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Basic Guinea Pig Care

October 15, 2016

Are you considering adopting a Guinea pig, or cavy, as they are sometimes called? These little furballs make very charming and cute pets! They do have some specific care needs, however, so you’ll want to do some research before you bring your new pet home. In this article from Arapahoe Animal Hospital, your Boulder, CO vet, serving Louisville and surrounding areas, a local veterinarian discusses Guinea pig care.


Since your furry friend will spend the majority of his time inside his cage, it’s very important to make sure he has a spacious and comfortable home. If you get one cavy, you’ll need a cage that’s at least 7 square feet. These little guys like having roommates, but you’ll need a larger cage if you have more than one. Your cute pet will need a suitable substrate, like aspen. Don’t use pine or cedar substrates: they’re toxic to small animals. You’ll also want to add a hidey-hole, food dishes, a water bottle, and toys. A hayrack and litterbox are optional, but helpful.


Good nutrition is very important! We recommend giving your cavy plenty of grass hay, such as Timothy hay. Your pint-sized pal can have pellets for his main meals. You’ll want to supplement these things with fresh produce and the occasional treat. Be sure to offer plenty of foods that contain Vitamin C, which is crucial to cavies. Ask your vet for specific nutritional recommendations, including serving sizes, safe and unsafe foods, and snack suggestions.


Cavies are very playful little furballs. Also, like many small animals, they need to chew quite a bit to keep their teeth healthy. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to keep your furry pal’s toy box full. The cardboard tubes from toilet paper rolls can make great playthings for cavies. You can also give the little one many wood, wicker, paper, or cardboard items. Just make sure your Guinea pig’s playthings are clean and safe, and not covered in varnish, glitter, or paint. Avoid anything with small pieces, sharp edges, or dangling threads. Ask your vet for more information.


Tiny pets need love, too! Spend time with your Guinea pig every day. Pet him, play with him, or try to teach him some cute tricks!

Do you have questions about caring for a Guinea pig? Call Arapahoe Animal Hospital, your Boulder, CO veterinary clinic, serving Louisville and surrounding areas!