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Guinea pigs make great pets, but, as with keeping any animal, there are certain things you need to be prepared for before you make the commitment.
- It’s a Long-Term Commitment
While they do not have the life expectancy of a cat or a dog, guinea pigs are still a big time-commitment. They live, on average, from 5 - 7 years, sometimes longer, so be prepared for this.
- They are Social Animals
They are not happy living alone, and will bond with not just you, but their fellow guinea pigs as well. Keep a pair of the same sex to avoid unwanted litters, and both males and females will get along just fine.There is personality to consider, however, and some of these animals simply won’t get along! Introducing them to one another as babies is the best way to avoid this happening, although adults can generally be introduced as well, as long as proper care is taken. If guinea pigs were people they’d enjoy Aussie dollar Bingo
as it's fun and social, just like them.
- They Need a Big Space
Guinea pigs will need a big amount of floor space, and most of the cages that are available these days are far too small, especially for a pair. The good news is that it is very easy to make your own cage, and, since guinea pigs are not too small and not particularly well-known for their escapes, you won’t need to build Fort Knox!
- They are Not Totally Silent Animals
Guinea pigs will make a whistling-type sound, often when they are excited about getting a treat or some of your attention. Although this is not usually loud enough to irritate your neighbours, it can be pretty loud, and if you want an animal that will never be an issue in terms of sound, a guinea pig may not be the pet for you. They not quite the ideal dinner party guests
in that they make a mess, a noise and are quite excitable too.
- They Need Their Vitamin C
Guinea pigs, along with human beings, are one of the few animals that are not able to make their own vitamin C, and so will need to get it from their diets. The first step towards making sure they get the vitamins they need is a good quality diet, with fresh foods playing a big role, but it is also recommended that you supplement this with vitamin C.
- They are Available at Shelters, Too
Adopt, don’t shop! As with most animals that we prefer to keep as pets, guinea pigs are usually to be found at shelters, and checking those in your area is the responsible thing to do.Before you head out to purchase one, simply have a look at the shelter, or a guinea pig rescue agency if one is located in your area, and offer one of these little fellas a safe home.Shelter guinea pigs are usually very social, easy going animals, and the age of the piggy will make no difference on how it bonds with you and your family
.While keeping any kind of pet is a matter of commitment, of both time and money, the rewards that are offered owners are many. Guinea pigs are a wonderful idea for families or adults only, and these friendly little creatures will add a large degree of enjoyment to your day-to-day life.