Tips for Housing Your Guinea Pig
If you are planning on adding a Guinea Pig to your family, here are some recommendations for the type of housing your new furry friend will need. Remember that your Guinea Pig will also need a high quality diet and a variety of appropriate toys for stimulation In addition to the cage and bedding.
The minimum size for a single Guinea pig is 30”(L) x 18”(W) x 12”(H), but larger cages are recommended. Larger cages allow for adequate exercise and mental stimulation. Solid-sided enclosures, such as glass aquariums, should not be used due to poor ventilation. Placing the cage into a shallow cardboard box with the sides cut to a height of 5” can reduce the amount of debris scattered out the sides of the cage.
Cages are available commercially with either solid or wire mesh flooring. Wire mesh flooring can result in injuries to the feet and legs. Housing on wire over long periods of time can result in footpad infections, and broken legs. Broken legs are common in Guinea pigs that fall through the wire mesh and panic to escape. For these reasons, solid flooring is recommended, or at a minimum, wire mesh floors should have a solid platform as a resting place in one area of the cage.
Recycled paper bedding is the best choice for bedding. Aspen wood shavings, shredded paper, and pelleted recycled newspaper are also acceptable materials for use as bedding. Cedar and pine shavings should not be used, as they have been shown to cause respiratory and liver disease in Guinea pigs. Corncob beddings are available but may contain fungal spores that can potentially cause disease, and should be avoided. Bedding should be changed completely once a week, and any obviously wet spots removed daily.
Guinea pigs must be provided with some sort of dark shelter in the cage. Many shelter varieties are commercially available, but a small cardboard box with a hole cut for entry works well in most cases. This allows your pet a “safe” place to hide when it is stressed.
Bunny's Furr and Feathers FunPacks offers a monthly pet box just for Guinea pigs that can include food, toys, treats and other essentials for your BFF.