If you’re looking to adopt a low-maintenance pet for you and your family, Guinea pigs should be on the list, alongside other rodents. However, don’t just assume that a comfortable Guinea pig cage bedding and the Guinea pig favorite food choices will be enough to accommodate these pets in the long term. Make sure to read this article and find out what you can do to welcome the rodent into your family and the main reasons you should do that, especially if you have children.
Are Guinea pigs good for children?
Save yourself a few minutes from reading further and use them to cuddle and pet your Guinea pig instead, as the short answer to this question is a simple yes.
In fact, Guinea pigs should be everyone’s favorite pets as they are not only incredibly goofy and playful but also quite easy to look after. However, if you’re not convinced yet, perhaps these reasons will help you run to the nearest pet shop and adopt one for your children as soon as possible.
They are generally healthy
All animals develop certain health conditions at some point but Guinea pigs are more resilient to diseases than other animals such as chinchillas. Sure, just like all other rodents, they are also prone to dental diseases, but this can be solved by offering them enough toys to chew on and by taking them to the vet once in a while.
A healthy and proper nutrition can also prevent bladder stones, another health affection that is common with Guinea pigs. And, since they mainly live indoors, other problems like overheating and dehydration can easily be fixed by putting their cages in cooler rooms, away from direct sunlight and heating sources.
They are perfect for teaching your child how to become more responsible
Guinea pigs are not as fragile as rabbits or as sensitive as chinchillas, so they make great pets for small children who need to learn to become more responsible. These rodents are low-maintenance and enjoy being pet and held, so they can even become trustworthy play partners for your children. However, we do suggest keeping an eye on the pair to prevent minor accidents.
They live long lives
We all know children get easily fond of their new pets, and they suffer a lot whenever their beloved pet passes away. Unfortunately, most gerbils, hamsters, and rats have a lifespan of only 2-3 years, which means your kids will have to deal with a few “breakups” throughout their childhood.
Guinea pigs live 5-7 years and, in some cases, they even reach the age of 10, which means the bond they create with their owners is stronger and your kids will have more time to adjust to their pets and learn how to properly look after them and their needs.
However, if your children are already preteens, you need to take into account the fact that they might leave for college while their pets are still alive, which will ultimately mean you’ll be the one looking after them. Therefore, before adopting a Guinea pig, make sure you have enough time on your hands to nourish and care for them.
They make adorable sounds
Did you know that not only cats purr when they are pleased and happy? Guinea pigs make similar audible vibrations whenever they feel safe and happy, especially when they are petted gently. Apart from purring, you can also hear your pet “rumbling” (a specific sound made by a male whenever he’s courting a female) or squealing.
However, if you hear its teeth chattering, you should probably stay away from your Guinea pig as that’s a clear sign it is in an angry or aggressive mood.
Moreover, most of these little fellows don’t appreciate when they are picked up and will often try to hide, run or burrow. This is why you should be very careful and try to move your pig by placing your hands underneath its feet and gently lifting it up.
You may also want to wrap them in a soft blanket to stay warm and comfortable and help them loosen up faster. Once they are fully relaxed, you can pet them rodent and cuddle with them.
Popcorning is a rather unique behavior developed by most Guinea pigs when they get excited or happy. They jump up in the air, showing their excitement. The animals also happen to squeal simultaneously or run forward and backward fast.
This type of behavior is surely fun to watch by everyone, including children. Not to mention, it is unique amongst other rodents, which is why you will have a great time raising this type of pet.
They are colorful
Unlike chinchillas or rats that come in rather plain colors, Guinea pigs resemble a walking rainbow. They also come in various breeds with long-haired or short-haired fur and can display up to 10 colors, from light brown to black, white, and everything in between.
There are infinite combinations of colors and patterns these rodents can have, so we’re sure you’ll find the unique companion for you and your children.
They can be trained
Although it will take you patience and dedication, Guinea pigs are smart creatures that can be trained to some extent. If you show it a trick a certain number of times and reward the pet every time it performs the trick, it will eventually learn it to impress you.
However, just make sure you’ll always have something sweet in your pockets as it won’t perform without the promised reward. Berries or any other type of fresh fruits are delicious options, not to mention healthy since they are rich in natural antioxidants and vitamin C.