Guinea Pig Housing
Guinea Pigs can live either outside or indoors. When you buy your first Guinea Pig you will see why most owners who have the space decide to keep them inside.
A lot of people keep Guinea Pigs with Rabbits. You should not do this! Rabbits are bigger than Guinea Pigs and have very powerful hind legs and will kick your Guinea Pig. Also they will try to mate with him. Even female Rabbits will try and have a go! Resulting in injury to a Guinea Pig.
Keeping your Guinea Pig in doors.
Guinea Pigs do not smell like hamsters or other small pets can. Their urine is odourless which means they are perfect to keep inside. As long as the cage is kept clean and cleaned out 2 times a week <depending on how many you have, the more piggies then the more often it will need bedding/newspaper replaced>.
If you keep him in doors for hygienic reasons its best to get a plastic bottomed cage as this wont soak in pee and can be washed with small animal disinfectant every time you clean his house out.
On the right is a picture of my cage (before
I got them a proper house) Kornage and Millie MooZer live
in this cage as my girls have to be kept apart (will explain
this in the section about My Piggies).
As you can see in the picture there is a hidey hole (the piggies temporary house) This is made from a cardboard box. I turned the box upside down and cut a door way in to it. It has no bottom so that if they pee in the house it can run away through the hay and the newspaper will soak it up. I did buy them a Guinea Pig Igloo however Kornage prefers the cardboard box. So I keep the igloo under the table where they like to go and hide under. The only problem with these plastic houses is that they have a bottom in them. Guinea Pigs are not fussy and pee in them so it soon becomes a soggy mess of pee and poop so they must be cleaned out daily. If you use these then a good layer of hay is a good idea.
I have since brought a wooden house for Nutmeg's cage. This is the same as the cardboard box. No bottom in it. She fits nicely in there and can sit on top of it watching the other two.
In the daytime I take the lid off of the cage and they are allowed to run around the front room. If you let your Guinea Pig run around in doors you MUST block off all places he can get in to that have wires, such as under computer desks and TV stands.
When the piggies are out on the floor they take themselves back in to their cages to pee. When I first got them they didn't do this and used to use newspaper that was down on the floor 90% of the time! However I have found they ALWAYS use their house or a litter tray I have for them. I put newspaper in the litter tray not cat litter.
If you are handy with your wood tools then you can make a house. Here is a example of an indoor house I received by email from a fellow piggy slave.
is an example of a custom made house for piggies. I received
this image from a lady who lives in Brisbane Australia. This
lady also has an out door hutch for them.
Another great product they have on the market in the USA is this cubing stuff that you put together. (*You would not make the bottom out of this stuff as Guinea Pigs need a solid floor under their feet. Wire caging underneath would make their feet sore and possibly cut them and they could get their feet caught up when they have a mad five min's pop corning. bless them lol)
I Have seen some super homes made out of this stuff on the net. http://www.cavycages.com/photos2.htm visit this site for some examples of some great pens that people have made for their family of piggies.
I have just had an email from a lady in the UK who has seen that Argos now stock cubing -
Keeping your Guinea Pig outside.
You can get some really cool hutches these days for small animals. You can look around local Pet Stores for the different kinds. Or if you are any good with wood you could build a super house for your Guinea Pig.
When placing your hutch out side you must consider weather factors. You shouldn't place it where it will be in full sun all day long or in a part of your garden that experience extreme winds. I couldn't keep mine outside because I have a south facing garden with no shady areas along with extreme winds due to living backing on to fields and being a mile away from the coast.
Some people like to put the hutch inside a shed. In the past I have heard of stories where people have put their pet in a shed and just forgot about them (out of sight, out of mind) So if you do consider this you must make sure you remember to let them out and feed them 2 times a day and make sure fresh water is always available.
The hutch must be placed so its not directly on the ground. The reason for this is when it rains you do not want your Guinea Pig to be sleeping in puddles of water. If the ground underneath is damp this will make the bottom of the hutch damp and cold and this will cause your piggy to become very ill!
If your pet is to live outside then you must make sure you put in extra hay for bedding. Your Guinea Pig will keep warmer laying underneath a big pile of hay and do not leave him on his own, he will need a friend to keep warm up against.
You must make sure the hutch is secure and that there is no chance a local fox or cats can get in there!