Recommended Supplies for Guinea Pigs

The following is a list of my favorite guinea pig items and some training/agility equipment that I like to use to teach my piggies tricks. I’ll also list some of my guinea pigs’ favorite treats and toys.

Some toys and treats on the market are frequently ignored or even unsafe for guinea pigs. I’ll include a list of things to avoid at the bottom of this page so you’re not wasting money on useless or even potentially harmful items.

My Favorite Guinea Pig Items

This is a quick list of everything I use for my piggies. I have more details on each item as you scroll further down the page.

Please note that many of these links are affiliate links. This means that if you click on the links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission from the sale. This is at no additional cost to you. You don’t have to use them, but if you do, I really appreciate the support!

Guinea Pig Food

Guinea Pig Toys

Guinea Pig Treats

Training Items

My Favorite General Guinea Pig Items

Exercise Pens

Exercise pens (also known as ex-pens or playpens) have countless purposes for guinea pigs.

There are many different types to choose from, but I prefer wire pens that fold up for storage.

I use exercise pens frequently for floor time. You can set one up and let your guinea pigs run around safely inside the pen in any room of the house. You can also use them to block off certain areas of a room or furniture that guinea pigs could chew or hide under.

Exercise pens are also great for keeping your guinea pigs safely contained if you ever want to take them outside for fresh air and grazing time.

Another thing I use exercise pens for is a temporary cage for new guinea pigs. I like to set up the pen right beside the regular guinea pig cage. That way, the existing pigs can get to know the newcomer before being formally introduced.

Ex-pens are also big enough for you to sit inside and bond with the new piggy without even needing to take them out of their cage.

I like to use ex-pens for training as well. It’s usually much harder to train multiple guinea pigs simultaneously, so exercise pens are pretty useful for separating pigs for short training sessions. Ex-pens allow the piggies to still see and sniff their buddy on the other side, so they’re less likely to be concerned about not having their cage mate with them.

Wire Grids

Wire grids are often used to build C&C cages for guinea pigs. I used them to make my new guinea pig cages, and they worked great!

Wire grids are perfect to use because you can zip tie them together in nearly any shape or configuration you can think of to fit your space.

​When choosing your wire grids, make sure you select grids that have nine squares across, like the Amazon Basics grids or Whitmor brand Storage Cubes. Some grids have bigger holes that guinea pigs could get their head stuck in, so you want to avoid those.

Another thing you can use them for is making your own guinea pig exercise pen. Simply zip tie a bunch of grids together, and you have an ex-pen! This is often a bit cheaper than buying a dog ex-pen, and you can add as many grids as you want to make the ex-pen bigger. It also folds up in a fan just like a regular ex-pen for storage.

Midwest Guinea Pig Cage

The Midwest guinea pig cage is an excellent alternative to C&C enclosures if you don’t want to build your own cage with grids. The Midwest cage is a good size for two guinea pigs, and you can also add on to make it bigger if you have more than two piggies.

Waterproof Floor Time Mats

Waterproof mats are great for floor time, and anywhere else you want to protect your floor from piggy messes. They’re easy to shake off and clean and machine washable as well.

My favorite mats for the guinea pigs are splat mats made for kids. I have several of them and also use them in the guinea pig cages.

The ones I have in the guinea pig cages do get stained when used heavily, but they don’t ever let any urine seep through, which is fantastic.

XL Litter Boxes

I have used all kinds of litter trays for guinea pigs, but these extra-large litter trays are the best I have found. They’re called Puppy Go Here litter pans, and they’re meant for litter box training puppies and small dogs.

These trays are pretty big (I use the 24″ x 20″ size), so I wouldn’t buy them if you have a smaller cage. For those that have a Midwest or C&C cage, though, they are absolutely worth it.

I use them as a litter box/hay box combo, and it helps keep the hay contained in one place. The litter box walls are also low enough that I can hang their water bottle in the litter box, so it catches all the drips from the bottle. Using these litter boxes has cut down my cage cleaning time significantly.

Small Pet Carrier

I love to use soft-sided carriers for my guinea pigs. Carriers are handy for taking your guinea pig to the vet, outside, or even to a new room in the house.

By bringing your piggy to a new area in a carrier, you allow them to feel safe and investigate the new room at their own pace.

I also use carriers to move guinea pigs to and from their cage. I find this much easier and safer than carrying them back and forth. It is also super easy to teach guinea pigs to go in a carrier. Simply toss a couple of veggie pieces in the back of the carrier each time.

After a while, they’ll likely want to go into the carrier even without food because it means they get to come out and have fun! Once they learn to love their carrier, they will run inside as soon as you put the carrier down in their cage or on the floor.

Fleece Liners

Fleece liners are a super cozy alternative bedding that guinea pigs love. I made most of my liners myself, but I’ve also purchased some from GuineaDad in the past and loved them. You can also browse Etsy for some handmade liners in different colors and patterns.

Chenille Bath Mats

Chenille bath mats (also called noodle rugs) are absorbent and easy to wash. This makes them an excellent option for guinea pig cages. It’s a good idea to place them under hidey houses or other high-trafficked areas where your guinea pigs pee the most. They can help keep your fleece liners clean much longer by placing them strategically around the cage.

Soft Fleece Pet Blankets

These fleece pet blankets are incredibly soft and cozy for guinea pigs. I like to use them over fleece liners or underneath sleeping areas, sometimes over the top of the chenille mats for extra absorbency. Soft blankets can make plastic or wooden hidey houses much warmer and cozier, especially in winter.

Oxbow Pellets

I’ve fed all my piggies Oxbow Cavy Cuisine for the last nine years or so. The guinea pigs love it, and they’ve always been healthy and long-lived. Oxbow is considered a high-quality food and is recommended by many vets and long-time guinea pig owners.

However, pellets should be a small part of your guinea pig’s overall diet (the standard amount is 1/8 cup per pig per day.) It’s essential to balance your guinea pig’s diet with unlimited hay and healthy vegetables.

Oxbow Timothy and Orchard Hay

Unlimited access to hay is the most crucial part of your guinea pig’s diet. Hay should equal out to about 80% of your guinea pig’s diet! Hay is essential to keep the digestive tract moving. Continuously chewing on the long strands of hay also keeps your guinea pig’s ever-growing teeth worn down and healthy.

Timothy and orchard hay are both healthy options for guinea pigs. I used to feed Oxbow’s brand of timothy hay. Now that I have five guinea pigs and two rabbits, I buy timothy hay by the bale from a local business.

Aspen Shavings

Aspen shavings are my typical go-to disposable bedding to use in litter boxes. Soft paper-based bedding is another excellent choice, but it’s a little more expensive. Pine shavings are also acceptable to use, as long as it says “kiln-dried” or “heat-dried” on the package.

Living World Plastic Water Bottles

Living World plastic water bottles are my favorite type of water bottle for my guinea pigs. They don’t typically leak, but they allow plenty of water to come out without too much effort on the guinea pig’s part.

Some water bottles have a tiny ball tip on the end, and when you touch them with your finger, very little water comes out! I worry that my guinea pigs won’t get the amount of water they need from those, so I always look for a bottle with a larger ball tip, similar to the Living World ones.

Sturdy No Tip Bowls

Most lightweight plastic food bowls will be easily tipped over by guinea pigs, resulting in a lot of wasted food! A couple of bowls I like are the heavyweight Kaytee bowls and Staybowl tip-proof bowls.

Hiding Houses

I typically use three different types of hidey houses for my piggies. First, there are the Living World domes, as they are one of the only plastic hideouts that are not see-through. Plastic hideouts are durable and easy to clean, but they’re not the best choice if your guinea pig likes to chew a lot. Wooden houses are another great choice, although they’re more likely to be stained.

Fleece hideys are also great if you’re willing to spend a bit more. Guinea pigs love these the most, but they do require frequent cleaning. I love to browse Etsy for cool handmade fleece huts, tunnels, and beds. Etsy has a lot of super adorable options for guinea pig fleece accessories.

Mini Broom and Dustpan

A mini handheld broom and dustpan are invaluable with guinea pigs. As anyone with a guinea pig would know, guinea pigs poop constantly. Having a little “poop broom” nearby makes it so much easier to tidy up their cage a bit throughout the day or catch stray pieces outside of the cage.

Cage Cleaning Disinfectant

Nature’s Miracle Cage Cleaning spray is my go-to for cleaning things like litter boxes and hidey houses. I also soak things in vinegar occasionally to get stains out. However, I find the disinfectant better to remove smells, especially if you don’t want to soak items for several minutes.

It’s also odorless and safe for small animal respiratory systems. Nature’s Miracle also sells cage cleaning wipes, but I found these got moldy after a little while, so I prefer the spray.

Digital Kitchen Scale

A scale is handy to keep track of your guinea pig’s weight. Weight changes can often be the first sign of illness, so it’s a good thing to keep a record of. I like these digital kitchen scales mostly because they have ample surface space. This makes it easy for guinea pigs to sit on it comfortably and munch on some veggies while you read their weight.

Favorite Treats and Toys

The following section on this page is a list compiled by my guinea pigs. The following treats and toys are all the things that my guinea pigs go crazy for! They’re a little bit spoiled, haha.

Treats

Oxbow Simple Rewards Baked Cookies

Oxbow has a brand of treats that come in a few different flavors. They particularly love the baked cookies made in the shape of a heart. Most of my guinea pigs seem to love the Barley Biscuits flavor the most, followed by the Veggie TreatsBell Pepper biscuits, and Apple & Banana.

I’m crossing my fingers that Oxbow decides to bring out a carrot flavor someday. Carrots are my guinea pigs’ top favorite veggie, and I have a feeling they would love it in cookie form!

Oxbow Supplement Tabs

These are more of a health item, but my guinea pigs seem to think of them more as treats. Most of my pigs get the vitamin C tabs in the orange package, but I’ve also given my older guys the joint support supplements.

It’s hard to say whether they make a big difference health-wise, but I did notice a slight improvement with the joint tabs, and extra vitamin C is never a bad thing for guinea pigs! The guinea pigs certainly love them, and it’s great to have a healthy treat to give them some potential added health benefits.

Pea Flakes

Pea flakes are another type of dried treat that guinea pigs love! My piggies will climb my arm for these tiny flakes. 😆 Small Pet Select sells packages of pea flakes. If you live outside the USA, you may want to search on Etsy or google for a small business that sells them in your area.

Oxbow Hay Stacks

Oxbow Hay Stacks are essentially compressed discs of hay. These are not a good substitute for regular hay, but they make a great treat or toy in addition to the regular hay source. Guinea pigs love to chew and pull them apart. Some of my guinea pigs even love to drag them around the cage.

Toys and Chew Items

Treat Balls

Treat balls can be filled with pellets, diced carrots, or other tiny veggie pieces. My guinea pigs all love rolling their treat balls around. They provide a good source of both exercise and mental enrichment. Most guinea pigs need to be taught how to use their treat ball first, but once they learn, most piggies love playing with it.

Timothy Hay Tunnel

I’ve never met a guinea pig that hasn’t been drawn to timothy hay tunnels. These tunnels combine a guinea pig’s two favorite things; eating/chewing and hiding.

Guinea pigs also love to explore and seem to love running through tunnels. Hay tunnels are a bit more expensive than other types of hay-woven toys, but they’re more interactive for the guinea pig and hold up to chewing much longer than the smaller toys.

Timothy Hay Mat

Timothy hay mats are another excellent chew item for guinea pigs. These can be placed on the floor or hung up on the side of the cage with twist ties or zip ties. If you place these on the ground, I highly suggest not putting them in a high-traffic corner where it’s likely to be peed or pooped on. Once the mat gets soiled, most guinea pigs lose interest in chewing on it.

Tying it on the cage is a good alternative to keep it clean and make it last longer. It also encourages the guinea pigs to stretch and get a bit of exercise by reaching up to chew the mat.

Chewable Willow or Hay Balls

This set of edible play balls provides a great toy and chew item in one. Most guinea pigs are very drawn to toys like this that can be chewed up or thrown around.

Most of my guinea pigs prefer the hay-woven and softer rope-style balls in this set the most. However, the willow balls are more rigid and durable for guinea pigs that love to chew.

Apple Tree Sticks

Apple tree sticks are great for guinea pigs that love to chew. They are especially great for baby guinea pigs, as young piggies seem to have a neverending desire to chew and nibble on things. Apple tree sticks are one of the most popular for guinea pigs.

If you have an apple tree at home, you can simply cut off some twigs and small branches for your piggies. Otherwise, you can purchase packs of organic apple tree sticks online or at some pet stores.

My Favorite Training Items

Tunnels

My favorite types of tunnels for training are extendable and collapsible play tunnels made for guinea pigs and small rabbits.

I have a couple of the large-size Ware Manufacturing brand fun tunnels for my guinea pigs and rabbits. You can also find other brands of similar tunnels, such as the NiteAngel Fun Tunnel.

These tunnels are perfect for training because the length is adjustable. When your guinea pig is just learning to go through a tunnel, you can keep the length super short until they gain more confidence. Then you can make the tunnel longer as they learn and even bend and twist the tunnel in different directions for more variety.

This is fun for creating obstacle or agility courses for your guinea pig too. You can use straight tunnels in your course or curve them in a semi-circle or U-shape like in dog agility courses.

Slotted Balls

Slotted balls are another common item I use for teaching various tricks, such as basketball and fetch. These slotted balls are made by Ethical Pets on Amazon.

I find that these balls are the perfect size for training guinea pigs, and they’re also super easy for the guinea pigs to pick up and carry.

Since these are cat toys, they come with little bells inside. However, I find that the bells are pretty easy to remove because the slotted balls have a bit of flexibility.

These can also make great enrichment toys if you’re not interested in training. Stuff them with lettuce or something similar, and they become a great puzzle ball for the guinea pigs to throw around and try to figure out how to get the food out.

Target Sticks

Admittedly, I don’t tend to use target sticks too much for teaching other types of behaviors like jumps and tunnels, but I still like to teach my guinea pigs to touch and follow a target stick.

Following a target stick is an easy and fun confidence-building trick that most guinea pigs learn quickly and enjoy doing. Most target sticks you can buy are larger and geared towards dogs, so I would recommend you make your own guinea pig-sized target stick.

Target sticks are pretty simple and cheap to make and only require a couple of materials. You can find a tutorial for this on the DIY Target Stick page.

Agility Hoop Jump

This is not an item you can buy. However, I have a tutorial on making one on the DIY Guinea Pig Agility Hoop Jump page. This is one of my favorite DIY items for guinea pigs.

These hoops are super cute to use in an agility course or just as a stand-alone trick. You can also attach a piece of paper to the top of the hoop and teach your guinea pig to jump through a “blind hoop.”

Plus, since it’s a DIY project, you can make the hoop any color and decorate it however you like. I like to put feathers on the top of the ring for extra flair. 😛

Clickers

Daisy sniffing a quiet clicker on the left. Avoid box clickers like the one on the far right. These are far too loud for guinea pigs.

I don’t use clickers very often with my piggies, but for those that want to use them, I highly suggest you use the quietest type of clicker you can find.

You can find quieter than average clickers online. If the noise still spooks your piggy, muffle the clicker in your sleeve or pocket at first.

In the past, I’ve also used a heavy style of a pen with a louder than average clicking noise when you press it, and that seemed to have the right level of volume for guinea pigs.

Guinea Pig Items to AVOID

Exercise Balls and Wheels

Any kind of wheel or exercise ball is not suitable for guinea pigs. Guinea pigs don’t have flexible spines like hamsters, rats, and other rodents, so their back is unable to bend in a way to run on wheels. A better way to exercise your guinea pig is to purchase an exercise pen and give them plenty of free roam time to run around outside of their cage.

Yogurt Drop Treats

Yogurt drops are treats that are frequently sold for guinea pigs. However, these treats are very high in sugar and not healthy for guinea pigs. In addition, guinea pigs should not consume anything that has even the tiniest amounts of meat or dairy in it. The best treats to give your guinea pigs are the ones listed above or a variety of fresh vegetables, especially vegetables that are high in vitamin C.

Treats with Seeds

Another treat that is frequently marketed towards small animals is treat sticks that are held together with honey or other sticky substances. These treats are very unhealthy for guinea pigs and can also pose a choking risk. Typically anything with seeds in it is best avoided.

Wire Hay Balls and Some Hay Racks

Guinea pig eating from a wire hay ball. These can be potentially dangerous if guinea pigs are left unsupervised with them.

Any kind of wire hay ball that is hung on the cage and filled with hay can be potentially quite dangerous for guinea pigs.

There have been countless cases of people who came home to find their guinea pig seriously injured or worse, with their heads stuck inside one of these balls.

Hay racks, in general, are often frowned upon by experienced guinea pig owners. This is because guinea pigs are supposed to eat large amounts of hay (their diet should consist of 80% hay.)

Hay racks can make guinea pigs work harder than necessary for their hay, and therefore, they may not eat as much as they should.

If you choose to use a hay rack, make sure it has large openings and is easy to reach for the guinea pig, so they have no difficulty getting the amount of hay they need daily. Hay bags with several openings are a good choice if you hang them close to the floor.

My personal preference is using large litter boxes and adding a new pile of hay to the box daily. This allows the piggies to eat freely and does an excellent job of keeping hay contained in one easy-to-clean area.

Vitamin C Drops Added to Water

It is imperative to make sure your guinea pigs get plenty of vitamin C in their diet. However, vitamin C drops added to water aren’t very effective because vitamin C degrades quickly once exposed to light. In addition, the taste can even turn some guinea pigs off drinking from their water bottle.

The best way to ensure your guinea pigs are getting enough vitamin C is to feed them high-quality pellet food and provide veggies that are high in vitamin C, such as bell peppers. Oxbow vitamin C tabs are an excellent edible supplement if you’re concerned about your piggies not getting enough vitamin C in their diet.

For a list of even more guinea pig items to avoid, check out this list of 15 things you should never buy for your guinea pig.