There are several things to consider when designing your guinea pig’s cage: hygiene, comfort, but also safety. An animal in a cage that is not adapted to its needs has every chance of being unhappy. Don’t panic, here are the essential accessories you need to create the perfect habitat for your little rodent.
A bottle is the best choice for your guinea pig to drink in a hygienic way. A bowl or a bowl will not do. Water should not be spilled by clumsy little paws. Even if you can find a way to avoid this, you can be sure that your pet will find another way to contaminate the water with shavings, straw, hair and even feces. Opt for a bottle to attach to the bars of the cage.
A hay rack
Hay is a very important food for guinea pigs. It must be available all day long. The hay must be provided in an attractive and hygienic way. Putting a handful in the bottom of the cage or in a bowl will not do the trick, your companion will trample on it and soil it like a common litter box. There is no chance that he will deign to eat it after that. The hay should therefore be presented in a rack and in a reasonable quantity for a single day’s needs. A wet hay or one that is 3 days old will no longer interest your pet’s taste buds.
Guinea pigs eat dry food such as pellets as well as fresh vegetables. These two different meals should be served in two separate bowls. The choice of bowls is important. As with water, a food bowl can be spilled by the rodent, trampled on and eventually ignored. To avoid waste and mess, a pair of heavy ceramic bowls with reasonable rim heights should be purchased. It’s also important to choose a container size that won’t allow your guinea pig to get into it. If he does, he may end up relieving himself inside. That said, you can also choose a stainless steel bowl system to hang on the bars of the cage.
A good home is crucial to a guinea pig’s well-being. This small rodent is a prey and even if it doesn’t risk anything in your home, its instinct will be the strongest. It therefore needs to feel safe in its cage. To do so, it must have access to a house with a roof and a hole for the entrance. This shelter should preferably be made of untreated natural wood, because your fur ball will not be able to resist the urge to gnaw on it. You must make sure that you acquire a house spacious enough to allow all positions, your pet must be able to curl up in a ball in winter, but also to stretch out all over in summer.
With these 5 essential elements, you can decently welcome a guinea pig. However, this is only the basis for your pet’s cage. You can later add a few fancy extras (such as a hammock, toys, tubes, etc.) that are a great idea to keep your new little roommate busy.