6 Reasons to Get Guinea Pigs
Guinea pigs make fantastic pets - they’re inquisitive, characterful, and very affectionate. Happy guinea pigs will provide you with years of entertainment, and remain your companions for between five to eight years. They come in many different varieties, from Agoutis to Roans, from Abyssinians to Himalayans. There are so many different hair colours and types for you to choose from that you’re bound to find your perfect pet.
Guinea pigs are fantastic companions - they are vocal, fun, cuddly, and form strong bonds with both each other and with their owners. As you spend time with these animals, you’ll begin to be able to understand your guinea pigs’ individual personalities and as the bond between owner and pet grows, you’ll probably find that your guinea pigs will become interested in you, too. Many people find that as their pets gets to know them they begin to follow their humans around, pacing the edge of their run to get a better look at what you are doing, whether you are cleaning the house, working or pottering around in the garden.
2. Perfect Pets for Children
Guinea pigs are incredibly gentle animals, and so can play happily with children of most ages, provided the younger kids have been taught how to hold and play with them. Guinea pigs are small, docile creatures who love to be held, stroked and hand-fed by their owners. Children of all ages can safely interact with these animals - small children can enjoy playing with guinea pigs safely on the floor, where there’s no risk of dropping them, and older children can have great fun bonding with them in their run or on their laps. Keeping guinea pigs is fun for all the family, but it’s also a family endeavour and it’s generally advised that only children over the age of eleven should be given the main responsibility for their care. Adults can have great fun with guinea pigs, and often find the experience as rewarding as their kids, but should be prepared to take on most of the care if the guinea pigs are intended as pets for young children.
Guinea pig ownership is great fun, and if you’ve never had pet guinea pigs before, you won’t have experienced the unexpected ways in which caring for your pets can be enjoyable. For example, an everyday task such as feeding them fresh vegetables become fun when they race each other to the hutch opening. Another great facet of owning guinea pigs is a desire to get out into nature and scout for tasty tidbits for them - once you start to take care of some you’ll always have one eye out for a particularly lush patch of grass for them to chomp on.
Another key feature of owning guinea pigs is that each has their own personality. Some owners find that their pets are bossy (hilarious in something the size of a mango), some find that they are affectionate, others find that one or two of their pets are very excitable. All will agree that a well-kept guinea pig is a funny guinea pig. Give them enough stimulation and you’ll have hours of entertainment from them.
Compared to most other pets, guinea pigs are actually pretty easy to care for. They don’t require walking, vaccinations or training, and they can eat a number of scraps from your kitchen. Modern guinea pig hutches are very straightforward to clean, and with the attached run that comes with some units you needn’t keep moving your pets every morning and evening. Keeping your pets happy and healthy is quite easy.
These animals don’t require much entertainment, either. As long as guinea pigs have other guinea pigs to keep them company, a few basic toys, and enough space to gambol around in then for the most part they entertain themselves. In short, they are simple to care for and it doesn’t take much to be the owner of some happy, healthy pets.
5 Shows & Competitions
Believe it or not, guinea pig shows have been held for hundreds of years. From humble beginnings of just a few specimens, they have since become a great tradition, with hundreds of people going to see prime examples of breeds, groomed and primped in all their glory.
The judges are guinea pig experts who weigh up a number of the guinea pig’s features before awarding prizes. They thoroughly examine every animal put forward, checking teeth, bums, ears, coats, eyes - the whole animal is examined and evaluated against a breed standard, and the best pet in the show often gets a rosette as a reward. Why not give it a try?
6. Social or Volunteer Groups
In a similar vein to shows, guinea pig groups have sprung up all over the country. People get together to discuss guinea pig care tips, guinea pig stories, and even to arrange guinea pig playdates! If you’re a guinea pig lover, you can also join or establish a guinea pig volunteer group, which are intended to help look after those guinea pigs in need of homes at your local animal shelter.