The Guinea Pig “To Do List”

The daily schedule for a guinea pig can range; here are the things required to keep your guinea pig happy and healthy.

Many may think that a rodent from a pet store or breeder is an easy animal to get and maintain. Many purchases for their young kids in the assumption that is it an easy pet to care for but surprisingly some can be more high maintenance than dogs and cats at times. For example, guinea pigs require a lot of daily care, love, exercise and food management. Although it may not seem like it is needed for such a small animal, on the contrary, constant care is very demanded from them.

A daily/weekly and bi-weekly routine for a guinea pig would consist of:

  • Morning:
    • Replenish water (unlimited)
    • Replenish pellets (1/8 cup of pellets per guinea pig)
    • Replenish Timothy hay (other hays should only be given as treats, and in moderation, timothy hay can be given all the time/anytime)
    • 1 cup of leafy greens such as kale, spinach, romaine lettuce, and parsley
  • Afternoon:
    • Replenish Timothy hay, vitamin C/hair and coat vitamin/urinary vitamin clear cage depending on the type of bedding. For example, shavings can last a few days to a week. Cloth bedding should be changed daily to every couple of days due to pneumonia in the urine)
    • Replenish water if needed
  • Evening:
    • Replenish Timothy hay
    • Check water
    • Exercise, free-range or outdoor cage (depending on weather circumstances but do require 1-2 hours of physical/mental stimulation a day)
    • Give lots of love and attention
  • Every couple of days:
    • Allow them to have different types of fruits and vegetables in moderation, giving them too many at a time can make them diabetic and or cause further health issues down the road. Always keep an eye on their urine, darker urine states that you have been feeding them too many carrots or a potential urinary tract infection.
    • Other vegetables such as cucumbers, peppers, broccoli, and carrots can be fed in moderation but not on a daily basis.
  • Weekly basis:
    • Check nails to see how long they are and if they need trimming. If they do need trimming the easiest way is to distract them with some leafy greens whilst cutting them down. Hold/support them by the belly and bum and have another trim or take them to a veterinary clinic to have them trimmed regularly. All fruits should be given in moderation, ideally once but at most twice a week. Fruits such as strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, blueberries, raspberries, bananas, pears, melon, apricots, cherries, and cranberries can all be fed to guinea pigs in moderation!
  • Bi-weekly basis:
    • Monitor their teeth to make sure they are in impacting their mouths. If they show a lack of interest in food that there potentially could be a problem. Actively checking their mouths every few weeks helps prevent further issues.

With all of these tips, a guinea pig should be able to live a long and healthy life. The life expectancy can last up to nine years, potentially longer if they are bonded with another pig!

If you have any questions about your guinea pig’s health, give us a call at 519.773.3911.

Written by: Sydney, CCR