HayPigs!® celebrate Guinea Pig Appreciation Day with one clear message!


“We should appreciate guinea pigs every day, not just once a year!” says co-founder, Rik Cridland. “We’re obviously delighted to have a day in which we can wax lyrical about these adorable little creatures but we built our brand to give guinea pigs a voice and it’s time to talk a bit more seriously about what we’ve discovered over the last 6 years of working with, and caring for, guinea pigs.

Every week, hundreds of guinea pigs in the UK end up in rescues. There are a multitude of reasons for this, but what we see and hear on a day-to-day basis is horrifying and disturbing. Christmas presents no longer entertaining enough, ill guinea pigs surrendered because owners don’t want to pay the vets bills, horde cases where owners have lost control of breeding or kept them as live food for their reptiles. Guinea pigs left in skips, on top of bins, roaming wild in parks or tortured and miss-treated by reckless owners. Guinea pigs being treated as a commodity, bought and sold online like second-hand goods and without any form of vetting or licensing. We don’t think this is right and as an industry, we have a responsibility to do something about it.

At the core of our business is a passion and desire to change the way we view small animals as a pet. Guinea pigs are an incredibly intelligent, social animal with far more complicated welfare needs than many currently give them credit for.

I’m going to make a strong statement here, but we feel it needs to be said. In the UK pet trade (and indeed elsewhere), our approach to small animal welfare and enrichment is at times, archaic. We need to wake up and start taking our responsibility as educators seriously. It is at the point of purchase that we have the biggest opportunity to educate new pet owners on better understanding what is required to give these animals a fulfilling life. As a brand, we are a champion for change and there is no better motivation to drive our business forward, than the opportunity to do this.

We are proud to be the first small animal accessories business to specialise in guinea pigs and proud to be at the forefront of changing attitudes towards their welfare needs. The team here at HayPigs!® are always very approachable and happy to give advice and direction. We hope that by making a statement like this, we can start a debate and see some real change.”