Guinea pigs are cute rodents that make great pets. Even though they are known as great pets for beginners, they come with several chores. They need a daily supply of fresh water, fresh vegetables, and hay, and the enclosure needs to be deep-cleaned at least once a week.
As a whole, cleaning the enclosure of the guinea pig includes cleaning the plastic bottom of the cage, removing and replacing the bedding, cleaning toys, hideouts, the water bottle, and the food jar.
In the following, you will find detailed information on how and how often to clean the enclosure of guinea pigs.
How to Easily Clean a Guinea Pigs Enclosure
Cleaning the enclosure might not but a super fun thing to do, but it’s necessary in order to keep your pets healthy. Guinea pigs are rather clean animals that enjoy a clean cage. They don’t like to live in their own dirt.
Therefore it is necessary to regularly clean the entire cage. The cleaning process can be divided into daily and weekly chores.
The daily duties with guinea pigs include:
- Cleaning the water bottle and exchanging the water
- Removing any food leftovers from the day before
- Removing any wet bedding if the water bottle is dripping or if you are using a water bowl
- Clean up poo
If you stick to these daily duties, it will make the weekly deep-cleaning session a lot quicker and easier for you.
This is how you deep-clean a guinea pig enclosure.
Before you start, prepare a place where your guinea pigs can stay while you are cleaning the cage.
You can either prepare a playpen with some hideouts and toys, a different enclosure, or some kind of tray with hay in it or have them run free in a guinea-pig-friendly room.
Wherever you put your pets, make sure that they are safe, and no other pets can get to them.
2. Remove Everything
Take everything out of the cage, including hideouts, toys, food bowls, hay, and water bottles.
Separate between the things you need to clean, and the things you throw away.
Throw away bedding and old food. You can sweep off the bottom of the cage with a hand brush.
If you use fleece instead of bedding, brush them off so that hay and poo will fall into the enclosure and you can put it in the washer to get rid of stains and pee.
The bottom of the enclosure, houses, toys, and food bowls need to be cleaned with water, a mixture of water, and a veterinary disinfectant liquid that is safe for all pets.
You can also use a mixture of water and vinegar. Do not use human cleaning products because they tend to be way too aggressive for the respiratory system of our pets.
5. Metal Wires of the Cage
If you have a cage with metal wires, wipe over them with a damp cloth or with a pet-friendly disinfectant liquid or spray.
6. Time to Put Everything Back in
Put newspaper on the bottom of the enclosure if you are using bedding. It helps to prevent urine stains. Then put the bedding on top of the newspaper.
If you are using fleece liners, put those back on the bottom of your enclosure
7. Put Your Guinea Pigs Back in
If your guinea pigs are tame and comfortable enough with it, you can already put them back in the enclosure, before putting the houses and toys back in. Some guinea pigs love to explore the cage while it is being prepared.
8. Put the Rest Back in
You can now put the accessorize, clean food bowl with pellets, hay, water bottles, hideouts, and other toys.
It is normal that guinea pigs make a mess within only a few hours. This is why it is important to clean on a daily basis as well.
How Often Should a Guinea Pig Cage be Cleaned?
Just like all pets, guinea pigs make a little bit of a mess in their enclosure. They obviously pee and poo, and spread the food all over the cage. In order to keep our beloved pets healthy, it’s essential to clean their home on a regular basis.
As a whole, a guinea pig enclosure should be cleaned at least once a week, depending on the number of guinea pigs and the size of the enclosure. The more guinea pigs and the smaller the cage, the more often you need to deep-clean the enclosure.
If you clean the cage on a daily basis, you might be able to push the deep-cleaning process to 10 or even 14 days, but make sure that it won’t get dirty. Not all the dirt is visible and if it gets smelly, it’s already very late.
Cage cleaning requires some time, and sometimes it is just too convenient to push the cleaning day a bit further away.
Trust me, I have been there. But keep in mind that your pets depend on you. They are not able to clean their own home, even if they wanted to.
If you have motivation issues, you can make this ritual a bit more fun for you by listening to an audiobook while you are cleaning, or playing some music and singing for your guinea pigs.
Try to make it a fun process, because you will have to do it many times.
Lisa is one of the two founders of Animal-Knowledge. She has been very interested in animals and insects from a very young age and has owned different kinds of pets such as snails, ants, fish, turtles, mice, rats, hamsters, rabbits, a dog, … you get the idea 🙂