Guinea Pigs As Pet: The Pros and Cons of Owning a Pet Guinea Pig

 Guinea pigs, in my opinion, are excellent pets rather than just nice ones! However, I must admit that I have a slight bias because I have long been a guinea pig enthusiast. Sincerely, I've held for a long time that guineas are frequently misrepresented and wildly undervalued.

 Guinea pigs are sometimes mistaken for huge, nocturnal hamsters by those with little or no experience with them. Even though they belong to the rodent family, guinea pigs differ greatly from other rodent species like rats, hamsters, mice, degus, and gerbils. They actually have a lot in common, but they are all incredibly different, with distinctive traits, personalities, and behaviors.

Guinea Pigs As Pet: The Pros and Cons of Owning a Pet Guinea Pig
Guinea Pigs As Pet: The Pros and Cons of Owning a Pet Guinea Pig

 Naturally affectionate, gentle, and social creatures, it's no wonder that once you're a guinea pig parent, you always want more! Nevertheless, along with the long list of advantages to having guinea pigs as pets, there are also some disadvantages, but more so for those who are simply not used to having pets.

 If you are considering adopting guinea pigs, take the time to read the following list of pros and cons, which should clarify what it is like to have guinea pigs as pets.

Pros of owning guinea pigs

The benefits of bringing some furry cavies into your home are listed below:

Incredibly cute and adorable

 At the pet store or adoption center, you've probably noticed that guinea pigs are cute. But it's only when you interact with them one-on-one that you can really appreciate just how super nice and utterly adorable they are. Plus, if you've ever spoken to a cavy owner, you've definitely heard all about their lovely attitude and gentle nature.

Long life for rodents

 Guinea pigs generally have a long lifespan compared to other domestic rodents - around 6-8 years, although very often longer. As such, guinea pigs make great companions for those looking for a longer relationship. Admittedly, it can be difficult for children when pets die. But with a few furry friends who will stick around for quite a while, it's nice to be able to connect with a creature that will be in your life for years to come.

 Keep in mind that these numbers are for the typical average lifespan. My senior Abyssinian guinea pig, Muffy, officially celebrated with 10 (vegetarian) candles on her birthday cake - and she's still going strong!

Robust and healthy

 Guinea pigs are not predisposed to serious health problems or illnesses. In fact, they have a strong immune system which keeps them healthy and safe. They rarely get sick, which is another reason why you don't have to worry too much about losing them at a young age.

Friendly and affectionate

 Not only are guinea pigs adorable, but they are also very friendly and affectionate, especially with their parents. It is very common for guinea pigs to greet their owner, coming to the edge of the habitat to call them with exciting hisses. This is excellent evidence of how guinea pigs tend to bond with their human families. These characteristics make them endearing beings, and very often, the center of the household.

Sweet and calm

 Another advantageous trait is their gentle and calm temperament. As you can imagine, this is considered a huge plus for many families, especially those with children. Guinea pigs certainly don't wreak havoc and normally fall into a leisurely daily routine. Plus, since they don't need regular time outdoors multiple times a day, they're much easier to care for by working-class families.

No huge space needed

 Since these creatures are quite small, they don't need a lot of space. Of course, they need an appropriately sized habitat and daily time out of the cage. But, unlike larger pets such as cats and dogs, they can live perfectly happy and healthy lives in a smaller area. In addition, they are very easy to carry and transport because they are so small.

Inexpensive vegetarian diet

 As little vegetarians, their diet is not only simple to follow, but it's also very inexpensive, making eating easier. Plus, because of these eating habits, their waste is so much less stinky than that of a dog or cat. When you are in charge of cleaning their habitat, it is a huge advantage!

Adaptable and easy to manage

 Guinea pigs normally adapt to their environment relatively easily and quickly. The fact that they are easy to manage when you take care of them is another reason why they are ideal pets.

Constant calm mood

 In most cases, large domesticated pets need constant attention, or their behavior may change. However, guinea pigs are very even in their temperament and are normally calm-tempered. Of course, you will have to watch out for them daily, but they won't come after you if you don't give them what you eat!

Cons of owning guinea pigs

 It's equally important to talk about the downsides of owning a particular pet because not everything will be a walk in the park! Plus, it's just the reality of being a guinea pig parent. This information is particularly essential as it will help those inexperienced pet owners to really assess whether they want guinea pigs in their lives - which in the long run is crucial for the well-being and safety of a pet. animal and to prevent abandonment. So, let's get to the downsides of adopting guinea pigs.

They're small, but they still need space!

 Often, guinea pigs are thought of as those little furry creatures that don't need a lot of space. While this is true to some degree, as we mentioned, they definitely need the right amount of space to stay healthy. Not all cages are created equal – so before you take your old basement mouse home expecting it to fit your new guinea pig, do your research. In small households they will do just fine, but only if you give your guineas the right habitat. The lack of space can make them aggressive and reduce their life expectancy.

Sentient creatures

 Although they are not prone to medical conditions, you should always ensure they don't get worms, mites, and other parasites. Like any other pet, they need proper care - they are alive, after all! If they require a trip to the vet, you need to be prepared to get them there. And of course, pay the cost.

Related to their habitat

 Unlike a dog that you can simply leash and take to the country house for the summer, guinea pigs are permanently tied to their habitats. If you have to go somewhere for a long period, then you'll have to consider carrying their cage – and hay, and vegetables, and water, and bedding, and everything else. Sure, they're easy to transport, but they'll always need a safe and secure shelter wherever you go.

Smelly contents of the cage

 The truth is, you can't just use a plastic bag to scoop up your pet's poop and be done with the mess. The environment of a cavy needs to be cleaned and changed very regularly. Even if you litter train your guinea pigs, their cage can get very stinky from old food and spilled water when not cleaned regularly. Plus, even toilet-trained pets don't go to the bathroom sometimes.

Naturally nervous and temperamental

 Along with their calm demeanor comes a naturally nervous and temperamental personality. Some guinea pigs are even quite shy and spend a lot of time hiding. This can certainly be a real problem if someone is expecting an outgoing animal.

Loud whipping and whispering

 Throughout the day, depending on what is going on, guinea pigs can make lots of different noises. Between hissing and whispering, these sounds can keep you awake at night. Although it is not as loud as howling, some people may indeed find it very annoying.

Panicked Destruction

 When left alone for long periods, especially if they are a solitary pet with no cavy mate, guineas can cause destruction to their cage - and themselves. This may involve chewing on cage materials, tearing up toys, and digging up bedding. In some cases where guinea pigs are so lonely, they can turn on themselves by pulling their hair out and biting their skin.

 Above all, you need to make sure you are ready to fully commit to caring for your pets. Also, if you only have one cavy, you should consider adopting another furry friend to relieve the stress of loneliness and depression. Because they are highly social animals, guinea pigs should be housed in couples or groups.

Cost of living and healthcare

 Of course, compared to larger pets, food and healthcare costs are usually considerably lower. But it is nevertheless an important element to take into account. The costs are lower, but they're still there, and you'll never really know if unexpected vet bills will pop up in the future.

Lifetime inaccuracies

 No one can guarantee that your pet will live to a ripe old age. When your family is emotionally attached to your guinea pigs, it can be a huge hit if they die earlier than expected, especially in young children.

In conclusion: Sharing your home with little furry friends

 If you've decided that after reading the cons on our list you're still interested in adopting little furry friends, they can really bring some love into your life. Please remember that pets are for life, whether that means a year or twenty.

 When we first adopted our guinea pigs, Muffy and Lilly, our family was home to two dogs and countless fish. Although over the years we have sadly lost companions, we are true pet lovers and will always have room for another furry face.