‘Somewhere suitable to live.’ Taken from the 5 freedoms outlined by the RSPCA.

The minimum space recommended by the RSPCA is 4 foot by 2 foot, or 120cm by 60cm. Reputable rescues will only rehome to homes that can provide this accomadation.

Guinea pigs are happy living inside in the home or outdoors in a purpose built shed. For part of the year the hutch can go outside but should be brought into a shed or similar at the first sign of damp. Guinea pigs seem to suffer more from the damp than they do the cold (though the vulnerable will succumb to the cold).

Once it has been established where the guinea pigs will live it will be easier to select housing for them. Guinea pigs that live in a heated shed/outhouse or indoors have the option of living in Cavy Cages: www.guineapigcages.com

A shed that is not heated will require a sturdy hutch, possibly with a run attached for winter exercise inside the shed. Guinea pigs cannot go out in all weathers because they carry their bodies so close to the ground and get damp and cold easily. A hutch with a run attached is preferable so that they can exercise at their own freedom, but at the same time the set up should not be used outside in this way for the very real likliehood of pneumonia and other respiratory issues that arise from this. Guinea pigs love to ‘zoom’ around therefore a good length hutch is essential as opposed to a square shaped one.

The floor of the hutch can be lined with Fablon a sticky back plastic available from most D.I.Y stores, for ease of washing. The hutch should be washed out regularly with an antifungal and antibacterial disinfectant, these can be purchased from SPH Supplies .

A litter tray can be placed in the corner of the hutch for a ‘bed of hay’.  Although most guinea pigs cannot be litter trained a tray will keep all the hay together and make a snug bed. If the guinea pigs are bedded on Vetbed/Profleece then a tray of hay must be provided to cater for their foraging needs. Other hay should be put in Chubes/racks/mangers etc for eating.

There are many double hutches on the market at the moment, before purchasing a double hutch check that the ground floor measures 4 foot by 2 foot minimum. Older guinea pigs etc will not be able to manage a ramp and need to have the maximum floor space available. Upstairs should be a bonus. Guinea pigs are not naturally climbing animals. It has been known for perfectly healthy guinea pigs to come off the ramp too soon and break their back, leaving no option but to have them put to sleep. For this reason they are far from ideal as guinea pig homes.

UK Rabbit Hutches deliver nationwide and ONLY make Animal Welfare Act compliant hutches because they believe anything less is not big enough.

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