So, you want a guinea pig. Why not? They are cute and furry and do not look like they would take up much room in the home. Plus, most domestic pet guinea pigs live in a cage, making them easy to care for. Let's also not forget that they are not just cute, but they are amazingly funny and personable creatures that crave attention. Still, before you take the plunge and purchase one. There are a few things that you should know!
1. Your new pet needs room to roam. Even though they may live in a cage, they need exercise. This means that you should purchase a cage with a hutch, or make sure that one room in your home is an acceptable stomping ground where they can roam daily. If they are kept in too tight quarters, they will become unhealthy and depressed. Cages can be expensive, but making sure that your pet has enough space to play and exercise is critical in owning one of these delightful creatures. Also, during colder months they must come indoors for warmth. If you were planning to keep your cage outside or in the garage, this will not be appropriate for your guinea pig.
2. You will have to purchase supplies specifically designed for your new pet. Supplies for them are not exactly cheap, and often you will have to go to a pet store to get them. Avoid temptations to use hamster or rabbit foods for your guinea pig. They have an extremely sensitive digestion system that requires specific food blends only available in guinea pig mixes. Additionally, they will need other fruits and vegetables to round out and balance their diet. You will also need a constant supply of bagged hay
3. Your new little furry friend can get sick easily. Most of the time they become ill because of something they ate. However, there are certain illnesses that are given to guinea pigs. If you own one of these little guys, you will need to learn the warning signs to sicknesses and make sure that there is a veterinarian in your area that can treat your pet.
4. Guinea pigs should not be roaming free in your home. Many new owners have the idea that they will allow their new little pet to roam free in the home like a cat or dog. This is not a good idea. Not only do they like to chew everything, they can wreak havoc on your home and actually get lost in your walls.
5. Your new little furry friend loves company. They are not a buy it and forget it animal. You will have to play with and interact with your new little friend in order to keep them healthy and happy. If you are purchasing one on a whim, you should know that they will often squeal and make noises in an attempt to gain your attention. If you do not have time to spend with your new pet make sure you get them a friend the same sex so they do not become depressed and ill.
The bottom line is that while you may think a guinea pig is the easiest pet to purchase, they too require an immense amount of care and attention. Certainly, they are small and fun – they are easy to keep clean and they will stay healthy, living up to 7 years or more. However purchasing one of these sweet little lovable creatures is both an emotional and financial commitment that you have to be prepared for before your buy.
Source by Quentin F Sunders