- Guinea pigs have a High life expectancy
- Guinea pigs make the great family pet
- Guinea pigs are easy to take care of
- Guinea pigs are Hygienic
- Guinea pigs have a Sweet and Docile Personality
- Guinea pigs love to be cuddled and petted
- Guinea pigs are easy to tame
- Guinea pigs are fun to have around
- Lots of breed and color to choose from
Cons of guinea pigs:
- Some people are allergic to guinea pigs
- Guinea pigs make loud Noises sometimes
- Some guinea pigs have a shy nature
- Guinea pigs need a company
- Maintenance cost for guinea pigs adds up pretty fast
- Guinea pigs grow fast and big
- Guinea pigs do require daily cleaning and interaction
- Someone needs to take care of them when you are in a Holiday
- We need to keep them indoors in winters
- Guinea pigs Need a big cage or runner or open space
Let’s take a closer look at each of the advantages and disadvantages. Before we go any further, let’s review some guinea pig facts.
Please note: Guinea pig 101 is made possible by donations from readers. Since becoming an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases made by our readers at no additional cost to you. Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means that I receive a commission if you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links.
Guinea pig Basic Information
Guinea pigs were originally bred in the Andes Mountains of South America, which are now found in what is referred to as the southern portion of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia, as well as other parts of the world. In addition, it is said that they have been tamed for a significant amount of time in the past. What we see today is a result of thousands of years of evolution.
Guinea pigs were first introduced to Europe during the reign of Queen Elizabeth at the end of the sixteenth century, and they quickly became popular among the upper classes and members of the Royal family as exotic pets.
Later on, it evolved into a common household pet for everyone. These days, they are among the most cherished and well-kept pets in the United States, Australia, and a few other countries around the world.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Owning Guinea Pigs
So, let’s take a look at some of the advantages of guinea pigs.
Pros of Owning Guinea Pigs
Guinea pigs, like any other pet, have their advantages and disadvantages. However, guinea pigs have something unique about them that distinguishes them from the rest of the pack and makes them one of the most common pests in the United States and the United Kingdom. Let us begin by learning about the advantages of having a guinea pig as a pet.
1. Guinea pigs have High Life Expectancy
When compared to other types of pets, guinea pigs have a reasonable life expectancy. While a hamster can live for only two to three years, a Guinea pig can live for up to five years if given proper attention.
Some guinea pigs have been documented to live for more than a decade as well. They make excellent companion pets because they tend to live for a longer period of time than other small pets.
However, with increased life expectancy comes an increased sense of responsibility. Because guinea pigs are completely reliant on their owners for their well-being, someone must be present at all times to ensure that they are well cared for and fed.
You can’t just up and leave your guinea pig for a week while you’re on vacation. They may not survive until you return from your vacation if they do not have access to fresh food and clean water.
The life expectancy of guinea pigs, on the other hand, is dependent on how we care for them, which breed of guinea pig you are keeping, their diet, and other factors.
Briefly stated, their long life is a wonderful thing, but if you are unable to devote sufficient time to them, you should consider getting some other pets.
More information on the lifespan of a Guinea pig can be found in our comprehensive guide.
2. Guinea pigs make the great family pet
Guinea pigs are a wonderful addition to any family. They are also an excellent choice of pet for elementary school students. Because they require 3-4 hours of floor time, these pets will keep your children occupied and away from the television and mobile phones.
Guinea pigs can also instill a sense of responsibility in your children through their care. The fact that they live longer than hamsters and other small pets, as well as being less fragile than rabbits, makes them an excellent pet for children.
Your children will have a great time watching your guinea pig because they are very active and curious creatures. They will frequently borrow from us and hide around the cage, only to pop up and amuse us. They will also run around the entire room and around every corner if they are allowed to remain on the ground.
Keep in mind that when children are handling the pet, they should be under adult supervision. Leaving them alone has the potential to be harmful to either of them.
3. Guinea pigs are easy to take care of
Providing you feed and care for your guinea pigs in the proper manner, they will not become ill as frequently. Guinea pigs eat a vegan diet that is simple to maintain and often produces less odor than dogs and cats, making them an excellent pet.
Guinea pigs are extremely resistant to disease when raised in a controlled environment. As a result, they are a hardy pet for our household. Guinea pigs also do not require any special dietary supplements or medications in comparison to other common household pets such as dogs and cats.
The nutritional requirements of a guinea pig are straightforward. Hay makes up the majority of their diet, which accounts for approximately 80% of their calories. Despite the fact that fresh vegetables or pellets account for 10-15% of their diet, treats and fresh fruit account for only 5% of their total calorie intake. You will only need to provide them with a freshwater source after that, and you will be finished.
More information on their diet can be found in our A-Z comprehensive guide on Guinea pig diet.
Keep in mind that guinea pigs require fresh food and water on a daily basis. In addition, they must have constant access to fresh hay and forage.
4. Guinea pigs are Hygienic
Guinea pigs are as clean as you keep them.
They enjoy keeping their surroundings clean. In most cases, you will not have to bathe the Guinea Pig on a regular basis if you maintain the guinea pig cage and keep their living area clean. Guinea pigs require bathing approximately every 5-6 months.
If you are able to maintain a clean environment, there will be no odor or other unpleasant odors. Many people will express dissatisfaction with the way their guinea pig smells.
This is the root cause of the failure to maintain adequate living conditions. The smell of guinea pig feces will become unbearably strong after a few days of walking and living in the cage.
Guinea pigs have a strong desire to groom themselves at all times. Grooming their fur with a white grease-like substance that they secrete from the corners of their eyes is something you should look out for if you have a guinea pig. This helps to keep the fur smooth and clean on a regular basis.
5. Guinea pigs have a Sweet and Docile Personality
If you keep your guinea pig healthy and well-cared for, it can be one of the most rewarding pets you will ever own in the hobby. Guinea pigs are well-known for having distinct personalities.
Guinea pigs are highly social creatures who prefer to live in groups. In this way, they are more like community pets, which you can keep together and expect nothing to go wrong as long as you provide proper care for them.
They have a demeanor that is both calm and docile. The vast majority of them prefer to live peacefully, but there are always a few notable exceptions.
Guinea pigs are also very interactive with their owners, which makes them a great pet. When I get home from work, I frequently find the piggies popcorning by the cage, waiting for me to come in and give them some food.
When you get close to them, they make it a point to greet you with a cheerful greeting.
6. Guinea pigs love to be cuddled and petted
It’s possible that you’ve had a bird (such as a Cockatiel), a hamster, or a rabbit in the past and noticed that they don’t enjoy being petted or cuddled much. When you attempt to do so, you will almost always be scratched or bitten. However, when it comes to guinea pigs, the situation is completely different.
Guinea pigs are extremely affectionate and enjoy being cuddled and petted, but only if you are gentle with them. When you attempt to do so, you will almost never encounter resistance or be bitten by them.
They enjoy running around the room and will get along well with other guinea pigs as well as with you and your family.
Guinea pigs are generally calm, but a few dominant males can become territorial and aggressive at times. However, there is nothing to be concerned about; you can separate them for a half hour or so and they will settle down on their own accord.
The fact that it is a negative reinforcement for aggressiveness will be quickly realized by them, and they will work hard to improve in that area.
7. Guinea pigs are easy to tame
Guinea pigs may be small in stature, but they are extremely intelligent. If we train them correctly, they can be trained in much the same way as a dog.
They might be nervous and skittish when we first bring them home, but with our gentle care and guidance, they will soon learn to follow our instructions and become very tame.
If we properly care for and train our guinea pigs, we will soon find them following us around like a dog.
It only takes a few minutes to spend quality time with your guinea pig and to properly train them, and you will have taught them a few new tricks.
8. Guinea pigs are fun to have around
Guinea pigs are a delightful companion to have around. When you play with them, they will keep you entertained for a long time.
Even when they are in the cage, they enjoy hiding, sneaking out from one location to another, and generally acting out of character.
They will frequently pull the food or treat from the table, carry it to their hiding place, and eat it.
No other moment can compare to the one in which your guinea pig is popcorning for their favorite treat because they know you are bringing it out just for them.
9. Lots of breed and color to choose from
Guinea pigs are available in a wide variety of breeds and types to choose from. When it comes to choosing the right pig for yourself, there are numerous options and choices to consider, ranging from a skinny pig to a short-haired one, followed by a wide variety of long-haired ones.
The short-haired breeds, such as American guinea pigs or Abyssinian guinea pigs, are typically preferred by beginners because they are an excellent pet to begin with..
Long-haired guinea pigs, like Peruvian guinea pigs, are also wonderful pets, but they require special grooming to keep their hair in good condition, which can be difficult for a beginner to accomplish.
With a variety of colors to choose from including Pure White Himalayan Guinea Pigs, White-crested single color guinea Pigs, and Red/Black-patterned Abyssinian Guinea Pigs, there is sure to be something for everyone.
When it comes to guinea pig breeds and colors, I would venture to say that there is something for everyone.
- Teddy Guinea Pig: Breed Spotlight(Care, Diet & More)
- Texel Guinea Pig: Breed Spotlight(Care, Diet & More)
Top-Rated Guinea Pig Supplies: Our Top Picks! Recommended Guinea Pig Supplies: Our Top Picks!
Before you read on, here are some supplies for your guinea pigs that have been hand-picked by our experts and that you should add to your wishlist right away:
Cons of Guinea Pigs
Two sides of the same coin.
For some, owning an is a rewarding experience, while for others, it can be a frightening prospect to consider. A guinea pig has two sides, just as every coin has two sides, and having a guinea pig also has two sides. We’ve already seen the positive aspects of the situation. Now, I’d like to discuss some of the disadvantages or uncertainties that come with using guinea pigs.
1. Allergic to guinea pigs
Despite the fact that guinea pigs are not hypoallergenic, they can cause allergic reactions in some individuals.
We can simply state that any pet that has fur, hair, or feathers is capable of causing an allergic reaction in some humans, regardless of the species. It can be any type of animal, including dogs, cats, birds, guinea pigs, and so on.
One of the most significant disadvantages of owning a guinea pig is the possibility of developing an allergy to them.
In animal saliva or urine, the protein present is the actual cause of the allergic reaction. When we play with our pets, cuddle them, or otherwise interact with them, the allergens are frequently transmitted.
Some people are also allergic to the hay or grass dust we feed our guinea pigs, which we have discovered. This, on the other hand, is not a serious problem that cannot be resolved.
We have the option of serving high-quality hay, which is typically low in dust and high in nutrients.
- Are guinea pigs hypoallergenic? Tips to get rid of allergy
- Do Guinea Pigs Have Allergies? (Hay, Food, Bedding & More)
2. Guinea pigs make loud Noises
Despite the fact that Guinea pigs have a calm and docile demeanor, they can occasionally make loud noises when excited. Although they appear to be a peaceful pet, this is not always the case.
Guinea pigs will make sounds such as whistling, chirping, purring, and hissing. These sounds are an excellent indication of what the guinea pigs are attempting to communicate.
They might whistle if they’re hungry and excited about the food they’re about to be served. When they are angry or fearful, on the other hand, you will hear them purring and hissing loudly.
Despite the fact that these sounds are not as loud all of the time. Occasionally, they do have a high pitch, which may not be particularly pleasant for some people.
3. Shy nature in some guinea pigs
Guinea pigs make wonderful pets for the whole family! Even though they enjoy being social and being accompanied by their owners, some guinea pigs are initially fearful of their surroundings.
At the time of your first arrival, this could be because they are adjusting to their new surroundings.
When approaching a new guinea pig, you will need to take each step very slowly. The first time you see them, they will not be as friendly and playful as you expect.
When introduced to a new environment, guinea pigs typically exhibit a timid demeanor. It’s possible that they’ll hide in the hiding spot for a long period of time and not even come out to play.
There are many things we can do in this situation to help them be more open and playful around us. The most important thing is to let them get acclimated to their new environment.
4. Guinea pigs do need a company
Guinea pigs are social animals, and it is sometimes thought to be perfectly acceptable to have only one guinea pig in one’s home.
Yes, you may have a lot of free time to devote to your pet, and they may enjoy being around you, but there will be no one with whom they can communicate in their native vocal language once again.
An animal law introduced in 2008 in Switzerland states keeping a single guinea pig is a crime out there.
It is extremely difficult for a guinea pig owner who has a full-time job in the office or children who are in school or college to devote sufficient time to their animals.
As a result, it is best if they are kept in groups of at least two. When it comes to guinea pigs, the more the merrier is the rule of thumb.
5. Maintenance cost for guinea pigs adds up pretty fast
Although guinea pigs are a relatively inexpensive pet to begin with when compared to other animals, they can become quite expensive over time.
If you do not provide proper care for your pig or if they become ill, they will require regular veterinarian visits, which will be quite expensive in the long run.
Although regular hay for guinea pigs is relatively inexpensive, vegetables during the winter months can be prohibitively expensive in some areas.
Even if you don’t eat many vegetables because the prices are too high, guinea pigs require vegetables in some form as part of their diet in order to survive. They will suffer from vitamin deficiency if they do not consume sufficient amounts of vegetables.
As a result, the costs of maintaining a guinea pig can add up quickly in some cases.
6. Guinea pigs grow fast and big
Guinea pigs may appear to be a small animal when they are young, but they have the ability to grow extremely quickly and become quite large in a matter of a few years’ time.
It may be difficult for a beginner to comprehend how much they grow and how large they become later on. As a result, the choices for cages and other equipment are unquestionably poor.
It is not uncommon for the guinea pigs to be only a few inches long when they are born. Anywhere from 1-3 inches in height.
Nonetheless, they can grow up to 8 inches in as little as 8 weeks, and by the end of 14 weeks, they are almost certain to be around 10 inches in height. Consequently, we must determine what size they will be when they are fully grown.
Some people mistakenly believe they are small pets and bring them home, not realizing how large they can grow to be.
As a result, they abandon them later or are unable to provide them with a cage of sufficient size later. Consequently, it is best if you take this into consideration first.
7. Cleaning and interaction
Guinea pigs make excellent pets because they are both hygienic and social. In addition to enjoying the interaction with their owners, they also enjoy keeping themselves clean.
However, even though guinea pigs are naturally clean, their owners play an important role in keeping them clean and free of odors as well.
Because our guinea pigs live in a confined space, a cage with limited space, they are more likely to run over their litter if we do not clean the cage on a daily basis, as described above.
Cleaning the cage every day and changing their bedding once a week is essential for the health and well-being of our guinea pigs, as well as to prevent them from smelling.
Guinea pigs, on the other hand, necessitate a great deal of interaction and playtime. If you are unable to provide your guinea pig with at least 2 hours of playtime each day, their body may not receive the exercise it requires, potentially leading to obesity and ill health.
8. Holiday time
Guinea pigs require daily attention, which includes everything from cleaning their cages to providing them with fresh hay, vegetables, and water.
In the event that you travel frequently, guinea pigs might not be the best choice for you.
Taking your guinea pigs on vacation is the best option, but if you can’t, you’ll need to arrange for someone to look after them while you’re away.
Now, that someone could be a member of your family, a friend, or an acquaintance.
Make certain that they are capable of carrying out the assignment. You could also consider enrolling your guinea pig in a nearby daycare facility, which will charge you a fee for caring for your pet while you are away.
9. Keep indoor in winters
Guinea pigs require a healthy and stable environment in which to live. Despite their hardiness, they are susceptible to diseases that are brought on by temperature fluctuations.
To maintain their body temperature, guinea pigs do not have sweat glands like we do, and they are completely reliant on us to do so.
When the temperature drops significantly during the winter or when there is a significant amount of snowfall during that season, you may need to bring your animals indoors for the winter.
Guinea pigs are unable to survive in extreme temperatures, either too hot or too cold. They require a well-balanced and stable environment in order to lead a healthy life.
Everything You Need to Know About Eglu The Go Hutch is a straightforward way to keep pets that is simple, stylish, and easy to use. This will make an excellent home for your new guinea pig friends, as it will accommodate two to three of them. The house is a wonderful place to eat, sleep, and cuddle up in during the winter months.
The Omlet has been meticulously designed. The purpose of the Eglu is to keep your pets warm during the winter months. Because it is fox and badger resistant, you can rest assured that your pets will be safe even when you are not at home with them.
10. Guinea pigs need a big cage or runner or open space
Guinea pigs require a large cage in which to live, without a doubt. Although they may appear to be a small pet when you first acquire them, they will undoubtedly grow and develop into a large animal over time.
For their guinea pigs, many people use a hamster cage designed for a hamster or a similar size. It’s possible that this isn’t something you’re looking forward to.
Guinea pigs require a large enclosure in order to live a happy and healthy life. In order to adequately accommodate one or more pairs of Guinea pigs, a minimum enclosure of 2 feet by 3-4 feet is recommended.
However, the cage is not the ideal environment for your guinea pigs to spend their entire lives in. Guinea pigs require time to run, play, and exercise in order to maintain their health.
This assists them in maintaining their fitness. So, if you don’t have enough time to take them for a walk, you’ll need a runner to get them moving and to keep them entertained.
The Conclusion to the Pros and Cons of Guinea Pigs
Guinea pigs have their own set of advantages and disadvantages, just like any other animal. However, in my opinion, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages over time.
If you are a pet lover who takes good care of your animals, the disadvantages of owning a guinea pig are insignificant when weighed against the advantages of owning one of these animals.
When bringing guinea pigs into your home for the first time, whatever you do, make sure to thoroughly research all of the advantages and disadvantages of having them around before making your decision.
Numerous owners obtain guinea pigs but fail to provide proper care for them, resulting in the animals either dying prematurely or ending up in a rescue center.
As a result, it’s probably a good idea to think about all of the factors before purchasing one for yourself.
Guineadad fleece liners are the best choice for guinea pig bedding if you want to keep your pet warm and cozy. For more than a year, the GuineaDad Store has consistently ranked among my top recommendations.
Guinea pigs are always enthralled by Guinea Pig Treat Bundles, and they enjoy having them around. All of the treats are organic and completely safe for cavies to eat. The PandamoniumPets provided a wide range of Safe Handmade Pet products to customers.
The PiggyStudioCanada store carries a large selection of custom hand made beds, tunnels, Cuddle Cups, and Snuggle Sacks, as well as other accessories. Guinea pigs are infatuated with the Guinea Pig Fleece Tunnel, and they fall in love with it almost immediately. This product is highly recommended for your piggies.
In addition to other stores, the SugsandHisses store has a pee and potty fleece pad that is of high quality. It is designed to keep your Guinea Pig’s bedding from needing to be changed or washed as often as it would otherwise.
Gift Basket with Natural Chews In addition, it makes an excellent chew toy for Guinea pigs. This basket contains a variety of textures and chews that are perfect for determining your pet’s preferences. Other entertaining toys and accessories can be found in the WinniGuineaPoo store.
Sources: Nutrient Requirements of the Guinea Pig, The effects of diet on guinea pigs, Guinea Pig Diet, Patterns of feeding in the Guinea pig. Sciencedirect, The prenatal growth of the guinea‐pig, Use of cage space by guineapigs, Guidelines for the Housing of Guinea Pigs, Housing Guinea pig colony, Guinea pigs housing