Are Guinea Pigs Good Pets – Will They Suit Your Lifestyle?
They are truly fascinating creatures that you can learn a lot about, but I want to give you information on what guinea pigs are like to look after. I spend much time each day caring for mine and having a fixed routine is important. In this article I’m going to be honest about what it is really like and remember I am not trying to put you off, but it is information to think about.
Do you have enough finances or does your parents. A lot of items are needed from bedding, food and housing etc. Start up costs can be a sizeable sum and ongoing needs are something to think about. For example hay is what you will be getting all the time for their entire lifes. Yearly costs could range around £800 to £1000 per year for two guinea pigs. So really think if this financial commitment is going to be too much to bare and look at getting a cheaper pet to look after. It is always good to have some reserves for any unexpected costs like vets fees, which depending on the severity of the medical situation can be large amounts. Of course there are items that are not necessarily needed, but what you might like to get for your furry ones.
Time made available each day is needed in terms of cleaning their habitats, feeding and bonding with them. If time is an issue for you, then unfortunately guinea pigs might not be for you. Cleaning out the homes can take at least a couple of hours, depending on what you have. Setting up and clearing away playpens will take some time as well. I am not saying looking after guinea pigs will take a whole day up and in time you can get quite quick with everything that needs to be done. If there is someone else helping, then this will make it quicker. Also, if you come back home from school or a job, will you have enough energy to then look after them. Many guinea pigs can be found at rescue centres, one cause is the fact people find out that time is a problem and other commitments gets in the way of giving their pets what it deserves. Before deciding, please give some thought on time.
You need to commit to looking after them their whole lifes. They are one of the small animals that live the longest from 4 to 8 years, some can live past this average range. With old age comes other considerations of care, maybe you might have to change from a double tier hutch to one on a single level, but this may not have to be the case.
Is there plenty of room in your home to occupy all the items that are needed. Space for their home to go either inside or outside, this can take up a good area. A cupboard to store away bags of hay and bedding, hay can take up a good chunk of space.
Do you have any other pets, guinea pigs may not be able to live with them. For example cats and dogs may see them as something to eat or attack as that is in their nature. There are ways that you can teach them to get on with the piggies or they may naturally be ok with them, but it is risky. There have been situations where this has been the case. Always speak to vets or pet store/staff members to see what their opinion is about guinea pigs being around other pets.
They are not very loud but do make different sounds to communicate their feelings. Wheeking is loud and it will ring in your ears all the time, joking. You might be dreaming of the sound. They beg for their food, but seriously it is a cute thing they portray and is not probably going to upset the neighbours. Now this is if they are in a hutch indoors, but noise will be made if they’re running up and down a ramp if in a double tier. Overall, noise isn’t a serious issue and they are quite quiet most of the time, just certain considerations to be made when they can make the noise. I love hearing all of their voices, but it might not be everybody’s cup of tea.
We need positives 🙂
Of course there are plenty of positives, they are great for children and it teaches them how to look after something with the help of parents, which is a good way of spending time together and also gives them responsibility. Guinea pigs are loyal and are quite intelligent, knowing what is going on around them, even though they cannot see that much of it. Are skittish to start with but in time can me very tame and will mostly love being stroked, but not all will like being stroked as much. No need to buy insurance like cats and dogs. They have funny personalities and can make you feel ten times better after feeling miserable. They might be able to settle your nerves if you have an important exam coming up or give you more confidence. Not just a pet for children but for adults to, who also enjoy them. Not going to need walking like a dog and will be in a fixed place unlike a cat where you don’t know where they go.
Generally speaking are hardy animals, but must be looked after correctly to have a full and healthy life. All the hay and poops can be placed into garden waste in the UK, so will not have to fill up the general waste bins, but depending on what area you live in, with the recycling set-ups. Help towards cutting the grass down in the garden, that’s if you have a garden with grass. Even though you might think now that looking after guinea pigs may be a bit more than you first thought, there are a lot of basic things to do to care for them.
Thank you for reading this article, if you have any questions you would like to ask me, then please feel free to drop me a comment below.