This page last edited on

11 August, 2008

Guinea Pigs


General Care


    Pictured to the left is "Siggy Papa"  I really loved that little guy!!! We had developed a real bond since I got him in August 2006 but unfortunately in July 2007 he suddenly passed away. Bonding with your little piggie is very important, especially if you have only one guinea pig.  I believe that because guinea pigs are social animals that in nature live in herds, you should not have just one guinea pig.  Just as with people, if you live a solitary life your overall health and well being will be negatively affected. This applies to guinea pigs, especially since in captivity they will be bored out of their gourd without other pigs living with them. I think this is probably the single most important aspect of caring for a guinea pig.


  OK, so now that we got that out of the way, once you have the proper housing, bedding, food and water requirements down, caring for your little buddies is quite easy. The following are tips on how to keep your guinea pig happy and healthy, based solely on my experience.



  • Pick them up and play with them at least once a day.

  • Do not place their housing unit in direct sunlight, too much darkness, under or near an air conditioning or heating vent.

  • You can place them on the floor AS LONG as they have either a house to go into for warmth or plenty of hay to tunnel in.

  • Provide a lot of hay both for food and for tunneling and hiding. Guinea pigs by nature are secretive and love to hide under or behind almost anything.  This is most natural for them and I suspect they will be insane without hiding spots.

  • Keep their nails trimmed. It is very easy to do but they do squirm a bit and occasionally try to bite while you are holding them down. PLEASE DO NOT CUT INTO THE QUICK OF THE NAIL! Always be careful to not cut into the blood in the nail. You can usually see the blood if the nail is clear. For black nails cut short pieces off to avoid cutting into the quick. If you cut into the quick and the blood spurts out, put pressure on it with a towel or paper towel until it stops. Guinea pigs who repeatedly get cut into the quick will be biters in the future!!!

  • Monitor their teeth to make sure they haven't grown into the roof of their mouth. For most guinea pigs this will not happen IF YOU  PROVIDE THEM WITH CARROTS EVERY DAY TO WEAR THEIR TEETH DOWN AS WELL AS PIECES OF SAFE TYPES OF WOOD OR OTHER CHEWABLES FROM THE PET STORE.  If you need to have their teeth clipped, I advise a trip to an experienced vet who specializes in their care to show you how to clip their teeth.

  • Watch for signs of sneezing, respiratory distress and diarrhea. These are all common ailments in guinea pigs and should be considered life threatening!!! Get your little buddy to the experienced guinea pig vet immediately!!!

  • Monitor how the guinea pigs are getting along. Believe it or not, male guinea pigs who have been housed together for a long time can suddenly begin fighting. Fighting amongst males is common but can be deadly if infection sets in. You MUST separate immediately any guinea pigs that fight, including females. While females are less likely to fight it is not unheard of.

  • Guinea pigs by nature are grass eaters so if you live in a climate conducive to outdoor retreats, please allow your guinea pigs the pleasure of returning to their natural state for a little while. NEVER put them in the sun as they can overheat within minutes and die. NEVER leave them alone either as they can wander off and you'll never find them again or a dog or other animal can get them. Be sure to thoroughly check them over before returning to their housing unit to ensure no insects accompany them.

  • You can give your piggies a bath once in a while but always use warm water, not hot and not too much soap. They are susceptible to pneumonia and other respiratory diseases so be sure to dry them thoroughly before returning to their housing unit.  Guinea pigs are natural swimmers and will enjoy a good swim in the bathtub now and then. Be sure to stay with them the entire time and if you see them struggling in the water take them out immediately.

  • It is best to place them in a room by themselves because the noise from TVs and radio will bother them. Also, they are most active from dusk to dawn, the opposite of most people. The noises and the commotion they make during the night might keep you awake so its best to avoid a stressful situation for both guinea pigs and people.

  I hope that my information on guinea pig general care was helpful to you.


Guinea Pig Page | Guinea Pig History | Getting a Guinea Pig | Guinea Pig Housing & Bedding | Guinea Pig Feeding & Water

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DISCLAIMER:  This website was set up to SHARE my OWN experience with my reptiles, guinea pigs, ponds/fish, gardens and local wildlife and to post pictures and video of them. It was NOT SET UP to offer my opinion or expertise on ANY QUESTION that I am asked and what I post on this website should not be taken as "EXPERT ADVISE" or how to take care of reptiles, guinea pigs, ponds/fish, gardens or local wildlife. I AM NOT A REPTILE RESCUE GROUP, GUINEA PIG RESCUE GROUP, VETERINARIAN, REPTILE EXPERT, GUINEA PIG EXPERT, PONDS/FISH EXPERT, GARDEN EXPERT OR WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR! I have limited experience with reptiles, guinea pigs, local wildlife, ponds/fish and gardens, therefore, I am NOT QUALIFIED to give out advise or answer questions and you, as a visitor to this website, should not take anything on this website as expert advise or accurate information.  I present this website for fun and fun only - NOT as a reference website to instruct anyone on how to properly take care of reptiles, guinea pigs, local wildlife, ponds/fish or gardens.  I share how I DO THINGS for my reptiles, guinea pigs, local wildlife, ponds/fish and gardens and this is not intended for others to take as expert advise or to mimic. Furthermore, my political views are my own and not intended to offend, annoy, hurt or demean any person, entity or organization. I express my views as an American who has the right to free speech under the Constitution of the United States of America. Please feel free to set up your own website and express your views, post your pictures and video and share with the rest of us in cyberspace what your little corner of the world is like. Thank you very much for your kind understanding in appreciating the value and contents of this website.


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