Celia Haddon - Cat Expert

Understanding animals through their behaviour

CAN I KEEP GUINEA PIGS IN THE HOUSE?

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If you keep your guinea pigs in the house it is important to give them a cage of their own. Guinea pigs are such small animals, that it is easy to step on them by mistake or lose them under the furniture.

Most people keep them in cages, rather than hutches. (Read How can I house my indoor guinea pig for details).  Although it is possible to keep guinea pigs just in a pen, not a cage with a top, this is unwise in an ordinary home. It is just too easy for the guinea pigs to be frightened or even injured by pets, children, visitors or household accidents. Keep dogs and cats out of the room where the guinea pigs live unless supervised. Even if they are safe in a cage, they will be frightened by the presence of these other pets.

Make sure there is a place within the cage where the guinea pigs can hide out. Guinea pigs are susceptible to heat, so they must be kept away from fireplaces, radiators and sunny windows. Make sure the cage is not in a draught. As guinea pigs are frightened of loud noises it is a good idea to keep them out of the busiest rooms like a kitchen. A bedroom would be a good idea.

You can exercise your guinea pigs outside their cage but it is important to keep them safe if you are letting them run about freely in the room. Get rid of any electric wires at floor level or thread them through plastic pipes, loop up floor length curtains if you don’t want them to be chewed, and keep houseplants away from nibbling guinea pigs (McBride 2011). Some of these are poisonous. You must supervise them.

REFERENCES

McBride, A., (2011), Guinea Pigs. Understanding and caring for your pet, Magnet & Steel.

COPYRIGHT.

These notes are my copyright. I am also usually happy to have the exact words reproduced on websites, in return for a link, my name, and if permission is asked beforehand. I like to check the websites where it might be used. Email me via this website for permission which will usually be given. Organisations wishing to use them in print should contact me via this website. Copyright © 2007 Celia Haddon. All Rights Reserved.

Safety notice.

All normal safety precautions should be taken when dealing with animals. The advice in this section should be taken only at the owner’s own risk. All sick animals should be seen by a vet.

General advice of the kind found in this website is no substitute for an individual consultation with a vet or qualified behaviourist working on a vet’s referral.

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