Guinea pigs are gentle, loveable, and rarely bite or scratch. They come in a variety of colors and coats. Their vocabulary includes about 9 sounds, ranging from whistling to purring to squealing. They are active in the morning and evening, but easily adjust to the household routine. They love to explore new areas, but if they get scared they will either freeze or scatter in different directions.


They are very social animals and can live with other guinea pigs. Male guinea pigs should not be housed together. If aggression is noticed, you need to separate your pigs right away. You may notice them engaging in “barbering” (chewing on each others hair); this is normally not an aggressive behavior. It can be caused by many things, such as boredom, excitement, or dietary deficiencies.

When housing multiple guinea pigs, the cage needs to be large enough for food dishes, toys, and still allow room for them to move around. The cage for a single guinea pig should be at least 24inch w X 18inch h. The cage should have a wire top and sides with a solid base; wire flooring can cause irritation to their feet. Wire sides allows plenty of airflow and ventilation in the cage. Guinea pigs should be housed where there are no drafts, chills, excessive heat, or sudden temperature changes. The base of the cage should be three inches high to keep the bedding in, yet still allows the pig to see what’s going on around them.

Their bedding should be at least two inches deep, nontoxic, nonabrasive, dust free, and absorbent. Saw dust should never be used.


Guinea pigs can get bored very quickly. They should be given toys such as, a running wheel, escape tunnels (PVC piping big enough for them to run through), ladders, and plywood boxes to keep them entertained.


Guinea pigs are herbivores. They need to be fed a pelleted diet made for guinea pigs. It should contain at least 16% crude protein. Timothy hay and fresh water should be offered daily. Guinea pigs cannot produce vitamin C, therefore a vitamin C supplement should be added to their water. Other options for vitamin C are cabbage, kale, or a small piece of an orange. Treats can be offered in moderation. The following can be fed as treats:

  • Lettuce
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Pea Pods
  • Pears
  • Apples
  • Pineapple
  • Papaya
  • Blueberries

Guinea pigs pass special feces called cecotropes. By ingesting these droppings, they are provided with proteins and vitamins.

Health Care

Guinea pigs should be examined by a veterinarian twice a year. Their toenails should be trimmed every two weeks and their teeth need to be trimmed as needed. Common health concerns are colds, diarrhea, weight loss or gain, not eating, inactivity, eye or nasal discharge, hair loss, and limping. If any of these symptoms occur you should have your guinea pig examined right away.