Breeders and shelters, as opposed to pet stores, provide guinea pigs with a significantly better living environment. They also interact with the guinea pigs in a positive manner, allowing the piggies to become accustomed to human interaction.
Guinea pigs are prey animals, and they become frightened when they are placed in an unfamiliar environment. It may take some time for them to become acclimated to their new environment, including eating and sleeping there.
Make the process of getting settled in less stressful for them by setting up their enclosure ahead of time and preparing it for the guinea pigs before they arrive.
So, let’s take a quick look at what you’ll need to put in place to make your guinea pigs feel at ease as soon as they arrive at their new home.
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What you need before getting a guinea pig?
A few supplies are required prior to bringing your guinea pigs home, and they are as follows:
You will need to find or construct an enclosure for them, as well as bedding material, food supplies, toys, hiding places, and other items, in order for them to live happily ever after.
Setting everything up correctly is critical because it can help to reduce stress in guinea pigs and allow them to adjust to their new environment much more quickly. Let’s take a quick look at all of the materials available.
Table of Contents
Setting up an enclosure:
In order to set up their living quarters, the first step is to select an enclosure for the animals to inhabit. It is important to consider the needs of your guinea pig before making a decision on the type of pen you should use. As a result, let us take a look at it first:
- It is recommended that you have at least 7.5 square feet of space for a pair of guinea pigs, with an additional three square feet per guinea pig as the number of guinea pigs increases.
- A sufficient amount of lighting must be provided, but no direct sunlight should shine directly on the cage.
- Make certain that the temperature in their living space remains stable between 16°C (60°F) and 24°C (75°F). Anything above or below that would necessitate additional attention in order to maintain their health.
- Once you’ve decided on a location for your guinea pigs, you can start thinking about what kind of cage they’ll need.
- The cage you choose will be determined by how many guinea pigs you intend to keep. If you only intend to keep a pair of them, a Midwest cage or a Living World cage would be suitable options for you.
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- However, if you intend to keep a herd of more than two guinea pigs, you should consider building a DIY C&C cage for your guinea pigs to house them. More information on guinea pig cages can be found in the following articles:
- How big should a guinea pig’s cage be?
- Midwest cage review: A complete buyer’s guide
- Best cages for your guinea pigs.
If the temperature in your area is significantly different from their normal range, I would also recommend that you read How to keep guinea pigs cool in summer or How to keep guinea pigs warm in winter.
Choosing the right bedding:
- The bedding in the guinea pig’s cage is an absolutely necessary component. Guinea pigs spend the majority of their time in their cage, which means that they pee and poop all over the area where they are kept.
- Using high-quality bedding can help to keep the pen dry and odor-free by absorbing the pee and absorbing the odor. Poor quality bedding can become soaked very quickly, which can result in the development of some fatal diseases in guinea pigs, such as bumblefoot.
- Some bedding, such as pinewood shaving, has been shown to increase the risk of respiratory diseases in guinea pigs. As a result, make certain that the bedding in your guinea pigs’ cage is of high quality.
- Fleece bedding, aspen wood shavings, and paper bedding are just a few of the many different types of bedding that are available on the market. Our complete buyer’s guide will teach you more about the different types of bedding available and how to choose the best one for you:There were no products found.The best bedding for your guinea pigs:- A buyer’s guide!
Getting some hiding spaces in:
As soon as you release your guinea pigs into a new environment, they will begin looking for hiding places.
Because they are prey animals, they are particularly vulnerable in their new environment. As a result, having a large number of hiding places is essential.
It is necessary to provide at least one hiding space for each guinea pig that is introduced into the cage.
The following are some excellent options to consider: tunnels, snuggle beds, fleece hiding places, and boxes You should also include some toys in the cage, such as bridges, hammocks, and apple chew sticks, which are all excellent choices. Take a look at some of our guinea pigs’ favorite selections:
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Providing basic food supplies:
Guinea pigs eat hay, vegetables, fruits, pellets, and treats as part of their diet. While hay is the most important part of their diet, as it provides them with much-needed fiber, vegetables, fruits, and pellets are excellent sources of Vitamin C and other nutrients..
Give a few piles of hay around the perimeter of the cage for the guinea pig’s comfort. Guinea pigs require access to hay at all times, and a lack of hay can cause them to become ill, so make sure you provide them with a handful of it right away.
Guinea pigs require hay, as well as a cup of fresh vegetables every day, in addition to hay. Make sure to include some high-vitamin C vegetables in their daily diet, such as bell peppers, Romaine lettuce, and other similar items.
Additionally, you should give 1/8 cup of pellets on a regular basis, followed by occasional treats such as fruits and commercial treats, if possible.
Nutrition is a broad topic, and I recommend reading some additional resources to gain a better understanding of it in greater depth.
- Hay for guinea pigs( what type, how much & more)
- How much hay do guinea pigs need in a day?
- Guinea pig complete diet plan
- List of 70+ veggies for your guinea pigs
- List of 70+ fruits for your guinea pigs
- Best hay for your guinea pigs
- Pellets for your guinea pigs
- Best treats for your guinea pigs
- What should you do if your guinea pigs don’t eat veggies?
Providing a source of water:
Guinea pigs require constant access to clean, fresh drinking water to survive. Guinea pigs can drink anywhere from 50mL to 300mL of water per day if they are in good health. In order to prevent dehydration, placing a few bottles of water around the cage is a good idea.
It is always a good idea to have multiple water bottles on hand because this will aid in reducing fights and dominance behavior in guinea pigs, which can occur within a few days of settling in.
Make sure you purchase only high-quality, leak-proof guinea pig water bottles, as some leaky bottles can soak through the entire bedding during the night, causing your guineas to become ill as a result. For more information, please see the following additional resources:
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- Water for your guinea pigs( What type, how much & more)
- Best leak-proof water bottle for your guinea pigs.
Food bowls for veggies or pellets:
Food bowls are another essential supply you need to get for your guinea pigs. They are used to provide your guinea pigs with fresh vegetables and pellets on a regular basis.
Vegetables and pellets can be served by spreading a handful of them throughout the cage. Nonetheless, this will become more cluttered over time and will require more upkeep.
It is also only possible if you use fleece bedding as a sleeping surface. You should only purchase high-quality food bowls for this occasion. You can refer our guide to check out a few amazing ones.
So, now that you have got everything set up, you can go ahead and get your new guinea pig.
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Once you get them and leave them in their new enclosure, you can follow the steps below to make sure they get settled in comfortably.
Make sure you don’t start petting or cuddling them when you first get them as it can make them stressed out!
How do I get my new guinea pig to settle in?
Guinea pigs can take anywhere from a few days to a week to become acclimated to their new environment.
Bringing Your New Guinea Pig Into Your Residence
To ensure that the transition goes as smoothly as possible, here are a few steps you might want to consider taking:
Top-Rated Guinea Pig Supplies: Our Top Picks! Recommended Guinea Pig Supplies: Our Top Picks!
Before you read on, here are some supplies for your guinea pigs that have been hand-picked by our experts and that you should add to your wishlist right away:
Leave them alone for a day or two
When you introduce a guinea pig to a new environment, it may take some time for it to come out and explore the new surroundings on its own.
Because everything is different for guinea pigs, they may experience anxiety as a result of the unknown. It is a wise decision to leave them alone once you have stocked up on enough food for a couple of days.
Although you should check on them every few hours, you should avoid petting them or attempting to hold them in any way.
Guinea pigs may not come out if you are present; therefore, leaving them alone makes the process much simpler and less stressful.
You can proceed to the next step once they have become acclimated to the environment, have begun exploring, and have come out of hiding.
Sit around the cage and try to converse with them
Once your guinea pigs have become acclimated to their new surroundings, you may wish to begin the process of bonding with them.
Try sitting next to the cage and engaging in conversation with the animals. You could perform a song for them, tell them a story, or simply talk about your day.
Some people might think you’re crazy, but believe me when I say that it doesn’t matter whether they understand what you’re saying or not.
As a result of conversing with you, they will become accustomed to your presence and your voice, and will no longer regard you as a threat but as an integral part of their environment.
Avoid sudden movements or loud noises
Avoid any type of sudden movement or loud noises because your guinea pigs may become stressed as a result of this behavior.
Guinea pigs are prey animals, and they may become vulnerable if they are subjected to prolonged periods of stress. As a result, maintain your composure and walk slowly around their cage area to avoid frightening them.
Usually, just talking to them for a few days is enough to get them to open up.
Feeding their staple diet
If you purchase your guinea pigs from a breeder or animal shelter, be sure to inquire about their previous diet. Due to the sensitive nature of their digestive system, a sudden change in diet can cause them to become out of balance.
A staple diet consisting of hay, followed by the same vegetables and fruits that were previously fed to them, can often aid in their ability to settle down more rapidly.
If you don’t know what they were eating previously, start with some non-watery vegetables such as bell peppers and carrots and work your way up to more watery options as they become available.
If you want to experiment with them, try a variety of vegetables, but only introduce one at a time. Once your guinea pigs have become accustomed to eating in your presence, you can attempt to move on to the next step.
Try hand-feeding with some treats
Once your guinea pigs have become accustomed to your presence, you might want to try hand-feeding them for a while.
Use your hands to hold a large slice of carrot or some fruits such as bananas and offer them to the other person. Remember not to be pushy (or you will lose your chance), and wait until they come to you by themselves to take a bite before giving them the opportunity.
Handfeeding your guinea pigs frequently aids in the development of a close bond between you and them. You can try hand-feeding them for a few days, and then you might want to start petting them a little more.
Learn about dominance and what you can do about it
Guinea pigs will fight to establish dominance and protect their territory as soon as they begin to feel at home in their new environment. The fight begins with some verbal sparring, and if neither party backs down, it may escalate into a physical altercation between the two.
Some people may be taken aback by this, but it is better to do some research on their dominance behavior ahead of time so that you are aware of what is going on and what you can do to combat it.
I recommend that you read our guide on guinea pig dominance in order to gain a better understanding of the subject.
Consult a Vet in case of any problems
If you have done your research on guinea pig care and have followed our instructions to the letter, everything should have gone smoothly for your piggies.
However, if you have a strong suspicion that something is wrong, your guinea pig isn’t eating even after a few days in the cage, or they are showing any signs of illness, you should take them to the veterinarian right away.
Make sure you have some exotic vet addresses and phone numbers written down in the early stages so that you can contact them if you require assistance in the future.
Signs your guinea pig has settled in?
Signs that your Guinea Pig has become acclimated
After you have prepared the ground and allowed for a few days to pass, you may be wondering if your guinea pigs have become comfortable in their new home. What is the best way to tell if they have? Consequently, here are a few indicators that your guinea pigs have become comfortable in their new surroundings:
- In addition, they are not hiding in corners every now and then, but are exploring freely around the cage and not running for the hiding place.
- The guinea pig has begun to come out for food even when you are not in the room with him.
In addition, you will notice that your guinea pigs have begun to make a wide variety of sounds as well.
- From purring to squeaking to rumbling, and a variety of other sounds, guinea pigs begin to communicate with one another by making a variety of noises in response to one another.
- Your guinea pigs are not as scared as they used to be. They emerge relatively quickly, despite the fact that they occasionally flee for cover.
- They have begun to remove some food from your hands and place it in their own.
So, how long should you expect it to take for your guinea pigs to become comfortable in their new home? It could take anywhere from 3 days to 3 weeks before your guinea pigs begin to feel at ease in their new environment.
Always make certain that you have done extensive research on guinea pig care and the supplies you will need for them before you purchase them or adopt them.
Once your guinea pigs begin to show signs of being comfortable in their new environment, you can begin hand feeding them and petting them if they are willing to cooperate.
In the event that they don’t appreciate it, you may have to wait a few more days before you can pet or cuddle them again.