Everything you need to get started - A beginners guide to guinea pigs
Are you thinking about adopting your first guinea pigs? Are you unsure what exactly you need before bringing them home? Well we are here to help clear up any confusion and ensure your new family members have everything they need to live happy and healthy.
1. Cage / Enclosure
Firstly, you need to provide them with an enclosure or cage to live in. We strongly recommend Ozzy cages for a number of reasons, as they provide a number of benefits over other types of housing, which you can read more here. The first part of our beginner series covers choosing the right size Ozzy cage for your family, which you can also find here.
Ideally you want to avoid any cages with wire flooring as it can cause injury and inflammation to the sensitive paw pads. One of the most common misconceptions is that guinea pigs are small animals and therefore require small cages, however guinea pigs are actually very active animals and require a reasonably large floor space to stay fit and healthy.
To make things easy Guinea Pigs Australia has a range of bundles and kits available for purchase that includes everything you need to set up and build your own Ozzy cage - including grid panels, connectors, ties, corflute bases and fasteners.
2. Corflute Base
Your Ozzy Cage kit will come fitted with a corflute base in the size of your choice. There is also heaps of colours to choose from including white, lime, purple, yellow, pink and blue to add a personal touch!
The corflute base not only acts as the bottom of the cage, it also helps to contain any mess, and is waterproof avoiding any leaks or stains onto the floor below.
Having the correct bedding is one of the most important parts of guinea pig care, as hard, abrasive or uneven surfaces can cause injuries to the foot pads and cause conditions such as bumblefoot which can be very painful and even life threatening.
Ozzy vet bed liners are Veterinary Approved bedding, and known for its soft, padded texture, moisture wicking and hypoallergenic properties, and not to mention a variety of fun colours and patterns. There are a number of different bedding options available and ultimately comes down to personal preference, however the most important aspects to consider when choosing a bedding type is to choose something soft, absorbent, and easy to clean.
It's important to provide clean, fresh water daily to your guinea pigs and having at least 1 water sipper available is a must. We will cover more on diet in part 3 of this series.
Now comes the fun part - customising your cage and adding fun toys and accessories! We recommend at least 1 hidey space per guinea pig, however the rest is up to you! The HAYPIGS circus range is a definite favourite amongst the GPA team!
6. Adding your guinea pigs
Yay! It's finally time to add your guinea pigs to their new home.
Check out our Beginners Guide to Guinea pigs here:
Stay tuned for Part 3: What foods do guinea pigs need