Guinea pigs, also known as “cavies”are popular pets due to their adorable appearance, charming personalities, and fun antics. If you're considering adopting a guinea pig, here are some things to find out if they’re right for your family.
They're social animals. Guinea pigs thrive on social interaction and companionship with other guinea pigs. Their human caregivers can’t replicate the companionship of another guinea pig, so be sure to adopt a same sex or non-breeding pair. Guinea pigs are happiest when living in pairs or non-breeding groups.
They have unique personalities. Each guinea pig has its own distinct personality and quirks. Some are shy and timid, while others are outgoing and curious. They can have a calming effect on their owners and can reduce stress and anxiety. They're also used in animal-assisted therapy programs for this reason.
Guinea pigs don't require a lot of space (other than a properly sized cage), grooming, or special equipment. With a quality, properly sized cage, bedding, food, water, hay, exercise, several hideys and a few toys, they can be happy and healthy pets. A great guide to their diet can be found here: https://guinealynx.info/diet.
They're great with children if they’re gentle and patient. Very young children should always be supervised by an adult when handling guinea pigs. They can also help teach children responsibility and empathy. Just be prepared to do a good portion of their care—particularly with young children.
Guinea pigs are relatively quiet. They make soft chirping and purring noises, but can also “wheek” loudly when they’re excited and hear you getting their veggies out of the fridge. They're also very expressive and communicate through various sounds, which you can listen to here: https://guineapigcagecompany.
Guinea pigs are naturally clean animals and groom themselves regularly. They also don't have an offensive odor, however, be sure to clean the cage regularly and use a “kitchen” which helps speed up the cage maintenance. How to Clean your C&C Cage
Be sure to do your research on what to expect before adopting. If you're looking for new furry friends, consider adopting a same-sex pair from a reputable rescue and experience all the joy they have to offer. (We’ll be posting a list of rescues soon to choose from in your area.)