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Five Great Reasons to Own a Guinea Pig
When many people think of guinea pigs, they see a potential lab experiment or a rodent kept in the seventh grade science classroom to teach children the value of a living thing. They may see a starter pet for their eight-year-old or a boring cage dweller. But they can be so much more. Here are five reasons to welcome a guinea pig into your home:
5. Guinea pigs are easy to care for. Guinea pigs require a cage cleaning about one or twice a week (depending on the appetite of your little guy). They require a monthly nail clipping, short hairs require minimal grooming and they live in a cage so they do not chew your furniture or need to be potty trained.
4. Guinea pigs are great for when you go out of town. They can stay on their own for a couple days, provided they are left with enough food and water. A longer vacation means they can be housed with a local veterinary clinic or friend. Their homes go with them in the form of a cage, so they feel comfy just about anywhere.
3. Guinea pigs are inexpensive. A bag of chips runs about $8, food runs less than a dollar a pound (and five pounds will last about a month) and the hay they need to promote good digestion runs about $4 a bag (two go for about a month). They also love vegetables (preferably vegetables with high Vitamin C count in them like bell peppers, as they cannot produce it on their own and need it to stay healthy). So you probably already have their favorite treats in stock.
2. Guinea pigs are not your average nocturnal rodent. Coming from owning a hamster before my stint with guinea pigs, I was used to a rodent that slept all day and made a terrible racket on his exercise wheel all night. Guinea pigs typically adjust to your schedule and are awake to play when you are.
1. Guinea pigs are highly sociable. They love to be held (a woman we bought one from called them “cuddle buddies”) and will greet you with a wide variety of adorable noises: from excited whistles to soft purrs. They will often put their nose up to you and want to be scratched. They are like miniature dogs.
So if you are not in a position to own a cat or a dog, give guinea pigs a shot. There are plenty out there that would be thrilled to have your love.