Have you recently decided to adopt a Guinea pig? These little furballs make very adorable little pets! Guinea pigs, also known as cavies, are often chosen as pets for small children, and with good reason. They’re not only super cute, they’re also very gentle and easy to care for. One of the biggest parts of good Guinea pig care is making sure your tiny buddy is comfortable in his cage. Here, a Los Gatos, CA vet discusses setting up your cavy’s habitat.
Make sure your little furball has plenty of room to run and play. For one cavy, you’ll want a cage that is at least 7.5 square feet. If you get more than one, you’ll need a bigger cage. (Note: be sure to keep only same-sex Guinea pigs together, as otherwise you could end up with more pets than you bargained for!) As for material, a wire or mesh cage with a solid bottom is a good choice. Avoid mesh or wire floors, as they aren’t safe for small animals.
Picking the right substrate is very important! Aspen is a good choice. You can also use paper-based products. Another option is to use soft fleece blankets. Avoid pine or cedar based substrates, as they aren’t safe for small animals.
You’ll need to add some accessories to make sure your furry friend is comfortable in his new home. Cavies love to snuggle up in small spaces, so get your pet a good hidey-hole. Your pint-sized pal may also enjoy a cozy, which is basically a tiny tent for small animals. (You can buy cozies, but they are also easy to make.) You’ll also need to add dishes and a water bottle. A litterbox and hayrack are optional, but quite helpful.
Cavies are very playful and curious. They also need to chew quite a bit to keep their teeth healthy. Offer your tiny pet lots of fun playthings. Many wood, wicker, and cardboard items are fine. For instance, the cardboard tubes from toilet-paper rolls make great Guinea pig chew toys! Just be sure to avoid anything small or sharp, as well as items covered in varnish, paint, or glitter. Ask your vet for specific advice.
Do you have questions about Guinea pig care? Contact us, your local Los Gatos, CA pet hospital, today! We are always happy to help!