Guinea Pig 101:
A guinea pigs daily diet should consist of:
1) UNLIMITED grass hay (Timothy, orchard, etc.)
2) 1/8th cup of plain timothy based pellets (no seeds or colorful pieces)
3) ~ 1 cup of fresh vegetables
4) Some source of Vitamin C - preferably via supplements or vegetables
Here is a link to a great description of the healthy guinea pigs diet -
Cage Size Standards
Appropriate cage size is very important to the health and happiness of guinea pigs! A small cage size can lead to various health problems and fights between bonded guinea pig pairs.
Midwest Guinea Pig Habitat
D.I.Y Guinea Pig C&C
Adding another cavy
One Guinea Pig or Two?
Make it two! Guinea pigs are extremely social, herd animals and thrive in the company of another pig. A human can't take the place of a guinea pig companion.
Steps to bonding guinea pigs;
1. When bringing a new guinea pig into your home, you should quarantine them for a least a week. This will allow you to make sure that neither of the piggies have any illnesses that they could pass onto the other and the new family member will be able to get used to the smells of the home. During this time, you can also begin to bond with your new piggy one on one.
2. This is probably the most important thing to remember: not every guinea pig pair will get along! One of my guinea pigs, FuzzyWuzzy, has been un-pair-able thus far. He does, however, enjoy being grid-mates with Nanners. He and Nanners are in a large C&C cage with two grids diving them. They are able to smell each other and interact while still having their own space, which is a common solution for owners who have piggies that are not compatible. You NEVER want to have a guinea pig isolated from other piggies!
3. When ready to start bonding - Lay down new blankets/fleece in a neutral part of the house. I like to use the bathroom because there are no other animal odors in there. Everything you use during this introduction phase should be cleaned or new. This is because you do want to use items that one of the guinea pigs has marked as their own already. A neutral, level playing field is key to success.
4. Make sure there are several shelters, water bottles, hay, and plates of fresh veggies and maybe some fruit nearby. The reason you want several is because you don’t want them fighting over places to lay, food to eat or water to drink.
5. Place the guinea pigs in the NEUTRAL area together. You want to make sure that you have dry fluffy towels near by to toss over the piggies and break them up should a fight occur. NEVER stick your bare hands between fighting guinea pigs!
6. Continue this bonding method many times over the period of a few days/weeks. Some piggies take longer than others to bond - just like humans! 48 hours is key. In my experience I have tended to find that it takes about 48 hours to truly determine whether or not the guinea pigs will be a good match or not. Just make sure you keep your eye on them for a few days after bonding, especially after you have returned them to a clean permanent cage.
Finally, here are some other things you should know when bonding piggies:
1. Mounting, rumble strutting and nipping are perfectly normal at first. The piggies are trying to figure out which one will be the dominant one. Now, should they start biting each other and blood is starting to appear, this is a sign that they are not going to be a good fit. I have heard of people being able to successfully bond guinea pigs after a nasty fight, this has never happened for me though. I tend to find that once two guinea pigs have had a huge fight (where there is blood involved), they usually will never pair together.
2. Once they have eaten and fallen asleep, waking up to another guinea pig in the cage with them is one of the determining factors in bonding, and the time where you want to have a towel ready for sure.
Please contact our rescue if you have any questions or concerns.
Socializing With Your Guinea Pig(s) Tips
Give Your Guinea Pig Time to Adjust. An important tip for new guinea pig owners: After quarantine is over, and the newest members of your family are safe and sound in their Forever Home, give them time to get used to their surroundings. Avoid the urge to pick up and hold your new guinea pigs immediately. Be present, speak softly, and give your cavies a week or two to acclimate to their new environment.
The Fastest Way to a Pig’s Heart Is… Through its belly! Guinea pigs carry in their little mouths about 17,000 taste buds — the most in nearly any domestic or wild animal. A diet that is rich in variety and nutrition is a must. Think hay, pellets, and water are enough? Try adding some different greens to their dinner - dark leafy greens are their favorite! Carrots and tomatoes are usually a hit, too!
Caution: Don’t Over-Feed!
While it may be tempting to use treats as bribes, please DO NOT over-feed your guinea pig! Over-feeding can lead to a myriad of health issues. For instance, feeding your cavy too much fruit can lead to guinea pig diabetes.
Get Them A Friend. Guinea pigs are social animals, and, as such, most cavies enjoy the companionship of other guinea pig friends. While you can add a second guinea pig at little to no additional expense in care and housing, there are a few important details to consider. But if you’re already thinking about getting a fuzzy friend for your solo pig, then it’s time to familiarize yourself with how to go about adding a second piggy!
Schedule Floor Time. Floor time is a vital part of your daily guinea pig care schedule. Pick a set time each day, set up a guinea pig safe floor area with food and hideys, and give your cavy the exercise it needs. Besides being an excellent way to keep your guinea pig engaged in its environment, floor time is a great time for you to bond with your pet. Sit next to your cavy as he or she runs and explores new areas; observe and get to know your little friend’s personality.
Share This Info!
Neutering and Spaying
Neutering is the surgical removal of parts of the reproductive system, rendering an animal sterile and unable to produce offspring.
The only valid, non-medical reason to neuter your male guinea pig is because you have a female you want him to room with. ***Neutering does little to change the behavior of aggressive guinea pigs, unlike the effect it has on other types of animals. Likewise, neutering does little to curb mounting or sexual behavior. It will prevent unwanted pregnancies. There is no need or reason to neuter two boars living together. If they don't get along now, neutering won't help.
***Removing the female sex organs means your cavy cannot get ovarian cysts or tumors, a potential health benefit. If your guinea pig has been diagnosed with ovarian cysts or tumors, spaying is usually the best treatment option. However, all considerations and risks must be weighed before deciding upon any elective surgery
Are risks involved in neutering? Yes. The risks are detailed below. However, they can be minimized. Are there risks in keeping two opposite-sex fertile animals in the same house? Yes. Even with the best of intentions and diligent practices, accidents can happen. Accidental pregnancies can result in the death of a sow or serious health problems requiring major veterinary care. Can those risks be minimized? Yes. Can either risk be completely eliminated? No. Please be aware that as with any surgery, even with a healthy animal, the best vet, and proper after-surgery care, there is a chance that your guinea pig may not make it. Only you can weigh your options and determine the best course for you and your animals
Guinea Pig Behavior & Noises
Guinea pigs are extremely vocal and active animals! With over 6+ different vocalizations with each a different meaning, humans are still trying to fully understand what our guinea pigs are trying to tell us. Below are links to great information regarding what we know about guinea pig behavior and noises!