How to Choose the Habitat for Guinea Pigs
One of your major concerns if you have opted to have a guinea pig as a pet providing the best habitat for it. To help you with this, we have created this post that will tell you exactly what you need to consider when choosing (or building, if you prefer to create) the best habitat for your pet.
Types of Housing
When deciding which guinea pig cage will provide the best habitat for your pet, you may opt to have a pre-built or those that are available on pet and feeder stores, either a ready-made or a custom-made housing, or you may also opt to build one yourself so you can decide how you would want the housing to feel and look for your pet and for those who may come to check how your pet is doing.
Here are the three types of housing that you may choose from:
Although aquariums remain a popular choice for housing, not only guinea pigs but also other small pets, it does not mean that it is the best housing material you can provide for your pet.
Since a glass enclosure like an aquarium is sealed and solid, it cannot provide the proper air circulation that your pet needs. Most aquariums available in stores may not also offer enough space for your guinea pig. Note that your pet is a social animal, which means it will best to keep two or more in a single cage. That also means the cage needs to be big enough to provide these animals ample roaming ground. If not, they may just fight over the space and become stressed.
Allowing your pet to stay inside a totally sealed container such as an aquarium may also have difficulty adjusting to surrounding noises once you let it out. You see the sides of the aquarium can mask the surrounding noise and will prevent most of the sound from reaching the inside of the housing.
Pet Store Cages
Readily-made cages sold in pet stores may also not provide ample space for your pet to have a stress-free habitat, especially those that are sold as “starter homes.” If you want one that is large enough, then you will need to shell out more money to find a decent sized aquarium.
Cages built using storage cube grids and Coroplast.
These materials are usually available in big box stores. Coroplast, on the other hand, are most of the times available in sign shops. If you are a DIY fan, you can easily build an enclosure for your pet using these materials without having to spend much. Just make sure that you build one that will provide enough space for your pet to roam around.
Below is the recommended size that you need to provide for your pet/s:
- A single guinea pig needs about 7.5 square feet cage (minimum). Allowing more room than this is definitely better. Generally, one that has about 30″ x 36″ is just about right.
- Two guinea pigs will also fit comfortably in a 7.5 square feet (minimum) enclosure. However, providing more space is preferred (about 10.5 square feet). In general, one that has about 30″ x 50″ living space is good enough.
- Three guinea pigs will need about 13 square feet of space. One that offers a living space of about 30″ x 62″ is considered a good size cage.
- Four guinea pigs will also fit in a 13 square feet (minimum) enclosure. However, it will be better if you can find or build one that can provide more space. One with about 30″ x 76″ is a good size.
Cages made of other materials
You can always be resourceful and creative when it comes to the enclosure that you will provide to your pet. Just make sure that it is safe and has been set-up to provide all other essentials for your pet.
Things to remember when choosing or building the right habitat for guinea pigs
Making sure that your pet’s habitat is made of safe materials and that it provides enough space to help your pet stay active and satisfied are not the only things that you need to keep in mind. You also need to consider the following elements that will make your pet’s new habitat a perfect one.
Location is another factor that you need to think about when looking for the best habitat for your pet. You need to make sure that the cage or enclosure is not placed in a room where the temperature is more than 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It should not be located where a direct heat of the sun and other heat sources may hit it like wood stoves, heating vents, and so on. Since guinea pigs don’t sweat so they can easily suffer from a heat stroke or heat exhaustion. This means you have to make sure that your pet’s cage is placed where the temperature is just right to keep it cool.
You also need to make sure to keep your cavy’s cage is placed away from damp and humid places as this can lead to the formation of molds in the cage and can make your pig prone to sickness.
Your pet will thank you for providing the right bedding and other accessories that will make living more convenient for it. No pine shavings and cedar for the beddings as these are considered not safe for your pet. You may use recycled paper products, pelleted litter made from recycled paper and aspen bark. Two-Inch best bedding for guinea pig is preferred as your cavy loves to burrow.
You will also need to have a nesting box where your pet can rest.
Your pet will also need a separate space for meals
Have a water bowl and food bowl ready and have them and the cage properly maintained regularly.
There you have it, the basic recommendations in building an appropriate housing for your guinea pig. Hope this helps.