Guinea pigs can be wonderful pets, but there are a few things you should know before making that significant engagement. From conventional lifespan to the social nature of guinea pigs, here are some things you should consider before selecting a guinea pig as a pet. Read on to learn more about guinea pigs as pets and make an informed decision before picking one from your local breeder or a pet shop near you.
Guinea Pigs Are a Long-Term Commitment
While a guinea pig doesn’t live almost as long as a cat or dog, they are still a considerable time commitment. Guinea pigs live on average approximately five to seven years, sometimes even longer, so be ready to provide care over the long term.
They Are Social
Guinea pigs are very friendly animals and are at their happiest living together with other guinea pigs. Keep a same-sex pair to ensure you do not have any unwanted litters. Females can be kept and stay together, as can males without any issues. Be aware that sometimes character differences in the animals will indicate certain guinea pigs won’t get along so well. Introducing them as toddlers is the best way to get a pair to link together, though even adults can commonly be introduced with care.
Guinea Pigs Need a Large Cage
Guinea pigs require a lot of floor space, and most cages marketed as guinea pig cages are much too small, particularly for a pair. Making a homemade cage is very simple, though, and because guinea pigs are the right size and not escape professionals, a homemade cage is an excellent option.
Guinea Pigs Are Quiet, Sometimes
Guinea pigs make a characteristic wheeking or whistling type sound, frequently in the prospect of getting a favorite treat or when they are in need of some kind of attention. Though ordinarily not loud enough to annoy the neighbors around, a wheeking guinea pig can be surprisingly very loud. If you are looking for a pet whose vocals will never disrupt a dinner party or afternoon rest, a guinea pig might not be for you.
Guinea Pigs Are Generally Easy to Tame
While guinea pigs may be very nervous or skittish at the beginning, with consistent gentle handling, they habitually become tame very quickly. Conservative treatment is a must, and children should be managed with them, but they are unlikely to bite even when stressed.
Guinea Pig Require Vitamin C
Guinea pigs are one of the very few animals (humans are another) that cannot produce their own vitamin C, so they require to get it from their diet. Determining a good quality diet and providing a variety of fresh foods is essential, but most owners also decide to give their animals a vitamin C supplement regularly. Vitamin C tablets are thought of as a better way to supplement than combining vitamin C to your pet’s water.
Guinea Pigs are Often Available at Shelters
Before heading out there to buy a guinea pig pet, check with your local shelter or rescues for the guinea pigs in need of a new home (or check on Petfinder). Several guinea pigs end up at shelters and require a second chance at a forever home. Shelter guinea pigs are generally social and easy going. Bonding with an older piggie should be easy!