Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Gift Ideas for GUINEA PIGS

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I have had guinea pigs most of my life.  I got my first guinea pig when I was 8.  I poured through a "Pets for Kids" book and decided I wanted a guinea pig.  I was too young to know much about them, but thankfully Tilly was pretty healthy despite our not knowing much about them.

I have found through the years that people have wanted to give a small gift to my guinea pigs at the holidays and don't know where to begin.  Often times, they rely on what pet stores and companies market to guinea pigs, but unfortunately those are not always the best things for a guinea pig.  For instance, an exercise ball can cause a guinea pig to break its back!  Guinea pigs don't have the flexibility that, say, a ferret has, and therefor these can cause harm.  Other places market seed treats, and one time my mother didn't want to offend family who got one of these and fed one of these treats to her guinea pig.  It bit me (which is something that guinea pigs don't usually do) when I had to extract a seed from its mouth that it had impaled through his bottom teeth.  Other treats may have too much sugar, and I have even seen sponges being marketed as chew toys.  Would you want to eat a sponge?  I know I wouldn't, and guinea pigs who snack on these can need surgery as it will often just stay in the stomach. 

I know you want to give SAFE  treats to a guinea pig, and make sure it stays healthy, so here are some ideas.  

Gifts for guinea pigs come in three categories:  Food / treats, Toys, and Cage Accessories.

Food / Treats

I am pretty brand loyal when it comes to snacks and food for my guinea pigs, because I want them to be as healthy as possible.

I feed my pigs Oxbow Essential Guinea Pig Pellets.  This is what they were fed at the rescue, and although other pellets look fun with colors and such, the "boring" pellets are the healthiest.  Be sure to buy GUINEA PELLETS -- rabbit pellets aren't as nutritionally robust as what guinea pigs need.

Piggies should have a nice supply of hay -- and NOT alfalfa unless they are pregnant or very young because of calcium content.  I like Small Pet Select Second Cutting Timothy Hay   Small Pet Select is a reliable company in my experience.  They also have sampler boxes that also contain oat hay.

Making a stocking from the produce section is always a great idea.  Guinea pigs love romaine lettuce and dandelion greens and corn husks!

One of the treats guinea pigs love is Pea Flakes.  Again, I trust Small Pet Select here.  :) 

Other treats I recommend are:

Oxbow Vitamin C "cookies"

Oxbow Simple Rewards "cookies" (my pigs don't care for the strawberry or banana, but they love all the others)

Another brand I trust is Rosewood Naturals.  Unfortunately they are pricey on Amazon, but you may be able to find them at your local Walmart.  My girls go crazy for forage!

Small Pet Select has a selection of Healthy Snacker Treats

Piggy's Choice One Ingredient Snacks are also reliable in my opinion.

Guinea pigs LOVE wheat grass, so some seeds and a growing tray are also a great option.   Or even a window herb garden with dill and parsley.

While this says for rabbits, it's a hit with my guinea pig as a treat.  It's a cute little timothy and carrot lollipop.  They will eat more than they should, so I have to give it to them during lap time.


Guinea pigs are good with basic toys.  A paper bag with some hay hidden inside or a Happy Meal box can keep a guinea pig entertained.

My girls have and enjoy the Oxbow Enrichment Center -- one note here -- I did cut off the sponge like chews because I wanted to make sure my girls weren't ingesting anything that could be sponge and Oxbow just says it is "all natural"! 

Other chew toys are the Oxbow cupcake and the Oxbow Barrel Roll

A foraging fleece would be fun! 

My Lucky loved his Crinkle Tunnel -- he LOVED noise, and even crinkle dog toys made him happy.

Which takes us to CAGE ACCESSORIES

The #1 thing a guinea pig needs is a cage that is big enough.  Store bought guinea pig cages really don't provide enough room, so I always recommend a Midwest Cage.  You can read how I made my cage here

Guinea pigs love places to hide, and they love their "Strawberry of Safety" as I call it.  :) 

Piggy's Choice has some nice corner hides although the rescue that I work with likes to see guinea pig hides have multiple ways out if there is more than one pig in a cage.  I found a great aerobic step  at Goodwill, but since my HoneyButter lives alone, she loves her tree trunk hideout.  You could also look at the Dollar Store for a child's stool 

I have used guinea pig warming disks in the past, but I prefer self warming pet mats (although these have to be washed OFTEN!)

My HoneyButter is a water bottle connoisseur and she LOVES her glass Lixit Water Bottle

A nice hay bag is always appreciate.  (The hay balls have been known to cause death, so I recommend a hay bag.)

My RedBird is blind, and she loves her StayBowl because she can feel the base of the bowl on her feet before she gets to it and doesn't bump her nose into it like she would with other bowls.

HayPigs have some adorable circus themed guinea pig accessories such as a Veggie Kebob maker, a circus wagon hay hopper , and even a "cannonball" hide tunnel

A foraging Christmas tree is a fun way to serve veggies during the holiday

While not a Cage accessory, I recommend all guinea pigs have a pair of guinea pig nail clippers.

Also, items for a Guinea Pig Emergency Kit  is always a good idea. 

Also, if you sew, check out the book Sewing For Guinea Pigs and create a gift yourself!

I hope this gives you some ideas to make this a safe, happy, and healthy holiday for the cavy on your holiday gift list!  

If you have a guinea pig on your gift list, then I'm sure you have someone who loves guinea pigs on your list as well, so be sure and check out these GIFT IDEAS FOR PEOPLE WHO LOVE GUINEA PIGS!

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