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Discover Why Guinea Pigs Are Good Pets: 10 Surprising Reasons to Welcome Them into Your Home!

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If you’re searching for a low-maintenance and affectionate pet that’s also quiet and clean, consider getting a guinea pig. These lovable animals make great companions for both adults and children over six years old, but they do require plenty of socialization and interaction with their human caretakers. While they don’t need much maintenance, they do require proper care and medical attention when necessary. So if you’re wondering why guinea pigs are good pets, it’s because they are cuddly and loving creatures that are easy to take care of.

These furry friends are intelligent, trainable, and highly responsive, especially when it comes to their favourite treats. With their unique vocalizations, such as purring, grunting, and squealing, guinea pigs are always eager to communicate with their owners, whether it’s to ask for food or just to say hello.

It’s important to remember that while guinea pigs are easy to care for, they do require proper nutrition and careful handling to stay healthy and happy. Children should never be left as the sole providers and caregivers of any pet, including guinea pigs. 

Always supervise children when interacting with guinea pigs to ensure their safety and the well-being of these beloved furry companions. In this article, we’ll explore the top 10 surprising reasons why guinea pigs make fantastic pets and why you should welcome them into your home.

Table of Contents

Description

Guinea pigs, otherwise called cavies, are entrancing animals that have become famous family pets. Notwithstanding their name, they are neither pigs nor are they from Guinea. These charming rodents start from South America and arrive in different varieties, tones and coat lengths. 

The English variety is the most widely recognized and has short fur, while the Peruvian variety has long, satiny hair that requires a great deal of care. Abyssinian guinea pigs have rosettes of fur and the most up-to-date expansion to the family is the bare guinea pig, which has acquired ubiquity among sensitivity victims.

Guinea pigs can gauge as much as 2 pounds and live for 5-7 years, and now and then even as long as 10 years. They are non-forceful and seldom chomp, which makes them fantastic pets for families with small kids. Nonetheless, they can be effortlessly frightened and require a quiet climate. 

Guinea pigs are friendly animals and really like to have a companion or two, yet can likewise flourish with sufficient consideration and socialization from their human relatives.

Cavies are shrewd and can be handily prepared, particularly when they are more youthful. They appreciate being snuggled and playing with their proprietors, and they have various sounds that they use to impart. When invigorated, they might bounce about, hurl their heads and buck, which is regularly known as ‘popcorning.’

Guinea pigs don’t need yearly immunizations, however, they really do require yearly check-ups to guarantee they are solid and liberated from any ailments or illnesses. It’s essential to take note that assuming more than one guinea pig is wanted, it’s ideal to have an overall similar orientation to stay away from any inconveniences with pregnancy or posterity. 

Generally, guinea pigs are low-support pets that make extraordinary allies for the two grown-ups and kids.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Daisies?
Photo by Yuhan Du on Unsplash Can Guinea Pigs Eat Daisies?

Guinea Pig-Proofing

When bringing a guinea pig into your home, it’s important to ensure that the environment is safe for them to roam and play. Guinea pigs love to explore their surroundings, which includes chewing on cords and wires. It’s crucial to keep these items out of reach to avoid any potential harm. Additionally, stairs should be blocked off and air vents and ducts covered to prevent guinea pigs from getting stuck or injured.

If there are other animals in the house, such as cats and dogs, it’s important to supervise their interactions with guinea pigs to avoid any aggressive behaviour. It’s also essential to provide a cage or enclosure with a roof to protect them from other pets. When opening or closing doors, make sure to hold them completely open or closed, as guinea pigs may try to investigate behind them and could get injured by a closing door. 

By guinea pig-proofing your home, you can create a safe and enjoyable environment for your furry friend to explore and play in.

Training and Handling

Guinea pigs are intelligent and can be trained to perform certain behaviours. They can learn to recognize certain sounds and respond to them appropriately, such as squealing when they hear the fridge door open. They also have their own ways of expressing themselves, such as purring when they are happy and content. Additionally, they can be taught to play with objects, run through tunnels, and follow a leader.

One of the most useful behaviours that guinea pigs can be trained to do is to use a litter box inside their cage. This can be accomplished by placing the litter box in their preferred washroom area and using appropriate materials, such as paper-based bedding. It is important to note that clumping cat litter should never be used with guinea pigs as it can be harmful if ingested. 

Overall, with patience and consistency, guinea pigs can be trained to perform a variety of behaviours and make great pets for those willing to put in the effort.

Housing

When it comes to housing guinea pigs, it is important to keep in mind that they do not require a huge cage, but a larger cage means less cleaning, more exercise and entertainment for the guinea pig. The standard-size cages available in pet stores are suitable for only one guinea pig, so it is recommended to add 1 square foot per additional cavy. The cage should provide enough space for a hiding area, a feeding area, and an area for voiding.

It should also have a solid, washable bottom, as wire bottoms can cause foot and leg injuries. The sides can be made of wire, but a cover should be provided to prevent other animals from entering the cage. Pine kiln-dried shavings are the best bedding material and should be provided as a 1-2 inch lining over the bottom of the entire cage. 

Cedar shavings should be avoided, as they contain toxic oils that can lead to respiratory difficulties and disease. Sawdust bedding should never be used, and corn cob bedding is not ideal because it moulds quickly and some guinea pigs may eat it. Yesterday’s News cat litter or Cell-Sorb Plus bedding can also be used.

It is important to place the cage in a bright, draft-free room at room temperature (18-23 degrees C), but it should not be placed in direct sunlight or too close to a radiator, as the guinea pig may develop heat exhaustion. On a nice warm, sunny day, it is possible to bring the guinea pig outside, but it is necessary to have an enclosure that will protect it from running away and to ensure that the grass in the area is free of chemicals and animal contamination. Hiding spots and a cover should be provided, if there are other animals around, including birds of prey. 

Always ensure that the guinea pig is supervised while it is outside. By providing a suitable housing environment, guinea pigs can live healthy and happy lives.

Diet

Because Guinea pigs are herbivores, guinea pigs require a particular diet to stay healthy. Timothy hay is an important part of their diet because it helps wear down their teeth, which are always growing. They ought to always have access to fresh timothy hay. Additionally, but in moderation, pelleted food containing vitamin C and other essential nutrients may be given. 

It is essential to try not to involve hare pellets as they don’t contain the fundamental L-ascorbic acid and may contain over-the-top measures of vitamin D which is poisonous to guinea pigs. The easiest way to get more vitamin C is to add drops of vitamin C to their water. However, the water needs to be changed every day and new drops added at each cleaning because the vitamin becomes inactive quickly, especially when exposed to direct sunlight.

Guinea pigs ought to likewise be given new, washed foods grown from the ground as they give variety to their eating regimen and extra L-ascorbic acid. A few instances of products of the soil that can be given incorporate apples, oranges, strawberries, kiwi, spinach, parsley, romaine lettuce, new grass, carrots (counting the tops!), cucumbers, and tomatoes. Be that as it may, it means quite a bit to wash all leafy foods prior to taking care of them for the guinea pig.

A water bowl or a bottle with sipper tubes can provide water. Bottles are more convenient because they take up less space in the cage and are less likely to be contaminated. On the other hand, sipper tubes need to be checked frequently to ensure that they are functioning properly. Guinea pigs are hardy chewers who can easily nip down the edges of soft plastic containers, so the food bowl should be made of ceramic, stainless steel, or hard plastic.

In rundown, a guinea pig’s eating regimen ought to comprise limitless timothy feed, a modest quantity of pelleted food, and new, washed products of the soil. The water should come from a bottle with sipper tubes or a shallow bowl, and vitamin C drops should be added to it. A ceramic, treated steel or hard plastic bowl ought to be utilized for food.

Health

Guinea pigs are generally healthy animals, but like any pet, they require proper care to prevent health issues. One of the main health concerns for guinea pigs is their toenails, which grow continuously and require regular clipping to prevent overgrowth. 

Toenail clippers are used to cut the nail before the ‘quick’, which is the blood supply to the nail. A veterinarian can demonstrate the proper way to clip guinea pig nails, and it is essential to have styptic powder on hand in case of bleeding.

In addition to toenail care, it is crucial to monitor the length of a guinea pig’s incisors, as they can also have tooth problems that may require clipping. To prevent dental issues, it is essential to provide chewable foods that help wear down their teeth. Some guinea pigs may require bathing, especially if they have skin problems or long fur that have become soiled. 

A veterinarian should be consulted if you believe a bath is necessary. During the bath, it is important to support the guinea pig gently with one hand to prevent it from jumping out of the bowl or injuring itself. Be sure to avoid getting water into the guinea pig’s eyes or ears, and always try to wash in the direction of the fur.

To maintain good health, it is important to monitor your guinea pig’s diet and watch for any signs of respiratory problems, diarrhoea, balding, excessive scratching, or weight loss. Sometimes weight loss may be the only indication of illness, so it is essential to pay attention to your pet’s weight. 

A yearly veterinary visit is always recommended to ensure the health of your guinea pig. Guinea pigs are known to hide signs of disease until it is too late, so it is crucial to be proactive in their healthcare.

In conclusion, guinea pigs are easy to care for, but like any pet, they require proper attention to ensure their health and well-being. By monitoring their toenails, incisors, and diet, as well as paying attention to any signs of illness, you can help ensure that your guinea pig lives a healthy and happy life. 

A yearly check-up with a veterinarian is always recommended to prevent any health problems from going unnoticed. With proper care, guinea pigs can be a great addition to your family and bring joy and happiness to your home.

Guinea Pigs and Other Animals

It is imperative to keep guinea pigs from various animals locked down to hold them back from turning out to be sick. Dwelling rabbits and guinea pigs together should be avoided, as bunnies can convey tiny creatures that can make guinea pigs debilitated. 

Moreover, reptiles and birds may similarly transfer Salmonella, which can be perilous to guinea pigs. If interfacing with birds or reptiles, it is imperative to tidy up totally before dealing with a guinea pig and make an effort not to use things that have connected with those animals for your guinea pig.

Notwithstanding the way that guinea pigs could coincide with cats and canines, it is essential to deal with their associations as guinea pigs are seen as prey animals and may be sought after by greater family pets, whether or not they appear, apparently, to play. 

It is essential to ensure that the guinea pig is safeguarded and not being sought after or dealt with too by and large. All around, it is ideal to keep guinea pigs separate from various animals to prevent the spread of afflictions and to ensure their security.

Before you Make the Commitment…

  • Have you planned for emergency medical care in your budget?
  • Have you checked with your landlord if pets are allowed?
  • What will you do with your guinea pig during vacation time?
  • Are you prepared for a long-term commitment of 5 to 10 years?
  • Do you have the time to spend with your children and teach them how to handle their pets gently?
  • Consider other pets in the household before getting a guinea pig.
  • Are there allergies in your family?
  • Make sure a guinea pig fits into your home and lifestyle before committing.

Checklist

Housing

  • Cage (with solid bottom)
  • Pellet bowl (ceramic, stainless steel or hard plastic)
  • Water bottle or bowl
  • Toys
  • Hiding area – either box or heavy PCV tubing
  • Pet carrier
  • Exercise area/ enclosure

Food

  • High-quality Guinea Pig pellets (Not Rabbit)
  • Timothy hay
  • Freshwater
  • Fresh, washed vegetables and fruits
  • Vitamin C supplementation

Supplies

  • Brush/comb
  • Toenail clippers
  • Shallow bowl for bathing
  • Styptic powder
  • Kiln-dried pine shavings
  • Toys
  • A good book on guinea pig care

Vet Care

  • Annual exam
  • Emergency medical care
  • Vacation care
Why Guinea Pigs Are Good Pets?
Photo by Bonnie Kittle on Unsplash Why Guinea Pigs Are Good Pets?

So Why Guinea Pigs Are Good Pets?

"Before bringing a guinea pig home, it's important to consider factors such as budgeting for medical care, living arrangements, and long-term commitment. While they make great pets, it's crucial to ensure that you are ready and able to provide the proper care and attention for these lovable creatures."

In summary, guinea pigs make great pets for a variety of reasons, including their friendly and social personalities, ease of care, and unique characteristics. However, before committing to owning a guinea pig, there are important factors to consider. It is crucial to provide a suitable living environment, proper nutrition, and regular medical care for your pet. Guinea pigs should not be housed with other animals, especially rabbits, reptiles, or birds, as they can transmit harmful bacteria. They may get along with cats and dogs, but supervision is necessary.

It is essential to plan for the long-term commitment of caring for a guinea pig, which can live up to 10 years. Children should be supervised when handling guinea pigs and taught to handle them gently. Owners should be prepared for shedding and potential allergies in the family. In addition, it is important to consider the financial cost of owning a guinea pig and what to do with them during vacation time. By carefully considering these factors, potential guinea pig owners can make an informed decision about whether these lovable creatures are the right pet for them.

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Dr. Chandrika

About Me

I am a veterinary doctor who is passionate about providing top-quality care for pets and their families. My mission is to share my knowledge and expertise with pet owners through my blog, petearnest.com.

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