Guinea pigs are easy to keep and live for 4-6 years. They don't require a lot of care, but if they are not handled frequently they may be frightened of people and bite or scratch.
A guinea pig enclosure should:
The most important part of a guinea pig's diet is unlimited hay. Guinea pigs' teeth grow constantly throughout their lives, and tend to overgrow unless they constantly chew on roughage. You can also provide some sticks or untreated wood for your guinea pig to chew on.
Guinea pigs, like humans, cannot make their own vitamin C so they also need a supply of fresh fruit and vegetables. Citrus fruits and capsicum are rich in vitamin C. Some guinea pig pellets are okay, but should not compose the majority of the diet.
Guinea pigs reach sexual maturity at 10-12 weeks of age, so it is important to separate males and females before then if you don't want to end up with more guinea pigs! If you are intending to breed your guinea pig, you should do this before the age of 6 months. After this, the two halves of the pelvis fuse together, preventing natural passage of babies through the birth canal. Pregnancy lasts 57–72 days and the average litter size is about 3 to 5. Baby guinea pigs are born with their eyes open and can eat solid food within a few days. If you don't want another litter, separate Mum and Dad immediately because they will usually mate about 24 hours after the birth.
Here you can find information and advice about common problems and diseases. Please remember, though, that this information can't replace a visit to the vet!