AJ Cavies

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Housing

Big is best, and bigger is even better! Guinea pigs just love to run around and jump about (popcorning) so please make sure their home is as large as possible (min 3ft long for 2 Guinea pigs) and has easy access for cleaning. This will need to be done weekly using a good quality disinfectant. If the hutch is to be sited outdoors it will need to be in a sheltered spot away from draughts, the elements and predators. It needs to be dry and well ventilated. Your Guinea Pig likes to be kept cool in the summer and warm in the winter (much like humans really) but in the summer they can be put out in runs on the lawn as they make excellent lawn mowers, please make sure they have some shade though! (However, if you have treated your grass recently, your guineas could ingest poisons, so do be aware). They are though, brilliant pets to be kept indoors. Those that are lucky enough to live indoors tend to be friendlier as they are more integrated into the family and no they don’t smell either! Watching them having fun beats watching TV any day.

Inside the hutch usually a layer of newspaper then some warm bedding on top preferably good quality hay. Chopped straw or Aspen (available from Frosbury farm, Gravetts Lane, Worplesdon, Surrey) Please do not use sawdust as this can lead to respiratory problems, they are burrowing animals after all and fine dust up their noses can be a quite a problem. Sawdust can also be very drying on the skin. but with hay it means they can nibble the bedding throughout the day too. Nice eh? Lining the bottom of the hutch first makes it easier to clean out, just roll everything up and get it recycled. Easy! Keeping your Guinea really clean will help to prevent mites etc too. Oh and they never want to live with a rabbit either (nice as they are) they will just try to mate Guinea pigs and can cause some very nasty injuries and of course stress.

During the winter your Guinea pigs can remain outdoors if given plenty of bedding and covered over each night and better still if you have a shed, summer house, wendy house, utility room, garage with no car, outbuilding are all ideal. You won't want to be outside cleaning an outdoor hutch out in the freezing cold, driving rain and howling gales so why not make it easy.