We love our guinea pigs here. Jessie and Leia. We have enjoyed everything about these animals, from the moment that we bought them through to their sweet little wheeks that we hear every single day. I’d like to share with you 6 reasons guinea pigs make perfect family pets, as if you’re on the lookout for some new family additions, I’d definitely recommend guinea pigs!
They are easy to handle. Both of my kids have been able to get involved in looking after their pets since they arrived here three years ago. Little Man was then just coming up to 3, Boo nearly 6. They loved sitting with them on their laps and stroking them, and now that they are a little older they get more involved in cleaning them out and cuddling them regularly. Oh, and they love to give them a bath! They are just the right size for children to handle, as they are not so small that they wriggle away and they are not large like rabbits or able to kick. They are also very tame, ours have never nibbled anyone, though of course care should always be taken when children are handling animals.
They are awake throughout the day. Ours live indoors, right by my desk as it happens. They are my work colleagues! I know that some pets are naturally nocturnal or inactive, but not guinea pigs. They need very little sleep, typically only around four hours a day and even then that sleep tends to be taken in short bursts. So whenever the kids want to play and take care of their pets, they are awake and ready for them. They are constant companions in this way, especially if they’re housed indoors.
They are fun to play with. They are always happy to have company and cuddles. They come out of their enclosure and are free to roam around the house, without fear that they are too small and will get lost somewhere. Ours like rummaging and popcorning through hay, are full of energy and enjoy exploring their surroundings – there’s lots of sniffing and a little nibbling (watch them for that, the sneaky little things!).
They are quiet. Most of the time. Unless I open my fridge as they know the noise of that door and they know it contains cucumber! The most we hear from them is wheeking when they want their food or the sounds of them running about and popcorning when they’re having a mad moment!
They are relatively inexpensive. To buy guinea pigs, they are normally around £20-30 (though do remember that you need to buy a pair). You can then either go for an outdoors hutch or an indoors C&C set up like ours. Do make sure there are a few homes to hide in and lots of fresh hay available in there. They will then enjoy pellets and fresh food – perhaps read my 5 Things to Consider Before Getting Guinea Pigs post around this. And for occasional treats, my two absolutely love this Forage Cube Treat. There are lots of options around for bedding, just be careful with wood shavings as the dust can cause illnesses.
They are adorable. I need say no more on this one. You’ve seen them! They also have a good life expectancy, around 6-8 years, so you’ll have these around for quite some time.
Would you enjoy having guinea pigs?
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