If you’ve never heard a guinea pig “wheeking” when you get up in the morning, you’re missing out. Most people associate guinea pigs with childhood pets, but they are the perfect companion for all age groups.
Not only that, but they’re perfect as pets on the homestead because of their easygoing nature and adaptability.
Here are ten reasons that you need to adopt guinea pigs this year.
1. Healthy and Robust Animals
Even though cavies, as they’re also know, are small, they’re robust and healthy animals if you give them the proper care. Generally, they don’t suffer from many illnesses. The most common health conditions found in guinea pigs are respiratory infections and bladder stones.
You can avoid these health complications by providing the right diet of fresh vegetables and fruit. Giving your guinea pigs unlimited hay in their cage is also essential, as this is vital for their digestion.
Guinea pigs don’t need additional water if they have a steady diet of fruits and veggies. Still, give them fresh, clean water so they don’t get dehydrated. They’ll be happy for years if you give them a healthy diet and schedule a routine veterinarian appointment yearly.
Unlike hamsters or gerbils, guinea pigs can live up to 8 years or more with the right care. So, when you adopt these little ones, you must be committed to several years of looking after them.
2. Easy Maintenance
Dogs are great for cuddling, but walking them several times a day can be challenging if you have work commitments that take you off the homestead for hours at a time.
You need to set up a cage with bedding or fleece and their food, water, and hay. But, once you have their home ready, they are easy to care for. All you need to do is clean their dirty hay in the morning or evening and give the cage a deep clean once a week.
They don’t require lots of grooming, training, or upkeep, unlike some pets! Plus, they’re a lot cleaner than some other small pets like rabbits or ferrets.
3. Easy to House
Guinea pigs don’t need a huge cage. If you just have two, you can keep them in a pretty small area. Of course, you’ll need to expand if you bring home more.
Plus, they aren’t great climbers, so you don’t even need to have an enclosed habitat. Lots of places sell pre-made habitats with all the space and spots your pet needs.
Your guinea pigs will also need some exercise for their health and to bond with you. It’s a good idea to separate a section of your living room or outdoor area for free roaming. This allows your guinea pigs to explore and get out of their cage.
You can also let your guinea pigs run around on the grass in the summer. Just ensure that the grass isn’t sprayed chemicals. You should also close off areas from other animals like horses or cows, as guinea pigs are small and might get hurt by the larger animals on your homestead.
As long as you have a large home or outdoor area on your homestead, you can have two, three, four or more of these pets. In fact, guinea pigs are very social animals, so the more, the better.
4. Great Pets for All Ages
Guinea pigs are ideal pets for everyone, no matter what age you are and your experience with pets. If you get these animals as babies, they’ll bond even more closely with you. This is especially helpful if you have other pets that need to bond with.
Compared to hamsters or rabbits, which are more skittish, guinea pigs are easy to tame and calm by nature. This means you can hold guinea pigs. They are also good if you or your kids are new to caring for pets.
Typically, guinea pigs don’t bite unless they are extremely frightened, so kids can be taught how to interact with them. You can hold and cuddle them as much as you want. Sometimes, they might get restless when on your lap, but that’s completely normal.
You can also adopt guinea pigs when you’re older, as they are low-maintenance and friendly pets to have around if you’re feeling lonely.
5. Calming Noises
You know how lots of people play calming sounds when they want to relax? Guinea pigs can do that.
They make purring noises when sleeping or cuddling that can be extremely relaxing to humans. Similar to cats, these furry friends love getting stroked on your lap. They can lie on your chest for a while and fall asleep so you can hear those purring noises that are so calm.
Their adorable noises don’t stop at purring. When guinea pigs are excited, they are also known for wheeking in high pitch tones, which means they are happy. If you have male guinea pigs, they can also make rumbling noises when they are mating.
The last noise to know about with guinea pigs is teeth chattering. Hopefully, you’ll avoid hearing the teeth chattering noises, as this is a sign that your guinea pigs are angry. But this noise can also happen if they are arguing with their cage mate.
Another cute thing about guinea pigs is that they popcorn when they are happy and excited. At first, you might be concerned when you see their little bodies jumping up in the air and landing on their feet. But this is the best sign that your guinea pig is content.
It’s also common for guinea pigs to do “zoomies” when they bolt across their habitat quickly and run around your floor. You might even hear them happily running around when you’re in another room.
Popcorning is unique guinea pigs, so it makes it extra fun when you bond with your pet to a point where they feel comfortable popcorning around the room. Even if it takes a few months to bond with your guinea pig, don’t give up!
One day you’ll hear their sweet wheeking sounds, and all your hard work will be worth it.
7. You’ve Got Options
Guinea pigs come in lots of different colors and breeds. You can find long-haired guinea pigs with grey and brown hair. Or you can also have skinny guinea pigs that are hairless. There’s a guinea pig to match every personality type.
Here is a list of all the types of guinea pigs:
- Abyssinian satin
The hair on these adorable rodents varies from breed to breed, so research the different types of this pet before you adopt a little one.
If you pick a variety with lots of hair, you’ll need to groom them regularly. You can comb and cut the hair yourself, take them to a groomer, or take them to the vet, where they may offer grooming services.
In some cases, you might have a guinea pig retreat nearby, where you can take your piggies and have them groomed.
Even though baths aren’t necessary for guinea pigs, the occasional bath is fine for keeping their fur healthy. When you see your adorable companion in a bubble bath, it will instantly brighten your day.
8. Interactive Pets
Many people don’t think of guinea pigs when they imagine a pet they can play and interact with. But these small animals love playing with their owners and getting cuddles. You might catch your pets watching you while working or reading a book, hoping for some attention.
Guinea pigs love observing humans and tracking their behavior. They are smart animals who even know when you go to open the fridge because this is where their vegetables are kept!
You can also give them toys to play with and watch the action. Just remember that they need at least one companion to be totally happy.
9. Easy to Feed
Fruit and vegetables are a great source of nutrition for your guinea pigs, making them ideal pets on a farm. If you grow your own crops, you don’t need to worry about shopping for pet food and organizing their meals.
All you have to do is pick some kale or peppers from your garden and give them to your pets. They also love cucumber, spinach, carrots, and romaine lettuce. Plant some of these seeds for the fam, and you already have food prepared for your pets.
10. Unique Personality
Above all else, guinea pigs have unique and wonderful personalities. There’s nothing like these wheeking delights, and they can make a great addition to your homestead if you want child-friendly pets and easy-to-care-for animals.
You might get a shy, quiet cavy, or you could have a dominant, loud one who likes to have all the attention. If your guinea pig has a cage mate, they can assert their authority and balance out the different personalities.
To tame your guinea pig, you don’t need a lot of patience, especially if you raise them young. If you’re willing to take your time to bond with these cuties, they’ll change your life forever.
Plus, just looking at them makes you happy!
Keep a lookout for your local guinea pig adoption centers and take a trip soon to pick up a new pet. Remember to get them a health checkup before bringing them home, and buy some cozy items for their habitat.
Enjoy your guinea pigs!