Guinea pigs are a popular choice of pet, particularly among families with small children. Joel Barrett takes a look at some of the reasons why guinea pigs make great companions.
- They’re very easy to feed
You won’t have to worry about any special dietary requirements. Grass and some leafy green veggies for Vitamin C is all they’ll need.
- They adjust to humans
They can adjust to the touch of a human and, if raised with people from a young age, won’t scratch or bite.
- They like company
If you’re thinking about a guinea pig, you’ll want to consider getting two. In Switzerland it’s considered harmful to a guinea pig’s happiness to be kept alone, and law forbids anyone from doing it.
- Some varieties have hairstyles
The most common breeds have short hair, but there are several long-haired breeds, such as the Peruvian, which have a coat which can only be described as fashionable. You have to groom them more often, but when grooming means combing your guinea pigs stylish curls, who cares?
- They’re much cheaper than most pets
If you want a companion (or two) but you’re on a budget, guinea pigs are a great choice. Not only are they cheaper to buy, but they’re also much thriftier to look after, and don’t even require a backyard.
- They won’t escape their enclosure
Well, they might, but only if you leave the door open, and given they can’t climb or jump very high it’s unlikely they would get very far. You don’t even need to have a roof on their enclosure unless you have other animals in the house.
- They will recognise you
It’s not just dogs and cats who learn to respond to their owners. Guinea Pigs have been known to whistle on the approach of their humans, and in the lead up to feeding time.
- They’re light enough to pick up
Unlike other fully grown pets, Guinea Pigs are light enough for even children to gently pick up and cuddle. They’ll also probably purr while this is happening, which is more than a little cute.
- They can live for up to 8 years
Yep, they’ll live longer than most other pet rodents.
- They’re playful and curious
Left to their own devices, Guinea Pigs will explore the area allowed. They need time out of their cage each day, so use that as a chance to watch their playful spirit in action.