What do guinea pigs need?
About guinea pigs
Lifespan: 5-8 years
Cage size: at least 10.5 square feet for a pair of female guinea pigs, 12.5 square feet for a pair of males, more for bigger groups.
Unlimited hay (80% of diet) and suitable veggies providing vitamin C (15%), 1 egg cup of pellets (5%).
Time demands: 1-2 hours daily
Must not be kept alone
Here our some of our tips to ensure your guinea pigs are happy, safe and content.
What makes a good enclosure?
Guinea pigs need an enclosure a minimum of 10.5 square feet on one level for a female pair, 12.5 for a male pair. Loft spaces do no count towards the square footage. More space will be needed for larger groups. We always recommend C&C cages.
Big, flat floor space. Guinea pigs aren’t climbers!
A variety of places to hide, explore and gnaw on.
Solid flooring, no mesh or wire bases as this harms their feet
A safe, dust free bedding material. Common choices include fleece or paper based substrate. We do not recommend wood shavings as they can cause respiratory issues.
You cannot keep guinea pigs alone, they need same species companionship to remain happy, stimulated and content. Humans cannot ever make up for guinea pig friends as we simply cannot speak their language.
Guinea pigs can really thrive in pairs or groups. You will have to either keep same sex guinea pig groups or ensure neutering is carried out to prevent reproduction. Care needs to be taken when introducing, or bonding, guinea pigs. We are happy to advise and guide you if you are new to the process.
How much time and money do guinea pigs need?
Allow at least 1-2 hours per day for play, interaction and spot cleaning. Cage cleaning and rearranging (which will need to be done around once per week) can also take over an hour depending on cage size and the number of guinea pigs in the group.
Guinea pigs can be fed quite cheaply if you are able to forage for safe plants, grow your own herbs or buy in bulk. Buying greens, vegetables and herbs from the supermarket can create a notable increase in your monthly food bill.
Hay costs can add up quickly and you could be spending £15 per month on hay for a pair of guinea pigs.
Guinea pigs as with all animals, are highly likely to need veterinary attention at some point over the course of their life span. These appointments and treatments are just as expensive as dogs or cats.
Enrichment for guinea pigs doesn’t have to be fancy hand made tunnels and expensive toys. Plastic or cardboard boxes make great hides, toilet roll tubes and branches from guinea pig safe trees and bushes can provide great foraging stimulation. Rearranging toys they already have gives the guinea pigs a new set up to explore.
Contact us either by email, Facebook or by filling in a contact form stating a bit about yourself, which animal(s) you’d like to apply for and your background.
If we think you might be a good fit, we will send you a link to our online application form to learn more about the home you have to offer.
If your applications look okay we will need photos of your intended set up at this stage. This will be followed up by an in person or virtual home check.