Guinea Pig Boarding: A Complete Guide

ginger guinea pig in a wooden hideout

Guinea pig boarding facilities offer care and accommodation for your small pets when you are unable to look after them yourself.

There can be for several reasons why you might need to board your guinea pigs, including a family holiday, moving home, having a baby or if you need to be in hospital for a period of time.

There are many small pet boarding services throughout the UK, some of which offer short term boarding and others that offer a longer term option if required. Some guinea pig hotels offer more luxurious accommodation whereas others will be more basic.

What facilities will be provided for my guinea pigs in boarding

Facilities at a guinea pig boarding facility will vary and it is important you find out exactly what they offer and how your guinea pigs will be cared for over the period you are away. 

Some of the questions you might want to ask are:

  • How large are the hutches?
  • Will they have play time in a good sized run each day?
  • What bedding do you use?
  • Do I need to supply the pellet food or is all food provided by the boarding facility?
  • What kind of fresh food do you usually feed the guinea pigs? Or will you feed them depending on their usual diet at home?
  • Are they housed indoors or outdoors?
  • Is their accommodation heated and well ventilated? (consider the time of year and if it will be very hot or very cold)
  • What happens if my guinea pig gets ill while I’m away?
  • Will you keep in touch with me and send pictures or video?
  • Do you have a webcam set up so I can see my piggies at any time?
  • What other animals are boarded at your facility?
  • How much will it cost and do you offer a discount after a certain number of days or for more than 1 or 2 guinea pigs?
  • How long have they been boarding guinea pigs and what experience do they have?
  • Will my guinea pigs get daily cuddles and attention?
  • Is the accommodation safe from predators? Ask about CCTV and security too.
two guinea pigs eating pellet food
Make sure you discuss your guinea pig’s diet with the boarding facility

Visit the boarding facility before you make your choice

We cannot stress enough that you should always visit the place where you are planning to board your guinea pigs. 

Most people are honest and care deeply about small animals and that is why they run these piggy hotels and homes. However, there will always be those that are not so ethical. Checking the service and accommodation in advance will mean you can enjoy your holiday and relax without constantly worrying if they are being properly looked after.

Does the guinea pig boarding facility have a webcam?

Some pet hotels have webcams set up. This is a great feature and you can also be fairly sure that a boarding service with a webcam is most likely going to take good care of them too.

However, don’t be put off if they don’t have this service as many guinea pig boarders won’t offer this and it is no reflection on the excellent service they may provide.

How much does guinea pig boarding cost?

Prices for boarding your small pets vary enormously between countries and states so it is best to do a bit of research, phone around or email the facilities and find out the general cost in your area.

The boarding cost will not only vary depending on your location, but the facilities available for your guinea pigs, the number of guinea pigs you are boarding at one time and the length of time they will be in their holiday home will all have an impact on the final cost.

If you have more than two guinea pigs sharing accommodation you may get a discounted rate for the additional piggies.

Do guinea pig boarders need a small animal boarding license?

Many catteries and kennels for cats and dogs do need a license but small animal boarders may not need this although it will depend on the country and the state in which you live. Check out the regulations in your area and make sure you choose a boarding facility that abides by the regulations.

Do guinea pigs need vaccinations before boarding?

When putting your pets into boarding, one of the significant costs is often the vaccinations that catteries, kennels and other pet boarders require. But unlike rabbits, cats or dogs, guinea pigs do not need any vaccinations to be boarded which can save you a lot of expense.