Want to know why guinea pigs are good pets? The truth is that there are so many positive things about them! People mainly decide to choose guinea pigs as their pets because they are easy to take care of, fun to play with, and entertaining to watch. A guinea pig will become your friend as these pets are really affectionate towards their owners. Adopting this fluffy ball of happiness can become one of the best decisions of your life.
Remember that a guinea pig is not a hamster, we are mentioning this as many people confuse the two of them. Generally, cavies are more outgoing and cuddly. By the way, a lot of people don’t even consider getting a guinea pig because they think that they are “boring” pets. But, guinea pigs are the opposite of boring, just go to youtube and see countless interesting videos of them popcorning, cuddling, communicating, and connecting with children.
You will be able to cuddle and even play with them, but unlike cats or dogs, for example, cavies do not require a lot of space and maintenance. There are a lot of advantages when it comes to owning a guinea pig and in the following section, we have included some of them. Let’s start!
10 Reasons Why Guinea Pigs Are Good Pets
1. Guinea Pigs Are Easy to Take Care Of
If you want to become a great pet owner, you will certainly have to invest a lot of time into your pet. Even fish require a lot of attention. But the good news is that if you adopt a guinea pig, you wouldn’t have to change your whole lifestyle just to be able to care for it. A guinea pig needs a spacious cage where it will be able to live its entire life.
When it comes to food, there is a small list of products that the guinea pigs can’t live without, such as fresh hay, water, and a tiny amount of pellets. It is up to you whether you want to treat your guinea pigs with fruits and vegetables. If your guinea pig’s diet is well-balanced, then it doesn’t really require anything else. Their diet needs to have enough vitamin C because they can’t have a healthy life without it.
Of course, you would have to clean the cage daily. But a full change of the bedding, for example, is required only 1 to 2 times per week. Don’t forget to pay daily attention to your guinea pig, this does not mean playing with it every day. Sometimes only talking to your dear pet is enough.
2. Guinea Pigs Are the Perfect Pets for Children
When you have kids, choosing a pet becomes even more challenging. A lot of animals can be dangerous. Moreover, you can’t trust a little child to take care of a dog or cat. Guinea pigs are an ideal option for such a situation. In fact, many experts agree that guinea pigs are the perfect choice if you want to teach your children how to take care of animals.
A kid will manage to change the water and hay in the cage and can be allowed to gently play with the guinea pig. By the way, cavies are not as fragile as the majority of small animals. Nevertheless, children under the age of 6 to 7 years should still be supervised when in contact with the animal.
3. Guinea Pigs Are Fun!
The reason why a lot of people don’t get guinea pigs is that “you can’t cuddle them, play and have fun with them like with dogs”. This is certainly not true, but you will not be able to chase your guinea pig around the apartment as it is the case with other animals such as dogs. But the truth is that guinea pigs can fall in love with their owner and be happy every time he/she is around. Cavies will make funny noises when they see you (they will even purr sometimes!). Moreover, guinea pigs are the only animals that can “popcorn” when they are overexcited. It’s such a cute ritual and you won’t be able to stop smiling!
You might not have known but guinea pigs also have strong personalities! Every guinea pig is different. There are guinea pigs that are more curious, while others are a bit shy, and so on. Remember to spend some time with the guinea pig before deciding to adopt it. There needs to be an immediate connection, or you might end up with a guinea pig that has a personality that you are not fond of.
4. It Is Relatively Inexpensive to Have a Guinea Pig
You wouldn’t have to spend a fortune to actually get a guinea pig as they are relatively cheap. Of course, you would have to spend money on the appropriate cage, bedding, toys, and shelters. Also, if you are willing to spend a bit of your free time you can totally create all of these things on your own! You would have to regularly invest in food, hay, water, vitamin C supplements (if needed), and visits to the vet.
5. Little Guinea Pigs Don’t Need a Lot of Space
If you live in a small place, but still want to get a pet then guinea pigs are the perfect option. Of course, the cage where they will be living needs to have enough space so that they can run around and play. But all-in-all you would need to find a relatively small corner in your house for your new friend.
6. Guinea Pigs Can Live Long Lives
Another fact that so many people don’t know is that guinea pigs have a long life span. They are rodents they will live much longer than 2 to 3 years! Of course, getting a pet is like inviting a new member into your family, and having your heart broken every few years is very hard. On average, guinea pigs live 4-8 years but some can live even longer! Just remember to take great care of your pet if you want it to live a long and happy life.
7. You Have the Opportunity to Choose the Breed That Is Perfect for You
American guinea pig is the most common type of guinea pig breed. Probably, when someone says “guinea pig” an image of the American cavy is exactly what pops into your head. But there are so many other breeds as well! You have the opportunity to choose not only the color of its coat but also the size of the guinea pig, the length and texture of its hair. There are some rare breeds that you might want to check out as well!
8. Guinea Pigs Are Intelligent!
Did you know that if you are ready to devote a lot of time to training, your guinea pig might learn to do some tricks? They are really smart animals, and with some effort, they will learn many things. The most important thing is that guinea pigs can be litter trained. They are also the type of animals that will surely start recognizing your voice. Moreover, they can even begin responding to you!
9. Guinea Pigs Are Social Animals
This is an important thing to have in mind. Some specialists recommend adopting at least two guinea pigs simultaneously, as one guinea pig can literally die of loneliness. If you decide to get a pair of guinea pigs, you will have a lot of fun watching how they interact with each other.
Don’t get us wrong, guinea pigs can survive alone but you will have to be ready to invest more time during the day on communicating with your beloved pet. As a result, you will be getting a wonderful little friend.
10. You Can Get a Guinea Pig at Your Local Shelter
Are you one of the special people who would take the opportunity and save an animal’s life? Well, not only dogs and cats can be adopted in a shelter. You can easily find a guinea pig that is looking for a home as well!
Related: What Guinea Pig is Right for Me?
There are a lot more reasons why guinea pigs are good animals. Guinea pigs have so much working for them that you will surely be satisfied with your choice are you finally adopt this tiny ball of happiness. Despite all the prejudice, guinea pigs can become loving family members. Moreover, you can play and cuddle with them, and you wouldn’t have to spend a lot of money to be a great owner of this affectionate little pet. Best of luck!
List of Sources
Geller, K. S., The power of pets: How animals affect family relationships, Virginia Tech, 2002.
Norman, R., Wills, A. P., An Investigation into the Relationship between Owner Knowledge, Diet, and Dental Disease in Guinea Pigs (Cavia porcellus), Animals: an open access journal from MDPI, 2016.
Richardson, V., Care of guinea pigs, Veterinary Nursing Journal, 2011.
Quesenberry, K. E., Donnelly, T. M., Description and Physical Characteristics of Guinea Pigs, Merck Manual, Veterinary Manual.
Quesenberry, K. E., Donnelly, T. M., Introduction to Guinea Pigs, Merck Manual, Veterinary Manual.