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Guinea Pig

Lifespan: 6-8 years
Size: Up to 2 lbs., 8-14”
Sexual Maturity:Females: 4 months
Males: 3 weeks
Gestation :63-68 days
Litter Size:3-4
Weaned:4-6 weeks old

FOOD

  • A guinea pig’s diet should consist of:
    • 80% pelleted diet (preferably timothy based)
    • 45% dried hay (non-alfalfa)
    • 5% fresh veggies and fruits high in Vitamin C(kale, carrots, turnip greens, collard greens, blueberries, oranges, grapes)
    • A salt lick should always be provided
  • Avoid these foods:
    • Chocolate & other candy
    • Onions
    • Iceberg lettuce
  • Treats may consist of:
    • Treat sticks
    • Prepackaged chew sticks
  • Guinea pigs do not manufacture their own vitamin C so they need a food that has been enriched with the vitamin – they should never be fed rabbit pellets (which are low in vitamin C and too high in vitamin D)

Caging & Environment

  • Guinea pigs should be housed alone, unless spayed or neutered.
  • Caging should include a hide area, food bowl, water bottle, salt lick, and hay manger.
  • A hide area is extremely important to guinea pigs – they love to play hide and seek!
  • Bedding should be about 1” deep.
  • The cage should have a solid bottom (the same goes for exercise wheels).
  • The larger the cage, the better! Go for a cage that has a lot of surface area, rather than multiple levels.

Behavior/Handling

  • Guinea pigs rarely bite, but can nip if they feel threatened. Try hand-feeding treats as a start.
  • Always pick up a guinea pig by supporting its entire body. Squirming is normal at first, but make sure the entire body is supported – dropping a guinea pig can cause severe injury.
  • Guinea pigs are super vocal! They will grunt, squeal, and whistle to show excitement.
  • Guinea pigs can be litter trained. They will often choose a corner of the cage to eliminate in. Once you see this behavior, place a corner litter box in that spot and put some of the soiled bedding in the litter box. The guinea pig will continue to use that corner and clean up becomes a breeze!