Having Guinea Pigs as Pets

Guinea pigs can be lovely pets, but there are a few things you should know before

making that big commitment. From expected lifespan to the social nature of guinea pigs,

here are some things to consider before choosing a guinea pig as a pet.

Guinea Pigs Are a Long-Term Commitment

While a guinea pig doesn’t live nearly as long as a cat or dog, they’re still a large time

commitment. Guinea pigs live on average around five to seven years, sometimes longer,

so be prepared to provide care over the long term.

Guinea Pigs Are Social

Guinea pigs are very social animals and are at their happiest living with other guinea

pigs. Keep a same-sex pair to ensure you don’t have any unwanted litters. Females can

be kept together, as can males without any issues. Be aware that sometimes personality

differences in the animals will mean certain guinea pigs won’t get along. Introducing

them as babies is the best way to get a pair to bond, though even adults can usually be

introduced with care.

Guinea Pigs Need a Large Cage

Guinea pigs need a lot of floor space, and most cages marketed as guinea pig cages are

much too small, especially for a pair. Making a homemade cage is very easy, though,

and since guinea pigs are a good size and not escape artists, a homemade cage is a

great option.

Guinea Pigs Are Quiet, Sometimes

Guinea pigs make a distinctive wheeking or whistling type sound, often in anticipation of

getting a favorite treat or when in need of some attention. Though generally not loud

enough to annoy the neighbors, a wheeking guinea pig can be surprisingly loud. If you’re

looking for an animal whose vocals will never interrupt a dinner party or afternoon nap, a

guinea pig might not be for you.

Guinea Pigs Are Generally Easy to Tame

While guinea pigs may be nervous or skittish at first, with consistent gentle handling,

they usually become tame very easily. Careful handling is a must, and children should

be supervised with them, but they are unlikely to bite even when stressed.

Guinea Pig Require Vitamin C

Guinea pigs are one of the few animals (humans are another) that cannot manufacture

their own vitamin C, so they need to get it from their diet. Choosing a good quality diet

and providing a variety of fresh foods is important, but most owners choose to also give

their animals a vitamin C supplement. Vitamin C tablets are considered a better