Guinea pig boarding facilities offer care and accommodation for your small pets when you are unable to look after them yourself.
There can be for several reasons why you might need to board your guinea pigs, including a family holiday, moving home, having a baby or if you need to be in hospital for a period of time.
There are many small pet boarding services throughout the UK, some of which offer short term boarding and others that offer a longer term option if required. Some guinea pig hotels offer more luxurious accommodation whereas others will be more basic.
What facilities will be provided for my guinea pigs in boarding
Facilities at a guinea pig boarding facility will vary and it is important you find out exactly what they offer and how your guinea pigs will be cared for over the period you are away.
Some of the questions you might want to ask are:
- How large are the hutches?
- Will they have play time in a good sized run each day?
- What bedding do you use?
- Do I need to supply the pellet food or is all food provided by the boarding facility?
- What kind of fresh food do you usually feed the guinea pigs? Or will you feed them depending on their usual diet at home?
- Are they housed indoors or outdoors?
- Is their accommodation heated and well ventilated? (consider the time of year and if it will be very hot or very cold)
- What happens if my guinea pig gets ill while I'm away?
- Will you keep in touch with me and send pictures or video?
- Do you have a webcam set up so I can see my piggies at any time?
- What other animals are boarded at your facility?
- How much will it cost and do you offer a discount after a certain number of days or for more than 1 or 2 guinea pigs?
- How long have they been boarding guinea pigs and what experience do they have?
- Will my guinea pigs get daily cuddles?
- Is the accommodation safe from predators? Ask about CCTV and security as humans can be predatory too!
Visit the boarding facility before you make your choice
We cannot stress enough that you should always visit the place where you are planning to board your guinea pigs.
Most people are honest and care deeply about small animals and that is why they run these piggy hotels and homes. However, there will always be the odd undesirable one. Checking the service and accommodation in advance will mean you can enjoy your holiday and relax without constantly worrying if they are being properly looked after.
Do they have a webcam?
Some pet hotels have webcams set up. This is a great feature and you can also be fairly sure that a boarding service with a webcam is most likely going to take good care of them too!
However, don’t be put off if they don’t have this service as many guinea pig boarders won’t offer this and it is no reflection on the excellent service they may provide.
How much does guinea pig boarding cost?
Prices for boarding your small pets will vary depending on your location, the facilities available for your guinea pigs, the number of guinea pigs you are boarding at one time and the length of time they will be in their holiday home.
As a very rough guide you can expect to pay anywhere between £4 and £8 for a pair of guinea pigs with the cheaper daily rates being for longer periods. You may find that some will charge a higher rate if they offer more luxurious accommodation.
If you have more than two guinea pigs sharing accommodation you will usually get a significantly discounted rate for the additional piggies.
Do they need a small animal boarding licence?
Catteries and kennels for cats and dogs do need a licence but those boarding small animals do not. This is why it is vital you check them out yourself and make sure you are comfortable with leaving your guinea pigs in their care.
Do guinea pigs need vaccinations before boarding?
No. Unlike rabbits, guinea pigs do not need any vaccinations at all which is great as it cuts down the total costs of pet care during your time away from them.