What to Know Before Getting a Pet Guinea Pig

February 29, 2024by Nicole Tengco0

Guinea pigs are pocket-sized pals with adorable little squeaks and twitchy noses that are likely to steal your heart. But before you take a pet guinea pig home with you to cuddle, you should know the right way to care for them. These charming critters come with specific needs and quirks, so here at PetPal, we’ve crafted a quick guide on the wonderful world of guinea pig guardianship.

what to know before getting a pet guinea pig
Photo by Jack Catalano

1. Guinea Pigs are Social Butterflies

Guinea pigs are inherently social creatures, thriving in the company of their own kind. Solitary guinea pigs are lonely guinea pigs, so it’s best to get more than one. You can adopt a pair of the same sex or introduce a neutered male to females for a harmonious hutch (which is another term for a happy guinea pig house). You’ll see their zoomies and snuggle puddles in no time.

2. They Need Spacious Spreads

Guinea pigs crave ample room to zoom, forage, and snooze. Aim for a minimum of 7.5 square feet per pig, ideally in a sturdy, escape-proof enclosure. Cubes and Coroplast grids and DIY builds are popular options, offering spacious havens for your furry friends. 

Pet guinea pigs also need mental stimulation and like to hide, so it’s important that you provide them with an ample amount of toys and hiding spots in their new home. 

You can provide them with sturdy, high-quality pet toys that can handle a bit of chewing. Check out our collection of pet toys at PetPal’s eCommerce platform—our online pet store has a range of sturdy toys that your guinea pig can enjoy!

3. Hay Makes Up Most of Their Diet

Hay should be the star of your guinea pig’s plate, providing essential fiber for their digestive system. Supplement hay with daily veggies like romaine lettuce, bell peppers, and carrots, and sprinkle in some guinea pig pellets for complete nutrition. 

Feed your guinea pig right and take good care of their health and hygiene. You can help prevent health issues and ensure they grow comfortably. And, of course, it’s a great idea to visit the nearest ​​animal clinic that caters to guinea pigs to ensure your pet is in tip-top shape!

4. They Need Some Lap Time TLC

Gentle handling is crucial for building trust with your guinea pig. Let them initiate contact, offering pets behind the ears or under the chin. Daily lap cuddles strengthen your bond and make them feel secure. Remember, they’re delicate creatures, so handle them with care and support.

5. They Need Long-Term Committed Care 

Owning a guinea pig is a 5-7 year commitment. They require daily cage cleaning, fresh food and water, and regular playtime. Factor in vet checkups and potential nail trimmings. You want to be confident that you can provide a loving, stable home for these furry bundles of joy!

For a convenient check-up process that won’t stress out your little guinea pig, you can also opt for a home vet visit or online vet consultation.

Bonus Round: Fun Facts!

  • Guinea pigs don’t only squeak – they wheek, purr, whistle, and chatter in a delightful array of vocalizations!
  • They’re meticulous groomers, spending hours keeping their fur squeaky clean.
  • Vitamin C is essential for their health, so include veggies rich in this vital nutrient.
  • They’re surprisingly athletic, adept at popcorning (jumping straight up in the air) and binkying (excited hops with twists).

Bringing Home a Guinea Pig

Adopting a guinea pig is a rewarding journey filled with endless entertainment and heartwarming companionship. By understanding their needs and providing a loving, stimulating environment, you can give these charismatic creatures a happy and healthy life. 

If you want to know how to keep your pet guinea pigs healthy, PetPal is here for you. The PetPal app is your one-stop pet superapp, where you can get more information, consult with the best online veterinarians, and book home health services! Download the PetPal app on the Google Play Store or the App Store to learn more about how to provide your pets with the love and care they deserve. 

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