At a glance guide to owning guinea pigs:

Take a look at these points and see if you can fulfill them all. They are the absolute minmum requirements that a reputable source should  rehome to. With so many rescue guinea pigs needing homes it is important to find ones that are committed to guinea pig ownership and to ensure the new home has access to all the information they will need. A good source will not take rehoming lightly, but then we don’t think guinea pig ownership is something that should be taken lightly either…

  • Provide a 4 foot by 2 foot (120cm by 60cm) cage, minimum size. Provide access to exercise daily, particularly if kept in minimum size accommodation. In the cold and damp guinea pigs must have access to indoor exercise. Wet/cold grass or ground is not acceptable.
  • Use an appropriate bedding that is suited to guinea pigs. Do not use shavings. Never use beddings or cleaning sprays that contain essential oils, these can damage the skin often leaving marks that look like burns. Shavings absorb moisture from the skin leaving it prone to fungal infection. They may also affect the internal organs. Bedding should allow for guineas’ natural behaviour of foraging.
  • Keep hutches out of the damp. Bring into sheds/outhouses from September- April (depending on weather).Damp can make the skin prone to fungal issues.
  • Provide a balanced diet. This should consist of 75% good hay, fresh food made up of a balance of leafy greens and a little of the root vegetables, occasional fruit. Contact  for more advice. Water should be changed daily. Dry food must not contain colourings.
  • Access to a competent guinea pig vet. Find one before you need one.
  • Shampoo your guinea pigs 4-6 weekly in Gorgeous Guineas shampoo (the only shampoo made specifically for guinea pigs).
  • Provide good care when you go on holiday- book your guinea pig’s holiday before yours.
  • Be aware that guineas can live for an average of 5-7 years, but may live until 9.
  • Provide company for your guinea pig. It may take some effort but no guinea pig should live alone. Only house with other guinea pigs. Let your guinea pig choose their friend. Rabbits are not suitable.

Responsible and reputable sources will be happy to help you achieve a good home for your guinea pigs and expect them to ask you lots of questions too. If you feel that they are trying to make rehoming difficult for you or its not as easy as it seemed then thats a good sign! They obviously care about where their guineas are going. 🙂

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