Guinea Pigs as Pets

By Sandra Krug

If you are contemplating a pet for your home, you might want to consider a guinea pig. Guinea pigs are lovable, furry little creatures that will give you a lot of happiness. In addition, guinea pigs can be a great first pet for kids because they are relatively simple to care for and more cuddly than gerbils or fishes. Let’s discuss some more information to help you decide whether a guinea pig is a suitable pet for you.

When thinking about getting a pet for your home, you may first think about a dog or cat. Those animals are ideal for homes when you have a lot of time to dedicate to owning a pet. Cats and dogs require much attention and space.  On the other hand, Guinea pigs are just as cute as dogs and cats, and they do not need nearly as much space. Many people love the thought of guinea pigs as the first pets for kids because they live a lot longer than gerbils. A well-cared-for guinea pig may live eight or nine years. Once you have a guinea pig, you will be hooked by these cute, sweet-natured critters.

If you go to the store to get a guinea pig, it is always good to scrutinize them and choose them by their personality. Each guinea pig has their own personality. Some are more shy, while others are more outgoing.  If you select a guinea pig for your child, you want to ensure that your guinea pig can endure being carried and stroked. Guinea pigs are usually not known to be aggressive or bite, but your kids will have no fun with a bashful guinea pig.

Guinea pigs are also social animals. They appreciate the company of another guinea pig. If you intend to get a guinea pig, you might want to consider getting two guinea pigs simultaneously. Males typically get along quite well with each other when you get them when as babies but will fight with each other if you introduce them after they are adults. Females can also get along well with each other. It is not advised to get a male and a female as you will end up breeding guinea pigs.

When looking at guinea pig pens, you need to find one that allows enough room for exercise and play. Guinea pigs love to stay hidden when they sleep. Make sure that your pen has a spot where they can cover themselves. A synthetic or wooden structure inside the cage is always a good idea. You will also need to add bedding on the bottom of the pen for easy cleanup. But remember that cedar chips are not recommended. We like to use natural reclaimed paper fiber bedding. It is a renewable resource that’s biodegradable and compostable. You also want to have a big water bottle for your guinea pig. If you have two, think about getting two water bottles. Guinea pigs enjoy drinking water and require a lot, so make sure you give them plenty of fresh water daily.

Some experts advise combining vitamin C drops with water. This works well for some guinea pigs. But some guinea pigs do not enjoy the taste and will not drink the water. If you decide to add vitamin C drops to their water, make sure they stay hydrated throughout the whole day. If you decide not to include vitamin C drops with their water, you can add fresh fruits and vegetables to their diet. Guinea pigs love all kinds of fresh vegetables and fruits. Just make sure that you do not overfeed your guinea pigs. Utilize fruits and vegetables more as treats than the main diet. As far as nutrition is concerned, you will need to feed your guinea pigs specifically formulated guinea pig pellets. These are available at pet stores. Guinea pigs also needed Timothy hay daily to help aid their digestion.

Guinea pigs are excellent pets for all types of homes. If you get your guinea pig young, you can work to social it. You and your children will enjoy these adorable pets for many years to come.


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