If you’re looking for a small pet to get and don’t have the ability, money, or time to spend on getting a new cat or dog, you might be thinking about getting some kind of rodent. Cats and dogs are amazing pets, but in small apartments in big cities, or if you have a hectic lifestyle, they often don’t make a lot of sense. While there are many different small pets out there who make great pets, and you’ll have to figure out which one suits your needs best, guinea pigs are a somewhat underrated animal that makes a great small pet.
Here are 10 of the reasons you should consider getting a guinea pig as your next pet.
10 THEY LIVE LONGER THAN YOUR AVERAGE RODENT
If you want a pet that you can invest in and that won’t end up passing away after a couple of years, a guinea pig is a great choice. Unlike many rodents who only live 2-3 years, such as rats and gerbils, guinea pigs tend to live 5-7 years.
This means you have more time to bond and get to know your guinea pig as part of the family. This is also something to be aware of when picking a pet as you want to make sure you can care for the animal for their entire lifetime.
9 GUINEA PIGS MAKE PERFECT PETS FOR BUSY LIFESTYLES
Cats and especially dogs can be pretty high-maintenance. With a dog, you need to be able to let the dog out to use the bathroom at least a few times a day, and this can be difficult if you’re busy or doesn't have a yard. Daily walks and longer interactions are also necessary. If you work full-time, a guinea pig makes sense as a pet. You can feed them in the morning and feel at ease knowing they will be all right the whole day at work while you're away.
8 THEY ARE ALSO GOOD FAMILY PETS AND GOOD WITH KIDS
Children often love small pets as they are very, very cute. But, rabbits tend to be somewhat fragile and other small rodents like hamsters can be skittish. Guinea pigs are a little sturdier and tend to be alright with handling once they’ve become accustomed to humans and feel safe in the environment.
Guinea pigs are a popular pet with kids for these reasons. Just remember with young children it’s still important to keep an eye on them when they are interacting with any pet.
7 THEY RARELY BITE
One concern many people have when getting a rodent is the issue of biting. Hamsters are somewhat notorious for biting, not that they don’t make good pets, too. Guinea pigs are not prone to bite, and it is not a behavior they do often. Unless they are very scared or provoked, it’s unlikely a guinea pig will try to bite you or show aggression in this way. At most, they may slightly nibble as they smell you to figure out what you are and what you smell and taste like.
6 GUINEA PIGS COME IN MANY VARIETIES AND COLORS
One of the best things about guinea pigs is that they are super cute to look at. They also come in many different varieties so you can pick out a pig that looks cutest to you.
Some have long hair and some have short hair, and they can be a mix of many colors including calico, white, brindle, black, orange, and many more. Some have bigger ears while some have tinier ones. Overall, there is more variety in the look of guinea pigs than you might realize.
5 THEIR PERSONALITIES ARE UNIQUE
Another misconception about guinea pigs is that they are somewhat mindless rodents who all act the same. While they might all have some things in common, they are quite unique and their personalities will become quite clear as you get to know them. Some are more outgoing and like to make lots of noise while others are shyer. They also all have their own quirks and some might like certain vegetables while others might not. Getting to know your guinea pig, including giving them a perfect name, is always a fun experience.
4 THEY INTERACT WITH AND RESPOND TO THEIR OWNERS
Another misconception is that guinea pigs don’t know who their owners are. This is not true at all. They get to know your over time and will respond when you come up to their cage by making friendly noises.
Some like to snuggle more than others and will likely climb over you as they learn they can trust you. Guinea pigs are also quite curious and will interact with stimuli in their environment such as new toys and food.
3 THEY MAKE ADORABLE NOISES
If you want an animal that will make you smile and that will give you hours of entertainment, a guinea pig is a great choice. They make a variety of different noises and squeaks.
Their characteristic noise is called “wheeking” and is a sound they often make to get their owners’ attention or for food. They make many different kinds of noises and will often run around their cages and explore.
2 THEY ARE JUST REALLY CUTE
Small pets are extremely adorable because of their tiny size, and the guinea pig is no exception. They are fluffy and sweet to look at, and they have cute compact bodies that make them look like colorful, lovable potatoes. If you want to get a cute pet that will make you happy just by looking at it, a guinea pig is an ideal choice.
1 THEY ARE A LOW-MAINTENANCE PET
At first, you might be unsure of how to take care of your guinea pig if you’ve never had one before, but once you do they are very easy to care for. They need water, pellets, hay, and some fresh vegetables daily. Other than that, it’s important to interact with them, but you won’t have to take them on multiple walks a day or provide a large, interactive apartment like you would with a cat or dog.