Guinea Pig Care 101

Are you looking for a small pet that is big on personality? If so, a Guinea pig, or cavy, may be a perfect match for you! These tiny furballs are super cute, gentle, and easy to care for, so it’s no wonder they are so popular. A Niwot, CO veterinarian discusses Guinea pig care basics below.


Making sure your tiny furball has a suitable, comfortable habitat is very important. For one cavy, you’ll want to get a cage that offers at least 7.5 feet of floor space. If you have more than one Guinea pig, you’ll need something larger. Generally, get the biggest cage you can, and make sure it offers plenty of ventilation. To increase your furball’s living space, look for a two-story cage. After you have chosen the habitat, you’ll need to add a suitable substrate, such as aspen. Avoid pine or cedar substrates, as these are toxic to small animals. Your furry buddy will also need at least one hidey-hole, a food dish, and a water bottle. These little guys can be potty-trained, so pick up a litter box as well!


You can feed your furry pal a commercial food, such as pellets, for his main meals. You’ll need to supplement this with fruits and veggies to round out your pet’s nutritional requirements. Make sure to include plenty of foods that contain Vitamin C, as it is essential for cavies. Some good options are carrots, cilantro, sweet green peppers, and Swiss chard. Always research new foods before giving them to your tiny buddy, to be sure it is safe. Hay is great for Guinea pigs, so give your little furball plenty of quality hay, such as Timothy hay.


Just like people, cavies often get bored and restless without mental stimulation. Make sure your little buddy has plenty of toys. Guinea pigs must chew to keep their teeth in good condition, so offer lots of chewable playthings. Cardboard, paper, wicker, and wood toys are all suitable options. When choosing your cavy’s toys, avoid anything with tiny pieces that could choke your little furball. You’ll also want to stay away from items that have been painted, dyed, or varnished, as well as anything with sharp edges.

Do you have any questions about caring for your Guinea pig? Call us! As your local Niwot, CO vet clinic, we are always happy to help!

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