Guinea Pig Hutches - Factors in Choosing One
What is a guinea pig hutch?
A rabbit guinea pig hutch should be as comfortable as the natural environment of our pet guinea pig, and to some extent, even a baby chinchilla. They should be large enough to give ample room for our furry little friend and his companions to run around in. Guinea pigs hutches are widely available online and in most, if not all pet stores around the country. They can be bought either pre-assembled or you can just do the assembling at home. Outdoor cages should at least have a decent roof to protect our pets from the heat of the sun and the rain while indoor hutches can be made of simple yet sturdy materials.
Some tips before buying your very own hutch
For guinea pigs to be comfortable in a guinea pigs hutch, or chinchilla cages, it needs to be at least 2 feet wide and 2 feet tall. This ratio is 8 sq. ft. for each cavy and may be increased proportionally if more than 1 guinea pig is to live in it. Guinea pigs are social animals and should never be raised alone. In some countries it is even illegal to sell just one guinea pig to a pet seeker who does not have another guinea pig at home. Because of this, the most common cage sizes is at least 12 to 15 sq. ft. in size and is built mainly to house at least 2 guinea pigs. They are mostly square shaped but there are many other designs to choose from.
Their homes should be well ventilated but placed in areas that are not too drafty. Guinea pigs have a body temperature that is almost similar to humans and can thrive in colder weather compared to warm to hot weather. For this reason, fans should be placed near the cage during extremely hot summer months to avoid letting our pets get over heated.
Guinea pigs love to move around and are very lively when they do not sense any form of danger around them, so, even chinchilla toys will provide some form of entertainment. Cages that have room for mazes and paths are a good choice for your pet and they are even smart enough to remember paths even if the borders have been removed. Exercise wheels can be placed at the bottom of the guinea pig cage hutch for them but it has to be made with a smooth surface so as not to injure their feet. They enjoy moving around a lot but are not the type to jump; they could injure themselves as their bodies are not agile enough to absorb shock from the fall.
These cages should be made of wires or fine chicken wire for the sides with a plastic bottom. A wooden floor tends to absorb urine and will later encourage bacterial growth not to mention foul ammonia like odor which will permeate from the cage. The floor surface and other parts of the cage that will be crawled upon by the guinea pig should be made of materials that will protect his feet as they are tender and sensitive. One side of the hutch must be completely covered giving them protection from the elements and some privacy as well. The rest of the cage may be made of wires so that they will encourage air to circulate inside.
A guinea pig hutch may set you back at least around $100 dollars for the decently made ones. Cheaper cages may be too small or flimsy for your pet and may not last for long. They can be pre-assembled or you can just assemble them at home using basic tools like a screwdriver or a hammer. Those that prefer to do the assembling themselves may need to ask for an instruction manual in order to get things done the right way. There are those who choose to make a statement with their pets’ cage and choose to just make them from scratch. This may take a lot of time but will save you some money. The other choice is to just look for those who have put up their own cages for sale. Lastly, you can even choose to build guinea pig hutch on your own. This can be both a good or bad option as you do not know the health of the guinea pigs that used to live in them. They may come cheap and ready to use but it would be better if you did a thorough cleaning and disinfecting of the hutch before letting loose your pet in it. Some minor repairs might need to be done but those cages that are really dilapidated should not even be considered at all.
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