Thinking of getting a guinea pig? Here’s a checklist to see if you are ready…
Checklist - Be Prepared
Are you thinking of getting guinea pigs? Well before you do, please check out our useful checklist to see if you're ready to be a pig mum or dad. Guinea pigs make magical pets, but you do need to make sure you have the time, love, and indeed finance to look after them properly:
Do you have the time and energy?
Guinea pigs are very sociable animals and do appreciate your love and attention. The more time you can spend handling them, the more you will bond with them and the more they will bond with you. Ideally, you should set aside about an hour a day to be with your pigs.
Are you prepared for the cleaning ritual?
It's very important that a guinea pig's home is kept nice and clean. Whether you are using fleece lining or hay, you will need a regular cleaning routine. Make sure you are prepared to set aside the time to do this each week.
Can you afford to look after them properly?
While guinea pigs may not be as expensive to keep as larger animals, there are still many expenses to consider. Can you afford to buy them a large enough cage or hutch to live in? Will you be able to provide them with the fresh food, hay and bedding they need each week? If they are ill, can you afford the potential vet bills and treatment? If you go away on holiday, can you afford to pay for them to go to a pet boarding if no one else can look after them for you?
Do you have enough space in your home to provide them with a large enough cage or hutch? Is there a suitable place for floor time and an outdoor space for them to have a run in when the weather is good? Have you considered how much they will grow and how they may need a bigger space when they are larger?
Can you provide a big enough space to home them?
Are you prepared for your guinea pigs to live up to 8 years (or sometimes even longer!)? Have you considered what might happen if one of your piggies passes away? Companionship is really important, so if you are left with only one pig you may need to get them a new friend.
Are you prepared for how long they may live?
Do you have someone who can look after your guinea pigs if you go away for a weekend or on holiday?
What happens when you go away on holiday?
As well as keeping their home spick and span, you will also need to consider the health of your pigs. Guinea pigs require regular nail trims and the longer haired varieties will require haircuts and grooming. Although it shouldn't need to be a regular event, your pigs may also need a bath from time to time as well as general cleaning of body parts (especially boars).
Are you committed to keeping your piggies happy and healthy?
If you feel you can say yes to all of the above you are in for an exciting adventure with a truly wonderful little creature. Guinea pigs make awesome pets and we are sure you will enjoy every moment with them!