Caring for a Guinea Pig

Are you looking for a pet that is small, super cute, and easy to care for? You may want to consider adopting a Guinea pig, or cavy. These little furballs are absolutely adorable, and can make great pets. In this article, a Hendersonville, NC vet discusses Guinea pig care.


For a single cavy, you’ll want to get a cage that is at least 7.5 square feet. Guinea pigs can live together in same-sex pairs, so you can keep more than one together. Of course, if you get more than one, you will need a larger cage. Bigger is always better, so get the largest cage you can. We recommend a wire cage with a solid floor. Avoid cages with wire bottoms, as these can be dangerous for your pet’s feet. To maximize your pet’s space, look for one with two stories.


Once you have the cage, you’ll need to add substrate. Aspen is a good choice. You can also use fleece. Avoid pine and cedar substrates, as they are toxic to small animals. You’ll also need to provide food dishes, a water bottle, and a hidey-hole. A litterbox and hayrack are optional, but helpful.


Grass hay is great for cavies! Offer your Guinea pig plenty of fresh grass hay, such as Timothy hay. Your adorable pet can have commercial food for dinner and supper. You’ll want to supplement these things with fresh produce, such as Romaine lettuce and sweet green peppers. Offer plenty of foods that contain Vitamin C, which is essential for your Guinea pig’s health. Ask your vet for specific nutritional recommendations.


Guinea pigs are super playful! Be sure to give your furry buddy lots of fun toys. Include plenty of chew toys, as cavies need to chew to wear their teeth down. You can give your tiny furball items made of wood, wicker, or cardboard, as long as they don’t have sharp edges or small parts, and aren’t covered in varnish, stain, or dye. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on toys: there are many cute DIY toys you can make yourself. For instance, the cardboard tubes from toilet paper and paper towel rolls make great cavy toys. Look online for ideas and instructions.

Do you have questions about Guinea pig care? Call us! As your Hendersonville, NC animal clinic, we are here to help.

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