As much as we like dogs and cats, we can’t underestimate other animals and pets. Guinea pigs are indeed great pets and to be honest, there are only a few animals as unique as Guinea pigs. While these tiny fur balls seem like useless when compared to dogs and cats, it’s not necessarily like that.
Are Guinea Pigs Good Pets? In fact, Guinea pigs are really good pets, and it is straightforward to take care of them. When comparing them to a cat or a dog, they are better than those pets when it comes to babies and young children. Guinea pigs are PERFECTLY trainable and can progressively learn stuff much like a typical dog, which is amazing! I know I’ll get tomatoes thrown at my face for comparing it with a dog, so I’ll just stop doing that and instead jump straight to the topic.
Why are Guinea Pigs Good Pets?
They aren’t Demanding
Generally speaking, Guinea pigs are very easy to take care of. If you provide them with a big and comfortable cage to live in, you did most of the job. They require some fresh water, some food and a tablet of Vitamin C a day.
I mean, it isn’t that much, is it?
The best of all is that the cage doesn’t need to be cleaned every single day. You can pretty much get away with cleaning it once a week.
As for the feeding, giving it a couple of small meals a day is very easy. Since they eat a lot of vegetables, you can always have it ready for them. And yes, vegetables are very cheap! All in all, having a Guinea pig will not cost you that much and will also keep your life hassle-free.
Just don’t leave it in the cage the whole day.
Great for Children
Guinea pigs aren’t aggressive, and they aren’t prone to biting anyone, which makes them great for children. Some say that rabbits are also great, but I must disagree with that fact. If we compare rabbits to Guinea pigs, rabbits are just too fragile, and they are easy to scare.
On the other hand, a Guinea pig can easily handle children and their childish behavior.
However, you should always observe your children when they are around the animal, as they can easily hurt it. This should also apply to any other animal out there and children, especially young ones, can seriously harm a Guinea pig.
They are Healthy
If you feed your Guinea pig properly and give it everything it needs for a quality life, you should expect a great output. Most of the Guinea pigs live their whole life with no significant problems, but they are still prone to some diseases.
Those diseases mainly include bladder stones as well as some dental problems. On the brighter side, those can be mitigated through proper nutrition.
Another critical factor is that they don’t require much heat. Guinea pigs love living in slightly colder conditions, so it’s better to keep them properly hydrated and away from heat sources.
They Live Relatively Long for a Rodent
If we compare them to some bigger mammals, Guinea pigs live relatively short. However, for a rodent of this size, eight years isn’t considered a short lifespan. For example, an average lifespan of most rats and hamsters is between two and four years. Compared to a Guinea pig, thy die relatively fast.
For those who want a companion that’s going to live for a while, Guinea pigs are fantastic!
Who could imagine that an animal this small can live for so long?!
They can be Amusing and Funny
Oh, this one is entirely true! Forget everything you know about rodents, as Guinea pigs are first-class entertainers. When a Guinea pig is excited and happy, it performs what many people call ‘popcorning.’ Popcorning is when they run forward and backward or jump in the air over and over again.
Not only that, but some even squeal and jump in the air at the same time, which is so funny to watch! And if you keep your Guinea pig happy, it’s going to do this almost every day. Come on – you can’t be neutral when you see this, I know!
They have a Personality
Guinea pigs DO have a personality and saying otherwise is plain stupid. I mean, those animals are unique, and they can show many different behaviors. As with dogs and cats, some pigs can be dominant and exhibit some masculine characteristics, while some are shy and not that friendly.
Of course, a friendly Guinea pig is always wanted, but you’ll not always get such an animal.
In that case, you can always interact with the animal before you buy or adopt it.
Cats thought that only they could purr. Well, wait ‘till you hear a Guinea pig! Guinea pigs can purr exactly like cats, when they are happy or petted gently, just like cats do.
It’s interesting to see this since you know that they are satisfied with the things you do for it and they have numerous ways to show you that you’re a good owner. Aside from purring, they also squeal and rumble.
What to Know Before Getting a Guinea Pig?
Owning any type of animal as a pet is a huge responsibility. Not only that you’ll have it in your vicinity, but you’ll also need to feed it, give it water, provide it with the space to live, and most importantly, visit a veterinarian when it gets sick.
Much like any other animals, Guinea pigs are a long-term commitment. Sure, they don’t live 10 to 15 years, but they still need to spend their short life in a good environment.
Here’s what you need to know:
They Need a Large Space
A Guinea pig loves to live in a big cage. Imagine living in a space so small that you can’t even lay down and sleep, how would it feel? The main mistake that most Guinea pig owners make is trying to make a half-ass cage for their furball.
Remember that you need to fit a whole Guinea pig in there, but also a big litter box for it. As we mentioned in the previous article, your Guinea pig can be trained to use a litter box.
Aside from the litter box itself, there should be water and a space for some food. Thankfully, crafting a home-made cage is very simple, so you can save some cash for buying…well, one more Guinea pig!
Because, why not?
They Like Company
If you want a Guinea pig to be happy, you must provide it with lots of company. While a typical Guinea pig is happiest when it lives with the other Guinea pigs, a human company should also do the job. If you opt for two Guinea pigs, though, it’s important to have a same-sex pair in order to avoid unwanted and unplanned litters.
As for the human company, it’s mandatory that the whole family participates. During the day, you can always have your kids spend some time with the animal. This will create a special bond between each family member, making the life of a Guinea pig much more enjoyable.
Guinea pigs love living in a pack and every pack needs a pack leader, which Guinea pig gladly accepts.
They Need Lots of Great Food
This one is pretty simple and should apply to EVERY pet. Choosing a high-quality diet with lots of Vitamin C is crucial for a Guinea pig. Since they can’t manufacture their own Vitamin C (much like humans), they need to get it from food.
Having a well-balanced diet is crucial and if you can’t always provide them with Vitamin C from there, you can buy some supplements.
They are Sometimes Not That Social
Guinea pigs aren’t always down to party. They can sometimes sit there in the corner doing nothing, which isn’t always a sign that you need to panic. If you’ve read some of our past articles, you’ve learned that Guinea pigs sleep with their eyes open. That being said, if you see your Guinea pig just laying down and doing nothing, try not to panic.
They need some rest, too!
Training is Easy
Finally, training a Guinea pig is as easy as a walk in the park. It’s true that Guinea pigs came from living in the wilderness, but years and years of domestication lead them to be truly majestic animals for your home.
Try to spend some time on training and you’ll be surprised by their agility and wisdom.
So, are Guinea pigs good pets? Oh, yeah, they are more than good.
Next time you think about getting a new pet for you or your children, you should definitely think about getting a Guinea pig.
And why not?
They aren’t big, the costs of keeping them are minimal, and they don’t eat a lot of food. Before you buy a Guinea pig, it’s always great to make a high-quality cage and prepare your home for a new pet.
After all, Guinea pigs are more popular with each day, so it’s not that unusual to see them in households anymore. If you want a reliable, friendly, and beautiful pet for your house, you should definitely buy a Guinea pig.