Housing

Keeping a clean enclosure is an important part of guinea pig ownership, as it helps prevent health conditions such as mouth sores, bumblefoot, eye irritation, respiratory infection and skin infection.

We recommend heavy bath mats or vet bed as suitable flooring in your guinea pigs’ hutch. Your guinea pigs’ enclosure must be cleaned daily, as must their food and water bowls. We recommend ceramic bowls for their food and water, to prevent your guinea pigs from chewing or ingesting plastic. Don’t use hay metal balls or mouse wheels in the hutch, they are very dangerous for guinea pigs as they can get stuck inside and hurt their spine. Make sure that you have both a bottle and ceramic water bowls available to encourage your guinea pig to have drink regularly.

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Guinea pig furniture such as wooden tunnels (no hanging fabric tunnels), small pet beds and blankets must be cleaned regularly as well. Only clean your hutch with pet safe chemicals, and natural dishwashing detergent for the ceramic bowls.

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Guinea pigs should be housed in enclosures that don’t have any sharp edges. We recommend guinea pig C and C hutches with a thick corflute base. Guinea pigs love to exercise, so it is important that you offer an enclosure that has suitable running space. We use a 4×3 grid and it allows plenty of room for our guinea pigs to run around while the humans are out! It is also vital that the walls of the enclosure are sturdy, tall and have no sharp edges.

Hiding places like wooden tunnels, small thin cardboard boxes and cuddle sacks allow guinea pigs to feel safe. They are prey animals and have a naturally nervous temperament. We recommend offering several hiding place options inside your guinea pigs’ enclosure to keep them stimulated.

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We recommend that guinea pigs are housed indoors, especially in Australia due to the hot climate. Guinea pigs are prone to dehydration. A simple strategy to keep your guinea pigs cool during warmer months is to place a frozen water bottle in their cage, as well as multiple water bottles and bowls.

If you plan to keep your guinea pigs outside, you must keep them sheltered from the weather and extreme temperatures. We also recommend purchasing a snake and predator-proof enclosures.

During the cooler months, make sure your guinea pigs are warm and protected from any drafts. This will help them to avoid Upper Respiratory Infections (URI).

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