How to Care for Your Pet Guinea Pig

Guinea pigs make lovable pets and are great around children because they don’t tend to bite. However, they need to be cared for properly to thrive. At Paws & Claws Pet Medical Center, serving Troutdale and the surrounding area, our veterinarian team and animal hospital staff provide quality veterinary care for exotic pets such as guinea pigs. Understanding the needs of your pet guinea pig ensures that you give them the loving care they require.

Social animals

Guinea pigs are very social and need to be handled and given attention regularly. Having toys on hand and playing with your guinea pig are great ways to provide mental stimulation and to bond with your pet. It is generally not recommended to take your guinea pig out for a walk, they are a prey species and tend to be stressed when outside.


Guinea pigs need a cage that’s large enough for them to move around easily. Shredded paper or pine chips make good bedding. A water bottle is needed for adequate hydration: Non-drip bottles help to keep the bedding dry.

Guinea pigs love to chew, so have a wooden block in the cage. This also helps to wear down your guinea pig’s teeth, which constantly grow. It’s also important to have a guinea pig house or other hideaway spot where your pet can retreat when feeling stressed.

Nail trims

Giving your guinea pig lots of toys not only helps your pet stay active but keeps their nails trim. Even so, you may need to trim your pet’s nails.

When trimming your guinea pig’s nails, make sure that you don’t cut too close to the quick to avoid bleeding and pain. It’s advisable to have your veterinarian teach you how to cut your pet’s nails. As your guinea pig becomes comfortable with you, nail-trimming sessions become easier.


Pellets as well as grass hay and some fruits and vegetables (including dark leafy greens but not iceberg lettuce or cabbage) create a nutrient-rich diet for guinea pigs. It is important for guinea pigs to consume vitamin C to avoid scurvy. Vitamin C drops that you add to water can be a good option, but make sure it doesn’t cause your guinea pig to avoid drinking water because of the altered taste.

Contact us in Troutdale

Preventive veterinary care is essential for guinea pigs, including an annual wellness visit. Because dental problems are common in guinea pigs, your pet also needs an oral exam at least once a year. At Paws & Claws Pet Medical Center, serving Troutdale and the surrounding area, our veterinarians and animal hospital staff give exotic pets the care they need in a high-tech yet friendly environment. Contact us to schedule an appointment by calling (503) 661-1833 today!