If you're getting new guinea pigs you'll need to buy some essentials first. We've created this Guinea Pig Starter Kit List with links to where you can buy all the items you'll need for your new pet. We've given you a few buying options on each item you need so you can choose what you prefer.
Get organised before bringing your guinea pigs home
It's vital you have all these items ready before bringing your guinea pigs home so you can settle them in to their new environment straight away. A rescue centre will require that you have your cage set up so they know you can provide a good home for your new guinea pigs.
Remember, guinea pigs should be housed in pairs as they are social animals and thrive with a companion. they can become depressed if housed as a single piggy.
Starter kit list - the essentials
Here are the items you will need to buy before bringing your new guinea pigs home.
We have a special DISCOUNT ON SOME ITEMS! If you buy any items from the Small Pet Select website, you can get 15% discount by using the code REFER-GPIGGLEUK
Hutch or Cage
You will need either a hutch or a cage depending on whether you are planning on having indoor or outdoor guinea pigs.
We recommend keeping guinea pigs indoors and some rescue centres will require this.
Housing for 2 females should be a minimum of 120cm x 60cm but a male pair will need a bigger space - ideally a minimum of 160cm x 60cm. With cages, bigger is always better so always buy as big as you can fit in your space.
If you are adopting a guinea pig from a rescue centre, you must check what their requirements are regarding cages before you buy one to ensure it matches their criteria for a successful adoption.
- Indoor wooden cage with perspex front (available in 3 sizes and optional lid)
- Indoor 2x4 C&C modular cage (no lid)
- Indoor metal Midwest Habitat cage (for 2 females or neutered male and female - optional lid)
- Double outdoor hutch
There are lots of choices when it comes to bedding. Many guinea pig owners use fleece liners for their indoor guinea pigs. These liners need washing and drying so you’ll need to buy at least 2. They can be expensive to buy but you don’t have to keep replacing them like you do with disposable bedding.
- Small Pet Select disposable paper & aspen bedding
- GuineaDad Fleece liners (need regular cleaning) (made to fit the Midwest Cage or 2x4 C&C Cage
- Kiln Dried Pine Shavings (disposable)
Hay needs to be available for your guinea pigs all the time. There should never be a time when there is no hay in their cage as it can result in their teeth overgrowing, a very serious condition for a guinea pig. Timothy Hay or Meadow Hay can be fed to guinea pigs.
- Small Pet Select 2nd Cutting Timothy Hay
- Hay (Bale or Half Bale) from the farm
- Burgess Hay with Dandelion & Marigold
Guinea Pig Pellets
These pellets are specially made for guinea pigs and are made to give them the nutrition specific to a guinea pig’s dietary requirements.
- Burgess Excel Guinea Pig Nuggets
- Small Pet Select Guinea Pig Nuggets
- Oxbow Essentials Guinea Pig Food
You’ll need at least 2 food bowls - one for pellets and one for fresh daily veggies. We recommend buying 4 so that you can rotate them when the bowls have their daily wash.
Because guinea pigs like to put their feet on the side of the bowls, you need to buy bowls that don't tip so they have to be heavy such as a larger ceramic bowl and not too shallow. Haypigs bowls are stackable, can be put in the dishwasher and have non-slip feet. The small bowl is designed to hold enough daily piggy pellets for 2 guinea pigs.
- Large Haypigs Bowl non-tip melamine circus themed bowl (ideal for veggies)
- Small Haypigs Bowl - non-tip melamine circus themed (ideal for pellets)
We don’t recommend putting water in a bowl as it can get dirty very quickly and they won’t drink it if it becomes contaminated. Always use a water bottle. We advise getting two of these so you can rotate them when one is in the wash.
Many people have problems with leaky bottles but we’ve been using the Trixie Honey & Hopper glass bottles for a couple of years and they have never leaked so this is the one we would recommend.
We always recommend having hay in a rack because a guinea pig will not eat hay that has urine or poops in. This keeps the hay clean. Please don’t buy the metal ball hay feeders as they are dangerous and can trap a guinea pig causing potentially serious injuries.
Guinea pigs need a place where they can hide and feel safe. It's advisable to have a hidey for each guinea pig as they like their own space and can get a bit moody if another piggy is in the only hidey that is available!
It's important your guinea pigs have enrichment toys so they don't become bored. Most toys are chews that will need replacing so bear in mind that it can be worth having a few which also means you can rotate them a bit. Here are our guinea pigs favourite boredom breakers:
- Haypigs Circus Ball (won't need replacing and very popular with our piggies!)
- Small Pet Select Natural Toys & Chews
- Forage Ball
Pet Friendly Disinfectant Hutch Cleaner
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 a standard household cleaner for this. You can alternatively use vinegar which we prefer as it’s 100% natural. The vinegar does come in large packs but you can use it in the home too.
Helpful Care Sheets & Food Lists
We've created some care sheets and safe fruit and veg sheets that are available to buy online and you can download and print for immediate use..
The care sheets will help you keep organised with all the guinea pig tasks. These are good for both adults and children and will help you remember and record all the information you need in relation to your guinea pigs. You can buy blue care sheets or pink care sheets
The fruit & veg sheets show over 60 safe fruit and veggies for your guinea pigs and each fruit and vegetable has a full colour image which makes it really easy to use. View the blue food sheets or the pink food sheets.