So you just got a guinea pig and you want to know what the essentials are. There are a whole range of things that you are going to need to get a hold of if you want to own a guinea pig. These can go from simply owning a guinea pig cage all the way to making sure you have a suitable chew toy for your little guy. I have created this beginner guinea pig checklist for people who have just bought a guinea pig and are still unsure of what else they might need. Let me tell ya though, it doesn’t stop with just the guinea pig.
It’s important to know what not to feed them, as there are plenty of items that may seem harmless but can actually cause significant health issues. They should eat vitamin C-rich foods such as green leafy vegetables and capsicums.
In this list, I have included the price, the reason you need it, and a link to the best option currently out on the market. At the bottom of the list, I have created a running total of how much you can expect to pay when it comes to owning a guinea pig. Prices do fluctuate from month to month but things should be roughly accurate.
So here we go, here is the ultimate beginner guinea pig checklist:
This one goes without saying but getting the right-sized guinea pig home can be harder than you think. Believe it or not, most of the guinea pig ‘homes’ that are rated for one guinea pig are simply too small. The best options are usually classified as ‘guinea pig cages for two.’ While they are great for two guinea pigs, they are also the smallest I would go for in regards to a cage for one guinea pig.
You want to make sure you get a guinea pig home that is going to last and be easy to clean all the while providing enough space for your little guy to roam around in. Also, as time goes on your guinea pig will accumulate little extra things like a drip feeder or chew toy.
Checklist Item #2 – Bedding
Second up is bedding. There is a load of different types of bedding out there and you want to get something that is absorbent, warm, and chemical-free. Bedding is fortunately pretty cheap, and easily accessible. If you don’t want to buy a disposable material, get hold of fleece bedding. After each use, you can wash them down and re-use them. If you would like to learn a bit more about bedding, check out this article here.
Environmentally speaking, the fleece bedding is a much better option. As far as money-saving in the long run goes, this is a much better option as well simply due to their reusability.
Checklist Item #3 – Guinea Pig Water Bottle
A lot of people toss-up between getting a guinea pig bowl and a drip feeder. Honestly, I prefer using a drip feeder when it comes to providing my guinea pig with water. So when deciding, you want to get a water bottle that is BPA-free, has a decent capacity (11 ounces and up), and is made from quality material.
On top of this, there is a real tendency for drip feeders too, well, drip a lot. You want to make sure the nozzle is made of quality material, ideally stainless steel. I tend to recommend Living World’s product in this case, which is made of glass.
Checklist Item #4 – Food
A balanced diet is essential. Guinea pigs have a pretty wide-ranging set of dietary requirements so getting hold of nutritious food is essential. I recommend getting hold of something that is designed especially for guinea pigs and supplementing their diet with whole vegetables/fruits. If you are unsure of what you can or can’t feed your guinea pig check out my ultimate guinea pig food list here. Alternatively, if you are after some bulk guinea pig food, check this article out here.
A balanced diet is essential, just make sure you switch things up here and there.
Checklist Item #5 – Chew Toy
Believe it or not, guinea pig’s teeth, unlike humans, constantly grow. As a result, they need something that will wear their teeth down, and in a healthy way. What do I mean by the healthy way? You want them to chew on something that is not made entirely out of plastic or out of any plastic for that matter!
Typically, in the wild, male and female guinea pigs would be chewing on all sorts of things that cause this natural wearing down to take place.
As I always say, try and replicate your guinea pig’s natural environment as much as possible.
Checklist Item #6 – Vitamin C Supplement
Believe it or not, one of the more common deficiencies that guinea pigs face is the lack of vitamin C in their diet! You need to find some way to keep this essential vitamin within your daily/weekly food intake. There are plenty of options out there in terms of vitamin C supplements. I have found that tablets aren’t the easiest to encourage your guinea pig to eat. A subtle mist tends to work much better. This spray means you can easily ensure that your guinea pig is eating the vitamin C you are actually giving it.
I recommend getting hold of the mist before you actually need it and spraying your guinea pig’s food occasionally. If you want to know a bit more about guinea pigs and vitamin C check out this article here.
On top of this, I have written a pretty in-depth article that focuses on the best vitamin C supplements you can currently buy. Feel free to check it out here.
So there you, that’s my whole list of all the beginner guinea pig essentials. As time goes on, you will realize there are a few extra things you may need here and there. For example, I have bought a guinea pig travel carrier and air purifier. However, these are a little extra that you may find you do or don’t need later down the road.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments section. I’ll do my absolute best to answer.
In conclusion, whether you are a first-time guinea pig owner or not, it is important to be prepared. A dietary source of vitamin C because, unlike humans, guinea pigs cannot synthesize vitamin C from other food substances. By following this beginner guinea pig checklist, you can ensure that your new furry friend has everything they need and that you are set up for success. If you have any other questions, be sure to consult with your veterinarian.