Hello everyone, in the wonderful world of pets, it can sometimes be hard to figure out which one is right for you. Cats and dogs are wonderful pets but they can be large, destructive, expensive, and time-consuming.
You might start thinking about a bird, hamster, mouse, iguana, fish or maybe even a chinchilla, but have you considered a cavy? And why you should get a guinea pig? While you may be on the fence on pet ownership, I want to offer you these ten reasons to buy a guinea pig.
1 – Guinea pigs are hardy
Guinea pigs are extremely hardy pets. When you are considering a pet for your children your thoughts immediately go to a hamster, fish or a lizard but guinea pigs are amazing options. This is a great little book to read before getting guinea pigs for you or for your children, It’s full of beautiful photos and lots of good information, check out from here.
Guinea pigs are not as skittish as smaller rodents, like gerbils or hamsters and are not as fragile as rabbits. When a guinea pig is properly fed and cared for, they are generally very healthy.
However, they are prone to some conditions like dental disease and bladder stones. These conditions can be prevented by having proper nutrition and regular medical checkups. They enjoy being indoors on hots days but also enjoy being outside on cool days.
2 – Guinea pigs are great for children
Once a child learns how to properly hold and play with a guinea pig, they will find that they will play happily with them. They are small, docile creatures who love to be stroked, hand-fed and held.
Children of many ages can enjoy these incredibly gentle, docile creatures.
Small children can play with them on the floor and older children can bond with them in their laps, outside, in their run or on the floor. Keeping these cute Lil critters is fun for the whole family, and it should be a family venture. Typically, only children over 11 should be given the main responsibility of caring for this pet.
However, we are all kids at heart, so do not think they are only great pets for children. Adults can have just as much with cavies as children can. Often, they will find the experience as rewarding as the children. This is my guide to have a better understanding of their likes/dislikes.
3 – Companionship
With you think of a pet as a companion, thoughts immediately go to a dog or maybe even a cat but do not count out the guinea pig. They are fun, cuddly, vocal and they form strong bonds both with the owners, each other and even other animals (See Pippin and Frankenstein) and one another.
Watch this video to see what happened between a guinea pig and a golden retriever dog.
The more time you spend with your guinea pig the more you will understand their personalities. As your guinea pig becomes more comfortable around you, you will notice that they will start to take more of an interest in you and your activities.
Some guinea pigs follow their humans around as they go about their day, or run around their enclosure so that they can see what you are doing.
4 – Easy to Care For
In the realm of all the pets that are out there, guinea pigs are on the relatively easy to care for the side. There is no walking necessary, training (although they can be trained), changing the litter, vaccinations, and bonus they can eat several types of kitchen scraps. To make them comfortable they need a fairly large cage that is lined with paper-based bedding.
They also require fresh water, hay, pelleted food formulated for guinea pigs, fresh vegetables, and a vitamin C supplement each day. Their cage will need to be spot-cleaned every day and completely cleaned every week. If you give them a little attention every day they will be perfectly happy.
Guinea pigs also do not need much to keep them entertained. All they need is another guinea pig, some toys, and enough space to run around. The only other thing you want to keep in mind is that once cavies are a month old you need to separate females from males or you will end up with more little guinea pigs.
5 – They live long lives
There is nothing more upsetting to a child than when a pet dies. While dogs and cats can live up to twenty years, smaller rodents like gerbils, rats, and hamsters can only live up to 7 years. Most guinea pigs live an average of seven years with some getting up into their teens.
This is important to keep in mind if you get a guinea pig later in your kids’ life because there is a good chance you will become responsible for these little balls of fur once your kids move out.
6 – Guinea pigs are special
Just like humans, every guinea pig has a unique personality, but they have a lot of it. Some are shy, some are bold, and some are dominant.
Don’t make the mistake that just because two guinea pigs look the same they will act the same. When you are choosing your cavy, be sure to spend some time interacting with them. Check out my great book “Before And After Getting Your Puppy“, very helpful for new guinea pig owner.
This will help you determine if their personality meets your expectations.
7 – You can show guinea pigs
Have you always wanted to be a part of those amazing pet competitions like the Westminster Dog Show? You are in luck. Several clubs have been specifically established for showing guinea pigs, cavies or pigs. Competitions are put into two main groups.
The first section is the Purebred section where the pig is judged more on its appearance than anything else. Then there is the Pet section.
These guinea pigs are of no particular breed, they are just regular pets. These cavies are judged more on their condition, cleanliness, and friendliness.
This is a great activity for a family and an opportunity for a child to enjoy their guinea pig even more. There are even competitions designed just for juvenile exhibitors.
8 – Community
Guinea pigs have a fierce following. There are different groups all across the world. You can find them on Facebook or even in meetings in your local town.
They love to discuss care tips, stories and even arrange playdates. You can even join or create guinea pig volunteer groups. These groups help look after pigs that are in need of homes at your local animal shelter.
9 – Guinea pigs can be trained
Guinea pigs are very intelligent. Just like dogs they can be trained. However, while dogs are best taught while they are young, cavies learn best when they are 9 – 10 months old.
Some of the easiest and most fun tricks are; teaching them to come when called, turning in circles, standing up, jumping through hoops, going back into their cage, pushing a ball, and over time you can even teach them to go through an obstacle course.
I will create an article about this soon, you can subscribe to my newsletter to be notified when I create it.
10 – There are many different kinds
Long hair, short hair, no hair, all different types of colors and prices that start at only $10 and go up based on the breed. There are hundreds of options for the guinea pig starter or a connoisseur.
These are only 10 reasons why a guinea pig makes a great addition to your family. There are many more and as you explore the world of guinea pig ownership you will develop your own list of why getting a guinea pig was the best thing you ever did.
Lydia King is a huge animal lover and has always been fascinated with learning about the animal kingdom. She enjoys writing about anything animal related from scientific information about rare species to animal references in pop culture.