Gerbils and guinea pigs have the same basic needs as other pets, but require less maintenance. Care of these pets consists primarily of a clean, appropriate house and a nutritional diet. Guinea pigs can be housed together or separately, in a cage at least twelve inches high. The floor should be covered with wood chips or shredded paper, and the temperature should remain warm. Gerbils, however, are happiest when kept in pairs. Their cages can be bought at a pet store and have divided compartments for exercise. Commercial rodent litter should line the cage, and bedding material should be provided. Both guinea pig and gerbil cages should be cleaned twice a week. Instead of keeping food and water dishes on the cage floor, it is more sanitary to attach dispensers to the side of the cage. These will dispense the proper amount of food and water, but they should be regularly checked to ensure they are working properly. For more information on caring for a gerbil or guinea pig, consult a local veterinarian.