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Basic Guinea Pig Care

September 15 2018

Are you looking for a small pet that is easy to care for but super cute? A Guinea pig—or cavy, as they are sometimes called—may be perfect for you! These little guys make absolutely adorable pets. Here, a Cherry Hill, NJ veterinarian discusses basic Guinea pig care.


Your tiny furball will spend the majority of his time in his cage, so it’s important to make sure that he is comfortable in it. We recommend getting a cage that is at least 7.5 square feet for one cavy. If you have more than one, you’ll need a bigger cage. Choose one with a solid bottom: wire floors won’t hold substrate, and they can also cause paw injuries. To increase your pet’s floor space, pick one with two levels and an enclosed ramp for access.


Once you have the cage picked out, you’ll need to add some accessories. For substrate, you can use fleece blankets or a paper-based substrate. Aspen is also fine. Avoid anything made of pine or cedar, as they are toxic to small animals. Your little buddy will also need a hidey-hole, food dishes, and a water bottle. You can add a litterbox and hayrack as well.


Cavies can have commercial pellets for their main meals. You’ll want to supplement this with fresh grass hay and safe, suitable produce. Make sure your pet gets plenty of Vitamin C, which is crucial for Guinea pigs. Ask your vet for specific recommendations.


Make sure that your pet has lots of chewable toys. You don’t have to spend a lot of money here: you can actually turn many wood, wicker, and cardboard items into chew toys for your tiny pal. For example, the cardboard tubes from toilet-paper rolls can make great chew toys. Be sure to put safety first! Avoid anything with small parts, dangling threads, or sharp edges. Items covered in varnish, glitter, stain, or dye are also best avoided.


Guinea pigs are very sociable little furballs. Your pet will be much happier if he or she has a buddy to play with and snuggle up to. Consider getting two or even three cavies. Be sure to only house same-sex furballs together, as otherwise they will breed.

Please contact us, your Cherry Hill, NJ vet clinic, for all of your Guinea pig’s veterinary care needs. We are here to help!

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