While I am thinking if guinea pigs as pets are good I am looking at my two little guinea pig pups and trying to decide. And if I was to answer at this very moment while going crazy at what they are doing it would be an interesting answer.
But I have decided to think of all the ups and downs of guinea pigs as pets and then decide on an answer.
Guinea pig life span is not requiring a very long term relationship, like turtles do. Guinea pigs live from 4 to 8 even 10 years. Of course, the better care you take, the longer it will live.
An adult male guinea pig can weigh 2 pounds (1 kg). A female is somewhat smaller. This makes them great pets for cuddling. They are not too small so you don't have to be afraid of "breaking" them.
Guinea pigs need space but people that don't have appropriate cages usually make up by letting the pets run around the house. Make sure the cage is not too small and a grown up piggy should have enough space to walk a few steps in the cage and comfortably turn around.
Make sure that once you let your guinea pig walk around the apartment there are no holes they can get in. You will have hard time finding them and getting them out. They might even get stuck and hurt themselves.
Also, make sure there are no power cords laying around because guinea pigs will eat them. They feel the need to chew on everything, to see what is it like.
Photo courtesy of db photography/Flickr
The price of a guinea pig goes from 10 to 35 US $, depending on colors and breeds. I am talking about buying guinea pigs as pets and not show animals.
Adopting fee for guinea pig can be set differently, some are 20 some 35 US $ but they are usually spayed or neutered so you are saving money there. Spaying and neutering fee at vet's is usually around 45 US $.
One more reason to adopt a guinea pig is that you are giving a home to a pet that really needs it and if he/she does not find it, it might be euthanized.
Check reasons to adopt this pet
and search for guinea pigs for adoption.
Don't keep guinea pigs in aquarium tanks because there is no air flow and they can get pretty smelly, so you will need to clean it more often.
The most important is a cage and you can get it from about 20 US $ for a simple one to 90 US $ for a bigger and a nicer one. There are even more expensive cages but you can settle for the suggested price range.
You can get a complete guinea pig starter kit which usually includes a cage, bedding, food, dishes and a toy.
You will need bedding for your pet and you can get a great quality 11 pound bag for about 20 US $.
Guinea pig food prices vary but you can find some nice quality food for a nice price. Before you start shopping don't forget to read about guinea pig diet. The good thing is that they don't need any "special" food and all the food they eat is easy to find.
Also, you will need to provide some fruits and vegetables and some vitamin C supplements (read about guinea pig vitamin C supplementing).
Guinea pigs have some genetic tendencies to get some illnesses and some they get through time and improper care.
What you should do before getting guinea pigs as pets is find a vet close to your home. Find the one that you would like to take care of your piggies' health for a longer period of time. Talk to him and see how much would it cost to treat guinea pigs from certain illnesses.
Guinea pigs as pets are very needy and love to cuddle. They are social animals and if you will not spend time with them, you better get two piggies.
If you do, get two girls or two boys. Don't get a couple that can breed. At least spay and neuter them. There are so many guinea pigs ready for adoption and the ones that are not adopted will not end up well. Help them.
Cleaning will not take away too much of your time. It depends on how many animals you have and how big is the cage. But it only takes minutes to clean out the cage, wash it and put fresh bedding in.
I believe guinea pigs as pets are really easy to take care of. I have two pups and they are cleaned every four days but even that is not needed. When I clean them they did not really make a mess in the cage, I just like them having fresh bedding all the time.
While at making a mess - they sometimes do. They can kick out bedding and food from the cage when playing but it is not that bad.
What I like about them is that once they are free to run around the apartment they don't poop everywhere. My pups found a spot in the corner close to the cage where they do it so it is really easy to clean after them.
I would say not so much. They make funny sounds and can sometimes be pretty loud. Sometimes they will "scream" until you guess what they want and give it to them. My little girls have the tendency (and I have no idea why) to wake me up. Once they see I am up - they just go back to sleep.
No, not really. They are pretty clean and the only way for them to get smelly is if you don't clean them. They even love taking baths so, if they are taken care of, there is no way for them to get smelly.
These are great pets for kids but not for a very young one. Why? Because a small kid can easily drop them and guinea pigs are very sensitive. A drop from a small altitude would easily break their spine.
You have a kid that wants to play with the piggy and you can supervise so he/she doesn't drop it, then this is a great pet. Guinea pigs hardly ever bite.
I play with mine often and sometimes I just tease them but no matter how aggravated they get they never bite. I believe they would only bite to defend themselves if they felt threatened.