The guinea pig is considered the most beloved pet. This rodent is characterized by its small size and the ability to give joy to children. Since the animal spends most of its life in a cage, before you start it in the house, you should take seriously the choice and arrangement of the furry’s housing, supplementing it with all the necessary accessories.
Basic requirements for a cage
It is not difficult to create comfortable conditions for keeping a guinea pig, for this you only need to purchase the perfect house for her. In order for the rodent to feel safe in it and be provided with everything necessary, the cage must meet the following requirements.
- Have a size corresponding to the dimensions of the animal. It also shouldn’t be tight. Experts recommend buying medium-sized designs, even if the pet is small. The cage should provide a zone not only for sleeping, but also for active pastime. Too large a structure is not suitable for a pet, it is desirable that its area does not exceed 0.7 m2. If you plan to keep several individuals in a cage, then it is best to purchase a fairly spacious house so that its space is enough for each animal (each “resident” will need at least 1 m2). It is also important to take into account that males, unlike females, need more space, as they lead a more active lifestyle.
- Provide free access to cleaning. In the case when an enclosure without a roof is created for guinea pigs, there are no problems with cleaning it. As for the cells, they must necessarily have a removable top. This will make it easier to perform high-quality cleaning and disinfection.
- Be safe for the life of the animal. It is advisable to give preference to structures made from environmentally friendly raw materials and place them in such a way that children and other pets do not pose a threat to the pig.
Today on sale you can find various types of cages for pets, each of which differs in design, size and price. The most popular option is a lattice cage equipped with a high plastic tray. It is easy to clean, and the wire top provides good ventilation. You can additionally attach a drinking bowl, a hammock to the rods.
The only drawback of this house is the small area.
A good option for keeping rodents of this species is also considered a container, which is a plastic container resembling a terrarium. Duna brand designs have proven themselves perfectly, their top is made of transparent plastic and is attached to the pallet. Thanks to the presence of a lattice door, the house receives ventilation. The main advantages of such a cage include the absence of debris on the floor and the protection of pets from drafts. In addition, the transparent walls of the structure make it convenient to observe the animal.
The only thing is that in some cage models there are no lattice inserts, therefore, due to the lack of ventilation, rodents can start to get sick.
Cages for guinea pigs may differ in the material of manufacture. Let’s consider what they are.
- Wooden. Despite the fact that wood is a natural raw material, it is able to quickly absorb odors and liquids. Therefore, wooden models are not the best option for keeping such pussies. In addition, animals will be able to quickly gnaw the cage and make it unusable. If the owners opted for a tree, then it is recommended to cover the bottom of the structure with a tarpaulin. If desired, a similar design can be made with your own hands from wood and corrugated cardboard.
- Metal. This is the best type of cells, because the material is durable. Pets and the exterminator do not spoil such cages. Metal rods are mainly made of durable stainless steel, which is highly resistant to detergents.
- Plastic. They are quick and easy to clean and are not afraid of cleaning with household chemicals. The only disadvantage of these structures is that their walls, made of transparent material, lose their aesthetic appearance over time.
In addition, the cells differ in the type of construction, they can be either one-story or two-story, with a size of 55.5x37x64 cm.
Before choosing one or another type of cage, it is important to consider not only personal preferences, but also performance characteristics.
How to choose and where to place?
Before you start a guinea pig, you must first purchase a cage for its maintenance. Since there is a chic range of pet houses on the market, it will be difficult to make the right choice in favor of one or another model. When buying cells, experts recommend paying attention to the following parameters.
- Construction size. Guinea pigs need horizontal space and there should be plenty of it. The larger the area of \u200b\u200bthe house, the more freely the animal will be able to move. In cramped cages, the rodent will begin to yearn and get sick. Since, on average, at least 70 cm2 must be allocated per pig, the best option would be to purchase a cage measuring 75×90 cm. For two individuals, therefore, a large structure will be required.
- Free access to cleaning and ventilation. Since the fluffy house should be cleaned and washed regularly, its design should have removable elements.
- Quality. All locks, doors and bars must be secure. A good choice for keeping guinea pigs are metal cages, they are the most durable. As a comfortable home, a combined design made of plastic and metal rods is also suitable.
- The form. Rectangular structures are best suited for pigs; it is not recommended to buy multi-level and high models.
- Ability to fold and disassemble. Prefabricated models are versatile because they are easy to store and transport.
- Distance between bars. They should be at such a distance from each other that the animal could not stick its head through. The ideal option is 2.54×10.2 cm.
- Compliance with the design of the room. To date, manufacturers produce various cell models that differ in color and decor.
After the cage for the rodent is purchased, there will only be a question of its arrangement and selection of a place for installation. It is worth noting immediately that the position of the cell is of great importance. For example, a house is not recommended to be placed in or near the kitchen. This is due to hygiene standards. Therefore, in order to correctly locate the habitat of a rodent, it is important to consider several factors.
- The microclimate of the room. Air temperature and humidity must always remain constant. The animal feels comfortable in the temperature range from 18 to +22 degrees, while the optimal humidity level is considered to be at least 40%. Since in winter there is often a temperature difference in the rooms, the cage cannot be placed on the floor; a nightstand or table is suitable for it. It is also not recommended to place houses with guinea pigs near doors and windows, as drafts are possible.
- Activity. This type of animal likes to constantly be near people and requires special attention and care from the owners. Therefore, in order not to leave the pet alone, it can be settled in the living room. But in this case, it will be necessary to provide in advance in the cage the presence of a shelter where the rodent can hide when it gets tired.
- Noise. Guinea pigs have acute hearing, so their houses should not be placed near sources of loud sounds (TV, music center).
- Protect your pet from other animals and children. It is desirable to place the cage in such a way that you can watch how the kids play with the pet. If there are cats and dogs in the house, it is best to put the houses on a hill.
Some owners of guinea pigs equip their pets with housing not in the house, but on the street, under a special canopy. Such structures should be must be protected from predators and bad weather. If the rodent lives in an apartment, then in the summer it is recommended to take it with you to the country. Fresh air and an assortment of green foods will give your furry a lot of pleasure and joy. In this case, the cage must be placed in a place where there is no extreme heat, dampness, cold, and there is protection from direct sunlight and rain.
There are also certain restrictions on the placement of cells, so they cannot be kept in the following places.
- On the windowsill on the sunny side and under the glass roof in the greenhouse. The animals will be very hot there.
- In the garage. Exhaust gases constantly accumulate in this room, which are poisonous and dangerous not only for the health of the animal, but also for humans.
- In unheated rooms. This type of pet should not be too overheated and supercooled. It is also not allowed to warm up the room where the pig is located with kerosene gas or a kerosene lamp. These heat sources emit a lot of harmful gases.
After a pet cage is purchased, it should be well equipped. First of all, you need a pad while the filler is desirable to choose from straw and paper (these are excellent heat insulators that will keep animals warm). It is not recommended to lay filler from pine and cedar sawdust, as they contain a lot of phenol, which is dangerous for rodents. Since pigs love to dig deep tunnels and dig in, then the filler layer must be at least 7 cm.
Rodents are clean and love exceptionally dry, clean litter, so the litter must be periodically changed to a new one, removing wet areas.
In addition, pet housing must be equipped with the following elements.
- drinker. It is advisable to give preference to containers made of glass and ceramics, fresh water is constantly poured into them and installed in such a way that the liquid does not spill and does not fall on the filler. As a drinker, you can also use a plastic or glass bottle, it is hung at a certain height so that the fluffy can freely reach it. Such bottles must be thoroughly washed with a brush once a week during the cleaning of the cage.
- feeder. It should be small and wide, as pets like to eat, putting their paws on its edges. No need to buy big bowls. As for the material of manufacture, ceramic containers are the best option, plastic is not recommended. Ceramic bowls last much longer and pets do not gnaw through them.
The feeder should be placed away from the “toilet” and washed as it gets dirty, as animal excrement and filler can get into it.
No less important for guinea pigs are considered and toys, which are most often installed in cardboard boxes or wooden cubes. Since pets love to gnaw everything, placing mineral pebbles in the house will also be a good solution. You can not buy toys covered with paint in specialized stores.
If you wish, you can make toys for your pet yourself from toilet paper rolls, cardboard boxes and paper bags. At the same time, it is worth paying attention to the fact that only large toys are suitable for rodents, since they can swallow small ones, which will cause suffocation.
One of the main components of the cage should be a hammock. So that the animal does not injure itself, it is important to follow how it uses the hammock. Additionally, the structure can be equipped with a nook by making a small canopy or tunnel. Animals love to hide and are often embarrassed by seclusion in their hiding place. Elements for the corner can be either purchased ready-made in the store or made with your own hands.
Suitable for games and mazes. A tunnel made independently from a can of round bread or chips is in no way inferior to store options. To do this, the sticker, all metal parts, are first removed from the can. Such labyrinths are able to interest the animal for a long time, which will prevent its obesity in the future and have a positive effect on health.
For information on how to choose a cage for a guinea pig, see the video below.