How to find a new home for your guinea pig

By: Chewy Editorial Published: September 29, 2010

How to find a new home for your guinea pig

Finding A Home For Guinea Pigs

We have two guinea pigs that need to be rehomed ASAP because we are moving into apartment that doesn’t allow them. How do we find them a new home?

I’m going to assume that you already asked your friends and family about taking on your guinea pigs. If you have a little time there are several sources you can use to list your guinea pigs for adoption.

1. Your local elementary schools often have an internal newsletter that may, for a small fee, let you list your guinea pig.

2. The elementary school may have a bulletin board that you can post your advertisement on to attract a family or a teacher.

3. Set up a lawn chair near the local elementary school with your guinea pigs and see if you can connect with parents to adopt your guinea pig when they are picking up their kids. This may seem extreme but I have seen it often work for others. Be sure, though, that you are NOT on school property and be sure you have a sign that clearly states your intentions.

4. Try Yahoo classified or Craigslist and choose your state and your city, they will have a tab for pets. In all cases in listing an animal on a site or paper, charge something for the adoption. It does not have to be a lot, just something to prevent snake breeders or collectors of animals from contacting you.

If you do not have time to try to adopt out your guinea pigs, look for an animal shelter that has an open door policy. An open door policy means they take any species, they are not limited to just cats and dogs, but are versed in the basics of most creatures. Even if they are a kill shelter they usually work with a huge number of foster homes, rescues and other shelters and will contact them to transfer the animal to them. Despite what you may have heard, shelters have to keep track of the number of animals that they euthanize and often funding is dependent on how many they do NOT euthanize. They will actively seek out other solutions to helping an animal than automatically putting them down.

When you surrender to this type of organization you usually lose all rights to the animal as soon as you sign off. You will not be able to contact the animal shelter to see if the animal has been adopted but you can watch their progress on its website if they are not transferred to another organization. Often animal shelters post pets to advertise their availability.

If your guinea pigs are at an animal shelter for a long time and they do not seem to be getting adopted you can develop an action plan if you want to pull them out by adopting them back and then returning them at some point for another run at a chance to be adopted. Use social media! Facebook your guinea pigs’ availability, use Twitter or list on whatever social networks you are using and always include a picture. A picture, as they say, speaks louder than words and will more than likely attract someone to adopt. You will have to screen people, so think of questions that you want to ask an adopter. Sometimes other animal shelters will provide a courtesy listing even if they do not adopt out the species.

By: Shannon Cauthen

Featured Image: Daisy Daisy/Shutterstock

Most cages marketed for guinea pigs are way too small. Guinea pigs need appropriate room to roam, with separate spaces for a nest, bathroom area and food and water. No animal is meant to live in a cage all the time, so make sure to provide your pig with time outside their enclosures at least once a day to stretch their legs, explore and exercise.

Why size matters

Guinea pigs are one of the largest rodents kept as pets and yet their typical cage is only marginally roomier than housing for much smaller relatives like hamsters and gerbils.

While small animal cages often utilize vertical space to increase living area and encourage climbing, digging and burrowing, guinea pigs do not jump or climb and rely solely on floor space. Ramps and platforms at low heights provide variety, but guinea pigs need room to exercise, even with daily playtime outside of the cage.

The following recommendations are meant to serve as guidelines to help you determine how much space you need for your guinea pig(s). Your local humane society or guinea pig rescue organization may have minimal caging requirements that differ from those listed here.

The sides of your guinea pig enclosure must be at least 12” high and the top may be open, so long as other household pets do not have access to it. Many guinea pig rescue organizations recommend “C&C” cages, which are enclosures made from cubes and coroplast, a corrugated plastic. Plastic tubs, glass aquariums and cages with wire floors are NOT acceptable as guinea pig housing.

  • One guinea pig: 7.5 square feet, or about 30”x 36”, is the bare minimum recommended, but bigger is better. (Keep in mind that guinea pigs are highly social, so it is best to have at least two guinea pigs who get along with each other.)
  • Two guinea pigs: 7.5 square feet (minimum), but at least 10.5 square feet (30” x 50”) is preferred.
  • Three guinea pigs: 10.5 square feet (minimum), but at least 13 square feet (30” x 62”) is preferred.
  • Four guinea pigs: 13 square feet (minimum), but at least 30” x 76” is preferred.

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How to find a new home for your guinea pig

Benefits to your guinea pig

Roomier cages offer many advantages that will be enjoyed by both you and your pig:

  • Larger enclosures are one of the most basic types of enrichment you can provide. Guinea pigs can live five to seven years and can become bored and depressed without adequate stimulation. Imagine spending your whole life in a walk-in closet; even with occasional breaks, life would be pretty dreary.
  • Adequate room to exercise means that your guinea pigs are less likely to develop medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, bumblefoot and anal impaction—saving your guinea pigs pain and suffering, and minimizing your veterinary bills.
  • With a roomier enclosure, guinea pigs can exercise on their schedule, not yours. Guinea pigs tend to be most active in the morning and evening when it may not be convenient to take them out for playtime.
  • Larger digs increase the likelihood of peaceful co-existence among multiple guinea pigs (and since guinea pigs are social animals, they do best when housed together).
  • Larger spaces are actually easier to clean because they prevent the build-up of waste and allow guinea pigs to separate their bathroom area from other activities.
  • With the opportunity to express a wider range of natural behaviors, your guinea pigs will be happier and it will be easier to get to know their personalities.
  • For bedding, cedar and pine shavings are NOT recommended due to chemicals they both contain. Especially when soiled, these aromatic wood shavings can produce fumes that irritate a guinea pig’s respiratory system and feet. Use bedding made from paper. Provide two to three inches of bedding so absorption is maximized.

Location is key

Once you’ve selected the right housing for your guinea pigs, you’ll need to determine where in your home they will live. Here are some factors to consider:

Temperature: The ideal temperature range for guinea pigs is approximately 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit. Guinea pig housing should be located away from strong heat sources such as direct sun, wood stoves, fireplaces and heating vents. Guinea pigs cannot sweat when they become too warm and are particularly susceptible to heat stroke.

Don’t put your guinea pig’s cage in an unheated room, breezeway, garage or other chilly location. Place the cages in a draft-free area (i.e. away from doors and windows and on an elevated surface).

Guinea pigs don’t do well under humid conditions. Dampness promotes the growth of mold in their hay and bedding and can make guinea pigs more prone to sickness.

Activity level: Guinea pigs enjoy being near family activity and benefit from more attention when they’re easy to see and hear. A family room or living room works well, but make sure your pigs have a place to retreat if they need some quiet time.

Noise: Guinea pigs have very sensitive hearing and their cages should not be placed next to stereos, televisions or other loud noises.

Other considerations

For sanitary reasons, don’t keep your guinea pig’s cage in your kitchen or other area where food is prepared.

Make sure your guinea pig’s cage is safe from other pets who may see them as prey.

If you have young children, put the cage in an area where you can control access and supervise child-guinea pig interactions.

Reasons to avoid the great outdoors

An outdoor hutch was once considered acceptable housing for guinea pigs. But keeping a pet outside robs them of regular interaction with the family. Outdoor exercise for guinea pigs should be supervised to reduce risks and for short periods of time in good weather.

Checking in with your local humane society or guinea pig rescue group about different housing options is always a good idea if you’re unsure about what’s best for your pig!

I’ve had quite a few e-mails from worried owners ( who haven’t kept guinea pigs before ) about their new guinea pig being very nervous and that they try to hide away as soon as they set eyes on them. Firstly, guinea pigs are nervous animals by nature. In the wild they are a prey animal and mother nature has given them one defence and that is to runaway. If you can try to see things from a guinea pigs point of view. First they are taken away from familiar surroundings and perhaps also taken away from their mother, even though at 6 weeks plus they are no longer dependant on their mother for nourishment, they still have a close bond with her. They are then taken to a very strange home, they don’t know you and are very confused and worried. It will take a few days for your guinea pig to adjust to their new home, getting used to the strange noises that go on in a busy household. For many guinea pigs it will take even longer for them to trust you. Please don’t see it as a rejection, it takes time for a guinea pigs confidence to grow. It dosen’t just happen in a few days, it can take many weeks and some piggies are naturally more nervous than others.

I hope by reading some of my other pages that I have persuaded you to bring home two guinea pigs, main reason being is that they need company of their own kind. It will also help with the settling in period. Its a well known fact that two guinea pigs together feel less nervous than a solitary guinea pig. They can cuddle up for reasurrance and they won’t feel as afraid knowing they aren’t alone going through this very worrying time.

Quarantine period: Please remember that if you are bringing home two guinea pigs that have come from different places, you will need to keep each guinea pig away from each other for a minimum of two weeks. This allows enough time for any illness to surface which they may have had before coming to you. Not all guinea pig illnesses show themselves straight away and guinea pigs are known to hide illness until an illness has really taken a hold. This is a survival strategy for wild guinea pigs so they don’t appear to look weak and could be singled out by predators. The domestic guinea pigs acts in the same way. The quarantine period also applies if you have brought a guinea pig home to join your exsisting guinea pig or herd.

Getting to know you: For the first 24 hours leave your guinea pig to settle in their new home. Obviously watch out for signs of illness, but try and resist the urge to handle your new guinea pig, unless its necessary. Gently talk to your little friend. Yes, she may dart away as soon as she sees you, but just gently talk to her so she slowly becomes accustomed to your voice. On the second day you could try and handle her. Always let her see your hands first as this will make her even more nervous if you suddenly lift her and she didn’t see you coming. You’ll notice they will try to struggle so always have a firm grip ( do not squeeze ) so she dosen’t fall out of your hands. Read my page on Handling your guinea pig Remember that even after a while your piggy may still want to runaway from you. My Jasmine still dislikes being picked up even though she’s known me for over 3 years. Please don’t think your piggy doesn’t like you, its just their natural instinct and some are more confident than others. If the guinea pig is for a child, you will have to supervise at all times. A child will also be excited and want to show off their new piggy to all their friends. Please don’t allow the piggy to be seen as a parcel that needs to handed around, it really isn’t fair on the guinea pig. Even an older, adult guinea pig would find that stressful. At first, guinea pigs need to get used to their owner.

All the very best with your new little friend and we hope you have many happy years with your guinea pig.

Gone are the days when guinea pig owners would keep their pets alone in a hutch in the backyard with little interaction with the family or socialisation.

Now many owners are choosing to keep their guineas inside as part of the family. All guinea pigs need a palace fit for royalty – read on for our best DIY tips for creating one for your pet.

Indoor living guineas have many advantages. For one, it is easier to control their environment as you don’t need to deal with the elements outdoors. Having your GPs indoors also means they get to be more involved with the action and spend precious time with their favourite humans.

Despite being small animal, guinea pigs need a lot of room to exercise and run around to be happy pigs, and for this reason are suited best to large accommodation. Exercise is very important for healthy guinea pigs; their best way of getting the exercise they need is to run laps around their housing. If their area is too small they will get bored and are at risk of serious health problems such as heart disease and diabetes.

A house fit for a piggie Queen or King

Indoor accommodation for your guinea pig can be fun and easy to create. It is also a great excuse to get creative and to build a perfect haven for your beloved companion.

Most hutches found at pet stores are far too small for your guinea pigs to be able to display natural behaviours and live the life they deserve.

To create a perfect and tailor-made house for your guineas then you may consider building a ‘C&C’ cage. A relatively new concept compared to the standard hutch, a ‘C&C’ cage stands for cubes and coroplast. Cubes refers to the metal grid system that forms the cage structure, and coroplast is the plastic ‘tray’ that forms the base of the cage.

Building your own C&C cage

The materials to build your cage can be easily sourced online or at hardware stores. To build a C&C cage, you will need a sheet of coroplast big enough to form the base of your cage, and the metal grid ‘cubes’ to form the walls. We recommend the following as preferred minimum sizing to adhere to ensure your guinea has all the space they need (dependant on the number of guinea pigs):

  • 1 guinea pig: Area – 0.7sq m / Grids – 2×3 grids / Size – 76×91cm
  • 2 guinea pigs: Area – 0.7sq m / Grids – 2×4 grids / Size – 76×127cm
  • 3 guinea pigs: Area – 1sq m / Grids – 2×5 grids / Size – 76×157cm
  • 4 guinea pigs: Area – 1.2sq m / Grids – 2×6 grids / Size – 76×193cm

The structure and soft furnishings inside your DIY guinea pig house can be made from easily sourced and inexpensive materials. All that is required is some time, a few basic tools and some imagination. It’s the perfect way to get creative and put your own touch on the space. Whether it is an L-shape or using different levels, building your own creation means you can have it just how you want it.

Undoubtedly the best part is seeing your piggies run around squeaking with joy at something you created for them.

The best location for your guinea pig house is a room that isn’t too warm or prone to becoming damp, as GPs don’t cope well in these conditions. Choose somewhere safe away from other pets and loud noises, but close to the family.

The best bedding

Now you have your guinea pigs’ house built, it’s time to make it a home. When exploring bedding options remember that, above all, it needs to be absorbent as guinea pigs don’t use litter trays like rabbits. Common bedding options include recycled shredded paper, wood-shavings, and layered towels and fleecing. Just be sure to avoid any wood shavings that might have a high content of volatile oils or preservatives as these can be poisonous.

Both wood shaving and shredded paper are single-use and will need to be disposed of and replaced when they are soiled.

Using layered towels and fleecing can be more efficient as these can simply be washed and re-used. You can get creative with colours and patterns of fleecing and create a unique piggie palace to suit your guineas’ personalities.

It’s all about the detail

Once you’ve created the foundations, you can move onto the furnishings for your guineas’ pad.

Guinea pigs need lots of stimulation and entertainment; the more for them to do, the better. They love running around, darting in and out of tunnels, up and down ramps and snuggling away in hiding-holes.

Tunnels can be made to any length to suit their new house and can be made from plastic or material. These can easily be made from left over fleece blankets wrapped around cardboard.

Create your own ramps that lead to a higher part of the cage. These can be made out of safe-to-use wood or plastic.

These materials can also be used to create small platforms or igloo style dens for the guineas to hide in. Take note that your guinea pigs will need an area within their new house to hide away and sleep in. This could be a ‘hutch’ that is placed in a corner of the accommodation or a purpose-built undercover section.

As long as the house and materials you use for your guinea pigs’ accommodation are safe and pose no risks to their health or wellbeing, you can set up their new home however you choose. Section it off or keep it flat with more floor space; it’s up to you. As long as the GPs have plenty of room and stimulation, they will be happy and living a wonderful life.

For more information about creating a guinea pig palace, visit these websites:

Good Physical Attributes, Temperament, and Selection Tips

How to find a new home for your guinea pig

How to find a new home for your guinea pig

How to find a new home for your guinea pig

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How to find a new home for your guinea pig

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Guinea pigs make great pets. They’re cute balls of fluffy fur that are amusing to watch and fun to play with and care for. When choosing a guinea pig to adopt, there are a few things you’ll want to look for to help you determine if the animal is healthy.

Good Physical Attributes

Look at the guinea pig’s overall body condition. A guinea pig should be neither fat nor skinny, with no swelling, lumps, or bumps.

The guinea pig’s coat should be well-groomed (full, fluffy, and smooth looking), with no bare patches. Avoid guinea pigs with bald patches or red patches of skin. Also check for soiling around the rear end, as this may indicate a problem with diarrhea.

The eyes, nose, and ears should be clean and free from discharge. Check the fur around the eyes and nose for signs of wetness, staining, or crusts.

Try to get a look at the teeth as well. They should not be overgrown and should be well-aligned. Also, check for wet or matted fur on the chin.

Observe the guinea pig’s breathing. It should be quiet and not labored, with no wheezing, clicking, or gurgling noises.


Guinea pigs should be bright and curious in attitude and never lethargic. You want an active and alert guinea pig. Take as long as you need to watch the guinea pig move around. It should have no signs of lameness, stiffness, or reluctance to move around.

Observe how the guinea pig reacts to people. Many tend to be skittish at first, which is understandable in a pet store, breeder, or animal shelter situation. Ideally, try to pick a guinea pig that is relatively calm when it’s approached and who is relatively okay with being handled.

Look at the guinea pig’s surroundings. The cage should be clean, with good access to fresh food and water, and not overcrowded. Guinea pigs kept under good conditions will be less stressed and have less exposure to disease.

Guinea Pigs to Pass on Bringing Home

If any of the guinea pigs in the same cage, shelter, breeder, or store seem ill, resist the temptation to adopt from that place. If there is a contagious illness, your guinea pig may be next and there may be possible heartbreak ahead.

Familiarize yourself with the differences between male and female guinea pigs. Make sure that wherever you get your guinea pig, they house the males and females separately. If the place does not separate them or seems unsure about the gender of the guinea pigs, then move on. It is best to avoid the possibility of a surprise litter after you get home.

Do not get a piglet younger than six weeks old. Female piglets should remain with their mothers until at least four weeks old. You want to add a few weeks after mother separation to make sure the piglet can thrive on its own.

Where to Get Your Guinea Pig

Before you try a store or breeder, look to a shelter or your local guinea pig rescue. There are many guinea pigs who need a second chance at a forever home. Quite often, these pets are given up because their previous owner simply could not care for them or they didn’t get along with another pet in the household. There are typically very few behavior problems to worry about when adopting a rescue guinea pig, but you will want to be observant after you add a new guinea pig to a home with another guinea pig. Sometimes these pets don’t get along well with each other.

If you go to a breeder, make sure they are breeding for specific goals such as temperament and health. And, if you go to a store, make sure you can handle the guinea pig before you buy it. Do a quick health check and assess its temperament.

As much as you may really want a guinea pig right away, feel free to walk away if something doesn’t feel right. There are many excellent breeders and pet stores out there, but you may also come across ones that are less than reputable or keep their animals in unhealthy situations.

How to find a new home for your guinea pig

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If you love pets, you probably want to have more than one in your home. It can be fun to introduce new pets and learn about their personalities as they interact with you and one another.

In most cases, it is safe to introduce guinea pigs, but you must do it very carefully. You want to avoid fighting among them and prevent the spread of illnesses.

Ten tips for introducing a new guinea pig

In order to correctly add a new piggy, there are some precautions you must take. Ensure their environment is prepared and have the necessary supplies to house two animals at once. Here are ten essential tips to follow when introducing a new guinea pig.

  1. It is easier to introduce younger guinea pigs to one another. If they grow up together, they will be less likely to fight as they get older. Also, they can establish boundaries and territories early on for a smooth cohabitation experience.
  2. If you have an older piggy, it is best to add a baby. Bringing in another older cavy will make your first one feel threatened and create issues over dominance. They will not feel as strongly towards a baby, though.
  3. Only put one male in with females. If multiple males are introduced to a group of females, they will fight for territory and attention. Make sure all of your cavies are safe by limiting the number of males you house with females.
  4. Before introducing a male to a female, make sure they are neutered. If you fail to do so, the female will have babies. Guinea pig pregnancies can be dangerous to their health and lead to the death of the female cavy.
  5. Make sure there is enough room in their crate. Each one needs their own space to eat, sleep, and play. Include two of everything in the cage to prevent fighting and territory disputes.
  6. Only buy hiding houses with two entrances. Having multiple pigs can lead to one accidentally trapping the other inside a hiding house. They must have an easy way to escape if necessary.
  7. Keep them separate for a few weeks and have a vet examine both to ensure they are healthy.
  8. Find neutral ground for introducing them. You should use a secluded and quiet place to keep them calm. Put out vegetables and teats to distract them as they get to know each other, and use towels to retrain them if they become aggressive. Make sure they get along for two hours before putting them in the same crate.
  9. Wash the cage to provide a more neutral territory. Thoroughly cleaning the crate will remove much of your older piggy’s scent and make your new one feel more comfortable.
  10. Nipping may be necessary to establish boundaries, but you should intervene if they fight or start inflicting wounds

Common questions about introducing a new guinea pig:

In addition to the ten tips above, there are some common questions guinea pig owners have when they introduce a new one. Keep reading to learn more about the process. I’ve owned a lot of piggies over the years and this is a great resource when you have questions.

How long should you wait to introduce a new guinea pig?

If you have a new guinea pig, you should keep it separated from your older one for at least two to three weeks. During this time, you should take both of them to the vet to ensure they are healthy. You do not want them to pass illnesses or diseases back and forth.

Waiting a couple of weeks to introduce a new cavy can also help them become acclimated to their new environment. They can start to feel comfortable in your home and get to know you before you introduce them to their brother or sister.

Is it better to have two guinea pigs or one?

Guinea pigs are naturally social animals. They tend to do better in a herd than in isolation. If you want to do what is best for your cavy, two animals are better than one.

However, the number you have should depend on your ability to care for them properly.

Can you put two male guinea pigs together?

Yes, you can put two male guinea pigs together for a cohesive living situation. Multiple males will get along if they are introduced to one another correctly.

However, you should never put two males in the presence of a female. This arrangement will lead to fighting as they fight for dominance. It can also lead to hurt cavies and expensive medical costs.

Is it better to have two male or two female guinea pigs?

Whether you choose two male or two female guinea pigs is mostly a personal preference. It is typically better to have cavies of the same gender to avoid pregnant guinea pigs.

Males may fight for territory or dominance more than females do, but you can adequately introduce pairs of either gender for successful results.

Can guinea pigs live alone?

It is always best to adopt two guinea pigs. They are very social, and they thrive in an environment that includes other animals of their kind. If they do not have a playmate, they can become very lonely. In the wild, they live and travel in herds.

Rarely are they ever isolated from a group. In some countries, it is even against regulations to adopt just one guinea pig because the activity is considered cruel.

Having multiple cavies provides them with the stimulation they need to avoid depression. They can enjoy a partner in their crate for social activity and company.

Some guinea pig owners consider adding a rabbit or other type of animal to their piggy’s container.

However, it is always best to keep guinea pigs together and away from other animals to prevent injury and death.

Can one guinea pig die of loneliness?

Yes, guinea pigs can actually die of loneliness. If they are isolated for long periods, you will notice an impact on their physical health.

They require companions to remain active, social, and happy throughout their lives. Solitary cavies require much more attention than you can provide.


If you have a single guinea pig, you should consider adding another one as soon as possible. Also, it is wise to purchase these animals in pairs to avoid isolation and depression.

Guinea pigs are very social creatures, and they thrive in environments that include more than one piggy. While it may not be the most convenient solution for you, having multiple animals will keep your pet happy and healthy for longer.

How to find a new home for your guinea pig

Lydia King is a huge animal lover and has always been fascinated with learning about the animal kingdom. She enjoys writing about anything animal related from scientific information about rare species to animal references in pop culture.

A Medical and Care Guide for Guinea Pigs

Main content



Guinea Pig Care Guide Overview

How to find a new home for your guinea pigA guinea pig can be one of the most endearing and wonderful pets. They may live as long as 9 years (the average is 5 to 7), so the decision to bring one into your home must be made carefully.

Your cavy (the proper name guinea pigs are known by) will depend on you for food, water, medical care and companionship. The advice on this site will help you give your pet a healthy start so you can enjoy each other’s company for many years.

DIET — A basic diet of quality hay, pellets and vegs will keep your guinea pig healthy.

  • Nutrition — Guinea pigs are strict herbivores. Links to nutrient requirements and advice on what NOT to feed.
  • Hay — Find out how to recognize quality hay.
  • Forages — Your guinea pig will love these tasty weeds and grasses.
  • Food Chart — Vitamin C, Calcium, Phosphorus, and more. Use our calculator to see how your diet rates.
  • Pellets — Is your pellet a quality pellet?

HOUSING — Large cages work best. Discover the best locations.

  • Bedding — Which bedding will work for you?
  • Free Range — Give your guinea pigs a room!
  • Cleaning Tips — Discover the key to easy cage cleaning.

HEALTH TIPS — Learn the Secrets to Good Health!

  • Weigh Weekly! — What is a normal weight? How much weight loss is too much?
  • Handling — Want to know the safest way to carry your guinea pig?
  • Grooming — How often to shampoo? What is a grease gland?
  • Clipping Nails — Make nail trimming part of your care routine.
  • Exercise — Just as exercise is good for us, so is it good for our pets.
  • Quarantine — Adopting a new pig? Be sure to quarantine!
  • What’s Normal? And What’s Not? — What your mother never told you.

BREEDING — Female guinea pigs can be sexually mature as early as 4 weeks old.

Find out why breeding is risky and never recommended.

SEXING — Have two or more pigs? Are you positive about the sex of your guinea pig?
Read these tips to make sure you’ve sexed them correctly!

BEHAVIOR — Find advice on taming your new pet, descriptions of chirping, popcorning, and more.

COMPANIONSHIP — How important is having a guinea pig companion to your pet? Will male guinea pigs always fight? How can I help my guinea pigs to get along?

AGING — As the years advance, we watch our dear pets age and then pass from our lives. The loss of a pet is heart breaking for many of us.

  • Pet Loss — Dealing with the loss of your pet.
  • Euthanasia — When is it time to say good-bye?


This pamphlet is a concise reference offering advice on health, nutrition and housing. If you’re interested in more comprehensive health information, be sure to order a copy of the health book.

Print out a pamphlet (translations into many languages available):

Purchase a book:

Please enjoy your new guinea pig. (S)he will prove to be a fascinating and wonderful pet. We are happy to share our lives with ours and wouldn’t have it any other way!


Talk with fellow guinea pig owners on these popular forums:

  • Guinea Lynx (medical and general care)
  • Guinea Pig Cages (great housing advice)
  • French speakers may wish to visit Cobaye Aventure · Pour Bien s’occuper de son cochon d’inde
  • Portuguese speakers may wish to visit Porquinhos da Нndia BR


Translations into Bulgarian of a few Guinea Lynx pages can be found here:

Be sure to contact Lynx for permission to translate and post any information from GuineaLynx.Info

Discover what Guinea Lynx has to offer!

Use these valuable links for a complete list of topics and articles:

In this Article

Guinea pigs can make good pets, but though they may appear lower maintenance than a cat or a dog, they still require plenty of love and attention. If you get young guinea pigs, it’s easier to train them to cope with your home rules. Before you pick a guinea pig as a pet, there are certain things you need to know.

Pet Guinea Pigs 101

You need supplies. There are certain things you need to purchase before you bring guinea pigs into your home. The supplies include the following:

  • Bedding
  • Food dishes
  • Carrier
  • Exercise wheel
  • Hideouts
  • Water bottle

You may need additional supplies based on the level of convenience you require for your pets. The main objective is to provide your guinea pigs with adequate living conditions. Guinea pigs will thrive best in a stimulating, comfortable environment.В

Handling guinea pigs. Guinea pigs are easily tameable. They require special handling since they are friendly. Handle your pets with care to avoid injuring them. Wait for the pigs to remain still before picking them up, since you may cause pain if you handle them as they move. As you hold the pets, bring them close to your chest. This action will make them feel safe and protected.

Guinea pig diet. Guinea Pig Pellets should make up most to the diet, and then supplemented.В Provide guinea pigs with food rich in vitamin C. Such foods include red or green pepper and tomatoes. Choose quality food that is always fresh. You can feed your guinea pig leafy greens like kales, and add carrots and sweet potatoes to the diet once or twice a week. This diet will help keep your Guinea pig active and healthy.

Housing guinea pigs. Provide your guinea pigs with cages that have adequate room to exercise. If you do, your pets are less likely to develop medical conditions like heart disease and diabetes. Guinea pigs are most active in the morning and evening. Large spaces enable them to play as they wish and with ease. Guinea pigs do well when housed together. They are social animals, hence a large cage will enable them to co-exist peacefully.

How long do guinea pigs live? Guinea pigs have a lifespan of five to seven years. The lifespan is longer than other small pets like mice and rats. If you handle your guinea pigs with care, you will enjoy a long life with them. В A sick and dying guinea pig will have a poor-looking coat. You may notice the animal appears dull, thin, and rough. Your pet may also develop patches of hair loss. Always observe your guinea pig for signs of parasites like ringworm, lice, and mites.В

Guinea pig training. You can easily train your guinea pig to complete simple tasks, such as responding to his name. Place your guinea pig on the floor close to you. Place several treats in your hands, then call the pet by his name. Make sure the treat is visible to your guinea pig. Repeat the action until the guinea pig can respond to every call you make. You can use this method of positive reinforcement to teach your guinea pig many simple tasks.В

Guinea pig noises. Your guinea pig will probably be a quieter pet than a dog, but they can still make many different noises. Your guinea pig may make a noise called “wheeking” when she’s hungry, or make a kind of growl when frightened. Make sure you’re paying attention to the noises your guinea pig makes and attending to any that signify discomfort or fear.

Adding a second guinea pig. Guinea pigs are social creatures and enjoy living in groups. Keep pairs of the same sex together to avoid unwanted litters. Check for any personality differences in the animals. Like other animals, at times they may not get along very well, but there are ways to help ensure a positive relationship.В

The best way to have a pair get along well is by introducing them as babies. If you acquire new adults, handle them with care as you introduce them to their counterparts. Introduce them slowly and carefully observe their responses to each other.В

Introducing your children to guinea pigs. Set rules before your children and their friends interact with your pets. It’s easy for an excited child to frighten a guinea pig. Teach your child to calmly, slowly pick up a guinea pig and how to keep them securely on their lap, as well as peaceful means of interaction with them.В

If your children stick to these rules, the guinea pigs will enjoy companionship.В

Maintaining a guinea pig requires you to observe strict guidelines. The pets are sensitive to changes in the environment. They require special attention and commitment. Seek medical attention if you notice any body changes. Also, ensure you keep the cage clean to keep your guinea pig healthy.В

Show Sources

The Anti-Cruelty Society: “Guinea Pig Sounds.”

Britannica: “Guinea pig.”

National Association of Professional Pet Sitters: “Guinea Pig Care | Guinea Pig Schedule | Owning a Guinea Pig.”


THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES: “Guinea pigs: The right pet for you.”


The Spruce Pets: “What to Know Before Getting a Pet Guinea Pig.”

VCA: “Feeding Guinea Pigs.”

Wood Green: “Introducing Children to Guinea Pigs.”

My kids have always begged me for a dog, but I know that our family isn’t ready for the time commitment and level of care a dog would need. I’m not walking one at 6am! They now want a guinea pig. I’m considering it, but I don’t know how much care guinea pigs usually need. Is it less than a dog, or the same? Are they expensive to buy or care for?


We have three guinea pigs. They are easy and as long as you handle them often they seem to like being held in your lap. They have funny personalities all different. They squeel for treats and “pop-corn” (jump) when they are happy. They do need to have the cage changed often because they will smell. Take note. Make sure your kids are not allergic!! To the bedding or the piggies. They do shed. You might look into a bunny before you take the guinea pig plunge. They can be litter box trained very easily and tend to be cleaner, quiter, and adorable. After we adopted our bunny I was very surprised how easy they are to take care of and how much personality they have. They are very much like cats – Something to consider.

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I don’t believe they are expensive to buy or care for. I have had 8 in my life and they were very easy to manage. The only issue is that their cages get dirty fast and need to be cleaned often.

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My Guinea Pig was not smelly but the cage was frequently cleaned. You must be careful to keep your pet somewhere where the temperature is stable, otherwise it will contract pneumonia, which can be fatal. To reduce expenses you can purchase large. bags of horse shavings at a feed and grain store instead of the tiny ones they sell at the pet stores. You might consider a cat over a Guinea Pig. I believe they are easier and that as long as you know what to expect you will get more “mileage” out of such a pet.

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They’re pretty easy but can get smelly. The family I babysit have 2 but the kids thrive over the responsibilities that come with it.

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Go to petsmart and ask the pets are people for all the info. And hold a pig. See if the kids really want it

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OK, I’ve seen noise mentioned a little bit but I’d like to seriously warn you – guinea pigs are SO. NOISY. I owned one as a kid and it seemed like no matter what I did, there was a constant ‘wheeeek, wheeeeEEK, WHEEEK’ noise coming from the cage. I wound up losing a lot of sleep! Maybe I just had a really neurotic guinea pig or I was doing something wrong, but the warning that they are REALLY noisy when unhappy still stands.

Maybe it needed a playmate. They are said to be social animals.

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I would suggest a pair of rats instead. Guinea pigs are a bit noisy and very smelly. All small furry pets are smelly but not to the degree that guinea pigs are. Either species would be cheaper and easier to care for than a dog.

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We acquired a guinea pig a couple years ago. It was my daughter’s class pet she was to watch over the summer. She had been asking for one before but I have no experience with a guinea. Oh my goodness did we fall in LOVE! I’ve heard guinea pigs are good starter pets because they’re relatively small, they tend to not bite as often. They can be a bit smelly but if you clean the cage regularly and bathe the guinea the smell is infrequent. I don’t know if females smell less. Ours is male and tends to ‘musk’ which can be strong. I strongly encourage you to adopt a rescued guinea as opposed to a store bought. Foster parents can match you with a guinea that will suit your family nicely. Store guineas are very scared and can bite more frequently. They do have personalities and thrive on attention. Our guinea seems to be active both night and day but doesn’t disturb our rest. Again, I really urge you to adopt. No one knows the animal better than a good foster and will help you find the best guinea for your family. Best of luck!

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Guinea Pigs are great pets. They will need their cage cleaned every other day, and always have fresh food and water. They like fresh veggies as well. They are easy to take care of and do not require a lot of time to clean. They do need socialized daily. They are a very friendly and compassionate species and will squeak every time you walk by the cage. I think they are great pets for kids, at one point I owned 14! They are fun and manageable. Best of luck!

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Hello! My parents faced a similar dilemma when my brothers and I were kids. We had four guinea pigs at one time or another when I was growing up, and I think they’re great pets (especially as first pets). A couple of things to consider with guinea pigs to ensure their happiness: -They thrive with more than one because they are very social animals (you’ll often hear them squeaking and chattering to one another and it’s adorable). We started with two and it went really well. – They need daily pellets, timothy hay, citrus, and a variety of leafy greens and other vegetables. (Don’t do the treats they sell in the stores. Most of them aren’t good for guineas. Use fruits and vegetables as treats. Ours would go NUTS for watermelon). -I don’t remember our guinea pigs being overly smelly, but we did spot cleans of their cages every night (removing any wet spots or piles of poop) and did thorough cleans weekly. -The more you handle them the nicer they will be. Make sure your kids learn how to properly hold a guinea pig so they don’t accidentally hurt it. Sometime we would let our guinea pigs romp around on the floor (highly supervised), but most of the time they were content just sitting on our laps munching on a carrot while we watched TV It may seem like a lot, but I would get guinea pigs again in a Heartbeat. They’re adorable, friendly, and fun, and they’re more sociable than some of the smaller rodents. I had hamsters at the same time as the guinea pigs, and the guinea pigs were way more fun! (We also had ferrets, and I wouldn’t recommend going that route for a first pet choice) 🙂 I currently have a rabbit. He has a LOT of personality, but I personally think he’s a lot more work than our guinea pigs ever were.

Tuna’s Guinea Pig Rescue is a Virginia-based, foster focused 501c3 rescue that helps to find perfect forever homes for Guinea Pigs. Check out our adoptable pigs and find the furry love of your life!

Please note: We are NOT accepting surrenders at this time as we are over rescue capacity. If you need assistance finding other options for surrender or rehoming please contact us.


How to find a new home for your guinea pig

We pride ourselves on assisting families in finding their perfect new friends. All our piggies are cleared by our partner vets and accessed by our volunteers for behavior, bonding and best fit before adoption is completed. Check out our available pigs today and adopt a new friend!


How to find a new home for your guinea pig

Our work would not be possible without our amazing network of foster homes. All homes are vetted per state standards and help our piggies prepare to be part of a family. We offer fosters “kits” to get started that include a temp cage, hides, water bottles, bowls and fleeces.


How to find a new home for your guinea pig

Understanding proper guinea pig care is vital to keeping piggies happy and healthy. Our volunteers work hard to educate our community and adopters on appropriate cage size, feeding, medical care and other items. Check out our Resources section to see more about proper care!

A descendant of the wild guinea pigs of South America, today’s domesticated guinea pig is viewed by many as an “easy”pet for children. Soon enough, parents and children discover that this new companion animal requires substantially more care than the child’s favorite stuffed toy. You know what often happens next: The guinea pig is brought to your shelter, in need of special attention because his owners failed to give him proper care. You will need to provide that for him until he can be placed with responsible adopters who can meet his needs.

Like rabbits, ferrets, and other small domesticated mammals, guinea pigs require an environment and treatment distinct from dogs and cats. By modifying what you already have in your shelter, adding a few extras, and following the steps below, you can help guinea pigs feel comfortable in your facility.

1. Make Room at the Inn

Ideally, guinea pigs should be kept with other small mammals in a room away from cats and dogs. If your shelter lacks a separate space, you can house guinea pigs in the cat room, but set up your caging so they do not have to face cats. Whatever room you use, maintain the temperature at 65-75 degrees to minimize the risk of respiratory disease.

They may be small, but guinea pigs require ample space to move about. Make sure their living quarters are at least 18 inches wide, 14 inches high, and 25 inches deep. Even though their stay with you will be temporary, guinea pigs housed in larger cages are more likely to be active, and thus more likely to attract prospective adopters. Traditional stainless-steel cat cages will work; aquariums, however, provide poor ventilation, and mesh or wire-floor cages hurt guinea pigs’ tender feet.

When choosing floor linings and cage furnishings, keep in mind that guinea pigs will chew on just about anything to wear down their constantly growing teeth, so everything placed in the cage must be nontoxic. Use plenty of lining materialshredded ink-free paper or commercial nesting materials available at pet-supply stores, for examplebecause guinea pigs will use the material as both bedding and bathroom.

Remember also to provide plenty of high-quality hay, which these rodents use for nesting and snacking. Do not use materials such as sawdust, cedar chips, or fabrics that may cause respiratory or other health problems. Finally, provide your guests with a gnawing log (such as an untreated fruit tree branch), tunnels to crawl through, and platforms to climb on. Add a heavy food bowl resistant to tipping and gnawing and a water bottle with a sipper tube.

2. Get a Little Closer

Guinea pigs are easily stressed, so they require careful handling. To pick up the rodent, slowly place one hand under his chest just behind the front legs, and gently cup your other hand under his hindquarters. Once you have a firm but gentle grip on the animal, lift him. Then immediately pull him close to your chest or lap so he feels safe and doesn’t thrash around.

3. Give ‘Em Their Greens

Feed these animals commercial guinea pig food, formulated especially for the species. These herbivores require a lot of vitamin C, so feed them fresh veggies such as kale and cabbage and ask the assisting veterinarian about vitamin supplements. Treat guinea pigs to fruits, including melon slices and apples (but remove the seeds, which are toxic).

4. Help With the Cleanup

Guinea pigs try their best to keep clean, fastidiously grooming themselves with their front teeth, tongue, and back claws. But pigsparticularly the long-haired breedsrequire frequent brushing and combing to stay clean and tangle-free.

Also, because their cage lining doubles as bedding and toilet, guinea pigs require daily housekeeping assistance. Scrub and disinfect the cage, then let it dry before lining the floor with fresh bedding and replacing the cage furnishings. Also clean the water bottle and sipper tube daily to prevent buildup of food, algae, and bacteria.

5. Pair Them Off

Guinea pigs are happiest when with other guinea pigs, so many pet care books urge owners to keep two or more together. Keep in mind, however, that what works best in a home isn’t necessarily what works best in a shelter environment. Don’t cage multiple guinea pigs together at your facility until you’ve resolved issues such as disease transmission and compatibility and verified that the pigs are the same sex.

Then, before promoting the benefits of pairs to potential adopters, you’ll of course need to know which pairs are the same sex and temperamentally compatible. (For example, more than two male pigs together will likely fight.)

One final note about placing guinea pigs: Many parents select a guinea pig as a first pet for their child, believing a small pet needs only a small amount of care. Make sure adopters understand that these little guys have lots of requirements, including a roomy cage, specialized diet, daily cleanup, and gentle handling, and that an adult should be the primary caretaker. Have a veterinarian knowledgeable in small-animal care show your staff how to examine incoming animals and guide your staff in monitoring potential health problems. Also, have an expert help you determine the sex of each guinea piga tricky taskbefore caging two or more together or sending multiple animals home with a new adopter.

How to find a new home for your guinea pig

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Taking your pet guinea pig on a plane can be expensive and subject your furry friend to a lot of stress. It is never ideal but sometimes the only option. If you plan to fly with your guinea pig, check your airline’s pet procedures well in advance and prepare a carrying case that will minimize your animal’s stress during travel. Guinea pigs are fragile, so always take your furry friend as carry-on baggage.

Step 1

Check with your airline for the rules and regulations regarding pet travel and restrictions on the size of your carrying case. Find out if your airline allows taking your guinea pig as carry-on baggage. Many airlines charge a fee to bring pets on board and some require a health certificate, especially when traveling internationally. The cost of bringing a guinea pig on an American Airlines flight is $125 at time of publication.

Step 2

Check the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s rules and regulations if you are flying within the United States. Hawaii has quarantine restrictions that may prevent you from taking your guinea pig with you when you arrive.

Step 3

Prepare a comfortably sized carrying case with enough space for your guinea pig to move around. Make sure the case is small enough to fit under an airline seat and is escape-proof. If your airline allows travel with rodents, always take your guinea pig as carry-on luggage, since guinea pigs are sensitive to the cold temperatures and loud noises that may be present in the cargo cabin.

Step 4

Place a towel in the carrier to keep it clean and ensure your guinea pig doesn’t get too cold. Guinea pigs should be kept warm when traveling by plane. Take an additional towel with you to drape over the cage to keep your pig warm and minimize its stress level. Providing extra towels or paper towels for your guinea to burrow into may also calm it during the flight.

Step 5

Provide food and water for your guinea pig during travel. Guinea pigs are grazers and spend much of their daily life eating. While traveling, do not place a water dish in your pig’s container – it could spill and cause your pet to catch a cold. If possible, provide a water bottle or give your guinea pig plenty of water-rich fruits and vegetables, such as tomatoes or cucumbers. Since the Transportation Security Administration has restrictions on taking liquids on a plane, bring an empty water bottle and fill it once you have passed the security checkpoint.

Step 6

Take your guinea pig out of its carrying case before you go through airport security. TSA’s security procedures do not stop you from traveling with a pet, but you cannot let it go through the X-ray machine.

Step 7

Carry your pet with you through the metal detector while the carrier goes through the X-ray machine. If your guinea pig frightens easily, wrap it in a towel to calm it or hold it close to you. TSA officers reserve the right to conduct a visual and physical inspection of your guinea pig.

Step 8

Check on your guinea pig during the flight to see if it needs food or water. Don’t take your guinea pig out of its case — the new environment could stress it and it could bolt.

How to find a new home for your guinea pig

Image via Chertamchu/Shutterstock

Guinea pigs (also known as cavies) have been domesticated for over 3,000 years. In fact, statues and other archeological findings in the Andean region of South America, where they originate, date them as living side-by-side with humans even longer than that. We’ve had many years to learn about guinea pigs and their needs, especially when it comes to setting up a healthy living space for them.

The Basic Guinea Pig Cage Setup

From a health perspective, the perfect enclosure space needs to meet a few requirements to ensure your guinea pig can thrive. One is space. According to Javier Nevarez, DVM, PhD, DACZM, DECZM, and associate professor of zoological medicine at the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine, guinea pig cages should be at least ­two feet wide by three feet long. The cage’s floor space is important, because guinea pigs don’t make as much use of vertical space as other small rodents do, according to the Humane Society. And take care not to use a wire bottom cage. “The cage should have a solid bottom to avoid damage to their feet,” Nevarez says.

While glass aquariums and plastic tubs might meet the size requirements, Nevarez says they are better avoided, as they limit ventilation. “The cage can be open top if there are no other pets in the house (dogs and cats), or it can have a solid plastic bottom with a wire cage top,” says Nevarez. “If open top, the cage should be at least 8-10 inches tall.”

Temperature Control

Nevarez recommends keeping cages away from windows to avoid overheating and drafts. Because guinea pigs can’t sweat, their enclosure should not be placed where there’s a risk of overheating, such as a heat vent or direct sunlight, which could be fatal.

Stocking Up Your Guinea Pig’s New Home

Once you have the right space for your guinea pig, your next goal is to make sure it feels like a home. Nevarez recommends adding a guinea pig house so your guinea pig can hide and rest as needed.

Because guinea pigs produce large amounts of very strong urine that can soak into their skin on their feet and cause ulceration, Nevarez emphasizes the importance of keeping cages clean – which means cleaning the cage and removing waste daily.

You will also need safe guinea pig bedding. “Cedar and pine bedding should be avoided because of the risk of respiratory tract irritation from inhaling dust and oils associated with wood bedding and/or impaction from ingesting it,” says Nevarez. “The best substrate is soft recycled paper products and newspaper.”

To avoid contamination and to make sure the water stays clean, water should be offered in a drinking bottle instead of a water dish. “The bottle must be monitored daily to ensure the pet is drinking and the water is not leaking, as guinea pigs are very prone to dehydration,” Nevarez says.

Avoiding Stress for Your Guinea Pig

“Avoid loud and sudden noises and anything else that seems to agitate them,” Nevarez says. “Most owners quickly learn to recognize the noises they make, including those associated with being scared.”

Guinea pigs can be prone to stress, so the cage should be placed in an area where there isn’t a lot of noise or traffic. One good option is placing the enclosure in a room that’s visited regularly but that doesn’t have constant traffic. A little hide box, such as an upside down cardboard box with a door cut in one side, in the cage will also help control stress, he said, as your guinea pig can then hide and feel safe.

Pet owner Matt Kovacs got two guinea pigs for his daughter, Audrey, two years ago. Dottie and Kathy, named after Audrey’s grandmothers, live in a wire cage with a green hideout structure.

“We put Kathy and Dottie in Audrey’s play room, so they would get views throughout the room and out the front window to the outside world,” says Kovacs. “The cage is on top of a desk to provide easy access when they are taken out to play, as well as to give them the best views.” Be sure that if you use a wire cage, however, that the floor is solid, so that the pets don’t develop sores on their feet from pressure on the wire, and that the wire doesn’t contain metals, such as zinc, which guinea pigs can become sick from chewing on.

Play Time for Guinea Pigs

Because guinea pigs are more sedate and less likely to run away than other rodents, they do really well during play time outside their cage—but that doesn’t mean they can be left unsupervised. “Ours watch TV with my wife, Becky, and Audrey in the morning, along with our English Bulldog Lulu,” says Kovacs. “They also get to play on the carpet in the playroom, as well as on a wooden ramp structure that is movable.”

The Kovacs also created an outdoor enclosure for their guinea pigs, which is made of wire fencing that encloses the guinea pigs safely as they explore the grass and flower beds. If you let your guinea pigs outside, be sure that they have shade and water to prevent overheating and that they are protected from wild predators such as hawks, foxes, coyotes, and neighbor’s dogs and cats.

This article was verified and edited for accuracy by Dr. Laurie Hess, DVM, Dipl ABVP

How to find a new home for your guinea pig

Rehoming Your Pet

Please note: OHS is able to accept owner-relinquished animals only; any lost/stray animals must be brought to your local county animal services.

OHS would like to assist you in keeping your pet or give you the right tips on how to rehome on your own.

Here are some tips for ensuring your pet goes to a safe new home: Rehoming Packet (PDF) / Reubicación del paquete en español (PDF)– view online, or download and print.

OHS has a Behavior Help Line where you can get advice on your pet’s behavior concerns. You’ll be able to leave a recorded message, and OHS will return your call and offer suggestions.

For Spay and Neuter assistance, the Spay and Save Program offers low and no-cost spay/neuter surgeries for cats owned by low-income residents in the greater Portland metropolitan area.

For low cost health exams, vaccinations, microchipping and preventative care, Good Neighbor Vet offers these services at multiple mobile locations in Oregon and Washington.

Need to find a home that will accept you and your pets? Find pet-friendly rental resources here »

Rehoming Your Pet Through OHS

If you need to bring your pet to OHS for surrender, the first step is to fill out a Pet Personality Profile for each pet. We do not accept walk-in surrenders. All surrenders are by appointment only. Surrender appointments are made once the behavioral and medical history of a pet has been reviewed. After we receive your Pet Personality Profile, a staff member will contact you to review the pet’s profile and discuss the next steps in the surrender process. If you have additional questions, please call (503) 285-7722 ext. 212.

A driver’s license or other government issued ID.

Your pet’s veterinary records.

Any of the pet’s items you would like to surrender with the pet (toys, bedding, collars/leashes).

All dogs need to be on a leash or in a secured carrier.

All cats need to be in a secured carrier.

Our staff will review the animal’s history with you then take the animal back for an assessment. During the assessment, we are looking to make sure we can safely handle the animal and that the animal can be walked and/or housed around other animals. Scheduling an appointment does not guarantee admission to OHS.

Why is there a surrender fee? On average, the cost of care for each animal in our care is $85 a day. This includes spay/neuter surgery, vaccines and flea/tick control, food and boarding and medical care.

Kittens and Puppies: There is no surrender fee, although donations are greatly appreciated. (Puppies and Kittens are considered 6 months or younger).

Dogs: $50 for the first surrendered dog and $10 for each additional dog.

Cats: $45 for the first surrendered cat and $10 for each additional cat.

Small Animals: (Domestic Rats, Gerbils, Hamsters, Guinea Pigs, Small Birds) $15 for the first small animal surrendered and $5 for each additional small animal.

Why Do I Need to Make an Appointment?

In order to ensure resources are ready and available when a pet arrives, Oregon Humane Society requires a scheduled surrender appointment. Without an appointment process, we would have no control over the number of pets that come into our care each day, and our ability to provide the best possible care for each animal would be hindered.

What Pets are Not Eligible for Adoption?

Animals who have been attack trained.

Animals with a history of aggressive or unsociable behavior.

Animals that display aggressive or unsociable behavior during a behavior assessment at OHS.

Veterinary examination determines that the animal is medically unsuitable for adoption through OHS.

Will My Pet Find a Good Home Through OHS?

Pets at OHS receive excellent care from trained OHS staff and volunteers. OHS does not place any time limits on an animal’s stay: a pet may stay at the shelter until a new home is found, whether it takes days, weeks, or months.

How to find a new home for your guinea pig

What can guinea pigs eat?

And how much? Guinea pigs don’t usually overeat, but it’s important to provide the proper balance of pellets, hay and fresh vegetables. Like human beings, guinea pigs cannot make their own vitamin C, so they require vitamin C-rich foods in their daily diet.

Commercial food: Choose vitamin C-fortified pellets with no seeds or dried fruit added. Because vitamin C usually degrades rather quickly, it is crucial to also offer your guinea pig vitamin C-rich vegetables and fruit on a daily basis. About 1/8 cup of pellets once a day—supplemented by hay and fresh vegetables as described below—will be enough.

Timothy hay: Provide an unlimited quantity of fresh timothy hay every day. Guinea pigs need continuous access to hay to aid their digestion and limit the growth of their teeth.

Fruit and vegetables: Fresh vegetables can be offered once a day and should be equivalent to about one cup total per guinea pig per day. Leafy greens like romaine lettuce, red and green leaf lettuces, kale, cilantro and parsley should comprise the bulk of your pig’s fresh produce. It’s best to provide variety by feeding different greens each day. Vegetables like red or green pepper and broccoli have high levels of vitamin C in them and are great daily options. Add carrots, zucchini, tomato or sweet potato once or twice a week.

Fruit works well as an occasional treat that is offered once a day or several times a week. Keep the portion size small since fruit is high in sugar; a small wedge of orange or apple, several blueberries or a thin slice of banana is perfectly adequate. Kiwis, strawberries and citrus have high levels of vitamin C.

Introduce new fruits and veggies gradually to avoid diarrhea. If your guinea pig develops loose stool, reduce the amount of fresh produce for several days, then reintroduce it in smaller portions.

Note: Because guinea pigs are susceptible to developing painful bladder stones, and some bladder stones are comprised of calcium oxalate, reducing or eliminating foods high in oxalates—such as spinach, parsley and strawberries—can provide benefit in guinea pigs who develop calcium oxalate stones. Read a more detailed explanation and consult a veterinarian who specializes in guinea pigs with specific questions about diet.

Time for treats

There are a variety of commercial treats marketed for guinea pigs and other small animals. Loaded with artificial sweeteners such as high fructose corn syrup, fructose or sucrose, they provide little nutritional value and lots of empty calories.

Commercial treats are unnecessary and a waste of money. Your pig will be perfectly happy with high quality pellets and hay and treats of fruits and vegetables. For a special snack, try mixing some rolled oats into your guinea pig’s pellets or stuff a small cardboard tube with fresh hay.

Sign up to receive our exclusive e-book full of important information about caring for your pet, including training techniques and answers to frequently asked questions.

How to find a new home for your guinea pig

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

People are often unaware that many local shelters have guinea pigs, or that a cavy rescue could be located nearby. In many parts of the country, hundreds of rescued guinea pigs need homes – primarily as a result of caretaker surrenders. Doug Duke, director of the Nevada SPCA in Las Vegas, finds that in his area, half of their adoptable guinea pigs are turned in by owners and the other half are transferred from the county shelter. He notes, “We try to keep the county shelter, which shares the complex with us, from euthanizing any who are healthy.”

A pet store guinea pig purchase is often unplanned and unresearched. Getting information on proper care into the hands of prospective new guardians helps them make better-informed decisions. Since January 1, 2003, California pet stores have been required by law to provide care sheets with the purchase of each animal. Several dedicated guinea pig people were instrumental in getting this legislation passed. Be proactive: encourage your state representatives to address this important issue for all pet-store animals in your state.

Julie Morris, ASPCA senior vice president for National Shelter Outreach, designated March as Adopt-a-Rescued-Guinea Pig celebration month. “The idea behind the celebration month is to encourage future adopters to think of shelters and rescue groups first.” Her promotional team has assembled an online page hosted on with fun and educational materials contributed from various sources. Websites like Petfinder are an invaluable resource for people who wish to adopt homeless guinea pigs from shelters and rescue groups. On average, Petfinder alone lists approximately 10,000 adoptable guinea pigs a year.

Guinea pigs are not for everyone. They’re definitely not just for kids! But an informed, committed guardian who is willing to care for them day after day and seek health care when needed will find them charming companions.

Lyn Zantow maintains an informational cavy care website and active message board at She lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, with her two guinea pigs, Nina and Snowflake.

Reprinted from ASPCA Animal Watch, Spring 2004 Vol. 24, No. 1, with permission from The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 424 East 92nd Street, New York, NY 10128-6804

Guinea pigs are curious and inquisitive, and with this comes a need for mental stimulation. Toys that will give them enrichment during their day will keep your guinea pigs happy and help them refrain from becoming bored while spending their day in an enclosure. Perhaps you’ve spent a lot of money in the past on guinea pig toys for your cute little companion, only to offer them to him and find that he wants nothing to do with them. With a bit of creativity and resourcefulness, making toys from homemade goods around the house can be the perfect option for your guinea pig. Even better, these toys will save money. Switching out toys periodically will help keep your guinea pig engaged and give him something new to play with.

Video of the Day

Cardboard Box Playhouse

A simple cardboard box can provide hours of fun for your guinea pig, who will chew on the cardboard and hide in it. Cut out small “doors” in a cardboard box. Get more creative by using cardboard containers with the ends cut off, such as oatmeal canisters, to create “tunnels” leading from one box to another. Cut out “windows” in the boxes so your guinea pigs can burrow inside the box and have a window to look out of. Turn over the cardboard box and a cardboard palace awaits.

Surprise Bag with Treats

Give your guinea a treat toy that requires a bit of effort. Fill a brown paper bag with hay and a few treats. Fold the paper bag down to keep the hay and treats in. If your guinea pig is extra smart, he may figure out how to fold the flap up and get inside the bag. Cut small holes in the bag and allow your guinea pig to have at it. He will be intrigued with what’s inside the bag and will work his way to it.

Hanging Kabobs

Some guinea pigs just can’t resist yanking and tugging on things with their teeth. Hanging toys from the top of their enclosure provides something fun and entertaining for them to do. Get some twine and hang it from the top of the cage. String a few toys, such as wooden blocks of different shapes with holes in the middle. Add a bell or two to the end of the toy for extra intrigue.

Obstacle Course

Every guinea pig needs a “day out” now and then — a day out of the cage or enclosure, that is. Allow your cavy some free time to romp and roam after you set up an obstacle course to explore. Use things around the house such as sofa cushions, cardboard boxes and toy blocks to create an enticing obstacle course complete with treats at the end to pique your guinea pig’s interest. The mental stimulation and fun this activity will provide will help keep your cavy content while giving him a bit of exercise.

How to find a new home for your guinea pig

It is not everyday that a box of piglets gets brought to your doorstep, but the day that happens is certainly one worth squealing about. Or so it is if you happen to run a farm animal sanctuary.

Pigs are some of the most abused farm animals, many of whom spend their lives in gestation crates on factory farms. Sows are confined to crates so small that they never even get the chance to turn around during their severely truncated lifetime. Many piglets grow up without their mothers and are never given the chance to just be pigs, but are forced into the same vicious cycle their parents experienced.

Luckily, this is not the case of the little piggies who found their way to the PIGS Animal Sanctuary early one morning. Melissa Susko, the executive director of PIGS, tells OGP that the piglets were brought to the sanctuary, by a person, “stating they lost the mother and couldn’t bottle feed them all.”

How to find a new home for your guinea pigPIGS Animal Sanctuary

It was clear that this kind person had the piglet’s best interest in mind, but they were hesitant to give away anymore information as to how the pigs had come to be orphaned, Susko explains this is “common”with the animals they receive.

The piglets were no more than a few days old and thankfully had been able to receive the colostrum from their mother. Upon arrival at the sanctuary, the baby pigs were a little dehydrated, had some eye drainage and a case of the sniffles. It took a little while for them to adjust to being handled by humans, adding more difficulties to the feat of feeding them. According to Susko, bottle feeding piglets is no easy task.

Susko explains, “Piglets squeal as soon as you feed them too much them and they can very easily aspirate, which can lead to aspiration pneumonia.”

The solution to this, is one of the cutest things you will probably see all day…pan feeding. To do this, the piglets are placed in a shallow pan filled with milk, Susko tells OGP, ” You try to dip their noses in the milk so they lick it up, or put a little on the tip of the mouth.”

How to find a new home for your guinea pigPIGS Animal Sanctuary/Facebbok

Susko continues, “It takes a couple tries for them to get the gist, so I syringe feed –putting the tip of a syringe in the side of their mouth and slightly push the formula in inside of having them suck from a bottle and I can’t control how much goes in. After 36 hours of syringe feedings, the piglets figured it out and now dive into their pan of milk at each feeding! We gave them some iron, eye ointment and a warming blanket in a crate.”

How to find a new home for your guinea pigPIGS Animal Sanctuary/Facebook

After only two days, the little piggies who initially shied away from humans now run to greet PIGS staff when they come for feedings and they love to crawl on and play with “Levi,” Susko’s “supervised dog.”

How to find a new home for your guinea pigPIGS Animal Sanctuary

When asked by OGP what the most special part of the piglet’s rescue was, Susko replies, “Any rescue is special. We usually get in older, sick, neglected or abused animals, it’s such a nice treat to be able to watch the piglets thrive, grow and blossom into their own personality. Many times we deal with the worse- case scenario that breaks our hearts. Any baby animal is adorable, but there is just something so special about a young piglet!”

How to find a new home for your guinea pigPIGS Animal Sanctuary

Truly, these little piglets are like any other animal deserving of love, care, and the freedom to enjoy all the wonders of their lives.

How to find a new home for your guinea pigPIGS Animal Sanctuary

As Susko says, “How wonderful and amazing pigs are! They are no different than puppies and kittens and other animals that people accept as part of the family. I want people to see that they are gentle, smart, sensitive beings.”

How to find a new home for your guinea pigPIGS Animal Sanctuary

Levi has certainly adopted these piggies into the family! The piglets are now a whopping 10 days old and are already beginning to play with one another and trot around. They have graduated to a puppy-pen filled with straw that gives them more room to move around.

Thanks to Melissa Susko and the other wonderful staff at PIGS, these orphaned piglets will have the chance to grow up and enjoy the simple luxury of being allowed to just be a pig, happy and friendly as can be.

How to find a new home for your guinea pigPIGS Animal Sanctuary How to find a new home for your guinea pigPIGS Animal Sanctuary

To learn more about PIGS Animal Sanctuary check out their Facebook page and website. To make a donation to keep these little piggies in treats and all the other things they need, click here.

Lead image source: PIGS Animal Sanctuary

Juliia Blokhina

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Do you like house pets? Then this awesome game is made exactly for you! Live the whole life of a small cavy – from little defenseless cub to the old and wise rodent! Explore the house, fight with different enemies, find your mate and raise a family in Guinea Pig Simulator Game!

Enjoy our ultimate animal survival simulator for everyone as the nice house guinea pig – eat, drink, run to find another cavy to mate or to journey together! The garden around your house is not so harsh, cruel and unfriendly place, like a true wilderness, but it’s full of different city animals – insects (ants and bugs), arachnids, frogs, rats and stray cats! Some of them are harmless, but others are your direct rivals or even predators that want to feed on your dead body! Wage the battle for your life and territory against other city animals, earn experience and raise up your skills!

Find the special food for your rodents like apples or berries and feed yourself! Make friends with other guinea pigs or fight with them – this choice is up to you! Find your mate to raise your own family of house rodents! Protect them from house predators and don’t forget about your own indicators – if one of them drops, your chances to survive will immediately drop too!
Be very attentive to stray and house cats! They may seem cute and pretty, but don’t let them cheat on you: every kitty wants to kill you at the first moment of seeing! You and your little furry brothers are the prey, so hide or fight to the death!

Earn points for each successfully done mission and power your guinea pig’s characteristics up to become more dexterous and just stronger! Unlock new interesting skins for your rodent to customize it as you wish – buy new age categories and abilities, or even new breeds like White Crested, Teddy, Abyssinian, Silkie, Merino, Roan cavy, or even Skinny Pig! Choose the best ones to fight with cats and people and test your skills as different pet rodents with Guinea Pig Simulator Game Guinea Pig Simulator Game!

Guinea Pig Simulator Game features:
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Become this cute little animal, explore the large world of country house, find your mate to raise the family of guinea pigs and just have fun playing Guinea Pig Simulator Game!

The guinea pig digestive system is pretty amazing – it’s not easy to survive on a diet of mostly grass! But this complicated system is also very delicate, and it’s important that your piggie gets the right diet in order to stay happy and well. Read on to find out more about the guinea pig digestive system and learn how to keep your pet in the best of digestive health.

What do guinea pigs eat in the wild?
In the wild, guinea pigs live in the Andes Mountains in South America. They mainly eat grass, although this will generally be tougher and dryer than the grass we’re used to seeing in our gardens! They’ll also forage other wild plants as and when they find them.

A diet based mainly on grass isn’t exactly full of energy, and it would be pretty indigestible for us humans. However, guinea pigs have developed a highly specialised digestive system so they can live on this high-fibre vegetation.

How to find a new home for your guinea pig

How does the guinea pig digestive system work?
The first clever thing about the guinea pig digestive system is the teeth. Since guinea pigs need to munch on tough vegetation all day, their teeth would get worn shorter and shorter if they were like ours! But instead, guinea pigs have ‘open rooted’ teeth that continually grow to compensate for all that wear.

After the teeth, the most impressive part of the guinea pig digestive system is the large intestine. This is the part that’s super specialised to extract energy and nutrients from a diet of tough vegetation.

At the start of the large intestine, guinea pigs have a huge sac called the caecum and this is full of loads and loads of microbes. These ‘friendly bacteria’ are the secret to success for our guinea pig friends, as they can break down tough fibre and release lots of nutrients for the piggie to take in!

There is a catch though: some of these nutrients can’t be absorbed in the caecum. In particular, certain vitamins and other goodies can only be absorbed earlier in the digestive tract. But guinea pigs can’t make the contents of their large intestine flow backwards towards their stomach! So they’ve developed a cunning way of dealing with this problem that seems quite disgusting to us humans.

Put simply, they eat their own poo. But not all of it – just certain special pellets that are called ‘caecotrophs’. These caecotrophs contain valuable nutrients from the caecum, such as amino acids and vitamins B and K. By eating these poop pellets, the guinea pig can absorb all the goodness they missed out on the first time round.

How to find a new home for your guinea pig

What’s really special about guinea pig dietary needs?
While everything we’ve described about the guinea pig digestive system so far is pretty impressive, guinea pigs share these traits with rabbits and other herbivores who also need a high-fibre diet. But is there anything really special about the dietary needs of our piggies? The answer’s actually yes – they do have an unusual quirk that none of our other pets share.

This quirk is that they have a special requirement for vitamin C. While other animals can make their own vitamin C in their bodies, guinea pigs aren’t able to do this. Interestingly enough, out of all the animals we commonly talk about, it’s just guinea pigs and primates like us humans that must be careful to eat enough vitamin C in our diets.

Vitamin C is really important in the body – it’s needed for healthy gums, joints and skin, and it’s also important for the immune system to work properly and for wounds to heal well. Without enough of this vitamin in their diet, guinea pigs can become very poorly with scurvy. You can learn more about guinea pigs and vitamin C in our guide.

How to find a new home for your guinea pig

How to support a healthy guinea pig digestive system
The secret to supporting healthy guinea pig digestion is to feed a diet based on what they’d eat in the wild. Since the natural diet for guinea pigs is mostly grass, our pet piggies should have a diet that’s 80% hay or grass. All this fibre will help keep their herbivore teeth and guts nice and healthy.

When it comes to hay, there are loads of different options to choose from and the wide array of options can be bewildering! In general, the tastiest and healthiest choices for guinea pigs are Meadow hay, such as Russel Rabbit Tasty Hay, or Timothy hay, such as Science Selective Timothy Hay. To learn more about the importance of hay in a guinea pig’s diet, check out our blog.

Alongside their hay, piggies will need a portion of fresh veg and some high-quality food that’s been formulated specifically for guinea pigs. It’s important that the food contains enough vitamin C, and ideally this should be stabilised so it will remain at high levels throughout the shelf life of the product. Both our muesli-style mix Gerty Guinea Pig Tasty Mix and our single-component diets Gerty Guinea Pig Tasty Nuggets and Science Selective Guinea Pig contain stabilised vitamin C to meet your furry friend’s nutritional needs.

How to find a new home for your guinea pig

How to identify guinea pig digestive system problems
Choosing the right diet is a big step towards keeping your piggie’s digestive system healthy, but it’s also important to know the signs that might indicate there’s a problem that needs treating. If you see that your pet has loose poo or diarrhoea, it’s best to take them to the vet to get them checked out.

A lack of appetite is another sign that should set the alarm bells ringing. The incredibly complicated guinea pig digestive system relies on a constant input of food, and so these creatures can run into no end of problems if it grinds to a halt. It’s a big issue for our piggies to go off their food, and it’s best to get veterinary help as soon as possible to stop them getting very ill.

A third sign to look out for is if your guinea pig stops eating their caecotrophs. Obese piggies or those with arthritis may struggle to get around to reach these pellets, and this can upset their delicate digestion. It can also increase the risk of flystrike, as their back end can get quite messy. If you think that your guinea pig may not be eating their caecotrophs, take them along to your vet to find out what care they need and whether there’s an underlying cause.

We hope you’ve found this a useful guide to the guinea pig digestive system! The important thing to remember is that a good diet is the key to keeping your piggie’s digestion ticking along well. If you give your little friend lots of hay, some good quality food containing enough vitamin C and a portion of fresh veg every day, they’ll be well set up to keep happy and healthy.

Making sure your guinea pigs have a suitable place to live is the first step to keeping your guinea pigs healthy and happy. On this page, we’ll take you through things you should do to make sure your guinea pigs’ home environment meets their needs.

Indoor and outdoor space to live

In terms of their living space, your guinea pig needs:

  • A secure space that’s large enough for them to exercise and high enough to stand up fully on their back legs.
  • Indoor accommodation that’s well-ventilated, dry and away from direct heat sources (such as radiators or sunny windows) and draughts. Room temperatures of 17-20°C are ideal. Some areas of centrally heated houses may get too hot, so be careful where you put their hutch.
  • A large exercise area and secure shelter where they can rest, feel safe and protected from predators and extremes of weather and temperature.
  • Outdoor accommodation – if you’re keeping your guinea pigs outside, their hutch should be sheltered from direct sun and direct wind. In temperatures below 15°C, you should move them indoors. They’ll also need sufficient bedding throughout the whole enclosure to keep them warm.

Making your guinea pigs’ house a home

Here’s what you should do to make sure your guinea pigs’ housing stays comfortable and interesting for them:

  • Clean often – you should clean their accommodation regularly.
  • Protect them from draughts and temperature extremes – guinea pigs are sensitive to temperature changes. Temperatures above 26°C can cause heatstroke; below 15°C can cause them to become chilled.
  • Keep them in quiet, calm and safe areas away from dogs, cats, ferrets and other pets they may see as threats.
  • Give them enough warm bedding – this should be safe to eat, such as dust-free hay. Don’t use softwood products such as pine, as these can cause illness, and don’t give them nesting materials that separate into thin strands, such as cotton wool or similar ‘fluffy’ bedding products. They pose a serious risk to their health and welfare, as they can become tangled in them and they aren¿t safe to eat.
  • Regular exercise – ideally, give your guinea pigs free access to an exercise area with pipes and shelters to encourage exercising. They’re active animals and need opportunities to run, stand fully upright on their back legs and stretch out when lying down.
  • Give them tunnels and untreated wooden toys to chew – such as fruit trees or willow sticks. Avoid plastic toys as they may harm them if chewed/swallowed. Guinea pigs are intelligent and enjoy gnawing, chewing and exploring by moving to different areas through tunnels.

When you’re away or on the move

If you go away, here’s what you’ll need to do to avoid stressing your guinea pigs:

  • Get someone to look after them – you’ll ideally need to find a responsible person to care for your guinea pigs in their familiar home when you’re away. If you’re boarding them elsewhere, keep grouped guinea pigs together and take familiar items such as toys. Guinea pigs prefer routine and can become stressed if they’re around lots of noise and activity.
  • Transport them comfortably – keep your guinea pigs safe and comfortable when you’re transporting them. Help them feel at ease by putting familiar-smelling objects in the travel carrier and moving them with their companion(s).

Read more on creating a good home for your guinea pigs in our guide to housing and caring for your guinea pigs.

Introduction: How to Build a Guinea Pig Hamster Cage MANSION

With NO INTENT of creating an Instructable! I… More About 2rainonme »

Hello! I would do anything for my little precious 9 year old and her Guinea Pig LUCY. YES, Honestly. I made this the day before I found Instructables so i can now build her a Treehouse. Amazingly so, I noticed the PET contest and entered it in immediately! I converted her Barbie 3 story dollhouse into an amazing home for Lucy! Best Part: I found all materials around the house. Didn’t purchase a thing! Santa brought the Dollhouse 2 years ago!

Step 1: Supplies & Tools Needed

  1. Dollhouse NOT used for “primary purpose” anymore (she is done playing dolls)
  2. Plastic Outdoor/Lawn & Garden Fencing/Netting

I needed 3′ x 4′ (substitute with anything that works )

  • You must measure your dollhouse for accurate dimensions
  • Hot Glue Gun & 6- 8 long glue sticks
  • Spray Paint (Optional)
  • Paper Clips 12-20
  • Electric Staple Gun
  • Wood 2 inches in height and cut to fit dollhouse dimensions. Razor Knife (easier) or scissors to trim netting
  • Your “already available” basic guinea pig or hampster supplies
  • Guinea Pig Bedding, Cages, and Accessories

    Guinea Pig Bedding, Cage, and Accessories

    Guinea Pig Bedding, Cage, and Accessories

    How to find a new home for your guinea pig

    Fleece Bedding

    Washable, Reusable Guinea Pig Bedding

    How to find a new home for your guinea pig

    Cozy Comforts

    Hides, Pads, Tunnels and More

    How to find a new home for your guinea pig

    Cage Accessories

    Everything you’ll need to complete your cage

    How to find a new home for your guinea pig

    C&C Cages

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    Welcome to Piggy BedSpreads, home of the first and only fitted, washable, fleece bedding for your guinea pig’s cage! Do you have a C&C Cage, Kaytee/Super Pet Cage, or Midwest Guinea Habitat cage? If so, you’ll find our bedding a sheer delight when you switch over from disposable bedding like pine shavings or Carefresh. Or maybe you’re exhausted from flipping your high maintenance fleece panel system around and you’d like a one step solution.

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    Spoil your piggy with this Crunchy Condo 3-pack of guinea pig hideys!

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    Make Them Feel Safe Guinea pigs are very cautious animals and are prone to hiding due to their natural instincts. A guinea pig home is an essential to a guinea pig’s habitat. Our GuineaDad Crunchy Condo hidey offers them the safe comfort they need to live a happy and healthy lifestyle.

    Supports Dental Health GuineaDad Crunchy Condo can also be used as a hideout and toy for your guinea pigs to gnaw on to help promote healthy and normal dental wear. Dental health is an important element to be weary of when caring for guinea pigs. That’s why we designed a reusable, recyclable, and non-toxic cardboard on all our hidey products so they are safe for guinea pigs to ingest. It’s a guinea pig cardboard house that’s edible!

    Fun Design GuineaDad Crunchy Condos also include fun designs featuring our GuineaGang Character, Goong, who is the cliff-climber and herb picker of the group. The clever design of the guinea pig cardboard houses also includes the crowd favorite perforations along Goong so you can create a fun little photo shoot spot for your piggy! In addition, the short tope feature of this top-selling guinea pig hidey allows for yet another cute, adventurous aspect for your fur babies to play with.

    Everything Goes Together! Connect your GuineaDad Crunchy Condo with any of our Crunchy Series, like the Crunchy Tunnel or Crunchy Castle, to create the best compound home and hidey experience for your guinea pig. All of our award-winning hideys and homes for guinea pigs allow you to create a full, luxurious complex for your prince or princess, further sharing your undeniable love for them! Try them all today!

    Guinea pigs are social pets and are therefore best kept in groups of two or more. This enables them to express their natural behaviour, and allows for all of their social needs to be met. However, when mixing unfamiliar individuals it’s important to consider their sex, age, size and personality in order to make it successful. Introducing them is also a gradual process, which should be done in various stages.

    Successful pairings or groups

    The most suitable pairings are two females or a neutered male and a female. If you would like to keep a group of three or more guinea pigs it’s not advisable to have more than one male as any more can cause a conflict over resources.

    How to find a new home for your guinea pig

    Neutering the male guinea pig removes the potential for any unwanted litters, and avoids the likely problems that can be caused by hormones. But it’s essential to wait four to six weeks after neutering before introducing a male guinea pig to any females as he might still be able to reproduce during this time.

    Guinea pigs should not be kept with rabbits as they cannot communicate effectively with one another, and the guinea pig is at high risk of getting bullied by the rabbit.

    Steps to take before introducing unfamiliar guinea pigs

    • Make sure you know the sex of your guinea pigs – if you are unsure, contact your vet
    • When you first get your guinea pigs home give them time to settle before starting introductions
    • Ensure the hutch or cage is large enough – the minimum dimensions that Blue Cross recommends for two guinea pigs living together are 120cm x 50cmx 50cm, however you should provide the largest space possible
    • Once settled, start to swap their items, such as bedding so they can become familiar with their new partner’s scent profile before meeting them. This is known as scent swapping and it’s important to watch for any adverse reactions your guinea pigs might have to the new smell being introduced.
    • If the scent swapping goes well you can also try swapping their hutches and/or exercise runs so they can live or spend time in a space occupied by the other guinea pig

    Introducing your guinea pigs

    • If possible try to start by housing your guinea pigs with a mesh separating them so they can begin to communicate. You can place one in a run next to the other’s hutch, or two runs alongside each other.
    • If the scent swapping and communication through the mesh looks positive the next step is to find a neutral space for them to meet in – an outside run is ideal, or a spare room
    • If housing the guinea pigs next to one another hasn’t been possible before this stage we would recommend making a barrier in the neutral space that they can see and smell each other through. Remove it if positive behaviours are shown, such as sudden jumps (known as popcorning) and sniffing and spending time at the shared barrier.

    How to find a new home for your guinea pig

  • Provide items in the run such as open-ended boxes, open beds and tubes that the guinea pigs can hide in or behind, as this will ensure they have the space to move away and avoid the other individual should they feel the need to. Items that allow for a guinea pig to be cornered or become territorial, such as a carrier, shouldn’t be used.
  • Scatter food and hay around so the guinea pigs have something to distract them. This also helps them to build a positive association with each other.
  • Make sure you pick a time when you can sit and monitor their behaviour, and continue to look for the same positive behaviours you saw previously – as well as other signs such as grooming each other, lying next to one another and sharing resources; such as food or water
  • Concerning behaviours to look out for are teeth chattering constantly, biting directed towards one another, constant hiding from one another, choosing not to spend any time together and chasing. You should expect to see some of these concerning behaviours to begin with, but if the guinea pigs look stressed or begin displaying aggression then end the session and try again the next day.
  • Some guinea pigs will bond quickly, others may take longer and require further set ups like these to build a relationship
  • Have a solid board handy that you can place in an emergency between the guinea pigs should they begin to display aggression
  • End the session on a positive note if possible, or if you see concerning behaviour leading to stress or aggression from either guinea pig
  • Several introductions set up in this way should build a relationship between the two and help get them ready to move in together

    Editor’s note: The content on this page was written specifically for farmers in Nepal. While much of the information will be applicable elsewhere, please be aware that every country has its own rules and regulations regarding housing animals. You must ensure your practices are in line with official regulations in your own region.

    Elements for good housing

    How to find a new home for your guinea pig

    How to keep a healthy pig

    How to find a new home for your guinea pig

    Effects of inappropriate housing

    How to find a new home for your guinea pig

    How to find a new home for your guinea pig

    Selection of housing locations

    • The site should be at an elevated place that cannot be flooded by rain water.
    • The site should be protected from the sun (shade from trees) and have ample fresh air.
    • Away from residences (around 8-10 meter away downwind).
    • In case of a large-scale pig farm, the site selected needs also to be: well connected to roads throughout the year,
    • Suitable for manure disposal, connected to reliable water and electricity sources.

    Construction plan for good pig housing

    The important points about the pig house are as follows:

    • The floor of the house must be 3 x 3 m.
    • The floor of the house must be raised about 60 cm above the ground.
    • The floor boards should have spaces of 2 cm between them.
    • The roof must be rain-proof.
    • The high side of the roof should face in a direction where some sun can shine a little way into the house on this side: but there must always be shade in some part of the house.
    • The house must be strongly built.

    A pigsty can be constructed cheaply by using locally available materials. It needs to be constructed according to climatic conditions and according to the pig production system.

    • The pigsty should be comfortable for the pigs: good ventilation and ample shade, no overheating, no smells, no draft and no dampness.
    • The building should be constructed with its length axis in an East-West direction (protected from sun and rain).
    • The pig building needs to be divided into different pens for each phase of the production cycle. The number and the size of the pens depend on the expected numbers of pigs to be housed in each production phase.
    • The costs of constructing the pigsty should fit the pig production systems. An efficient pig production is required to cover high construction costs.

    Generally, there are three types of pigsty buildings:

    General Care



    General Care



    Small Animals

    General Care



    It’s important to understand guinea pigs through the sounds and noises they make because it helps you determine whether your pet is in distress, hungry, content or just excited to see you and/or your food.
    Wheeking is the sound a guinea pig makes when it is hungry so don’t be surprised if the wheek around the time you usually feed them or if they see you bringing some food. Wheeking is something that’s exclusively directed towards humans. Scientists have concluded that guinea pigs never made these noise in the wild, probably because they never had humans hand feeding them pellets and treats.

    This occurs when the guinea pig is vocalizing a low, constant sound. It is not like a cat as it sounds like a mix between a grumble of a dog and a low purr of a cat. Purring is usually associated with being content or happy. You will most likely hear it when you are gently petting your pig. However, sometimes when they hear a startling noise or suddenly feel threatened, they will vocalize this same noise but in short spurts. Depending on the situation and/or environment of your guinea pig, you can probably figure what kind of purring is happening.

    The rumble is similar to the purr, except with a vibrating effect and lower pitch. The male uses this sound when he is wooing the female to mate. In a way, it’s his mating call. He will start to wiggle his hips and walk around the female in a seemingly arbitrary pattern. This is often called the “rumble strut.” When the male isn’t trying to romance the female, the female may use the rumble to signal to the male that she’s in season and ready to mate.

    The growl sounds like “drrr, drrr.” Like with most animals, growling is the sound of distress, usually from being threatened by something nearby. This can also happen when there is suddenly a drastic change in their environment. If you hear the growl from your guinea pig, just start petting them very gently to calm him or her down. In no time, the growl may turn into a delighted purr.

    This is when your guinea pig releases a rapid streak of squeaks. And, it usually means that they are angry, unhappy or agitated at a certain situation.
    It’s common for chattering to occur when you first introduce a guinea pig to another, especially in a cage. They are simply warning each other not to interfere with each other’s territory or personal space. If chattering happens, separate the two before they start fighting and slowly reintroduce them after they’ve calmed down. Keep doing this until the chattering eventually goes away. But if you plan to raise two males, chattering will without a doubt happen as they try to figure out some sort of cage dominance. Just try your best to keep them from fighting, since they have to eventually learn to co-exist with one another.

    Hearing a loud shriek may be distressing to you, but more importantly to your pet. It usually means your guinea pig is sensing immediate danger or is feeling pain and discomfort. For example, if one of your guinea pigs bites another, you will likely hear a shriek. It’s important to immediately attend to the situation and figure out what caused such a sound.

    A guinea pig’s whining sounds like a high-pitched moan. This noise is vocalized when the piggy is being disturbed or bothered. If you or a fellow cage mate interrupts his or her nap, you may hear this noise. Just step away, and let them be.

    Find out why your Guinea Pigs are aggressive and learn how to keep them and yourself safe from fights and bites

    How to find a new home for your guinea pig

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    Why are my Guinea Pigs fighting?

    It’s not recommended to house two male pigs and a female together as this can cause the males to become aggressive.

    Make sure your pets are properly sexed before you take them home so that you know you have a group that won’t cause problems and you don’t accidentally end up with a pregnant female.

    Even without a female, two males living together can end up fighting. When they move into a new home they’re likely to try to assert their dominance over each other. This can seem aggressive but might not be a full-blown fight and it can be a necessary process.

    Your Guinea Pigs may circle each other, shake and bare their teeth. If one backs down that should be the end of the process. But it can get more physical if they lunge at each other and carry out non-sexual mounting.

    If this happens, keep a close eye on them. Again, one may give in and the fight for dominance will end but if no one gives in it can escalate to biting and you’ll have a dangerous situation on your hands.

    Bites can draw blood and cause serious injuries. If they’re biting you’ll need to separate them.

    If the Pigs have been living with each other for a while and are unlikely to be fighting for dominance it may because they are unhappy or in pain.

    It can be difficult to identify what is causing the problem but check your pet for any obvious sign of illness or injury, make sure the cage is clean and they have enough food, space and things to play with.

    One Guinea Pig might have just got too grumpy and lashed out. You will need to separate them for a day and reintroduce them to see if it happens again.

    What to do if your Guinea Pigs are fighting

    First, identify if it is a proper fight or if they’re asserting dominance.

    If they are fighting you’ll need to separate them. Read the next section below to learn how to do it safely.

    Once they’re separated it can be a good idea to keep them in separate rooms for a night. Make sure neither is injured from the fight and that they’re generally healthy.

    Check the cage is big enough, clean and has objects they can interact with, and be sure they’re eating and drinking normally.

    After a night apart, you can try to reintroduce them. They might circle each other but if everything has blown over they may be fine to live together again, however, you’ll need to keep an eye on them for a few days after the fight.

    If they do start fighting again you should separate them and it may be worth taking the aggressor to the vet. There is a chance your Pigs might not be able to live in the same cage.

    Find out how much Guinea Pig insurance is with ExoticDirect.

    How to stop a Guinea Pig fight

    When Guinea Pigs are fighting it’s easy for an owner to get caught in the crossfire and end up with a nasty bite. Before you attempt to break up a fight make sure you have thick gloves or a towel to protect your hands.

    If you feel you can grab the aggressor, try to get to it quickly before it harms the other Pig. You may be able to put something between them, such as cardboard, to break up the fight but they can be difficult to separate.

    Once you have hold of one of them, follow the steps above and separate them so they’re different rooms and can’t see or hear each other.

    Can you put male Guinea Pigs in the same cage?

    Yes, as long the cage is big enough for two cavies. Guinea Pigs are social animals and housing them together can prevent loneliness.

    When they first meet or move in together they may need to assert dominance. It’s rare that fights break out and even rarer that two male Pigs aren’t compatible but it does happen.

    How do I stop my Guinea Pig from biting?

    If your Guinea Pig is biting toys or objects in a cage, that’s not a problem. But bites to its cage-mates, you or other handlers are an issue.

    Pigs can bite when they are scared, unhappy or in pain.

    One of the best ways to avoid bites is to acclimatise your pet to its surroundings and being handled when it is young or first moves into your home.

    Try putting your hand in its cage to let your Pig sniff it and climb on it. Once it is comfortable, pick it up and take it out of the cage.

    Don’t hold it too far from the ground otherwise it will get scared.

    Guinea Pigs can have sensitive areas that you’ll want to avoid putting pressure on while they’re being held. They may let you know with a little nibble.

    And don’t hold them or keep them out of the cage for too long. If they need the toilet, which they like to do in private, again they may let you know with a nibble. And the longer you hold while they need to do their business, the more they’re likely to bite you.

    If a Pig is grumpy because they’re ill, injured, hungry or unhappy with the space they have they may be likely to bite.

    If it is a regular occurrence, try to work out what is causing the problem, you may need to take your pet to the vet. You can find a vet here.

    Is your Guinea pig insured? Get a quote for up to £2,000 of vet fee cover | Insure up to 3 pets per policy | We’ve been insuring exotic pets since 1996 | Check out our customer reviews on Feefo.

    What to do if two female pigs are fighting

    Like males, females can fight for dominance. It’s not as common but sometimes one needs to show it is boss. Follow the above steps to separate them and try to work out what’s causing the rumble.

    Do Guinea Pigs attack or eat their babies?

    It’s extremely rare that Guinea Pigs harm their young. Some people suggest mothers attack their babies if they’re in pain, underfed or threatened by other Pigs in the cage. It’s best to speak to a vet if you’re concerned about a pregnant Guinea Pig.

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