So you've done all your research and you've decided that guinea pigs are for you!
There are somethings you're going to need before you bring your new Cavies home.
1) A proper cage, the most important thing you will get for you guinea pigs.
Stay away for the cages above. They are too small and the one on the right offers insufficient ventilation, as well as isolating your new pet. Other commercial cages have similar drawbacks. If you decide to go with a store bought cage, look for one at least 2 feet by 4 feet floor space. A shelf is nice to have, but not all guinea pigs climb, so the bulk of the area should be the ground floor.
This is one of the newer models on the market around here. It's ok. The whole top opens, which is a nice feature, and you can even remove the lid if it is not necessary in your home. It has a shelf area with a ramp, that many guinea pigs like to use. This is a small model, but it does come in 2x4ft and larger too. The size , ventilation and ease of cleaning are really the most important things to think of when you choose your pet's new cage.
Also, if money is an issue, many used cages can often be found on Craigslist and Kijiji.
A best option is to build your own C&C cage.
Please take the time to explore www.guineapigcages.com . They will show you how,
with very little time and money , you can build a cage that is better than store bought, and fully customizable to your space, and very easy to maintain.
It's also quite simple and fun. It makes a great family project, and a great way to bring your new pet into your home.
2) A medium to large size water bottle.
Choose a good quality water bottle, because there is nothing more annoying than a leaky bottle!
Monitor the water level in the bottle the first first few days home with your new guinea pig. Make sure he/she is drinking from it. Almost all guinea pigs will happily use a bottle, but there are a few special ones that refuse, and they need to have water bowl in their cage.
3) A non-spill food bowl. They come in ceramic or stainless steel and good ones are often available at the dollar store. The important thig to remember is that they have straight up and down sides, or sides that are wider at the bottom. Otherwise, it will spill and you will waste alot of your pet's food.
There are many beddind options available to guinea pig owners. It's a hot guinea pig topic! The important things to keep in mind when choosing for your pet are that they are low in dust, kind to the little feet of your friend, and affordable for you.
You can choose from pine, aspen, recycled paper pellets, recycled paper in soft pieces, all in a variety of prices. Not to mention fleece, another popular alternative. They all have pros and cons.
Stay away from cedar chips, and for a couple of reasons, I personally do not really like the pellet beddings.
Here at the Jiggley Piggley Farm we use premium pine bedding. It is very low in dust and an affordable option for us.
We have premium pine available, by the bale, to our Jiggley Piggley Customers!
4) Guinea pig pellet food.
Don't waste you money on gourmet foods full of seeds and stuff. The best food for your guinea pigs is a high quality pellet food. We feed our guinea pigs Oxbow or Martins, depending on what's available at the time. Both are good quality foods and our animals do well on them.
On the not so good side....all the seed filled mixes, and I particularly don't like a certain brand of food that has very large pellets. Our guinea pigs really seem to dislike tit.hat stuff.
Timothy or mixed grass hay is an essential part of a guinea pig's diet.
Jodie's Jiggley Piggley Farm has high quality hay at reasonable prices!
7) Nail clippers and Kwik Stop
Small animal nail clippers, or even clippers for people.
Kwik Stop Styptic gel or powder to stop bleeding should you clip a nail too short.
8) LOTS OF FRESH VEGETABLES AND GREENS!!!!
It's all about food if you're a guinea pig! Every guinea pig needs and wants a lot of fresh vegetables and greens daily! They also love fruits but not quite so often.
9) Access to the internet and/or a good guinea pig care book.
Recommended reading: Our personal favorite book ," The Proper Care of Guinea Pigs" by Peter Gurney. Available at Chapters, but you may have to order it. Also available at the online store, "The Winking Cavy Store".
If you have a long hair guinea pig ...
you will need a soft brush, scissors and a gentle shampoo.
Long hair guinea pigs need a light brushing once a week to keep them from developing mats in their coat.
You will need scissors to keep the hair around the butt trimmed, as it get drags through urine as you pet walks away, and will become soaked and yucky.
A gentle baby shampoo, or pet shampoo to give the occasional butt bath when needed.