Guinea Pig Cages and Housing Options
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This article aims to give you more information about guinea pig cages, where you should keep your pig and how the elements may affect your little fluffy bundle of joy!
Choosing a Guinea Pig Cage
It is important to remember that your guinea pig is a 'chewing machine' and so therefore should only be kept in an approved cage. Your local pet shop, or online pet store will stock a large array of cages. If you are planning to keep your guinea pig indoors, it is worth considering the available space you have, as you don't want to be kicking or knocking the cage every time you walk past. Not only will you hurt your foot, your new pet piggie will also no doubt be distressed!
Most of the cages you will see on the market have a solid base as a floor, this is the best type of flooring to have. You should avoid a wire mesh floor at all costs. Guinea pigs have very soft feet and standing for any length off time on a wire mesh floor can cause ulcerations and a great deal is discomfort for your animal.
The cage should be big enough so that the animal can have a designated area to sleep, an area to take exercise and an area to use as the toilet. It is important that cages are cleaned and kept hygienic, as failure to do this could result in you guinea pig becoming a victim of guinea pig fly strike.
Where should I position the cage?
Whether you are placing your pig indoors or outdoors, you need to give careful consideration as to its' location. You will need to have access to the cage on a daily basis, so putting it in a place convenient to you is best. Guinea pigs are also not fond of excessive noises. Ideally somewhere fairly quiet that is conducive to daytime napping is perfect for your piggie.
You need to consider the safety of the location of your pig. Don't forget that foxes, cats, dogs, birds and many other predators will take a particular interest in your animal. Could a predator tunnel in, jump over or fly into the area you are keeping your guinea pig?
What impact will the weather have on my guinea pig?
It pays to think about the temperature of the location of the guinea pig cage. Ideally, there should be some shade provided for your pet. The ideal range of temperature is between 12 and 20 degrees Celsius. If you are subjecting your pig to anything outside this range, he/she may become very uncomfortable. You may need to bring the cage inside during the colder months.
You need to protect your pig from both the wind and from the damp. If you pig is subjected to constant breezes and drafts then he can easily become unwell. The constant wind can reduce the effectiveness of its' immune system. Being exposed to dampness can also be a killer of piggies.
You should remember that your pig is a delicate little animal and extremes of any kind are not good for it. So temperatures should remain within range and ventilation should be good, but not excessive.