Guinea pigs make adorable pets. Not only are they cute, their meek, docile nature can make everyone, grown-ups and children alike, want to pet them, protect them and help them feel that all is right with the world. It can be a wonderful feeling to have pets that look to you to be kept safe. These are inexpensive, sweet-tempered pets that ask for nothing more than a little love. Here are a few more reasons why guinea pigs make wonderful pets.
1. Guinea pigs are inexpensive pets
Guinea pigs are typically either free to adopt or cost little at pet stores. If you buy your cavy, you may need to pay a little extra for one of the rarer breeds. Guinea pigs don’t all need to look the same, either. You get to choose by body weight, length of fur and color.
2. They are complete vegans
Guinea pigs have simple diets – they eat hay, vegetables and guinea pig pellets. They have no interest in animal products of any kind. Their idea of a treat is a piece of parsley, zucchini or perhaps a piece of sweet potato. They are also thirsty creatures, and they can run through a great deal of water each day. All said, guinea pigs are very easy to feed.
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3. You don’t need much space to raise guinea pigs
Guinea pigs can make great pets for small apartments or dorm rooms – they only need a little room. All a guinea pig needs is a 4-square-foot hutch, a bowl of food and a water sipper. They have simple entertainment-related needs, too. Playing with their hay pellets keeps them entertained endlessly. For exercise, you could give them a playmate to play with. They tend to have a blast running around their hutch, chasing each other.
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4. Raising guinea pigs takes no effort
Guinea pigs don’t require much day-to-day care. You just need to make sure that you keep them at the right temperature (between 65°F and 75°F) and that their hutch is clean, with fresh newspaper for bedding each day. Once you have the basics taken care of, guinea pigs practically take care of themselves.
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5. Guinea pigs tend to be obsessed with cleanliness
Guinea pigs tend to easily sicken in unclean conditions. For this reason, they tend to constantly groom themselves to be clean. They also appreciate a good brushing with a soft brush each day. The best part of raising guinea pigs, though, is that they can be potty-trained.
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6. Guinea pigs are bright creatures
Like mice, hamsters, chinchillas and other rodents, guinea pigs are very bright creatures. Not only is their brightness evident in the way they are potty-trainable, they can be taught tricks, too. Guinea pigs are so intelligent that they form emotional bonds with their owners. They love attention from their owners and respond when their names are called out.
7. Unlike other rodents, guinea pigs are quiet creatures
Chinchillas and hamsters tend to be very vocal, squeaking and screeching all night long. Guinea pigs, on the other hand, tend to be quiet. The most that you hear from a guinea pig is a little squeal of joy when you show up and purring when you pet it. Guinea pigs may also make a bit of noise and jump up and down in anticipation when they either smell food or hear the refrigerator open. In general, guinea pigs tend to be quiet.
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8. These are very social and friendly pets
Not only do guinea pigs enjoy the company of fellow guinea pigs, they enjoy human attention, too. They aren’t like chinchillas – rodents that tend to fear being held or being petted. If you do intend to keep multiple guinea pigs in the same hutch, you should pick an all-female group – female guinea pigs tend to be calmer and more sociable.
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9. If you want an affectionate pet, guinea pigs are for you
Guinea pigs love to cuddle to show affection. There is even a way to get a guinea pig to cuddle on demand. You simply pick one up by its shoulders and place it on your hand. Then, you cover it with your other hand and hold it against you chest. Guinea pigs love enclosed spaces – they feel protected. Held in this manner, guinea pigs will quickly proceed to snuggle up.
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Guinea pigs are the perfect starter pets
Guinea pigs live two or three years at most. Parents considering getting their child a serious pet like a dog or cat can try their child’s commitment out with a guinea pig first. If a child seems willing to take on the responsibility needed with a guinea pig, he/she could well be ready for a bigger pet. Are you planning to have a guinea pig?