often and get rid of dirty bedding, food that hasn’t been eaten, or feces.


Your guinea pig must always have access to fresh, clean water. The ideal solution is a water bottle with a sipper tube since this will keep the water from coming into contact with dirty dishes or sheets. It is essential that the water bottle is cleaned regularly and that the water is replaced at least once every day.


Exercise is essential to maintaining the health and well-being of guinea pigs. Because they like running, playing, and discovering new things, it is essential to provide them lots of opportunity to engage in these activities. Your guinea pig can get more activity in a playpen or exercise pen.

In addition, you may keep your guinea pig busy by giving it various activities and toys to play with. To promote foraging and exploration, let them chew toys like wooden blocks or cardboard tubes and put food in their cage.


Grooming is an essential part of taking care of a guinea pig. Your guinea pig, like you, will require occasional grooming of its hair. In order to properly care for your guinea pig, you should visit your local pet store and pick up a strong, soft brush. Remove any extra hair, knots, or other debris that may have become entangled in there, such as twigs and leaves.

Be careful to inspect the skin and nails of your guinea pig whenever you perform the usual grooming on it. When your guinea pig’s nails become too long, you’ll need to take him or her to the vet for a quick manicure.

You will have plenty of time to bond with your guinea pig if you handle and groom it once a day. This will also improve their confidence and make them more comfortable while being handled. The best way to pick up a guinea pig is when it is on its knees. You may easily pick them up by placing one hand over their shoulders and then using the other to reach beneath their body and grab them. Because they are quickly surprised and might run away, you should be sure to grasp onto them with both of your hands. The best way to win over your guinea pig is to interact with it consistently. 


Since guinea pigs are social animals, it’s not hard to take care of one or two of them as pets. Males and females can live together, but if you don’t want offspring, you should get them spayed or neutered.

There may be some concerns with one of your guinea pigs chewing on the ears or hair of the other if it is younger or more submissive than the other. This is especially likely if one of your guinea pigs is older or more dominating than the other.

Guinea pigs living in pairs will be somewhat less friendly with you than those living alone since their demand for socializing will have been satisfied.

Health Care

Guinea pigs are prone to a wide range of diseases and conditions. If you give your guinea pig the best possible care and take it to the vet twice a year, it will be less likely to get sick. 

Your guinea pig is susceptible to various health issues, including dermatitis, flea infestation, vitamin C deficiency, and dental issues. Remember that your guinea pig’s teeth will always be growing, as this is one of the essential details regarding your pet. They must have access to a large supply of chew sticks as well as abrasive meals such as celery, broccoli, corn, and corn husks so that they may chew on these things and maintain their teeth in good shape. If their teeth get overgrown, it can result in major health concerns, and you should have your veterinarian look at it as soon as possible.

If your guinea pig exhibits symptoms such as lethargy, irregular bowel movements, a dull coat, itching, or lack of interest in eating, it will need to be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible. A guinea pig in good health will be cheerful, energetic, and have a shiny coat. 

Mental and Physical Care of Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs are social creatures who, to maintain their health and happiness, require environmental and physical stimulation in their living space. Taking care of your pig’s mental requirements will not only help them live longer, but it will also make them happier.

If you give your pet food and provide enough cage space, they’ll receive enough exercise. But one or two exercise toys can give the mind and body much-needed exercise and stimulation. Your pet can use up some of its extra energy by running on a big wheel or playing with an exercise ball.

Due to their friendly nature, Guinea pigs benefit from having a companion. Make sure they are both of the same genders, or else you can end up with undesired litter and a population issue. If you can only keep one pet due to space limitations, you should make an effort to spend at least fifteen minutes engaging with that animal at many periods throughout the day.

Veterinary Care for Your Guinea Pig

To keep your guinea pig in good health, you must regularly take it to the veterinarian. The following are some suggestions that might help you provide the necessary veterinarian care for your guinea pig:

Find a Vet

Find a vet with expertise in treating guinea pigs and make an appointment with them. You can start by asking other guinea pig owners for recommendations or looking for a vet who specializes in exotic pets.

Schedule Regular Check-Ups

Even if your guinea pig is not exhibiting any sickness symptoms, taking it in for routine checkups is still essential. You should take your guinea pig to the veterinarian at least once every year to check that it is healthy and has no health concerns.

Watch for Illness

Guinea pigs are known for their ability to cover the signs of disease; therefore, owners must stay alert in their search for indications of a problem. Loss of appetite, lethargy, abnormal behaviour, and respiratory issues are all frequent disease symptoms in guinea pigs.

Vaccinate Regularly

Certain immunizations, such as those for bordetella and influenza, may be necessary for certain guinea pigs. Talk to your pet’s veterinary care provider about the immunizations that could be necessary for your guinea pig.

Dental Care

The teeth of guinea pigs develop regularly and may become a source of difficulty if they get excessively long. A veterinary professional can assist you in determining the state of your guinea pig’s oral health and, if necessary, conduct dental operations.

Parasite Control

Mites and lice are two of the most common types of parasites that can affect guinea pigs. If your guinea pig has a parasite infestation, your veterinarian can give you treatment alternatives.

Emergency Care

In the case of a critical situation, such as an accident or a sudden sickness, you should seek veterinarian assistance without delay. Emergency veterinarian contact information should be provided after hours.

Guinea Pig Care Guide for Beginners

Guinea Pig Care According To Breed

There are many different breeds of guinea pigs, and each has its characteristics and requirements for maintenance. The following are some guidelines to follow when caring for various types of guinea pigs:

American Guinea Pig

With its short, silky coat, the American guinea pig is one of the most popular types. They need to be groomed daily to prevent their coat from matting and keep it in good shape. Give them a well-balanced diet, plenty of opportunities to exercise, and a large cage to live in.

Abyssinian Guinea Pig

The Abyssinian guinea pig’s beautiful rosette-patterned coat needs frequent care to look its best.  Give them a roomy cage filled with various toys and activities to keep them occupied and engaged at all times.

Peruvian Guinea Pig

The Peruvian guinea pig’s long, flowing hair has to be brushed often to avoid tangles and matting. They are lively and social creatures who get along well with others and adore the company of their owners. They also enjoy the company of other animals. You must ensure they have access to a spacious cage, nutritious food, and plenty of opportunity to run and play.

Teddy Guinea Pig

Due to the fact that the Teddy guinea pig has a short coat that is very dense, it has to be groomed once a week to remove any loose hair and avoid mats from growing on its fur. As pets, they typically perform well with children because of their friendly nature and the ease with which they may be cared for. 

Skinny Guinea Pig

The Skinny guinea pig has no fur except a small amount on its nose and paws. To keep them from getting cold, the place they are kept must be warm and free of drafts. In order to make them feel at ease, you should feed them nutritious food, encourage them to engage in vigorous physical activity, and provide them with a secure hiding spot.


You need to have some information and spend some time caring for your guinea pig if you want it to live a long life and be happy with your pet. While caring for these little creatures, you need to know which breed is ideal and how you house them properly. In addition to this, you need to know the size of their enclosure, what they consume, and how they are treated for illnesses.

Rick Matthews

Hello, I am Rick Matthews, I have helped raise 100's of pets in my life living with my Father who while we did not live on a farm, raised all sorts of animals to sell them to families. We had so many different pets we all quickly became experts intending to them and helping them stay healthy. Back then we did not have the internet to look up thing on how to take care of their kids. As my kids got older, they wanted pets and of course, I did not want to have as many as we did when I was a child, but wanted to share my experiences. Many of these articles are written to help educate families on what to expect when looking to get a new pet for their children.

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