Guinea pigs are some of the most adorable pets one can have. Cavies as they are alternatively known as, are not just fluffy and cute, they are quite social animals and require little space to exist. Unlike popular opinion, guinea pigs are not ‘’boring’’ but love cuddling and other activities. They require little maintenance and you are most likely to find a buddy in them.
There are several reasons why cavies are a great addition to your pets. We’ve made a list of our top 5.
Very friendly, good for having around children
Unlike hamsters and other small furry creatures, guinea pigs are quite chilled out animals. Since they are timid by nature, they are most likely to not mistakenly bite your finger thinking it is food. This is also because they are not experimental about the food they eat and hence tend to be relaxed.
When dealing with children and pets, it is hard to find a good combination as kids need special supervision around them. This is because of a number of reasons–low immune levels, not the best hand-eye coordination amongst others. However, guinea pigs are a great option.
They are not as fragile as other small animals. Additionally, they are not snappy or irritable, so if you want to teach your children about responsibility and taking care of a pet, cavies are a good fit.
Easy to take care of
Guinea pigs are extremely low-maintenance as pets and require very little effort to keep. You would not have to make a lot of changes to your lifestyle to adopt them. All it needs is a spacious cage or habitat where it would be happy to stay for the entirety of its life. The cage needs to be cleaned every 1-2 weeks and are usually quite easy to clean.
In terms of food, there isn’t a lot of variety that is required for cavies. This includes fresh hay, water and a tiny amount of pellets. It is up to you whether you want to treat your pet to fruits and vegetables however bear in mind that if the mixture that you feed is well-balanced, then it doesn’t really require anything else. The mixture might even have enough vitamin C that is important for the guinea pig. .
Typically cavies do not need to be sprayed or neutered. However that depends on whether you are planning on a co-ed cage. Other than that, the vet costs are quite little unless they fall ill.
They don’t need to be bathed often at all, in fact they shouldn’t be bathed more than once or twice a year. They do not need to be groomed unless they have long hair, but they will need their nails clipped about once every 3 weeks.
They are very peace-loving and non-destructive
A very good quality of these fluffy pigs is that they are not at all destructive. You wouldn’t have to worry about chewing the carpet or your shoes getting bitten. They are very curious as well as afraid to do anything. Their actions are quite slow and you would be able to catch them before they make a mess.
The worse you would catch them being is when they pee or poop around the house. A lot of guinea pigs get litter-trained and would usually not be a problem. However, if they are not hitting the mark, it would be best to spread out some sort of bedding when you do give them down time to avoid any sort of litter.
They are quite inexpensive to maintain
Like we have mentioned previously, they are quite inexpensive to get. It is advisable to adopt though because pet stores are usually partisan in illegal trades and animal cruelty. There are several abandoned piggies you can find and adopt.
Since they rarely need vet visits, they do not need any shots, spraying or neutering unless you would want that done.
Cages however can be expensive. Buying it from a store will be a hefty sum. It is easier to build yourself a C & C cage with a coroplast base and grid boundary for the fencing. It is a simple DIY and would cost you about 1/4th of its cost at any store.
In terms of food prices, it depends on how much you care about the quality of your food. Regular pellet food can be found for a fraction of the cost, but it is not recommended for piggies diet. Some locally sourced hay can also be used to feed the piggies, considering the hay is of good quality and is not harmful for the piggies.
Bedding can be a bit expensive but there are cheaper alternatives available in case you want to avoid that cost. In this case, fleece cuts down the cost immensely. Rather than purchasing bags of wood shavings, it is easier to use fleece with some towels.
They live a good healthy life
Guinea pigs live a long life if you see its life span. They are around for nearly 4 to 7 years. However, it isn’t very shocking if it is deceased within the first one year. Generally, they will however be your friend for at least 3 to 4 years considering how good you take care of them.
As we’ve mentioned, cavies are great additions as pets. Not only are they super adorable to play and cuddle with, they are children-friendly, low maintenance and very little costs. Overall, they are quite social and will barely cause trouble around the house. It is a good option if you have been considering to get one!
About the Author
Anoop Nain is a proud father of four rescued dogs and two Flemish giant rabbits. Besides being a full-time dog father, he is a freelance content writer and an educationist. He is also working in the direction of animal welfare.
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