A guinea pig is one of the most popular pets – especially with young children.
These pets are low maintenance, kid friendly and come in several breeds and colors. They are even good snuggle buds as they are very social and can be easily trained. The more comfortable they get with their environment the more they’ll open up.
If you’re looking for a guinea pig checklist for first timers, you’re in the right place. The checklist below is set up for pretty much anyone who owns a guinea pig. If you’re not sure if you have everything you need just give this list a scan and see what else you may have missed.
Below you will find several checklists outlining what you need to properly care, feed, groom and house your new guinea pig!
Basic Checklist for a New Guinea Pig
- A large guinea pig cage or a large hutch if your guinea pig will be outdoors.
- A water bottle suitable for the number of guinea pigs you’ll have.
- A good quality bedding so your guinea pigs are more comfortable.
- You’ll want to make sure you have some vegetables, fruits, pellets and hay for your guinea pig.
- You will want to make sure you get nesting material such as wood chips or recycled paper pulp.
- You’ll want to make sure you have some toys for your guinea pig to stay active.
- A ceramic bowl or dish to place feed into for your guinea pig.
- You’ll want some chew toys such as gnaw sticks.
Guinea Pig Daily Care Checklist & Guide
Your guinea pig will rely on having a regular routine when it comes to their diet and care. A guinea pig’s daily needs can be hard to remember. It’s best to make a really simple “guinea pig chore chart”.
Below are the essential tasks you need to do every day for your guinea pig.
- Give them fresh vegetables that are rich in vitamins, especially Vitamin C.
- Give them fresh water every morning as a guinea pig can drink anywhere from 50ml to 300ml per day.
- Do a spot clean of their cage and clear out soiled bedding, leftover food and any droppings to prevent mold.
- Replenish their hay supply and make sure you stay on top of it throughout the day.
- Give them fresh pellets to ensure they are getting the nutrients they need.
- Make sure you give them proper play and floor time (leave the cage) so they can grow comfortable with you and their surroundings.
Guinea Pig Weekly Care Checklist & Guide
Even though you’ll be taking care of your guinea pig daily, it’s important to not ignore their needs beyond daily treatment. Typically your weekly tasks will be a little bit more time consuming. If you keep up on your daily task list it should make them go faster.
Below are the essential tasks you should be doing weekly for your guinea pig.
- Do a full deep clean of the cage by adding in a new lining, cleaning out the litter box, wiping down the cage, washing all dishes and the water bottle, etc.
- Give your guinea pigs a weigh and make sure they are not losing weight as weight loss can be a sign your guinea pig is getting sick if it’s abnormal.
- Give your guinea pig a health check for early signs of health issues. You’ll want to look at their eyes, ears, mouth, feet and skin.
- Make sure your groom your guinea pigs by brushing their hair, trimming their nails to 1/4 of an inch and cleaning their butt.
Guinea Pig Weekly Health Check
Guinea pigs often will hide their healthy problems and it’s rather difficult to spot them without further investigation. This behavior is instinctive as guinea pigs that showed signs of weakness in the wild were often picked off by predators.
No guinea pig is the same so you’ll want to start your weight and health checks as soon as you get your guinea pig and start keeping track of what seems normal to you and what does not.
Below you’ll find the necessary things you’ll need to do each week to make sure your guinea pig isn’t hiding any health issues or illness.
- Do a weigh-in with your guinea pig. There is no set “normal” weight for a guinea pig but you’ll want to start weighing them as soon as you can and keep track of their weight. You’ll want to spot a pattern for gain or loss in weight. If your guinea pig is starting to lose weight too frequently it may be a sign they are getting sick.
- Check your guinea pig’s eyes. You’ll want to look for crust around them, discoloration or if they are “weepy” where they can barely open their eyes. If they have any of these you should call your veterinarian.
- Check your guinea pig’s ears. You’ll want to gently clean around their ears and look for any excess wax build-up or unexplained black dots. If you have any of these you’ll want to get your guinea pig into the vet.
- Check your guinea pig’s mouth. Make sure you don’t see any crust or sores within the mouth and that the teeth appear healthy. If the teeth are getting longer, sharper or even angled you will want to see your vet.
- Check your guinea pig’s feet. Make sure your guinea pig is not getting sores or swelling on their feet. If they pull away from you as you touch their feet it could be a sign they are in pain.
- Check your guinea pig’s skin. Your guinea pig’s skin should be pink and supple. Gently pet your guinea pig and move it’s hair around to see the skin and make sure you don’t see any sores. Make sure their butt and genitals are nice and clean and no sores there either.
- Give you guinea pig’s hair a good brush and trim their hair as needed.
- Keep their nails trimmed and try to only trim off 1/4 of an inch. Do not trim the nails quickly and go slow as guinea pig’s do have nerve endings in their nails and going too far down will cause your guinea pig a lot of pain and blood.
- Make sure you are bathing them and getting any stuck food, poop or other debris off of them.