If you're planning to adopt or buy guinea pigs, you need to make sure you're prepared with all the necessary items to make them safe, happy and healthy.
We've compiled a STARTER KIT LIST which only lists items that we recommend. You can order all these items from Amazon online and have them delivered directly to your door. We've included links to all these products to make it easy for you to find them and purchase.
Please remember that guinea pigs should always be in pairs or more as they are social animals. A solitary guinea pig will become lonely and depressed.
You will need a hutch or a cage in which to house your new guinea pigs. If you're planning on having your pets outdoors then you must buy a hutch. If you are keeping indoor guinea pigs, you can buy a cage.
We recommend this cage as it is the right size for two guinea pigs and measures 119cm x 58cm. Anything smaller is not big enough as they need space to run and play.
You can also view our "top 5 cages" for more good options
This two tier hutch is one of the best hutches for guinea pigs that is available to buy. It gives a pair of piggies plenty of space.
When it is very cold or hot outside, you may need to bring your guinea pigs indoors as they can't tolerate extreme weather. Find out more about housing your guinea pigs outdoor here
Hay is required for both bedding and eating. The cage or hutch floor should have several layers of newspaper and then you can put the hay on top. They need to eat clean fresh hay so make sure you put it in a hay rack to prevent it from becoming soaked in urine.
Meadow Grass Hay
This is the hay we use for our guinea pigs, mainly for eating as we use fleece bedding but it is perfect for bedding too.
Pillow Wad meadow hay is dust-extracted (this is important as guinea pigs are prone to respiratory problems) and is a blend of grasses and herbs.
It is extremely important that your guinea pigs get the right food. They need 3 types of food: hay (see above), pellets and fresh vegetables, particularly greens (see fruit and veg chart to find out what they can eat).
Pellet Food (also called Nuggets)
We use the Burgess Excel Guinea Pig Nuggets because they are very well balanced nutritionally and 92% of vets recommend these.
These pellets come in various flavours and our guinea pigs love all of them. The ones shown in the picture are blackcurrant and oregano flavour.
You will need to buy food bowls, water bottles and a hay rack (to keep the feeding hay clean)
Because guinea pigs like to put their feet on the side of the bowls, you need to buy solid, sturdy and weighty ceramic or stoneware bowls (not plastic or the smaller ceramic ones). Opt for good quality "Mason Cash" food bowls which we've found to be the best quality. You'll need 2 of these - one for the pellets and one for fresh veg. We use the 12cm bowls.
Water bottles are much better than putting water in a bowl. A bowl of water can become contaminated with urine and faeces. We like these large water bottles as we have 6 piggies and they are equally good for a pair. Even if there is water left the next day, you must clean the bottle and refresh with clean tap water.
You need a hay rack that will keep the hay clean. This metal one is simple but perfect as a hay feeder as you can hang it on the side of the cage.
Cleaning the hutch or cage on a regular basis is essential and you'll need to ensure the cleaning fluid you use is safe for your guinea pigs. You mustn't use standard household cleaner for this.
The Johnson's Clean'n'Safe disinfectant is safe to use in the cages and housing of small animals. It disinfects, cleans and deodorizes, killing bacteria and viruses to make your pet's habitat safe.
What Else Will My New Guinea Pigs Need?
Your guinea pigs will also need toys to prevent boredom. We will soon be adding our recommendations to this page but in the meantime check out our "Guinea Pig Toys" page.