One of the most important things that you can do for your pet guinea pigs is to give them a home with plenty of room to run around and play and get exercise. This will ensure that your guinea pig is healthy and will live a long and happy life.
The guinea pig hutch that will be home to your furry little pets should be sufficiently large to allow them to run laps! They love to do this, and it’s good for them. A good guideline for the appropriate size for your guinea pig hutch is between seven and eight square feet for a single guinea pig (but you should get two – they are sociable creatures and do better with a companion) and between ten and eleven square feet for a pair of them. So a single guinea pig hutch might have dimensions of 2.5 feet by 3.0 feet and a hutch for two piggies might measure 3.0 feet by 3.5 feet.
Make sure that your hutch has wire walls and is not a glass enclosure like an aquarium. Aquariums are great for fish, but not for guinea pigs. The wire-walled hutch will give your guinea pigs better ventilation and will help keep the cage dryer and better smelling, plus the fresh air is obviously much better for the animals. The floor of the hutch should not be made of wire however, because the wire mesh is hard on the guinea pigs small feet and they can get caught up in the mesh. The floor should be solid but not made out of wood. A wooden floor tends to soak up the animals urine and then will be a source of bad smells and a breeding place for bacteria. A plastic hutch floor is most common, and is very easy to clean. If the floor can slide in and out easily all the better!
A good size door into the hutch is also a good idea. this will allow easier access for cleaning out the cage, and it will also make it much easier for you to reach in to pet, or pick up your little friend, and easily remove him from the cage without hurting him.
You should line the floor of your guinea pig hutch with paper, and then put in a layer of bedding material. Even though you may be tempted to use cedar or eucalyptus chips because they smell nice, don’t use them because they contain elements that can lead to respiratory problems with your piggies. I have found that the best type of bedding is a combination of shredded paper and hay, specifically timothy hay. Not only will the guinea pigs play in the hay they will also eat it! It actually help with their digestion.
Sometimes guinea pigs need a little place to hide. Maybe they are feeling shy or a little timid or just need a little time to themselves for a nap. A box with a hole cut in it, or even a section of plastic pipe will serve this purpose very nicely. Have a little fun putting together this hiding place – your guinea pig will be grateful!
Remember that this hutch is your guinea pig’s home, and where he will be spending most of his life. Make it as comfortable as possible, and keep it clean. The bigger the guinea pig hutch, the better, as it is essential to having happy, healthy and furry little companions that will keep you company for many years to come.