Before buying a guinea pig from a breeder or pet shop, one should consider adopting a guinea pig from a rescue center. A good time to find a rescued guinea pig is during Adopt-a-Rescued-Guinea-Pig Month in March; however, guinea pigs can be adopted at rescue facilities all year round.
Guinea pigs generally make great pets for children; however, parental supervision is highly advised when allowing children to handle a guinea pig. Guinea pigs tend to be calm and docile; however, rescued guinea pigs may need to be handled extra softly and gently for awhile due to possible neglect or abuse. As it should be with all animals, children need to be taught to be very gentle and kind when handling a guinea pig.
There are many kinds of guinea pigs – some even have long, flowing hair! Guinea pigs are master jumpers; therefore, a large guinea pig cage or enclosure no less than 1 foot high would be an optimal choice. Wire material for the top and sides is good material to use; however, footing should not be made of wire mesh. Footing should be made of a solid material such as plastic for safety and for sanitation purposes. Glass is not an acceptable cage material for guinea pigs due to poor ventilation and trapping of heat.
Guinea pigs love to hide in things like PVC pipes. Their main diet is timothy hay with the addition of commercial feeds. Vitamin C supplementation may be needed. Finally, guinea pigs need to chew on wooden guinea pig toys to keep their teeth filed down since their teeth grow continuously and can get too long for them to be able to chew correctly. Sometimes, overly long teeth can grow back into the mouth and cause a lot of damage to the structure of the jaw and other structures contained inside the skull. If the teeth begin to grow too long, a veterinarian should be consulted.