5 Common Mistakes Guinea Pig Owners Make

Updated on June 2, 2019
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Jessie is an art director and a long-time cavy lover who has way too many hobbies.

Thinking about getting a guinea pig? Be sure to avoid these common pitfalls.
Thinking about getting a guinea pig? Be sure to avoid these common pitfalls. | Source

Tips for a Happier, Longer-Lived Cavy

A guinea pig, or cavy, is a very fragile pet that requires more care than most people think. Many new guinea pig owners are guilty of some or all of these five common mistakes. Before you bring your little ball of fur home, do some research and use this article as a guide to make sure you are fully prepared. Although some of these misconceptions can seem harmless, they actually can lead to a less happy—or even shortened—life for your pig.

Things to Avoid

1. Buying Your Cavy From a Pet Store

Unfortunately this is a huge mistake that happens far too often. You go into a pet store and see a piggy that makes your heart melt, and then see that it's crammed into a small aquarium with four other guinea pigs. Your initial thought is that if you buy this special pig, you'll be rescuing it, and therefore it's a good thing you chose to buy a guinea pig at a pet store. Really, the best thing you can do is to actively avoid supporting that pet store so that hopefully some day it won't exist and those animals won't be treated that way, especially when there are literally thousands of guinea pigs in shelters that need homes.

Supporting pet stores that mistreat animals is the perfect example of an easily avoidable, but all-too-common mistake for new owners. The "cages" they use are usually aquariums that aren't big enough for even one pig, but often house three or more at a time. These practices are no secret and have been a problem for years.

If you are interested in owning a guinea pig, the best thing to do is to adopt. A rescue that is specific to small pets like guinea pigs will know how to care for a cavy more than any pet store will, guaranteed. Guinea pigs that come from pet stores aren't cared for as well, and are likely in a worse state of health. Your local rescue will also be able to answer any question under the sun regarding your newfound pet, which might not be true of the 17-year-old working at the pet store.

Another good thing about adopting? You can easily find cagemates, so it eliminates the entire "introducing a new pig" dilemma. My guinea pigs are brothers who have been cagemates for life, and I received a two-for-one special because the woman who rescued them knows how important it is for cagemates to stay together. Her husband was a vet, so I knew that when I adopted these two baby boars, they would be at optimal health. After over three years, we still stay in touch and she asks how they are doing from time to time. You can't find that kind of care in a store.

But what if you want a young guinea? Don't worry, there are thousands of guinea pigs of all different ages waiting for homes at shelters and rescues (and don't rule the mature pigs out until you meet them). If you assume that you can only get a fresh new guinea at a pet store, you might want to think again.

2. Assuming That Guinea Pigs Are Fine Without Cagemates

I can't imagine how it would be if I had split these two up.
I can't imagine how it would be if I had split these two up.

This is another common misconception about guinea pigs. A lot of people think that owning just one pig is fine, and that it doesn't need a friend. This may be true if you have enough time to give it the attention it's lacking from a cagemate, but most people have jobs or school. Imagine if you were left to spend an entire day in a confined space. Would you survive? Of course, but it'd be a lot better if you had a friend with you.

Guinea pigs are very social animals. They are also a prey animal, so no matter how many hours you spend hanging out with your guinea pig, I'm sorry but your guinea pig would still rather hang out with another guinea pig. Humans are scary to piggies, while other piggies are protection.

"Ew but two guinea pigs would smell so much more!"

No, not really. If you have an appropriately sized cage for two pigs, your cage will not smell any worse than your current cage does. I've owned one pig; now I own two, and I don't notice a difference in odor at all. What I did notice is that it is much more fun to have two pigs than just one. Why? Because watching them interact, seeing their differences in personalities, and catching them cuddling together is much more rewarding than looking at one pig with a blank look on its face who is terrified of me.

3. Buying a Cage That Is Too Small

If you bought a cage from a pet store, it's probably too small. Even if you splurged on the biggest cage in the store that cost over $100, not only is your cage probably still not big enough, but you also wasted a ton of money.

The best way to ensure that you are getting an appropriate cage for your cavy is to build your own guinea pig cage. This is much easier than it sounds and much more cost effective than trying to buy a cage that is big enough. For the price you paid for your cage from the pet store, you could have built what's known as a C&C cage triple the size. The C&C stand for cube (the wire storage cubes you can assemble with plastic connectors) and coroplast (corrugated plastic).

Some may look at an appropriate cage for a guinea pig and think that it is way too big, but if you look at how an average-sized guinea pig compares to the size of an average store-bought cage, you can see it'd be like keeping a hamster in a shoebox. Would you keep a hamster in a cage the size of a shoebox? Just because it can turn around and take five steps doesn't mean it's an acceptable size. Exercise is a necessity for the longevity of guinea pigs, just as it is in all other living things. If a Labrador was kept in a pen that was only big enough for it to take a few steps each day, most would consider it animal abuse, so why is it okay to give that same treatment to a guinea pig?

An Example Of A Bad Cage

Petsmart says this cage is a "perfectly sized home for your guinea pig". Not only is this cage less than half the size it should be, the $60 you would have spent buying it could have built you a C&C cage in the right size, with cash to spare.
Petsmart says this cage is a "perfectly sized home for your guinea pig". Not only is this cage less than half the size it should be, the $60 you would have spent buying it could have built you a C&C cage in the right size, with cash to spare. | Source

An Example Of A Good Cage

Choosing to build a C&C cage means the sky's the limit to all different types of customizations. This is a 2x4 C&C cage that my piggies Wilson and Apollo currently share.
Choosing to build a C&C cage means the sky's the limit to all different types of customizations. This is a 2x4 C&C cage that my piggies Wilson and Apollo currently share. | Source

Cage Size Guidelines

# Of Guinea Pigs
Minimum Size Acceptable
Preferred Size
In C&C Grids
1
7.5 Sq Ft
more
2x3 grids
2
7.5 Sq Ft
10.5 Sq Ft
2x4 grids
3
10.5 Sq Ft
13 Sq Ft
2x5 grids
4
13 Sq Ft
more
2x6 grids

If you have male guinea pigs, the preferred size acts as more of a requirement than a suggestion. Boars often tend to fight more, and therefore require more space to have alone time. A rule of thumb is basically the bigger the cage, the happier the pet.

4. Neglecting Nutrition

This is probably the most important thing to get right when raising a guinea pig. As with any other living thing, nutrition for guinea pigs is not something to take lightly. Follow these guidelines to ensure you're doing everything you can for your piggy's diet:

  1. Pellets: Dry food, or pellets, come in all different types, brands, and prices. Most of the pellets you will find in stores are ones that should be avoided. This article gives an in-depth discussion on what to look for, and what not to look for in guinea pig pellets. Popular brands used by guinea pig experts include Oxbow Cavy Cuisine (my favorite, which can be found cheaper online than it can in stores), and pellets sold by KMS Hayloft.
  2. Hay: Your guinea pig needs an unlimited supply of hay at all times. Oh, the wonders of hay—guinea pigs need it for many reasons. Their digestive systems require a high-fiber diet in order to keep things running smoothly, if you catch my drift. Not only that, but their teeth are constantly growing, and chewing hay keeps the growth of their molars under control. Piggies love to eat hay, sleep in hay, play with hay—everything. If a guinea pig made a Valentine's Day card, it would be to hay. When you purchase your pig's new best friend, look for second-cut Timothy hay. Second-cut means that it's the second cut of the season—the first cut tends to be tough, so you want the second, more tender, batch—and Timothy hay is a type of grass grown specifically for hay. You can get hay in stores (not the best option), online (much better option), or from a trusted local Timothy-hay farmer (the best!). Start stocking up and spoiling your pig with ample amounts of hay; it will be greatly appreciated.
  3. Fruits & Veggies: Guinea pigs should get a wide range of different fruits and vegetables every day. It can be fun to see what different fruits and vegetables your pig prefers. My pigs' absolute favorite vegetables are carrots. Follow this detailed nutrition chart from a popular guinea pig website to see what vegetables and fruits are acceptable, as well as appropriate serving sizes.

A Few Additional Tips

  • Sugar-filled, wacky-flavored, colorful guinea pig treats are not good. There are probably appropriate treats through brands such as Oxbow, but a general rule of thumb is that if you aren't positive about how good it is for your pig, don't buy it.
  • Some people try to sell hay balls that go in your cage and act as a movable hay rack. These have been known to be very dangerous to pigs because piggies get their little feet stuck inside them.
  • If a pellet food looks delicious to you, it's most likely bad for your pig. Look for plain pellets. Avoid any with mixes of seeds, nuts, and weird-colored shapes.
  • Never feed your pet iceberg lettuce. It is not nutritious and can cause diarrhea. The greener the leaf, the healthier the lettuce.
  • Salt wheels = bad. If you feed your pig high-quality food such as Oxbow, it already has enough sodium in its diet.

5. Using the Wrong Guinea Pig Bedding

One of the most common types of bedding used in guinea pig cages is in the form of wood shavings or paper-based bedding. This is completely fine if you are using the appropriate kind (not pine, cedar, or sawdust). However, wood shavings may not be the best choice for the health of your piggy. Small bits of wood, paper, or dust inhaled by a guinea pig may cause respiratory problems or bother its sensitive eyes. Wood shavings and paper-based bedding can be kicked around easily, and isn't the cleanest option because your guinea pig will be living in its own waste until you completely clean the cage. Although many people use wood- and paper-based bedding, it isn't a very eco-friendly choice, and it can get crazy expensive.

This leads me to my next tip: the magic of using fleece bedding. Fleece is a newer bedding option that has been sweeping the cavy nation. It is cheaper than any other option and more eco-friendly. Using fleece allows you to "spot clean" your cage daily, so your piggy can literally live in a poo-free world if you want. Instead of absorbing urine like paper or wood bedding would do, thus becoming soggy, fleece allows it to pass straight through (underneath the fleece, you should have two layers of a towel or something similar that you will have to wash periodically), so the top layer is left completely dry to the touch. It doesn't hurt that cleanup's a snap and your cage looks better either.

Wilson Loves to Catch Z's on Soft, Homemade Pillows

Another added bonus to fleece? Your pigs will love it! Having a clean dry cage means you are free to make small pillows and beds for your pigs to lounge around on, without having to worry about them getting filthy in minutes.
Another added bonus to fleece? Your pigs will love it! Having a clean dry cage means you are free to make small pillows and beds for your pigs to lounge around on, without having to worry about them getting filthy in minutes.

Best of Luck to You and Your New Pets

This was written in the best interest of the health and longevity of cavies. It is information every new owner needs to know, but unfortunately is not always taken seriously. I hope that with these tips and guidelines, you will be able to start off on the right foot with guinea pig care. Guinea pigs are precious little pets with unfortunately short life spans, but by giving them optimal care we can hopefully give them longer, happier lives.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Questions & Answers

  • My home-bred guinea pig died for no reason. She was perfectly fine, with a big cage, another guinea pig, water, food, and all that stuff, but she died. It happened three times to three guinea pigs. She was fine, and then I went to the bathroom, came back, and she was lying on her side, and after a minute, she was dead. Why? What did I do?

    Sometimes when pigs go, it's very sudden and seemingly for no reason. I would only question it if all three seemed too young to die that fast.

  • My brother's' guinea pig is always hiding in its hideaway home. It never comes out, and when it does come out, which is very, very rare, it panics and goes crazy! Why does it do that, and why won't let us hold it?

    Guinea pigs are prey animals, it's in their nature to be scared of pretty much anything.

  • My guinea pigs always run away when I try to take them out of their cage. Is that normal?

    Yes, guinea pigs are prey animals, and it's in their nature to be terrified of pretty much everything.

  • Do I replace the fleece for my guinea pig daily? How would one clean the poop? I have two piggies, and wow can they make a mess. I am willing to try anything.

    We replaced the fleece weekly, and swept poops daily with a hand broom and dust pan.

  • We have two female guinea pigs. One is eight months old, and the other is six months old. We adopted another one that is a little over a month old. The older guinea pigs want to attack the baby. What do you think I should do?

    You need to research how to properly introduce a new guinea pig to a cage of established cage mates. I've never done it before, but I do know that you're not supposed to put them in the cage together.

Comments

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    • profile image

      maddie 

      6 days ago

      First of all, I disagree with the statement that you should avoid buying a guinea pig from a pet store because they all mishandle and abuse them. I work in a pet store and we take tremendous steps to make sure our guinea pigs and other animals are happy, safe, and healthy.

    • profile image

      Fiona Wilosn 

      2 weeks ago

      Hi, I bought my little boy a guinea pig on Saturday from pets at home. She has been great, letting us pet her hold her etc but I’m worried she’s lonely. So today I went into the pet shop to buy another one (her sister) to keep her company. The pet shop said even after 3 days of them being apart I would Hav to buy a separate cage for the new one and gradually introduce them. This isn’t ideal as I don’t have room for another cage. Will she be okay on her own?..

    • profile image

      Victoria Abel 

      2 weeks ago

      Can I wait to get a second Midwest cage and get a third piggy’s I will have to wait about 200 days until I get the second one though?

    • profile image

      I love the article but.... 

      3 weeks ago

      please say anything to help me back I red all of your articles and they are amazing and you really inspire me to really take care of all my pets and please something about where to get the pets

    • profile image

      I love the article but... 

      3 weeks ago

      firsty i love the article number two where do i get the stuff for the C&C cage?

    • profile image

      Im trying 

      4 weeks ago

      I am really scared to get a guinea pig i dont know I want to only have one but i don't know if i will have time for it can I get a toy guinea pig Also this is really helpful

    • profile image

      Nevaeh 

      5 weeks ago

      Can u give more exsamples of a good cagefor guine pigs

    • profile image

      Stephanie 

      7 weeks ago

      I just recently got two pigs and one of them is warming up to me fast but the one is still iffy about me still. Back story: the first day i bought them home my 3 year old picked her up and i think he scared her

    • profile image

      Beetoe88 

      7 weeks ago

      Hi patty

      This worked great for me . Get a bowl and fill it a little less then halfway with apple cider vinegar and just one or two little drops of dawn dish soap the blue kind and stir it in .Then cover the bowl with Saran Wrap make sure it’s nice and tight. Than grab a fork and make a bunch of holes in the wrap. This worked great and should definitely help!

    • profile image

      Patty Holmes 

      8 weeks ago

      I am at my wits end in what to do about fruit flies. I have tried fruit fly traps that do not work! Right now I have 6 fly traps that are full of fruit flies and I just walked through a huge cloud of them. I have two cavies and have tried several options. My family is not happy with the situation. Can you help me?

    • profile image

      Emma 

      8 weeks ago

      I’m just trying to give my guinea pigs the best live but I’ve been reading all these articles and watching all these videos and I see my cage is to small but I can’t upgrade to a bigger one because of limited space it’s already 17x21 and I don’t know how much space I can spare please help I want to give my two girls a happier life but I don’t know how

    • profile image

      Conforama : meuble, cuisine, électroménager, décoration – Conforama - Conforama 

      2 months ago

      Cineworld Cinemas - Apps on Google Play

    • profile image

      Dawn 

      2 months ago

      To introduce a new pig to cagemates, you put them outside. Cagemates go in one run, the new guy in the other

    • profile image

      Kassandre Kuss 

      2 months ago

      Do guinea pigs get diabetes easily?

    • profile image

      Tierney woodrome 

      2 months ago

      I’m about to get 2 guinea pigs and I don’t know if i can make a cage out of wood I wanna to know if they will be ok

    • profile image

      Johnny Larue 

      2 months ago

      Disagree about adopting. The adoption places are overly invasive, like to find reasons to reject potential owners and lack professionalism.

    • profile image

      Kendall 

      3 months ago

      My guinea pig is scared of people who is that ever stopped up

    • profile image

      ka kz 

      3 months ago

      i have a piggy named Lucky but he died May 13 2019

    • profile image

      Sanduni 

      3 months ago

      I'm a sri lankan..I like to have a ginipig..but I already have 2 dashound dogs..I'm afraid my dogs will not like the new one..what can I do for that

    • profile image

      3 months ago

      My dad won't let me neuter my male pig because he thinks neutering is cruel.What should I do?

    • profile image

      Leah 

      4 months ago

      Hi, i have my pigs now for 5 weeks and they are not tamed yet. They don't let me pick them up but they do let me fees them from my hand. Both of my guinea pigs need their nails trimmed. How do i do that when they keep jumping out of my hands? I prefer not to go to the vet.

    • profile image

      Morgan 

      4 months ago

      I got two guinea pigs from a breeder I know very well who’s guinea pigs lived outside, so my guinea pigs lived in a hutch with a run attached to it outside in my garden. One day, I noticed one of them was sleeping out of the bed area and in the main bit of the hutch and the other one was sleeping in the bed. They seemed to take it in turns every night. One day I came back from the shop with some veggies for them and found one of them dead in the hutch. The other was fine and there was no blood. Why did he die? And now my other piggy lives on his own. Will he be ok by himself?

    • profile image

      Crazy animals 

      4 months ago

      Is it better for my guinea pigs to live inside

    • profile image

      jodycarlo19@gmail.com 

      4 months ago

      My baby guinea pig bit's when I hold her. Will this stop?

    • profile image

      Briana 

      4 months ago

      I have a question not a comment. If I go back and get my guineas cage mate will they recognize each other?

    • profile image

      michelle 

      5 months ago

      I adopted two females who were sisters. The previous owner had them in an insufficient store-bought cage. I purchased the Midwest Habitat and created an open partition so they could unite or retreat as desired.

      I placed the habitat in a quiet location and approached them sensitively. After a week, the sisters' quarreling had become intense with biting and bleeding, forcing separation, which didn't make sense to me since my research indicated being cage mates was preferable.

      I attempted gradual reunification, but the fighting persisted and I contacted a Rescue for advice. They suggested placing them with them to be paired with different mates.

      I just don't understand why they fought when they were raised together and then I brought them into a better environment with more space.

    • profile image

      Gilbert Powers 

      5 months ago

      This article is a waste of money spent on the writer.Just the beginning is so controversial and written at such a novice point of view. Not all pet stores mistreat or put them in harmful situations. Plus adopted guinea pigs are more common to bite and have emotional traumatic experiences from previous owners.Please don't waste reading on it gets worse,your welcome and don't write for like ever who ever wrote this article on 5 common mistakes we make as guinea pig owners."Mic drop!"

    • profile image

      bobby 

      5 months ago

      i got my guinea pig a few days a go and the lady told me that he cannot live with other piggies cause he got his litter mate got into a fight with him, and now he is tramatized and cant live with other piggies cause he is scared of other pigs. he is a very sweet piggy and when i hold him he gets excited and pop corns when i have him on my bed to play with him, he also likes to groom me, im very worried that he will be lonely when i go to school, or go to my cabin. should i see if he can live with other piggies or should he be a single piggy?

    • profile image

      Kit 

      6 months ago

      A fairly good list, but the first one, while full of good intentions, is actually rather hurtful and incorrect. While adopting is always the best first option, let's point out a couple of the wrong assumptions there.

      1. "17 year old pet store employee." Most pet stores that I know of won't hire anyone under the age of 18, sorry to burst your bubble.

      2. "Your local rescue will also be able to answer any question under the sun regarding your newfound pet" with the assumption that you "17 year old pet store employee (lol)" won't be able to. As someone who has worked for a pet store for years now, I can say that, at least in our store (and yes, a major chain store), we receive hours upon hours of constant, never ending training over all aspects of the store. Add this together with knowledge gained from fellow coworkers, personal experienced, and even from some customers, and we can probably answer almost any question you have about any of our animals in the store. And if we can't, I guarantee we can probably grab an employee for you who can.

      3. The misconception that if you go to a pet store, you're only able to buy animals. WRONG. I don't know about PetSmart or other pet stores, but Petco will take in relinquished or abandoned small animals, birds, reptiles, AND even fish, and adopt them out, showing and suggesting the animals for adoption first before people look into buying one of the other animals in the store. Sometimes, these animals aren't cared for properly by their owners either, and employees at the stores have to nurse the animals back to health themselves before they can adopt them out. As long as there is room and the proper means to care for them, they won't turn away a homeless animal.

      So, if you do find yourself shopping in a pet store, even just for goods or services, don't be afraid to track down an employee to ask for help or questions. Most also carry caresheets and other items to aid you! Plus, you can also find animals, reptiles, birds, and even fish for adoption at pet stores like Petco, too! Just ask.

    • profile image

      Sierra 

      6 months ago

      What happens when a guinea pig falls out of the bed off of the bed

    • profile image

      Jen 

      6 months ago

      I bought a guinea from a pet store and a guinea from a rescue and the rescue pig had hordes of problems! Lice, respiratory problems... feeding problems. Maybe I'm biased but the rescue did not take good care of her... very sad. The other piggie is so healthy.

    • profile image

      So I have a pen o got from pet smart should I build my own? 

      7 months ago

      Should I build my own

    • profile image

      7 months ago

      Why do i never see my two guinea pigs sleep?

    • profile image

      Hope 

      7 months ago

      Rachel is really right the guinea pigs at some pet stores really do get treated right and have a good life and maybe you should not tell everyone not to get them from pet stores because that is false information you are giving. And you should be telling people not to get them before at least three weeks because they need there mothers milk. And six weeks is better. That one person who wrote she got hers at four days is really bad for the guinea pig. This is just my point of vew.

    • profile image

      peson 

      8 months ago

      so i was eating cinniim toast crunch with my guinea p. and one fell of so one second later i heard a cruching soud , my guinea pig ate about 1/3 of a sugery cereal ,will he die becuase i know sugar is REALY bad for them please help !

    • profile image

      Wendy 

      8 months ago

      I dont like fleece it ruined my washer besides in my case it was expensive my pigs had mites i kept thinking they were gone but nope. They got plenty of vitamins orange peppers almost daily.

      I use puppy pads the xxlarge they fit cage perfect with extra to go up wall about 2" i also cut one of the pads into 4 i put in corners where the1 pee poop most.

      Dont over feed calcium loaded foods. They love hand scissor plucked fresh grass/dandelions not too many highest calcium load is in them. Everything green has calcium so its good but its the extras like parsley dandlion..also carrot.

      Not too much urine turns then i lay off for a while. I give salt lick for a yr now. When they get a cold i give green beans and orange peppers daily until gone.

      If that lingers then doctor always get benebac culture buy at vet get critical care for emergency force feed and fresh daily water fill bottle to brim room temp no leaks.

      Wood chips..tissue goes in buthole it clogs very painful. Know difference between straw and hay. In order for digestion they eat hay after every veggie meal.

      Do not bathe they dont dry. Give ivermectin one drop for mites tactor stop sells it for cattle know what your getting. Guinealynx tells you approp or they lock you out.

    • profile image

      Amanda 

      9 months ago

      I have two female guniea pigs. Minnie and ruby are from the same liter.4days old just got them today sooooooo cute!

    • profile image

      Sara 

      9 months ago

      It's getting colder out, winter is coming soon. This is my first winter with my guinea pigs. Should I get them a little cuddle cup bed? Is that beneficial or a waste of money?

      Also, should I get a carrier? Are those beneficial to have too?

      Thanks,

    • profile image

      ashley 

      9 months ago

      So i have one guinea pig and he has no other guinea to play with can that kill him if he feels lonely or stressed out with no other animal in his cage to play with??

    • profile image

      Sherry craft 

      10 months ago

      My guinea pig is not playing or eating so what am I supposed to do

    • profile image

      Name 

      10 months ago

      Thank you, when i read number 2 to my mom she might let me get another Guinea pig for my Guinea pig to play with.

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      Toni 

      10 months ago

      I want to build a cage large cage for my 3 boy pigs. But I am disable and probally wouldn't have the ability to create a cage so they all three could be together. Any suggestions. I have been looking at the C&C cages but I have RA in my hands and wrists so I don't think I can put a cage together for them. Just give some suggestions and have a blessed day. Toni Pinckard

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      Cecilia Freeburn 

      11 months ago

      You forgot to mention that people shouldn't get them running wheels

    • profile image

      Guinness pig lady 

      11 months ago

      You should Weigh your Ginny pig every month or forghtnight to make sure they are putting on waight and not catching anything

    • profile image

      Fjjhhjkk 

      11 months ago

      I really wanted to get one Guinea pig

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      Marin is cool 

      11 months ago

      The first one is dumb. Every guinea pig needs a home, and someone to love them. And maybe supporting them will HELP, because maybe they cannot afford huge cages for their animals.If you give them money, maybe they could buy bigger cages. Yes, it is good to support a rescue, but it is also good to support a pet store.They probably WANT to get money to help animals. My local pet store is PetSmart, and they know a lot about animals and sponsor and run many charities to help less fourtunate animals. I agree with the rest of this though.

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      dMartens47 

      12 months ago

      Great guide. My niece wants to have a guinea pig pet. Guess it is the best to build our own cage.

    • profile image

      Deb 

      13 months ago

      Hoping someone has a suggestion. I have an adult guinea pig and one that is very young. How do I meet both of their nutritional needs ie calcium. HELP!

    • profile image

      Dee & Jenny Newman 

      13 months ago

      So glad I found you, we adopted two kiddos, and Jenny was 1 we were foster parents.for years but as My way she is now 7, I always said I'd never have a guinea pig, she changed my mind, she and I both own one, best thing I ever bought. From an individual. That knows her babies.mine is named (Cinnamon) and Jenny's is (pretty puff) thank you for all your info. It's helping me love our babies even more. Dee & Jenny

    • profile image

      Jasmine 

      14 months ago

      You also should add in that your pet food shouldn’t have timothy hay as the number one ingredient after a certain age.

    • profile image

      Dr Suggestion 

      14 months ago

      Maybe you should add a 6th one where people mistakenly assume guinea pigs come from guinea

    • profile image

      Sarai Sanders 

      15 months ago

      Hey my guinea pig died and i´m getting another one on June 1,2018 and i need some tips before i get it so i wont have to worry about anything PLEASE!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      Ty Dee 

      15 months ago

      @Rachel

      Fleece fabric can be purchased by the yard at any Walmart store or craft store if you plan to make the bedding yourself. Etsy and EBay offer custom sewn fleece bedding to the size of your cage if you prefer to order and have it shipped to you.

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      Rachael 

      15 months ago

      I am looking for fleece bedding for my guinea pig. She has a playpen and a larger size cage. I have looked in my local stores and come up with nothing. I do not know how to search on Amazon. Can anyone help me please?!

    • profile image

      Angelina 

      16 months ago

      I purchase a four-year-old guinea pig from an owner how would I take care of it from there

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      Adam 

      16 months ago

      @Jenn - I just had my male guinea pig neutered earlier this year and now he's happily living with 7 females. Just make sure you find a guinea pig savvy vet who has done neuters before and read up on the subject so you know what to expect. You still shouldn't put them together until at least 4 weeks after the neuter.

    • profile image

      Jenn 

      16 months ago

      I adopted two guineas thinking both were male now o have a pregnant guinea and put a divider between them which they can socialize but not get to each other. After she has the babies I am worried because they have been raised together but I don’t want her to get pregnant again. Any suggestions

    • profile image

      Lizzie 

      16 months ago

      @Jen Maus

      People say boars fight but they definitely prefer company. If I were you I would find a young male and introduce them in neutral territory where they can both hide if necessary. I think it would be unlikely they would fight badly, especially with no females around, and would become good friends in no time.

      I had no problems introducing a new young boar to my male and then another young boar later. Just make sure they have space.

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      Anonymous 

      16 months ago

      My guinea pig got out and it hates me now And there's is evidence of hair from it on my bookshelf. Help!

    • profile image

      Jen Maus 

      16 months ago

      Hi everyone! I recently took a male piggie from my niece because she was not taking care of him properly. I have 3 syrian hamsters which I know a lot about, guinea pigs not so much. My niece got him from petsmart in November as a baby and did not pair him. He was in a 40 gallon aquarium by himself. I know have him in a huge c&c cage with fleece and have done extension research. There however is one thing I am getting mixed answers on whether to pair or not. Some say yes cause they are social and need a friend, and then some say that he's been by himself too long. I have been able to tame him and give him lots of attention but if he needs a friend I want to get him one. I want him to have a better life.

      Thanks!!

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      Margaretann30@hotmail.co.uk 

      16 months ago

      I am. Going on holiday is it save to take my guinea pig to other house to I am back

    • profile image

      Ella 

      16 months ago

      Guinea pig Hattie, don't worry, it's never to late to get a new guinea pig. Just be careful which one you get because although they always do want to be with another guinea pig, they can be fussy about which one they live with. I suggest you check out You tube little adventures- how to properly select a new guinea pig.

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      Amee 

      16 months ago

      petri - I just bought a rescue from Atlas Pet Supply in Elk River. She is super healthy and a sweet little thing. Looking for a cage mate for her!

    • profile image

      petri 

      16 months ago

      Is it ok to buy from a pet store such as atlas pet supply (MN)? They take great care of their animals and it seems to be a good store. I believe they rescue or take "hand ins".

    • profile image

      Guinea Pig Hattie 

      17 months ago

      It's not too late to get two guinea pigs yet, is it? My guinea pig is about 6 months old. Also, my guinea pig chews everything! She also is very messy. Do you think she would chew the pillow or do bathroom business on it? Also, we have a fleece liner for the cage. Is that okay? Please respond!

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      yee 

      17 months ago

      what do you recommend for bedding

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      clair 

      17 months ago

      my guinea is all ready happy thank for the tips :)

    • profile image

      nikita 

      17 months ago

      cinnamon seems fine even though the cage is not as big as the example of the good cage and how do i make that cage i don't even have money! thanks anyways ;)

    • profile image

      Danielle mcnally 

      17 months ago

      I have two males, unfortunately they really don't get on at all and have cut each other. Would they be ok seperated as they are causing injuries ?? I don't like the idea of them being lonely but can't really leave them together??? Help

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      Ginny pig saver! 

      17 months ago

      Thank you so much i am getting a ginny pig in a few weeks and im now thinking i sould get two ginny pigs to comfort one another i just have to save up enough money. About more then 100 dollar bills yall! Its gonna be hard because im only ten

    • profile image

      #livingthehedgielife 

      17 months ago

      omgeezles that's soooooo cool! Thank you sooooo much! i'm so happy because if i get straight C grades, i can get a hedgie! i'll name her pretty pickles! Wow! this is so exciting! BEST DAY EVAAAA #livingthehedgielife! I bet that it would be so supes pretty. ok bye hedgie lovers! Peace out girlscout! love, Rosie Bertha Counts.

    • profile image

      guinea pig 

      18 months ago

      Thanks for all the advice! It really helped!

    • profile image

      Scar9905 

      18 months ago

      I think the people should clean it instead of tacking out the bedding and just putting new bedding in

    • profile image

      LisaK67 

      18 months ago

      Jessica Morroto, this will sound crazy but put 1/4 tsp of Tang powdered drink in his water bottle. I had a baby and she wouldnt walk, vet told me to do that bc she lacked vitamin C. May require more depending on size.

    • profile image

      Its the oreopig! 

      18 months ago

      Oreo has dominance,and is constantly going on my other pigs (smores) back!smores is at the hospital getting his treatment for his respatory infection.now oreo is on his own,and is happy. Is it just bad from human perspective? or is it possible that some guinea pigs enjoy being on their own? I'm so mixed up. Can you help me?

    • profile image

      AllyCat 

      18 months ago

      I wish I would have seen this before I got my guineas! I got two cage mates that were all snuggled up together and besties from petco last week. Dropped 400 dollars on the best cage, best pellets, 5 different types of hay with dried fruit in them, a super cool bottle with a flip top so I don't have to take it off the cage to fill it and I got tons of fresh veggies from sprouts (local farmers market store) I got them a cave to hide in and bed's as well with two cute bowls for hay and pellets. I love them so much already these tiny guys stole my heart! I get both of them out together every night for two hours and let them run wherever they want and popcorn around. Next time I will get one from a shelter! I want many more. I got a huge play pen that they are in at the moment they mostly just stay in that cause it's sooooo much bigger than their 4 by 5 foot cage

    • profile image

      Jessica marotto 

      18 months ago

      I have a guniea pig and she wont walk do u think she needs a friend

    • profile image

      Leila 

      18 months ago

      There are many issues with a pregnant guinea pig! I haven’t looked in too them as I have two baby boy Guineas, but I’d do a bit of research as it can be quite dangerous xx

    • profile image

      blank 

      18 months ago

      My guinea pigs are pregnant is there anything I should worry about?

    • profile image

      victoria 

      19 months ago

      I wish I would have read this before getting my guinea pigs

      but my guinea pigs had babies and I'm soo happy

    • profile image

      Grace 

      19 months ago

      I got my guinea pigs at petsmart I want another one so I’ll find a shelter thanks

    • profile image

      serenity 

      19 months ago

      This is pretty cool! But what do I do about my guinea pig cage it' s technekly a bad cage.

    • profile image

      Courtney 

      19 months ago

      Dear,

      PetHelpFul my guinea pug was bought from PetSmart and i got my cage from my frined who had guinea pigs also. Yes I washed it out good and my guinea pig has dry stuff around it's eye, I have 2 guinea's the other is fine.

      Sincerly,

      Courtney

    • profile image

      lili 

      19 months ago

      my sister slept with her ginea pig and ran away what do i do but we have other ones but they are mine

    • profile image

      Sam 

      19 months ago

      Dear PetHelpful,

      My guinepig was bought from Petco. Is that a good store?

    • profile image

      Eden 

      19 months ago

      I only have one piggy now and can't afford another one, how do I comfort him without getting a new one?

    • profile image

      Ella 

      19 months ago

      I can't stand the people that don't agree with this. It means they are VERY cruel to animals. I must explain why everything is true and why people need to agree with this and be more nice to animals.

      Why you shouldn't buy guinea pigs from a pet store:

      Many people say it's fine to get them from a pet store because not all pet stores are bad. This may be true and it definitely is better to get one from a good pet store than a bad one but it's still best to get them from a rescue because it can be hard to tell when a pet store is or is not bad and even if it's not bad it's still best to support the rescue because if you don't support a pet store, they will let the pets have a nicer, happier life but if you don't support a rescue the pets will never get rescued and die.

      Why they need cagemates:

      this is the problem that bothers me the most. So many people think not all guinea pigs are social and that they 'seem fine on their own' but the truth is. how can they tell they're fine? they will want another guinea pig no matter what but they don't know how to show it to humans. A lot people say it's bad for them to be together because whenever they see each other, they fight. People think this is because they don't like each other but it's actually because they're mad they didn't get to see them earlier! I know it may seem like a weird reason to fight but you need to understand that guinea pigs are different from humans and will show they way they feel differently

      Why you need a big cage:

      A lot of people say when there guinea pig gets to go in their teeny cage they are happy and would want to be there more than any other place but that's only because they're not used to the other places and don't know what to do. If you did give your guinea pigs a bigger gave and gave them time to get used to it, trust me, you'll be surprised. they'll be exploring the whole thing and and will really enjoy them selves! I sometimes don't close my cage properly on accident and my guinea pigs get out asap because they love to have more space! (even though my cage is already bigger than it needs to be!) And if your guinea pigs learnt to adjust to different places like that, I'm sure they would do the same thing!

      Thanks for reading! I don't really have anything to add on to the last two things but hopefully you can still learn to agree with them! Hope this changed your idea about how guinea pigs should be treated! If not, please tell me and I will explain more. bye for now!

      PS. If you were wondering what my sources are I would like to tell you I have many sources. My friends, the YouTube channel about guinea pigs called little adventures other pet helpful articles and just lots of experience from my own guinea pigs. So you should definitely believe what I say!

    • profile image

      VA 

      19 months ago

      I did look into a rescue as I come from a family who supports rescue animals. The application was more lengthy than any dog or cat adoption process I've encountered. I would need to drive about 50 miles from Virginia to Maryland in order to go to their specific 'adoption event' on their specific time and day (which is hosted every 4-6 weeks), even if the guinea pig's foster home is located near me!

      Besides that, I was told I would have to 'be patient' and 'wait a few weeks' for the adoption process because they are all volunteers. With work and kid schedules, when would I have time to drive that far away to maybe find a guinea pig to take home? Maybe the guinea pig looks nice in the picture but the personality is not compatible.

      Anyway, the large guinea pig rescue in VA and MD means well but they shoot themselves in the foot by wanting so much. In the end I bought a mom and baby from the nearby pet store. I was told the baby was likely pregnant (she was) and readily took her to the vet.

      I'll still seek out rescue animals but let this be a lesson to rescue places. If you want the result to be that an acceptable someone adopts your rescues, be available and ready to do so!

    • profile image

      pkify 

      20 months ago

      Such a large number of awesome focuses!

      I generally attempt to surpass my customers desires as it has such huge numbers of advantages.

      It fulfills my customers, it enables me to do awesome things and it is incredible for business.

      A debt of gratitude is in order for sharing.

    • profile image

      Betty Sakai 

      20 months ago

      We live in San Jose, CA. We have 4 fancy guinees (3 females and 1 neutered male). Our children are now teenagers and do not have time to care for them, so the burden falls on us as parents. We are looking for a new home for them. The gardener said he would take and eat them...(oh dear..He is from a different country...). Now looking for an elementary school teachers who wants loving pets to encourage learning, or seniors who want something warm and sweet for company. Must live close to San Jose in CA. Adoption comes with large cage, food, and supplies.

    • profile image

      Laura 

      20 months ago

      Kiln dried pine is actually fine for small animals. The process of high temperature kiln drying removes the harmful phenols (the chemicals that cause the strong smell and make it unsafe for critters with sensitive reapiratory systems).

      There's an easy way to tell if pine is kiln dried or not.......if it smells like a pine tree air freshener (raw pine has a ridiculously strong smell), it's not safe. If it just has a pleasant, light woody smell, it doesn't contain those awful phenols.

    • Rebecca Rizzuti profile image

      Rebecca Rizzuti 

      20 months ago from Euclid, Ohio

      Excellent points in this article, Jessie! I hope that it leads to many more guinea pigs getting the homes and care that they deserve! I'm not a guinea pig owner myself but I've been looking into keeping rats again. It is *so* tempting to buy from a pet store under the notion that you're "rescuing" a pet from certain death. It doesn't work out that way a lot of the time because among other things, these pets often aren't healthy.

      My ideal right now would be to adopt my rats from a lab rescue.

    • profile image

      Amy 

      20 months ago

      We bought our piggies from a pet store and until last month they were sharing a cage while my dad built them an amazing home! In the cage they used the paper bedding but with their new home I knew I wanted to switch them to fleece. The fleece is absolutely hands down the best thing I ever done. Don’t worry about your piggies chewing on the bedding because they will probably test it the very first day. It’s more as a curiosity thing than anything else but after they get used to it they stop. I only noticed it the very first day! It’s much easier to clean and hardly no work keeping it clean. The no-pill fleece is what I use so it doesn’t have shedding when washed. My piggies love red pepper!

    • profile image

      Lilly 

      20 months ago

      I have had my geauinpigs for 3 years and now their acting strange my gueainpig is acting the strangest

    • profile image

      Anon 

      20 months ago

      I adopted a single male 6.5 year old piggie from a petshop that had an adoption day with a shelter. Pleasant little easy going guy about bedding and such. If anyone is curious as to why pine bedding has a bad rep, it has some sort of oil that can cause respiratory distress if not kiln dried. So if you get pine bedding please read the packaging and look for "kiln dried".

    • profile image

      Jason 

      21 months ago

      Good advice except #1. That’s someone’s personal feelings/agenda and that’s not what I read something like this for

    • profile image

      Tamar Ulmer 

      21 months ago

      I greatly appreciate all of this helpful information. We area adopting 2 females tonight that the owner no longer wishes to take care of. I am going to follow all of this advice. Thank you!

    • profile image

      GuineaPigLover 

      21 months ago

      I am giving my guinea pigs timothy hay is that good for her?? I agree with giving them a partner or pal because I have 2 of them and they are best friends forever.They can never stay apart and its the cutest thing EVER! Also i heard that guinea pigs live up to 10 years. On musically i saw this person abusing this poor adorable hamster.She is shoving the hamsters head in the floor.Holding it the wrong way,and squeezeing him super hard! in the profile picture I even saw the poor thing crying!! What should I do to save him??!

    • profile image

      Blank 

      21 months ago

      I don't like this. I felt like crying for hours because my pig doesn't have a buddy, but he has me. I am with him for hours and my parents say it's ok. This isn't very reliable. I've had my pig forever and he is doing fine. One star

    • profile image

      Blank 

      21 months ago

      My boy has no mate but I play with him every day for over three hours and he has a huge cage. Is it ok for him to have me for hours instead of a mate?

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