Guinea Pig Health

One of the most popular pocket-sized pets–especially with small children–is the guinea pig, or cavy. These pets are relatively easy to care for and are very small. They generally live to be between five and eight years old.

Find out the basics on guinea pig care, here:

1. Diet. Guinea pigs should eat a balanced diet of hay, pellets, and fresh fruits and vegetables. The latter are especially important because guinea pigs cannot manufacture their own vitamin C. Pellets contain vitamin C, but most experts believe it is important to supplement them. Other C sources include red and green bell peppers, broccoli, kale, cabbage, spinach, chicory, and leaf lettuces.

2. Feeding bowls. Ceramic dishes are best for feeding, as is true for most animals. Do not feed in plastic, because this can precipitate various conditions.

3. Symptoms to watch for. These might warrant immediate attention by a veterinarian: decreased appetite, weight loss or gain, discharge from eyes or nose, diarrhea, limping, lethargy, hair loss, and lumps or bumps.

Adapted from Why is Cancer Killing Our Pets? by Deborah Straw (Inner Traditions, 2000). Copyright (c) 2000 by Deborah Straw. Reprinted by permission of Inner Traditions.
Adapted from Why is Cancer Killing Our Pets? by Deborah Straw (Inner Traditions, 2000).


Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola4 years ago

thanks for sharing

K s Goh
KS Goh6 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Melissah Chadwick
Melissah C7 years ago


Savannah P.
Savannah Pratt7 years ago

I cannot be happier with my piggie. I love him so much. I always try to do the best for him. Right now I'm trying to find him a little friend

NoEmailsPls W.
NoEmailsPls W7 years ago

The brief outline of this article are the basics, but there are two superb websites I would recommend for guinea pig care and reference:


NEVER delay if your guinea pig shows signs of ill health. Take to a vet, or better yet, a QUALIFIED rodentologist, straight away. Time is always of the essence.

Lenee Lirette
Lenee Lirette7 years ago

I used to have two guinea pigs-they were such a delight to have. they had to have special attention, just as the article dictates, but it was well worth it to have happy, healthy pets.

Gillian Miller
Gillian M7 years ago

I do not think that it is right to have a pet that lives in a cage. I have cats who can choose how they live and they make sure that we do what they want!

Susanne Tyler
Susanne OFFLINE8 years ago

YES, guinea pigs are so much fun! I used to have some, when i was a TEEN, there are so lovely to have around...with their squeeky noises they make ;=)

Rebecca S.
Rebecca Stover8 years ago

I have been thinking of getting one from the animal shelter. You have convinced me they make loving pets. And they live longer than I thought. Thank You.

Hattie Violet
Hattie Violet8 years ago

Guinea pigs tend to have stong personalities and can be very funny-especially if you try to talk to them seriously about current affairs...but don't let them get too fat or too cold. =]