If owning a guinea pig is new to you, the world of pet guinea pig supplies is probably also new to you. If this describes you, then this article will clear up much of the mystery behind selecting and purchasing the correct guinea pig supplies. If you are an experienced cavy owner, you may still pick up some important tips and details in the words that follow.
7. Pet Guinea Pig Food
When selecting hay for your pet guinea pig, you can’t go wrong with Timothy hay. Exotic animal veterinarians can’t say enough good things about Timothy hay. For some reason, alfalfa hay is very popular for small animals. Read the ingredients list and you will find that very many guinea pig pellets contain alfalfa or alfalfa meal as the primary ingredient. These foods are to be avoided. Small animal vets claim that alfalfa hay is “like a Snickers Bar to guinea pigs”. In other words, it is much too rich for their system. If contains far too much protein and calcium for daily use.
6. Feeder or feed bowl
You will need either a feeder or a feed bowl to dispense guinea pig pellet food to your pet. The advantage of a feeder is that holds a larger amount of food than a bowl so it does not have to be filled as often. It attaches to the side of the cage so that it will not tip over.
A food bowl holds smaller portions so food stays fresher.
5. Hay Rack
In addition to daily meals of Timothy hay-based food pellets, give your pigs unlimited access to Timothy hay in a hay rack. Timothy is nutritious for guinea pigs and is great for their digestive systems.
4. Water Bottle
You will need a good quality water bottle. Water dishes do not work well for guinea pigs as they tend to knock them over. A 16-ounce bottle is a good size for guinea pigs.
3. Vitamin C Supplementation
Guinea pigs, like humans, are unable to manufacture vitamin C in their bodies. Because of this, and because they are unable to store this vitamin in their body, they require vitamin C on a daily basis. The best method is to crush vitamin C tablets and sprinkle on their food.
Putting vitamin C in the water bottle is not recommended. If you change water daily, much of the vitamin C may be thrown away. In addition, guinea pigs sometimes will drink less water because they do not like the sour taste in their water.
2. Bedding or Fleece
If you choose to use bedding, choose a low-dust bedding. Bedding materials like pine chips or clay litter create a lot of dust and may cause respiratory issues in your guinea pigs. Fleece is gaining in popularity. It is more economical in the long run, but it does require frequent washing.
1. Guinea Pig Cage
Most pet store cages are too small for a full-grown cavy. Many guinea pig rescue organizations recommend the following minimum size standards for cages:
- One guinea pig: 6-7 sq. ft.
- Two guinea pigs: 7.5 sq. ft.
- Three guinea pigs: 10.5 sq. ft.
- Four guinea pigs: 13 sq. ft.
Cages this large can be difficult or impossible to find in pets stores. A different style cage—C&C (Cubes and Coroplast) cages—have risen sharply in popularity over the past few years. People often build them as homemade do-it-yourself cages, but you can also readily find them online in kit form. A good place to find a large selection of quality C&C guinea pig cage kits is http://BlueStoneCages.com.
Adopting a new pet into your home brings you not only fun, but also additional responsibility. With the correct choice of guinea pig supplies, you will be able to create a safe, happy and healthy environment for your new cavy friend.