When it comes to housing , the bigger the better, or the biggest you can afford. Some dedicated breeders have designated whole rooms or enclosures to their guinea pigs. For pet owners though, I suggest a guinea pig cage that is at least 50cm by a metre for two guinea pigs.
Remember that guinea pigs do not dig and therefore do not need mesh flooring. This type of flooring hurts their delicate feet and can cause infection and also injury from a hooked toe or nail.
Guinea Pigs also don’t climb, so many owners are now constructing wonderful cages of cubed shelving with open tops. This is not an option if you own cats though.
Remember guinea pigs like to run. In the wild they would spend their day foraging along the ground covering quite a distance. Sometimes a guinea pig will get it into its head that it needs a bit of exercise and begin to run circuits in the cage. That why the more horizontal space in your guinea pig cage, the better. Guinea pigs don’t care really what is above them, so a tall cage is unnecessary unless u plan to add levels and ramps (NOT ladders remember guinea pigs are not climbers and will hook their feet in the ladder and fall, possibly breaking the leg in the process). Also if you do create levels please don’t let them be taller than about 30 cm as guinea pigs do tumble off layers and ramps.
I’m not a fan of hutches unless they are really big and allow adequate ventilation. Beware that the guinea pig will chew the wood of the hutch , so make sure it safe untreated wood. The floor of the hutch needs to be covered in something like linoleum or plastic to protect it. Cavy urine will seep into the wood and the wood will rot and ammonia will accumulate. In hotter climates hutches can be little hothouses. Guinea pigs do not tolerate heat well at all and can get heat stroke very easily for which the prognoses is very poor.
Wood shavings may not be the right choice for your piggies. These shavings have long been associated with respiratory issues in rats and mice due to phenols and oils in their makeup. Apparently hardwood shaving such as Aspen is better. I never had issues with cavies and respiratory issues, but my rescue rats suffered greatly from this due to my ignorance. There are other products out there made from paper or corn and even Kenaf which I found in South Africa, which is chopped up hibiscus cuttings.
Hidey holes are another debate.
Rosewood Snuggles Reversible Snuggle Tunnel
Be careful buying plastic igloos as some pigs (not all) enjoy destroying the plastic by gnawing and this can cause bowel blockages and death. Also check when buying painted wooden houses that it’s painted with a non toxic paint. If it’s raw wood that it hasn’t been treated with anything that could be poisonous to your pets. Nowadays some absolutely beautiful soft housing can be bought. Some are shaped like tents, some like igloos, some like cubes and some like sleeping bags. Mine love theirs.
Read more by buying my kindle book , The Complete Cavy: Everything You Need To Know About Guinea Pigs , at Amazon.co.uk.