Guinea pigs are charming, cuddly, and fun, which makes them popular pets; yet, the question is what are the guinea pig pros and cons.
Owning guinea pigs is fun and rewarding.
Yet, new guinea pig pet owners, those who are in love with their cuteness, or people who are thinking about adopting a guinea pig should know that guinea pigs require a lot of care.
Nonetheless, caring for guinea pigs is fairly easy.
Let’s learn more about guinea pigs and all the good and the bad sides of owning guinea pigs as pets.
Table of Contents
10 Pros & Cons Of Owning A Guinea Pig
Nowadays, guinea pigs, these cute social creatures, make great companions.
In the past, when discovered in the Andes in South America, they were only objects of fur and food trade.
Today, you can find them in most pet stores, although you can adopt them from shelters as well.
To take good care of these social animals and provide them a happy and healthy life, new guinea pig owners need to learn a lot about a healthy guinea pigs diet, their needs, and nature.
There are many different guinea pig breeds.
The rarest and endangered breed is Santa Catarina’s guinea pig (Cavia intermedia), with only about sixty individuals.
These guinea pigs live on a very small island of Moleques do Sul, in the State of Santa Catarina in Brazil.
What Are the Pros of Owning a Guinea Pig Pet?
1. Guinea Pig Lifespan
On average, guinea pigs life expectancy is six years, which is much less compared to the expected lifespan of cats and dogs, or other animals people keep as pets.
According to the Guinness Book of Records, the oldest guinea pig ever was almost 15 years old when it died in 1979.
2. Guinea Pigs Show Affection
Guinea pigs show their happiness when they hear the voice and feel the presence of their owners.
Guinea pigs can form a relationship with the whole family and can easily become a remarkable focus of fascination in the house.
You will most likely keep these small animals in a cage but you can take them out to play with them, cuddle, and bond with them.
Although they don’t like being petted, guinea pigs like the presence of their owners and peers.
A single guinea pig tends to feel lonely and can suffer from depression.
The gentle nature of guinea pigs makes them good pets for younger children who can learn how to take care of pets, as caring for these small animals is fairly easy.
What’s great is that guinea pigs can be trained to follow orders and even perceive your voice; however, the time it takes can go from half a month to a couple of months.
3. Guinea Pigs Are Easy to Care For
When caring for a guinea pig, the most important thing is routine.
Proper care of guinea pigs implies feeding them at the same time, regularly changing their water, and cleaning their cage.
Their dietary needs are simple.
The main source of their food is hay, raw and fresh vegetables, leafy greens, guinea pig pellets enriched with vitamin C that you can buy at any pet store.
In addition, you can serve your guinea pig pets fresh fruits as treats.
However, what makes the situation complicated is the fact that guinea pigs cannot eat all fruits and vegetables that humans can.
Not everything healthy for us is healthy for them.
Some types of food can be poisonous for guinea pigs, so make sure to learn which foods are safe for guinea pigs.
4. You Can Take Your Guinea Pigs Anywhere
Unlike dogs, guinea pigs don’t require being taken out for a walk.
Yet, you can take these small pets almost anywhere with you.
So, if you’re planning on going for a trip, it’s highly likely that you won’t have any problems with taking your guinea pigs.
As long as you stick to their routine, feeding schedule, and you’re by their side, everything is just perfect for them.
5. Guinea Pigs Don’t Need Much Space
One of the reasons why a guinea pig is an ideal pet is that it doesn’t need much space.
If you have room and the means, you can buy a large cage for your pets, and install playpens, exercise wheels, and fill it up with accessories, but that is not necessary at all.
There are many cages for small spaces in the market you can check out.
These can fit easily into any corner of your home.
6. Guinea Pigs Don’t Require Much of Your Time
Guinea pigs require daily care but that doesn’t take much time.
Clean their cage regularly, change the water in their water bottle or bowl frequently, and feed them with a varied but balanced diet.
That way, you will ensure that your pets stay healthy.
Of course, if you own only a single guinea pig, it would be great to adopt another of the same sex so it wouldn’t be lonely.
Having more than one guinea pig means you’ll have happy guinea pigs that can keep each other company when you are not around.
7. Keeping Guinea Pigs Doesn’t Require Much Money
Guinea pigs don’t cost a lot of money on the market.
Apart from a guinea pig cage, you will have to calculate the food costs, bedding, and accessories your guinea pigs need.
There are many bedding alternatives on the market.
Many guinea pig owners use old towels for the bottom of their guinea pig cages and add 3-layered fleece bedding on top, as it can be easily washed in a washing machine countless times.
8. Low-cost Vegetarian/ Vegan Diet
You can buy timothy hay (which is the main component of their diet) in any pet store and supplement it with fresh vegetables.
Guinea pigs are herbivores, so they cannot digest meat, dairy products, and any type of processed foods.
All you need to feed your guinea pigs is hay and small amounts of leafy greens, and fresh and raw fruits and vegetables.
However, their diet needs to be diverse and balanced.
Likewise, not all foods that are safe for humans are safe for guinea pigs, so get yourself acquainted with all the foods that are safe for your pets.
9. Guinea Pigs Are Calm and Rarely Bite
Although guinea pigs are active throughout the day, as they sleep for incredibly short amounts of time, make different noises, and can react loudly and erratically to sudden loud noises and moves, they rarely bite, which is another guinea pig pros why they make good pets.
10. Guinea Pigs Are Sturdy
Although many health problems can affect guinea pigs, most are easily avoidable with proper diet and hygiene.
Take care of your pet and, likely, you won’t have any problems or an extra cost associated with immediate visits to the vet.
What Are the Cons of Owning a Guinea Pig as a Pet?
Of course, as opposed to the many pros, there are many cons of owning guinea pigs.
Let’s check them out.
1. Guinea Pigs Are Fragile
Although with a proper diet and hygiene of your guinea pig’s cage you can avoid health problems in your guinea pigs, you should know that their bones are delicate and can get injured easily.
For that reason, pay close attention when young children want to hold them.
Guinea pigs need to be held gently and safely.
2. Guinea Pigs Need a Well-balanced Diet
Guinea pigs and rabbits both eat hay as the main source of fiber that’s responsible for good digestion.
However, unlike rabbits, guinea pigs need high levels of vitamin C as they cannot produce it on their own.
Hay, fresh fruits and vegetables, and guinea pig pellets are all you need to maintain your pet’s healthy diet.
You need to pay special attention to keeping their diet varied and balanced, as too many nutrients of one kind can create health issues.
For example, you shouldn’t feed adult guinea pigs with alfalfa hay as it contains calcium that’s responsible for the formation of kidney and bladder stones.
What your guinea pig needs the most is vitamin C, which is responsible for a good immune system and the prevention of scurvy, a potentially fatal disease in these little animals.
With proper care and a balanced diet, your pet will have a good life expectancy.
3. Guinea Pigs Need Daily Care and Affection
Guinea pigs are sensitive creatures and they can exhibit an allergic reaction to food as well as dust.
Yes, guinea pigs can be allergic to dust, which is why you should pay attention to the quality of hay you are buying for your pet as well as to their bedding, which should also be dust-free.
Make sure to clean their cage regularly, and change the water in their water bowl or water bottle frequently.
4. Guinea Pigs Are Homebound
You cannot take your guinea pig out for a walk like you can take your dog.
A dog can jog with you and ride in your car next to you or sleep in your bed.
A guinea pig, just like a hamster, cannot do all those things, but that doesn’t mean that guinea pigs are not great pets who can show affection to their owners.
Guinea pigs don’t smell bad on their own.
What does smell bad and creates odor at your home is the lack of hygiene in your pet’s cage.
Apart from regular cleaning of your pet’s cage, you can use bedding for odor control.
However, these won’t work great if you don’t commit enough time to keep a guinea pig’s hutch clean.
6. Guinea Pigs Can Be Timid
You might find that your guinea pig is afraid of you, which is often the case with new guinea pig pet owners who have a young, new pet.
You will need time and willingness to help your pet feel safe and relaxed.
7. Guinea Pigs Cannot Stay Unattended Outside of Their Cages
Never leave your guinea pig out of its hutch.
Unattended, a guinea pig may chew on or eat something poisonous for them.
8. Guinea Pig Maintenance Can be Expensive
An individual guinea pig is an unhappy guinea pig, so we always recommend having at least two or three guinea pigs of the same sex.
The more guinea pigs you have, the more space and accessories you will need.
9. You Cannot Keep Different Genders in the Same Cage
Two female guinea pigs can get along great and keep each other company.
However, keeping male and female guinea pigs together in the same cage, unless you are looking forward to some baby guinea pigs, is not advisable.
A male guinea pig in the same hutch with females can bring a lot of trouble as male guinea pigs become sexually active as soon as they turn 3 weeks old.
At the same time, two male guinea pigs may argue a lot and hurt each other.
10. Guinea Pigs Can be Noisy
Unlike a hamster, a pet guinea pig can be loud enough to keep you up at night if you are looking for complete silence.
No, they are not too noisy, but guinea pigs make various sounds you might want to learn to interpret.
As they sleep for extremely short periods, only seconds to minutes at once, guinea pigs are active throughout the day and some people believe that guinea pigs never sleep.
Of course, that is not true.
Why Should I Own a Guinea Pig?
There are several reasons why you should own a pet guinea pig.
Apart from all the pros, here are other reasons for owning even more than one small animal.
Guinea pigs are extremely delicate animals, seldom chomp, and stay quiet in recognizable environmental factors that offer things to keep them involved.
Numerous other little pets don’t care for being removed from their pens, yet a guinea pig used to its proprietors loves to come out, meander around, and be dealt with.
Likewise, they are extraordinary with other guinea pigs that may live in the house and are glad to share the living space as a rule.
Guinea pigs are versatile to their environmental factors and do so before long.
That makes the guinea pig’s underlying change time becoming acclimated to their new home a moderately direct cycle.
There is no questioning the charm of the guinea pig.
These animals are charming to take a gander at, and their appeal does not shrivel with their age.
Great Pets for Kids
Because of the guinea pigs’ quiet disposition, they make magnificent pets for kids.
They are not forceful and love delicate human contacts.
This makes them broadly viewed as an ideal first pet for a kid to have.
Low Upfront Costs
Purchasing a guinea pig is certainly not a costly endeavor.
They normally cost somewhere in the range of $30 and $40 per animal.
There are such various guinea pig appearances that you can decide a wide alternative reach.
Some are of a solitary tone, while some have shaded patches that cover their body.
Individuals have seen that these fix mixes might be integral to their characters.
Some guinea pigs have short hairs, while others are of a long hair assortment.
Guinea pigs are productive self maintainers and lucky men themselves strictly for the day.
While you should clean their confine, you will seldom have to clean their body, shy of a periodic brushing.
The long-haired guinea pigs usually need to be brushed more often as their hair can get tangled, making it hard for them to prepare.
Unlike other little creatures like mice and hamsters, which have a life expectancy of around 3 to 5 years, guinea pigs can satisfy 8 years if appropriately focused on.
You can know more about their lifespan in the guinea pig’s life span guide.
Blessed with an extraordinary insusceptible framework, guinea pigs will, in general, be all-around sound creatures, so the worry of the animal being sick is moderately negligible.
Before having a pet guinea pig, it is vital to require some investment to research.
It is vital to find out about the types of creatures you are searching for since you need to think about fundamental components, for example, food, conduct, and clinical consideration.
What Are the Advantages of Owning Guinea Pigs as Pets?
There can be many advantages of owning a guinea pig; therefore, let’s take a look at some of them.
Guinea Pigs Are Amusing To Watch When They Play
This is my top choice and will most likely be yours as well.
You can’t envision that it is so amusing to see and cooperate with them during their recess.
Spot some toys on the floor in a limited region, and they will play, go around, and do senseless things.
Guinea pigs ought not to be restricted constantly.
On the off chance that you give them time on the floor and associate with them, their characters will thrive.
They will connect with you in a few fun manners.
Guinea Pigs Make Extraordinary Friends
For more seasoned grown-ups who live alone, a pet guinea pig can help them cope with solitude.
They are for kids as well as they are magnificent pets for any age.
More seasoned grown-ups think it’s simple to deal with them since they are little and reasonable creatures.
Appropriately treated, they bond well with individuals.
You would be astounded how a particular creature can lift the spirits of a more seasoned grown-up.
No Need For A Lot Of Space
Albeit confinement for a solitary guinea pig should be in any event 7.5 square feet, there is not a lot of space to surrender all the advantages of the property.
It isn’t troublesome, even in a loft, to locate an appropriate spot for this pet.
Most lofts don’t permit felines or canines, yet a guinea pig isn’t an issue.
They spend a decent piece of their time in their own space, aside from when you give them time on the floor time which should be administered.
Therefore, the limited quantity of room required doesn’t present challenges under any conditions.
Ease Of Possession
To keep guinea pigs as pets, a little cost is needed to purchase a pen, adornments, food, and bedding, yet that will not demolish the bank.
From that point onward, food and bedding will be the essential expense of care, not pricey.
They are little and don’t eat to such an extent.
Bedding is modest if you purchase in mass, and it is not ruined to have it close by.
If you give your guinea pig appropriate consideration, the veterinarian’s records would not exist contrasted with a canine or feline that requires standard immunizations and different things.
Show small kids a feeling of obligation
I would not suggest a guinea pig for youngsters under six.
The age of six is a decent age to show a youngster an awareness of others’ expectations of a pet.
Little guinea pigs are not difficult to deal with.
They are very tame and not forceful.
Little youngsters should be directed while focusing on their pets and during recess.
For a human child’s development, it’s important to learn how to take care of a living animal.
Little pigs are ideal pets for kids from a young age.
They can learn how to take care of their pet guinea pig and become responsible owners of animals that require much more care and maintenance.