Owning a pet is a very fulfilling and amazing experience. They provide so much entertainment and love. Unfortunately not everyone can have cats and dogs in their lives. Guinea pigs are a great alternative. They cuddle, play, and provide an amazing amount of comfort and entertainment. Before deciding if a guinea pig is right for you please keep these things in mind: Vet care, companionship, cost, nutrition, time and energy.
Vet care– When I adopted my guinea pig “Noodles” I made sure she could get appropriate vet care when needed. An annual exam is a must and if she becomes ill she needs to be able to see a Veterinarian to get the appropriate care.
Companionship – Guinea pigs are natural herd animals. They enjoy being in groups and do best together. I started off with one and am slowly leaning towards getting a second one. If they are different sexes make sure the male is neutered, and allow 3 weeks to pass before putting the pigs together.
Cost – The initial set up of the cage can be somewhat pricey. So be sure to look at all of the enclosure options and the appropriate sized cage. You also need food, hay, water bottle, feeding bowl, and toys.
Nutrition – Guinea pigs need Vitamin C in their diet to survive, scurvy is common for guinea pigs to get if they do not receive the appropriate diet. Hay is also a necessity to help keep their teeth trimmed. Noodles has a supply of hay and a small amount of kibble. In the morning she gets between ½-1 cup of greens. I alternate what “Noodles” gets every day to provide variety and different nutrition. Some of the options include: Romaine lettuce, red peppers, spring green mix, and cucumbers. Be sure to make sure the food is acceptable and won’t cause them stomach upset.
Time and energy – Noodles requires play time, love, food, and care. Her cage needs to be cleaned daily and needs at least two hours of love and play time.
Overall if you are not ready for a large fur baby guinea pigs are a great alternative to satisfy your need for a loving pet.