The kids want a pet for Christmas. They asked for a pony, and you settled on guinea pigs. I’ve already addressed why guinea pigs make awesome pets, so the only question left is what you need to take care of them. This is my ultimate new guinea pig supply list. Everything on this list is essential to guinea pig care and keeping.
Make sure to purchase everything, and set it up, before bringing your pigs home. (Guinea pigs must be kept in same-sex pairs or groups.) Your guinea pigs prefer to settle in their home, not their carrying case.
New Guinea Pig Supply List
Cage & Cage Accessories
All guinea pigs need a safe space to call home. This cage is 8 square feet of space. It provides tons of ventilation (super important!) and the lid is easy to remove for access. Guinea pigs are not safe in cages with ramps, because they might fall off the sides.
Guinea pigs also need bedding that won’t cause respiratory issues and is easy to clean. These fleece liners are great for guinea pigs. They typically don’t chew them (though a few will!), and they wash in the laundry. A little expensive, but 2 months of regular bedding pays for it.
Most guinea pig families provide their pets with a safe place to hide. As prey animals, they need a safe space. That said, some owners choose to not give their pigs a hide, because they tend to be less jumpy without one. However, they might suffer from long-term stress–as far as I know, no studies have been done.
Food & Water
Your guinea pig’s primary food should be a basic guinea pig pellet. Choose one that doesn’t have seeds or dried fruits. Seeds are dangerous–guinea pigs don’t eat seeds in the wild, and they can choke on them. Dried fruits offer little benefit, as most of the nutrient has dried out.
Guinea pigs also need timothy hay. Alfalfa can cause kidney damage, so always choose timothy. Hay should be available constantly. Some families use hay as bedding, but I find it’s difficult to keep clean, and wastes a lot of hay.
Guinea pigs require fresh fruits and veggies every day. They need an external source of vitamin C, just like we do. Feed a variety of fresh fruits and veggies. Colored peppers, spinach, romaine lettuce. Avoid regular iceberg lettuce or salad mixes, and don’t feed fruit every single day.
Of course, a basic water bottle. Some owners use bowls, but the pigs tend to get bedding, poop, or water in them. Check daily that the bottle works correctly. If you don’t feed fresh fruits and veggies, you will need to add vitamin C to the water.
A bowl should be heavy enough that your pig can’t easily tip it, and big enough for their daily ration of pellets. This bowl is specially tip-proof. The pig stands on the edge, so they can’t pick it up.
If your guinea pig is to eat hay, they need a holder to keep it out of the mess. Basic hay feeders hang on the side of the cage and are easy to fill. Place it away from their hide, since it encourages them to bravery.
Toys & Enrichment
Pet stores (and Amazon) sell hundreds of toys and enrichment devices for guinea pigs. But they can be entertained with normal household trash.
Guinea pigs especially adore pop can boxes. They also love any other form of box they can fit in. They can be enriched with veggie peelings from the kitchen.
Don’t provide them with wooden chews. Guinea pigs do not naturally chew like other rodents, and they can get splinters or even choke on them.
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