Guinea Pig Care
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The care of guinea pigs is a much disputed topic, and so I will generally stay in the accepted parameters, where most people agree on what is right and wrong, and when I diverge from the safe middle ground, I usually will tell you.


You should give your guinea pig pellets that specifically say they are for guinea pigs, and make sure that there are no sunflower seeds or nuts in them, because the shells can get stuck in their throats and lead to disastrous results. Some say you should only give them food at specific times, or a specific amount, but I have given all my pigs an unlimited amount of pellets, and seen no adverse results from it.

You should also give your pigs hay ó Timothy hay is the best, but there are other hays (such as oat hay) that I have not tried that some people say are good as well. Alfalfa hay is considered good for pregnant guinea pigs, but is generally considered not as good for other guinea pigs. I refer you to The Oxbow Hay Company. I have never bought from them myself, since I have relatives who own a farm, who kindly supply my with the hay I need, but many, many people say it is very good. another Internet store that has been recommended to me and others is the American Pet Diner.

For treats, you are not supposed to give nuts or seeds, or Iceberg lettuce, but you can give:

Green leaf, Red leaf, or Romaine lettuce
Peppers (not spicy peppers)
Grass, as long as it has not been sprayed
Dandelion leaves (again, make sure itís not toxic)
Green beans

Some people have had success with tomatoes and watermelon, but my pigs have never liked them. I may have forgotten a couple, but I think those are most of the acceptable treats.

Your guinea pig should get an adequate supple of Vitamin C, which is in fruits and vegetables. if you donít give then enough fruits or vegetables, you should give them Vitamin C tablets, which can be dissolved in water.

Bedding and Cages: 

This is a diverse category, and there are a lot of different ideas floating around, and so I shall add my opinions to the rest. No guinea pig should be housed in a cage that has a wire bottom. It hurts their feet and can give them Bumblefoot. How big the cage should be is widely contested, and I wonít bother making decrees on the subject, but I tend to think that the bigger the better, within reason. Aquariums are not good for two reasons: they have almost no air circulation, and they are really tiny. Many guinea pig owners make their own cages, but some do buy from stores.

For bedding, the best is Carefresh (a word to the wise: the prices on their website can, quite possibly, be higher than at a pet supply store near you), followed by aspen. Another good bedding in kiln dried pine. Normal pine and cedar are bad, because of the oils they secrete. Some people also use a bedding called Yesterdayís News with success, although I have not heard much about it, so I canít completely verify that it is one of the better beddings. I recommend putting a couple sheets of newspaper on the bottom of the cage, and then putting the bedding on top.

General Care:

You should give your guinea pig a water bottle instead of a water dish, since they will climb into the water, and excrete into it. Guinea pigsí toenails do have nerves in them, so you must be careful if you cut them yourself. If the toenails are clear, you just have to make sure not to cut the pink part, but if your pig has black toenails, you have look at the underside of the nail and see how much of an indent there is in the bottom you want to the indent to be about half way into the nail, when you stop. (I am not a good person to ask advice from on black nails ó if you find a site with a better explanation, please send it to me).

You should separate your male baby guinea pigs from their mother at around three weeks, and should not breed pigs until they are anywhere from four to nine months ó the parameters vary from person to person. You should keep your guinea pigs out of drafts, and of course they like being held the more you hold them, the tamer they become. If you have a Peruvian guinea pig, you need to brush or cut it often, to prevent its hair from getting matted. You generally donít need to bathe and Abyssinian or American Shorthair, unless they get really muddy or dirty, since they clean themselves, although I think you should bathe Peruvians (I have never had a Peruvian, so all of this is secondhand) every once and a while.