For many Australians and people all around the world, a guinea pig was the first pet they ever owned. Cute, cuddly and so easy to love, guinea pigs are low-maintenance pets that often make a perfect introduction to the world of pet ownership for people young and old.
But is a guinea pig the right pet for you, or would a dog, cat, bird, fish, horse or some other creature great or small be a perfect fit? Let’s take a look at the top 5 reasons why guinea pigs make great pets to help you decide whether you should add a cuddly cavy to your family.
Why do guinea pigs make great pets?
- They’re small. Are you short on space? Is your yard too small to contain an energetic dog? If so, a guinea pig could be the perfect addition to your family. Cavies are compact little critters, which is one of the reasons they’re so cute, but which also means they’re perfect of you want a pet that won’t take over your home. If you’ve got enough space for a reasonably-sized hutch, you’ve got enough space to keep a couple of guinea pigs.
- They’re low maintenance. First of all, we should point out right off the bat that owning any pet is a big commitment. From feeding the right food to providing sufficient exercise and mental stimulation, you need to be prepared to give your pet everything they need for a healthy and fulfilling life. Having said that, guinea pigs do require significantly less regular care than many other types of pet. They’re relatively easy to groom (long-haired breeds require a bit more work), can be exercised without putting too much strain on you, and are surprisingly simple to train. Cleaning up after a guinea pig is also easier than cleaning up after many other domestic pets, and if the hutch is kept clean then your pet is well set up to live a healthy life.
- They’re great with kids. There’s a reason so many people grew up with guinea pigs as pets: they make wonderful first pets for young animal lovers. The other four items on this list are all excellent reasons why guinea pigs and kids go together like a knife and fork, and there are plenty of other benefits that guinea pigs can offer children. With the right training, guinea pigs will grow to love being handled, while they’re also much more hardy and resilient to clumsy kids’ hands than rabbits. Guinea pigs are also known for their gentle temperaments and are easy to care for, so they offer the perfect way to teach young children about the responsibility of caring for their very own pet.
- They’re lovable and affectionate. If you’ve never owned a cavy, you might be surprised to learn just how affectionate these cuddly little critters can be. Guinea pigs are some of the friendliest, most gentle pets going around, and they can form a very strong bond with the people they love. The key is to socialise your guinea pig with humans from a young age – do this and they will love nothing more than a snuggly cuddle with you. To top it all off, guinea pigs also have their own unique personalities and little quirks, all of which make them even easier to love.
- They’re cute as buttons. We thought we’d end this article with perhaps the most obvious reason why guinea pigs are so great. Seriously, how could you not fall in love with a face like the one in the picture above? A well-socialised guinea pig is an adorable and cuddly companion. Regardless of whether you choose a smooth-haired guinea pig, long-haired guinea pig or a breed with a coarse coat, rest assured that your little pet will turn the cuteness factor right up to 11.
There are plenty more reasons why you should consider getting a guinea pig as a pet – we just don’t have the space to list them all here. But if you decide to add a guinea pig to your family, it won’t take long for you to discover a whole lot more reasons why guinea pigs mak