The Omlet Blog

Ultimate rabbit and guinea pig checklist 

Thinking about adding a small pet to your family? Rabbits and guinea pigs require similar accommodations, so whether you’re considering bunnies or cavies to your family, your shopping list will look the same. From hutches and runs, to toys and feed, we’ve got the ultimate rabbit and guinea pig checklist

Guinea pig on the Zippi platforms in the Zippi run

Caring for rabbits and guinea pigs 

Rabbits and guinea pigs are both small pets that are great for children and families. They can be housed indoors or outdoors, and are fun and easy to care for. With the appropriate setup and care, rabbits and guinea pigs can live 8-10 years. 

Rabbits and guinea pigs can be kept together, but their nutritional needs and communication methods are different, so it’s best to have separate setups for each species. They’re both social animals, and need the companionship of others of their own kind. So, when planning your pets’ future home, make sure you’re thinking of room for two. 

Hutches 

Traditionally, rabbit and guinea pig hutches have been made of wood, but this poses a problem for several reasons. Both rabbits and guinea pigs have teeth that grow continuously, and they need to gnaw in order to keep their incisors from over growing. Wooden hutches are tempting to chew on, and treated lumber can be toxic to pets. They’re also drafty, don’t hold up in the elements, and absorb moisture and odors. 

Eglu Go Rabbit Hutches and Eglu Go Guinea Pig Hutches are: 

  • Made of pet-safe plastic  
  • Twin insulated for optimal internal temperatures
  • Draft-free while maintaining ventilation 
  • Easy to clean in just a few minutes
  • Built to last a lifetime 

Starting out with a plastic rabbit or guinea pig hutch will set you and your pets up for success from the first day. 

Bedding 

The bedding you use inside of your rabbits’ or guinea pigs’ hutch mostly comes down to personal preference. Typical bedding options include: 

  • Pine shavings or pellets
  • Aspen shavings
  • Recycled paper (this resembles loose cotton) 
  • Straw 

Breeds of rabbits with long hair like Lionheads or Angoras need recycled paper or pine pellets as bedding – straw and shavings will get tangled in their coats. Similarly, breeds of guinea pigs with long hair like Peruvians or Shelties should not be kept on shavings or straw bedding. 

Outdoor space 

Rabbits and guinea pigs need plenty of space outside of their hutch to stretch their legs and explore. Rabbits have lots of energy, so an outdoor rabbit run is essential to helping them stay healthy and happy. Likewise, guinea pigs need an outdoor guinea pig run to stay fit, as they can be prone to obesity if they don’t have enough space to exercise. 

Omlet’s rabbit and guinea pig runs have attached floor panels to prevent tunneling — which is of particular concern for rabbits. The entire run is constructed of heavy-duty welded wire to keep your pets safe outside, and they can be expanded for even more space. 

Toys 

Part of the joy of having rabbits or guinea pigs is watching them play. And the best rabbit and guinea pig toys are those that encourage their natural behaviors. The Zippi Rabbit Tunnel System mimics burrows in the wild that bunnies would naturally gravitate toward. And, guinea pigs in the wild will utilize tunnels created by other animals, so they’ll appreciate having a tunneling system to run through or hide inside of. 

Other rabbit and guinea pig run accessories like shelters and play tunnels make perfect places for your pets to find solace from the sun or to catch a quick nap. Since both rabbits and guinea pigs are prey animals, they’re always on high-alert for potential predators. Because of this, they startle easily and need shelters to retreat into quickly if they perceive danger. Having these covers placed throughout the run will help your rabbits or guinea pigs feel much more at ease. 

Zippi Rabbit and Guinea Pig Platforms give your pets a place to interact with you on your level, and to view the world from another vantage point. Offer treats on the platform in a Caddi Rabbit and Guinea Pig Treat Holder, or train your rabbits and guinea pigs on the elevated surface. The space beneath the platforms offers additional shade and shelter, and the non-slip ramps help get your guinea pigs’ legs moving and satisfies your rabbits’ need to explore. 

Food  

Both rabbits and guinea pigs need quality, timothy hay-based pelleted feed as the main source of their nutrition. However, unlike rabbits, guinea pigs can’t manufacture their own vitamin C, so commercially available guinea pig pellets should be fortified with this essential nutrient. Commercial rabbit feed typically does not contain supplemental vitamin C. This is part of why housing rabbits and guinea pigs separately is so important – too much vitamin C isn’t good for rabbits, and too little vitamin C can be deadly for guinea pigs. 

Many rabbits and guinea pigs won’t overeat if their food is left out for them, but if you notice your pet getting on the thicker side, follow the feeding instructions on the feed bag. Guinea pigs especially can be prone to becoming overweight, so a free-choice pellet diet may not be suitable for them. Rabbits can also put on unnecessary weight, so be sure to assess their body condition regularly. When in doubt, ask your veterinarian if your rabbit or guinea pig is overweight, and if so, see what feeding suggestions they have to offer. 

Rabbits and guinea pigs also need free-choice access to timothy hay. This not only keeps their digestive system working as it should, but also helps them keep their teeth trimmed. Timothy hay won’t cause rabbits or guinea pigs to become overweight, so it’s safe (and necessary) for it to be available at all times. 

 

Omlet and your rabbits and guinea pigs 

Keeping rabbits and guinea pigs is a fun experience for all ages. With our Eglu Go Rabbit and Guinea Pig Hutches, caring for your pets doesn’t have to be a chore. You can completely clean your rabbits’ or guinea pigs’ home in just minutes – leaving you plenty of time to spend socializing and playing with them. Use Zippi Rabbit and Guinea Pig Platforms to bring you closer than ever, and watch them display their natural behaviors with the Zippi Tunnel System for an unforgettable experience for you and your pets.

 Children playing in the Zippi setup with their pet rabbits

This entry was posted in Guinea Pigs


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