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Do Guinea Pigs Make Good Pets?

Ed Malaker

If you are looking for a first pet for yourself or for your child, you are probably painfully aware of how many options you have available to you. Some like the cat and dog make great pets, but they can be a big responsibility for a first-time pet owner, while some of the more modern exotic pets like the Ball Python can have challenging habitats that are difficult to maintain. One of the most popular pets for beginners is the Guinea Pig, and if you are thinking about getting one of these animals for your home but would like to learn a little more about it first, keep reading while we take an in-depth look at if guinea pigs make good pets.

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Are Guinea Pigs Good Pets?

Guinea pig
Image Credit: Miroslav Hlavko, Shutterstock

Few Health Problems

Guinea pigs are healthy animals that rarely require medication, especially when properly cared for and fed a healthy diet. They usually live for about four to seven years, longer than other similar-sized pet rodents and most health problems occur due to drafts or heat. They don’ like hot and humid environments, so you’ll want to keep the air conditioning on if you live in the southern United States. If you think it will be difficult to keep the ambient temperature between 60 and 85 degrees, you might be better off choosing a different animal.

Low Maintenance

Guinea pigs are fairly low-maintenance animals, and what might seem like a big job at first ii will quickly become something you hardly consider.  Their cage has a simple setup, making it easy to clean, and it only requires water, hay, pellet food, vegetables, and a vitamin C supplement each day to stay healthy.

guinea pig eating_RJM Bishop_shutterstock
Image Credit: R J M Bishop, Shutterstock

Great with Children

Guinea pigs are a great choice for children because, despite their small size, they aren’t as fragile as rabbits, so your children won’t need to be as careful. Guinea pigs are also less afraid of being handled than other popular rodents like the mouse and gerbil, so your child will have more fun and will be less likely to get bit.

Strong Personality

One of the most interesting things about the guinea pig is that, like humans, each one has a unique personality. It can be quite a bit of fun learning the differences between two or more guinea pigs. Each will have strong likes and dislikes, and their daily routines will be different as well.

Merino Guinea Pig
Photo credit: violetta, Pixabay

Guinea Pigs Purr

Another interesting fact about guinea pigs that makes them great pets is that they purr like a kitten when they are happy. It can be especially entertaining when they do it while your child’s handling it, creating a bonding experience that will help your child enjoy owning a pet.

They Get Excited

Guinea pigs are fun to watch because they tend to get excited when they see you approach the cage, especially when they are young. When they get excited, they often start to “popcorn,” which many owners call the strange vertical jumping that they do, which resembles popping kernels of popcorn.

guinea pigs inside their cage
Image Credit: StineMah, Shutterstock

Many Varieties

There are many varieties of guinea pigs, so you are sure to find something you like. You can purchase these pets with long or short hair and in multiple colors. According to the American Cavey Breeders Association, there are 13 breeds and ten possible colors.

Guinea Pigs Bond with Their Owners

As we mentioned briefly, your Guinea pig will learn to recognize you and other family members and will often get excited when it sees you approaching its cage. It has keen eyesight and a strong memory which helps it recognize faces and sounds from a significant distance. Even when it gets older and stops doing the popcorn jump, it will still rush to the side of the cage to greet you when it sees you coming.

guinea pig in the arm
Image Credit: The Escape of Malee, Shutterstock

Active During the Day

Guinea pigs are active during the day, so they are ready to go when you are, and they are less likely to keep you up at night running on wheels like the hamster or mouse. Children will also be happy that their pet is not sleeping when they want to play.

Better in Pairs

Guinea pigs are social animals that prefer to live in groups. Many experts recommend purchasing at least two guinea pigs, so they won’t get lonely. In fact, it’s illegal to buy a single guinea pig in Switzerland.

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Summary

Guinea pigs make excellent first pets for children and adults. They are easy to maintain and fun to watch. Children love them because they can carry them around and they are awake during the day. Adults enjoy their unique personalities and many varieties. Despite their small size, guinea pigs make great companions.

We hope you have enjoyed reading over this short guide, and it has helped answer your questions. If we have convinced you to get one of these wonderful pets for your home, please share our look into if guinea pigs make good pets on Facebook and Twitter.


Featured Image Credit: Frauke Feind, Pixabay

Ed Malaker

Ed Malaker is a veteran writer who has contributed to a wide range of blogs that cover tools, pets, guitars, fitness, and computer programming. When he’s not writing, Ed is usually performing DIY projects around the house or working in the garden. He’s also a musician and spends a lot of time helping people fix their guitars and composing music for independent films.