Basic Guinea Pig Care

Are you considering adopting a Guinea pig? These adorable little furballs, also called cavies, are very sweet and cute, and can make great pets. Guinea pigs are not difficult to care for, but they do have some very specific care requirements. In this article, a Unionville, ON vet goes over some key points of good Guinea pig care.


There’s no place like home! Your furry pal will spend a lot of time in his habitat, so make sure it’s comfy for him. For one cavy, you’ll want a cage that is at least 7.5 square feet, but bigger is always better. If you choose a wire cage, get one with a solid bottom, as wire floors can hurt your tiny furball’s little paws. Once you have the cage, you’ll need to add a suitable substrate, such as aspen. Avoid using substrates made from pine or cedar, as these are toxic to small animals. Your cavy will also need a comfy hidey-hole, food dishes, a water bottle, and some fun toys. Guinea pigs can be potty-trained, so you may want to include a litterbox as well.


Your cavy should always have fresh quality grass hay, such as Timothy hay. For his main meals, your little furball can have commercial pellets. In order to round out your pet’s diet, you’ll need to supplement these things with fresh produce. Be sure to include foods that contain Vitamin C, as this vitamin is crucial to your Guinea pig’s health. Some good options are carrots, Romaine lettuce, and sweet green or yellow peppers. Ask your vet for specific recommendations, including portion sizes and foods to avoid.


To keep your playful little furball happy and healthy, and keep him from getting bored, you’ll need to provide plenty of fun playthings. Guinea pigs have open-rooted teeth, so they need to chew to keep those little choppers healthy. Your furry buddy will need plenty of chewable toys. Wood, wicker, paper, and cardboard items can all make great cavy toys. Just be sure to avoid things that have been painted, dyed, or varnished, as well as anything with sharp edges, small pieces, or dangling threads, as these can be hazardous to small animals.

Do you have any questions about Guinea pig care? We can help! Please contact us, your local Unionville, ON veterinary hospital, for all of your cavy’s veterinary care needs.

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