Guinea Pig Care

Pet Lodge USA - Guinea Pig

There are three breeds which are the most common: the Abyssinian (hair is fluffy all over), the Smooth-Coated (short, glossy coat), and the Peruvian (silky, long hair).

Guinea pigs...

  • generally live five to seven years
  • rarely bite
  • are smaller than rabbits
  • are bigger than hamsters
  • are great starter pets for older kids who have properly learned how to handle them
  • are known to squeak as a display of delight when their favorite person enters the room
  • love to hide when playing
  • need a hiding place (such as a cave) for resting and sleeping
  • have teeth that grow continuously
  • are gentle members of the rodent family
  • are neophobic
  • are dependent on what is fed to them in the first several weeks of their lives
  • are not pigs
  • are not from New Guinea


  • It is extremely important for your pet to get used to you and to being handled.
  • You can begin to win them over by feeding them small treats while being held.
  • When holding, have one hand support the bottom while the other one is covering the back.


  • Feed your pet twice a day (morning and evening).
  • Pellets will probably make up most of your guinea pig's diet. A healthy diet would consist of pellets made from veggies, plants, and seeds. Fresh fruit and vegetables are great to give your pet daily, including peas, pears, carrots, cucumbers, and corn.


  • Nails should be clipped regularly.
  • In the initial few days of their life, feed them a wide variety of food, including vegetables, fruit (fresh), grass hay, and pellets. However, don't overdo it on the pellets, as they need a balanced diet!
  • Fresh water should be available at all times.
  • Guinea pigs cannot produce Vitamin C. To help him get enough of this nutrient, give a quarter of an orange, or strawberries.
  • Have your guinea pig get regular check-ups at the vet. By doing this, you will have a better chance of catching any potential illness.
  • Things to watch out for include: Diarrhea, coughing, sneezing, lethargy.
  • Brush your guinea pig on a regular routine basis, and long-haired guinea pigs should be brushed DAILY.
  • Give a twig or small branch to gnaw on. If giving wood, make sure it hasn't been chemically treated.


  • Before letting your guinea pig roam inside a room, check the room thoroughly for any crevices or openings which may used for escape.
  • You wouldn't want him to get hurt or lost!
  • Supervise them closely when they are on the roam because they like to chew and may try to chew on an electrical wire!


  • Have a roomy cage, with at least four square feet for each guinea pig.
  • The cage must have a solid bottom (NOT WIRE).
  • Do not use a glass aquarium (poor ventilation).
  • Keep away from extreme temperatures.
  • Keep away from drafts.
  • The preferred environment for guinea pigs is between 60 and 80 degrees F.
  • Have rocks or bricks for climbing.
  • Have cardboard tubes or plastic pipes for play toys.
  • DO NOT USE CEDAR OR PINE CHIPS (dangerous to your pet because of the oils they have in them).


  • For a cozy sleeping area, try a medium-sized flower pot.
  • Use hardwood or Aspen shavings, and grass hay to line the bottom of the cage.
  • Each day remove droppings, stale food, and soiled bedding.
  • Make sure the interior is dry before putting in fresh bedding.
  • Once a week (at a minimum), clean the cage thoroughly. Use warm water when scrubbing the bottom.