Housing

 

Adequate housing is a major factor in the maintenance of healthy pets. Guinea pigs can be housed within enclosures made of wire, stainless steel, durable plastic, or glass. The latter three materials are preferred since they resist corrosion. Wood should not be used due to difficulty in cleaning and susceptibility to destructive gnawing. Ideally, the enclosure should have an open side for adequate ventilation, so be careful when using aquariums. In addition, the cage must be free of sharp edges and other potential hazards. The enclosure size should allow for normal guinea pig activity. Approximately 100 square inches of floor area per adult guinea pig is recommended.

 

Bedding material must be clean, nontoxic, absorbent, relatively dust-free and easy to replace. Products like CAREFRESH pet bedding, commercial pellets, recycled newspaper, and processed ground corncob work well. Sawdust should be avoided because it tends to collect within the external genitalia of males. Traditionally pine shavings have been used as bedding material for these animals, but recent studies indicate that the phenols in pine that cause their aroma, also can lead to health problems in animals that have direct exposure over an extended period of time. Aspen bedding is a much better and safer choice.

 

Never use cedar or pine shavings for Guinea Pigs, as the phenols are very strong and cause serious respiratory, skin, coat and liver problems.