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General Getting my first two guinea pigs on Monday


Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Dec 14, 2011
So I have the cage built, and I have been approved for the adoption of 2 female guinea pigs. I am going to get them the day after Christmas.
Now I need to go on a shopping spree...

The cage is completely empty

What do I need to buy for the piggies?
The only things they need are water bottles and pellet dishes. Step stools from the dollar store make good hideys and perches. Some cozies or pads to sleep on would be appreciated.

You need some small critter shampoo (I use Squeaky Clean, but Gorgeous Guineas stuff is nice --has to be ordered online), something to clip their nails with (I like cat nail clippers, but some people prefer people nail clippers), and that's about all. You can get other things, of course, but that's all you really need.

Just don't be taken in by all the crap that pet stores sell "made exclusively for guinea pigs." Most of it is just that -- crap. Save your money for herbs from the grocery store.
I am going to grow an indoor herb garden this year. What are some herbs piggies like to eat?
If you want to go beyond needing, they would appreciate some chew toys or fun toys that they can play with when your not with them. They would also like some hidey houses or you could just put a pile of fleece for them to hide in and dig in. I adivse not getting guinea pig nail clippers, go for cat as bpatters advised, because just from experience the products from pet stores made specially for that pet usually don't work and break easily or can harm your pet. So you really have to look for the right quality stuff. I wouldn't go with big brands like Superpet and so on because their products and pet store products and truly crap, I agree. Good Luck with your new piggies! :)
Where does everyone shop for bedding/hay/food?
One more thing on the needing part, you also need bedding. :) I recommend CareFresh. Do NOT use Pine or Cedar shavings as they can cause severe liver damage. As for the herbs, Basil, (both red and greeen) parsley, cilantro and thyme are all safe for guinea pigs. I'm sure there is more, but that's all I could fine at the moment. Hope I helped! :)
Cilantro is referred to as "piggie crack", and is a great daily staple to feed. Dill can be fed a few times a week as well as basil & thyme, although my pigs won't even touch anything that has been in contact with basil & thyme as it's "tainted".
Depending on the age of the pigs I would be careful with parsley because of the high calcium content, especially if you have sludge or stone prone pigs.

You can also grow wheat grass (cat grass but cheaper), in pots by a window all year around.

With cage accessories, a fleece forest is a clear favorite. Fleece strips hanging off a grid. As well as putting regular towels over corners. My pigs prefer things they can run through & boxes with two entrances compared with bulky pet store houses.
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I buy my CareFresh bedding at my local Chuck & Don's pet store, my Timothy hay at Target, my herbs at Target, I buy my pellets at Chuck & Don's and some toys and stuff carefully selected from Petsmart, even Cub, or Chuck & Don's. Depending on your location, stores and products vary. Hope I helped! :)
You can also make homemade hidey houses and chew toys to save you money and to get a better product. I own a rabbit, so the responsibilities vary, but I am hoping to get a pair of guinea pigs soon, so I am learning as much about them as I can! :)
I get my Oxbow food and orchard grass and an occasional toy (chew ball) from here:
Small Pet Supplies: Quality Supplies For All Types of Small Pets

They often have sales on Oxbow food and hay which is when I stock up. I have rabbits and pigs and hamsters so it's easy for me to get free shipping with $49+ purchase.

Their prices are way cheaper than local pet stores and shipping is always super fast for me but I live in a neighboring state too. No tax saves some money too.
Ok so after reading I think I am going to buy wood pellets for bedding in the kitchen area and use fleece for the rest of the cage.
A water bottle
A food dish
pellets and hay
fresh veggies
a hidey
and I will prob use people nail clippers for nails (how often do you cut nails?)
Can shredded office paper be used as bedding also?
Yes, shredded office paper can be, as long as it has no ink on it, as the ink could be harmful to your piggies if ingested. I cut my rabbit's nails every 4-6 weeks, and I believe it is the same time frame for guinea pigs. :)
I found that shredded paper does not really absorb well and can be stinky very fast.

I use fleece in my whole cage and then have a litter box that I use for a hay box. I put a little bedding in this and change it every 1-2 days because this is where they (I have 2 pigs) pee most of the time.
Since it's just a quick dump of the box it only takes a few minutes to change. I found this to be economical and the cage looks nicer/cleaner overall.

I change the whole fleece pad 1x per week.
I read somewhere I needed to mix something w/ the wood pellets to make it softer. I am going to do fleece with a litter box for a kitchen area
Unless you have a pig with foot problems like reoccurring bumble foot, you don't need to mix in anything with wood pellets. You might however want to add a few cozies & soft places to sleep if you use wood pellets for your entire cage. regular shredded paper can cause paper cuts, and isn't absorbant enough & will get soggy & smelly quicky.

I cut my pigs nails every 4-6 weeks, as they were neglected they have very overgrown nails & pulps that won't be reduced, making it impossible to cut them more often. Every second week is recommended though.
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