Having guinea pigs as pets is an immensely popular thing the world over. Perhaps because people see these small, fluffy creatures as incredibly simple to look after. They aren’t, but they do look simple to look after. So, is having guinea pigs as pets a good thing?
Are guinea pigs good animal to own if you have children? Are they easy to look after? Should you get a guinea pig if you love to cuddle your animal?
Well, we are going to talk about all of that on this page. Let’s dive right in, shall we?
Guinea Pigs Are Tough Animals
For the most part, guinea pigs are pretty easy to look after. If you feed them a proper diet (more on this in a second), then you will be able to enjoy an animal that very, very rarely gets sick.
The only real issue you will have is that guinea pigs are not that brilliant at moderating their own body temperature. This means that if you own one, you are going to want to keep it inside.
Guinea pigs kept outside, particularly in very hot or cold climates, are more prone to getting sick. If they are kept indoors, then you will have a pet which is likely going to live a long and healthy life.
If you treat a guinea pig well, then it can easily live to seven or eight years old, which is incredibly old in comparison to other caged animals e.g. hamsters and rabbits.
Guinea Pigs Are Easy To Feed
Guinea pigs are ridiculously simple to feed. They do not require any diet which you wouldn’t be able to find at your local supermarket.
Guinea pigs live on a diet of hay and fresh vegetables (they need a good source of vitamin C). Some people will also supplement the diet of the guinea pig with some nutritional pellets, but as long as you feed them quality vegetables, then you don’t really need to do this. Just make sure that you have those high-quality vegetables flowing in for your pet.
Obviously, they are not going to be cheap to feed. Vegetables, in some seasons, can get to be pretty expensive.
Although guinea pigs are not going to eat much of the vegetables (they only have small stomachs, after all), they will need to have a mixture of them, and the vegetables in their cage will need to be refreshed daily.
Guinea Pigs Are Easy To Home
Guinea pigs have little requirement in where they live. As we said; indoors is preferable, though. Their cage will need to be at least ten square feet (for a single guinea pig) and should have bedding in.
However, they don’t really need anything special beyond that. As long as they are let out to roam in a larger space at least once per day, then they should be fairly content.
Only get a guinea pig if you plan to have multiple guinea pigs.
In the wild, guinea pigs tend to live in herds. This is an innate trait and guinea pigs that are raised in captivity still have that trait in them.
This means that, in an ideal world, you will have more than one guinea pig. That is not to say that a guinea pig can’t live on their own, but it is not an ideal situation. Obviously, this also means that you are going to need a significant amount of space if you want to have multiple guinea pigs.
As a note; we also want to point out that under absolutely no circumstances should you have guinea pigs living with rabbits.
Guinea pigs are incredibly fragile in comparison to rabbits, and if the two of them live together, the rabbit could cause serious injury or death to your guinea pig, even if it is just playing.
We know that people do keep their rabbits and guinea pigs together, but never do it. It causes more harm than good.
Do Guinea Pigs Like To Cuddle?
In the wild, guinea pigs are prey animals. This means that they are wired to be fearful of any threat. This means that when you pick up a guinea pig, it is likely to be scared of you at the start.
However, if you interact with the guinea pig several times per day, then the guinea pig would absolutely love to interact with you. They love to be cuddled and petted. However, we can’t stress how important it is that you have the guinea pig with you several times per day.
If it can live in the room that you frequent the most, that would be even better. The more interaction that they get with humans, the more they will love to be held.
Are Guinea Pigs As Pets Good For Children?
This is a question that we have to answer yes and no to.
Obviously, children would love to look after a guinea pig. However, it is important to remember that guinea pigs take a lot of looking after. In fact, some guinea pig owners have suggested that, at times, it can be a lot tougher to look after a guinea pig than it is a dog.
If you have a guinea pig, then you will need to ensure that they have a constant source of fresh vegetables available to them. You will need to ensure that they have access to hay. Good quality hay. It will help them to keep their teeth whittled down.
Their cage also needs to be cleaned every couple of days. There is no child out there who should be expected to do all of that alone. As we said; most adults think that looking after guinea pigs is simple. It isn’t.
Looking after one of these fluffy animals is going to be a team effort. Guinea pigs are tough animals, but that is only if you are willing to put in the work to ensure that they remain healthy.
So, under absolutely no circumstances should you purchase a guinea pig with the intention of them being looked after by a child. It will never work out. The guinea pig will lead a poor life.
Hopefully, this page has answered some of the questions you may have about guinea pigs as pets. As you can see; they do make good pets, but they are not starter pets as some people seem to think.
They are going to be a daily commitment for the rest of their life (around 7 to 8 years), so make sure that you are up to the challenge!