Guinea pigs have been a popular pet for several decades now and that’s not surprising given how cute they are. Keeping guinea pigs as pets is very rewarding for both adults and children due to their size, temperament and ability to bond with them from a young age. They have very intelligent and inquisitive personalities. If you are considering getting your first guinea pig, there are some important points regarding their care that you need to be aware of before you make your decision.
Choosing your guinea pig
Deciding to bring a guinea pig into your life is not something that should be taken lightly as they are a long-term commitment. They make fantastic pets for people of all ages and soon become an important member of any household. However, one of the most important factors to remember is that keeping a singular guinea pig is not at all recommended. They are best suited to living in pairs as they are sociable animals. You also need to consider whether your current lifestyle suits these animals and if you have the time to dedicate to them.
What is the lifespan of a guinea pig?
The average lifespan of a guinea pig that is looked after correctly is between 5 and 6 years. However, some can live longer than this. Although this time doesn’t sound long compared to other pets, it will still require dedication from you to make sure they thrive and have a healthy, happy life.
Do guinea pigs make good pets for children?
In general, guinea pigs are fantastic pets for children. This is due to their size which makes them easy for children to handle as they aren’t too small and fragile. They also have great temperaments and, if handled regular from a young age, can become very tame. The only downside to children being around guinea pigs is that they will have to keep the noise levels down due to the guinea pigs’ sensitive hearing. They may get spooked and stressed around loud noises.
What do guinea pigs eat?
Guinea pigs are herbivores which means their diet is plant based. It mostly consists of high-quality hay, specialist guinea pig pellets and fresh fruits and vegetables.
Can guinea pigs live with other pets?
If you already have pets, it doesn’t mean that you cannot introduce guinea pigs into your family. However, there are certain things you need to ensure. These include:
- Never leave your animals unattended with each other.
- Noise levels (for example, a dog barking) are to be kept to a minimum.
- Never house guinea pigs together with other animals.
A common mistake we often see is people housing guinea pigs and rabbits together. This should never be done as they both have different diets and needs. Rabbits are known to bully and potentially injure guinea pigs.