Guinea Pig Care | Tips | Guide Sheet

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Guinea Pig Tip Sheet Guide

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Before you bring home your new cherished pet, be sure to make sure it has everything it needs to be happy and well. Below are basic guides & tips for your convenience and use.

Click here to print out a PDF copy: Guinea Pig Tip Sheet Guide – Google Docs

BASIC SUPPLY LIST

  • cage or hut or pen /home with a smooth bottom
  • pet-carrier
  • dish for food
  • water bottle
  • bedding/litter
  • hay rack
  • timothy hay, orchard grass, or oat grass
  • brush
  • nail trimmers
  • safe chew item
  • separate small hut/house/box to hide & sleep in

BASIC TIPS

  • keep your guinea pig away from cats and dogs
  • provide them with daily floor play time
  • remove stale food daily
  • provide fresh water daily
  • to minimize the risk of respiratory disease maintain the temperature at 65-75 degrees
  • because guinea pigs are active, provide ample space to move about (living quarters at least 18 inches wide, 14 inches high, and 25 inches deep)
  • no aquariums (poor ventilation) and no mesh or wire-floor cages (hurt guinea pigs’ tender feet)
  • they chew on things in the cage due to their constant growing teeth so purchase as much nontoxic items as possible
  • do not use sawdust, cedar chips, or fabrics for nesting/bedding instead provide plenty of high-quality hay for nesting and snacking
  • provide a gnawing log (such as an untreated fruit tree branch), tunnels for crawling & platforms for climbing
  • heavy food bowl resistant to tipping and gnawing and a water bottle with a sipper tube
  • fruits are treats to guinea pigs (be sure to remove the seeds, which are toxic)
  • ask your assisting veterinarian about vitamin supplements
  • guinea pigs are happiest so keep two or more together of the same sex

HOW TO HOLD YOUR GUINEA PIG (make sure the entire body is supported)

  • slowly place one hand under the chest just behind the front legs
  • gently cup your other hand under his hindquarters
  • be sure to have a firm but gentle grip on the animal and lift
  • immediately pull him close to your chest or lap so he feels safe and doesn’t toss & turn

WHAT TO FEED YOUR GUINEA PIG (a variety is best)

  • each guinea pig will require about one cup of vegetables per day and it is best to divide the veggie meal into two servings
  • hay should be the majority daily diet
  • commercial guinea pig food, formulated especially for the species of your guinea pig
  • they need lot of vitamin C (consider a powered supplement)
  • grass, between a handful to several handfuls, more in the warmer months
  • green pepper, 1/8 to 1/4 of whole pepper
  • romaine lettuce, one or two large leaves
  • tomato, wedge of large tomato or small roma tomato
  • fresh veggies such as kale, broccoli leaves, and radish greens
  • Occasional vegetables:
    • broccoli leaves (small) and peeled broccoli stem
    • chinese cabbage (pak-choi), one leaf
    • corn silks and husks when in season
    • parsley, one or more sprigs
    • forages like chickweed, dandelions, and young clover
  • Fruit (a couple fruits per day from this list):

    • apple, thin wedge, no seeds
    • apricot, dried, a couple raisin-sized pieces
    • banana, 1/4″ round slice
    • blueberries, several
    • cantaloupe, 1″X 2″piece with washed rind
    • grapes or raisins (not both), one or two
    • orange, one slice
    • strawberries
    • watermelon, 1″ X 2″ piece with washed rind

DO NOT FEED THEM:

  • potato skins and eyes – very high in oxalic acid
  • too many carrots
  • iceberg lettuce
  • cabbage
  • broccoli
  • brussels sprouts
  • cauliflower

HOW TO CLEAN YOUR GUINEA PIG & ITS HOME

  • to stay clean and tangle-free, long-haired breeds require frequent brushing and combing
  • once a month clip nails on feet
  • every 2-4 days scrub and disinfect the cage, then let it dry before lining the floor with fresh bedding and replacing the cage furnishings
  • the water bottle and sipper tube must be cleaned daily to prevent buildup of food, algae, and bacteria

BASIC GROOMING:

  • trim nails
  • trim hair
  • brush coat
  • bath only every few months; AVOID water in ears
  • clean ears every other week