About Guinea Pig Manual
It is all about Guinea Pigs!
Welcome to the Guinea Pig Manual. Here you will learn all about guinea pigs: how to feed them, handle them, about their behaviour, how to choose a cage, bedding, about their health, social life, and much more – everything you need to know about guinea pig care in one place. Verified, concise, and user-friendly. Go on, read further!
This page contains general information about guinea pig care.
Guinea Pig Manual topics are available on the main menu.
Guinea Pig as a Pet
Whether you are a new owner, or experienced one, there is always room to learn more about these delicate creatures – also known as the cavy. This website is created for all of you guinea pig caretakers (popularly known as: guinea pig slaves) – new ones, experienced ones, young ones, older ones, whether you are living in a city apartment, in the suburban house, in the village house, or on one of the moons of Saturn.
If there is a proper guinea pig care, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you live – guinea pig is a fun and rewarding pet to have around. Don’t be scared – guinea pigs are not really demanding when comparing them to some other popular pets, but they have continuous need for attention and gentle care. As they live up to about 8 years (in average), they are a long-term commitment, and not just a temporary casual fun. If properly cared for, they will be in your life for a long time!
Most popular for their “WHEEKING” sound, they know how to communicate with their owners, and are known as chatty and very intelligent animals, considering their size. You can learn all these guinea pig sounds right here on this website, and start communicating with your pet in no time!
Besides their verbal capabilities, there are some non-verbal behaviors that you should know about. They are also fun to observe! Things like grooming, “popcorning”, “penguining”, running laps, etc., are specific behaviors of guinea pigs that you can’t miss. Their yawning, or curling inside your lap is simply adorable. Learn these behaviors and their meanings on our Guinea Pig Behaviour page.
Of course, we understand that one of the first questions regarding choosing a new pet would be: How much does a guinea pig cost? What does it need? How much all of this costs?
The answer: not much, really! If you are in a position to adopt a cavy, this would be HIGHLY preferable, as there are many countries (especially in the US) with overpopulated animal shelters, whose animals desperately need a new home. There you go – you could get a guinea pig for free, AND save the animal. As for you folks who live in countries where guinea pig is more exotic and not too much around, I would estimate that their individual price is about 10$ (this is from my experience, feel free to correct me if I am wrong).
They love to eat. They are eating (grazing) all the time. Most basic stuff you need to provide for them is: Hay, fresh water, and guinea pig pellets. They must have those ALL THE TIME, and they are not expensive – especially if you own your own meadows. Also, you need to give them vegetables, occasional fruit treats, and make sure they get enough Vitamin C, because like us, they can’t produce it by themselves in their bodies.
As you can see, they are strict herbivores. You can learn all about what food you should give them, how frequently, and what food to avoid, on our Guinea Pig Eating Page. One great thing about their diet is that it can have a definite positive influence on your own!
Important thing about these little creatures is knowing that they are social animals, and are programmed by nature to live in herds. What this means for you is that it would be best if you could have at least two guinea pigs living together – not just one. Either way, you need to spend time with them every day, but they would live more fulfilling life if they could have a company of their own kind.
How to care for more than one guinea pig, what to watch for when combining and preparing them for their life together, what are things like spaying or neutering, which ones are boars, which ones are sows, and so on, is a subject of our article about Introducing new guinea pigs.
Being delicate animals, their health is also something you should be closely taking care about. Did you know this: As prey animals, guinea pigs HIDE their signs of illness and pain, in order to avoid attention to themselves from their predators! That includes you – we all pretty much look like a giant predators to them, so they will instinctively hide their ailments, like everything is just fine.
Unfortunately, when sick, their condition could worsen rapidly, and they could die sooner than expected. Luckily, you can learn enough of their health and symptoms of sickness, and monitoring methods like weighing, too watch for them and take them to the vet if there would be a need. Go to our Guinea Pig Health page and start learning – it could someday save your pet’s life.
So you have your own place to live and you believe that it would be only fair that your guinea pigs also have their own place to live. That really is only fair. So, what would you need? Remember this: guinea pigs need a large cage. Large enough to run, jump, sleep, play and poo in it. Also, as prey animals, they feel safe when hiding, so you would need (to build or to buy) a hiding place, like a small wooden house – and this should also fit in the cage.
Furthermore, install the water bottle, some feeding bowl, put some toys inside, cover the whole place with chosen bedding materials, and they are ready to move in! Read more about this subject on our Guinea Pig Cages page.
There are several options which you can use as a bedding material, which for example include wooden shavings, paper, hay, polyester fleece, cloth, etc., or combinations of some of these options. All of them have both advantages and disadvantages, and it finally is up to you which one will you use. However, there are some you should NEVER use – more on this on our Guinea Pig Bedding page.
Indeed, there is much to learn. But don’t worry, we will be here for you – and not only here, but also on Android and iPhone. Check the navigation on the right to download free apps for your phone. If you need quick info about guinea pig care, check our Quick Guinea Pig Manual page, or if you wish to avoid most common guinea pig care mistakes, check our popular article 20 Mistakes: How to Kill Your Pet – but try to accept our (sometimes a little strange) humor in the process. We also have most popular guinea pig care tips, instructions on how to handle your pet, and what to do in the case if you are allergic to guinea pigs.
Guinea Pig Care Manual
So, are you ready to learn? I hope that you will find this Manual useful and easy to use. You can always TEST your knowledge on our popular Guinea Pig Care Test. If you have any questions regarding guinea pig care, simply wish to chat, to share pictures of your pets, advices, funny stories, or to meet new guinea pig lovers, please feel free to use our Guinea Pig Forum. If you would have any problems with registering or using the forum, feel free to contact me directly.
If you need some gifts with cute guinea pig pictures, we have covered that too. Visit our Guinea Pig Manual Zazzle Store and simply choose your desired product. There are some really great ones! And when buying, you directly help our local animal shelters.
And, last but not least – We have a really great Facebook page. If you like us, you will receive out popular and valuable Tip of the Wheek! meme-like tips on guinea pig care. Take care and hope to hear from you!