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General Im helping a family take care of 3 guinea pigs...


New Member
Cavy Gazer
Jul 26, 2020
I volunteered to help a family take care of a herd they bought for their 7 year old son. They were abandoned and then this family adopted them, so the guinea pigs' ages are unknown. The store says they're girls. These are their first pets.
Now for the questions:
1) They keep fighting with each other and biting each other. Could this be because the cage is too small?
2) What's a good sized cage for 3 guinea pigs?
3) What's good beddings for guinea pigs?
4) I know it's not good to use hay as a bedding, but when I told the mom this she wanted to know why?
5) The mom said that she started by only putting the hay in a corner of the cage, but the guinea pigs kept fighting over it. If a hay rack is used, how do we prevent this?
6) The cage is outside. Is this bad?
7) What good toys are there? Can you provide links?
8) What types of chew toys do guinea pigs need?
9) Do guinea pigs get territorial? How do you prevent this?
10) How to prevent them from biting each other?
11) How to prevent them from fighting each other?
12) Differences between owning 2 and owning 3?
13) How to prevent them from being nervous around the kids?
14) how to tame them?
15) how to clean wood cages?
16) Do guinea pigs need litter boxes? Can you potty train them?
17) Do they need food bowls? What are the options regarding ways of feeding them?
18) What are safe/unsafe fruits and veggies?
19) Do guinea pigs need pellets? What vitamins do they need? What's a good diet to feed them?
20) How often should you give them baths? How?

As you can tell, I dont know a lot about guinea pigs, so would really appreciate if you could answer all my questions.
Thanks in advance!

This forum has answers to all of your questions and information regarding things you haven't even thought of yet! I would recommend you take time to read through this forum. Also here is good info: https://www.guinealynx.info/healthycavy.html

In the meantime, I will answer a few of your questions. The first thing I would also advise you to do is make sure they are all 3 females....compare their private parts to make sure they are the same. Don't trust a store or someone else's word for it...check for yourself. https://www.guinealynx.info/sexing.html
Do NOT keep males and females together if they are not neutered or spayed for any length of time. Separate them immediately and keep them apart.

1. I would bet that the cage is too small. Guinea pigs need a lot of room in order to get along. If you have males, you will need even MORE room.

2. Cage sizes: https://www.guineapigcagesstore.com/about-candccages

3. Bedding: I personally use fleece pads that are two layers of fleece with an absorbent layer in the middle. These need to be changed and washed regularly (sometimes every day in favorite spots). https://www.guinealynx.info/bedding.html

4. Hay is not suitable as the only source of bedding. It can become a wet, stinky mess... but it's great to have large piles of it in the cage because it's a guinea pig's primary food and it is absolutely necessary to have unlimited clean, quality hay for them to eat at all times. They need it for nutrition, gut health and to maintain healthy teeth.

5. Be careful with hay racks due to potential injury. A big pile of hay or several piles spread about the cage is great.

6. It is not recommended to house guinea pigs outside. Uncontrolled variances of heat, humidity, cold...will all increase the risk of potential heat stroke, fungal infections, and upper respiratory infections. They are also most likely to be forgotten about (out of sight, out of mind) therefore not cared for properly. Also, they run into risks of bug infestations and predators who can harm or kill them.

7 & 8. Toys & chews. I use those from small pet select: https://shop.smallpetselect.com/collections/natural-toys-and-chews-for-guinea-pigs

9, 10 & 11. Yes guinea pigs can get territorial especially if they don't have enough room. With multiple pigs always use hideys and houses with 2 exits (to prevent pigs from getting trapped by another), give them a large cage so they all have their own space, make the cage wider with a C&C so they have room to maneuver past a nippy pig, make sure each pig has their own bed and water bottle, and I encourage C&C cages to have a large well built second level with 2 ramps to allow pigs to get away from each other without getting trapped (Do NOT attempt a flimsy, small second level...if you can't make it absolutely level and secure then do not risk it or your pigs!).

12. You will need MORE space, more water bottles and you will need to be prepared to clean more poop.

13 & 14. Careful, calm, patient handling with lots of yummy treats like a sprig of cilantro will make them less skittish. Just remember these are not dogs...they are prey animals...so to them everything is out to eat them so they instinctually will run and hide... that's a guinea pig! They are also fragile so please do not allow a small child to handle them without careful supervision. A small child can hold too tight or easily drop them with devastating consequences for the pig.

15. Cleaning wood cages effectively and thoroughly is nearly impossible. Please consider a different type of cage before it becomes an unsanitary home for your pigs.

16. Guinea pigs poop where they eat and sleep. That's the nature of a guinea pig.

17. Yes, they need a food bowl for pellets.

18. They should have fresh veggies daily. Green leaf or red leaf lettuce and green pepper are basics. Food chart for fresh veggies & fruit: https://www.guinealynx.info/chart.html

19. Pellets that are recommended are Oxbow or KMS brand. Nothing with seeds or colored bits. Do Not put any supplements, such as vitamin C, in their water.

20. They do not need regular bathing and you must be very careful when doing so. Avoid eyes and ears. Keep them warm and away from drafts until dry.

Hope this helps.
This forum has answers to all of your questions and information regarding things you haven't even thought of yet! I would recommend you take time to read through this forum. Also here is good info: https://www.guinealynx.info/healthycavy.html I will answer a few of your questions.

@Smileandnod, I commend you for taking the time and having the patience to answer all these questions. I'm afraid that I lack the patience to do this. The OP should be doing her research and homework BEFORE asking all these questions. I spent a good 3-4 days just reading through previous posts and learning all I could before I dared to post for the first time.

People seem to overlook the "Search" function on the Forum. There are posts going back at least to 2004 that will answer just about any question that a newbie might have.
I think one can totally leave the fan on for guinea pigs, having said that do not blow the fan directly onto the guinea pigs and also make sure they have enough room to move away from it if they wish to. if you point fans directly at guinea pigs that can cause Upper Respiratory Infection. however guinea pigs can be in an airconditioned room, it's the hot stuff that gets to them.
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