So: Should I keep cavies as pets?
Guinea Pigs are a relative robust rodent species. That is one reason why they are so popular. But there are some requirements you might not really know. This page contains information about the requirements you have to know about before you decide to buy Guinea Pigs.
- Guinea Pigs are getting old!
The typical lifetime of cavies is about six to eight years. Some well kept cavies getting older. The oldest cavy reported was 15 years old.»Am I prepared to keep them such a long time after I bought them?«
- Guinea Pigs can be expensive!
The cavy itself is quite cheap, isn’t it? But you need many things for a good cage. They need fresh food every day. And the veterinarian wants to be paid if one of your cavies needs help.»Am I prepared to spend a lot of money?«
- Guinea Pigs need space!
Cavys are bad climber but very good sprinter and needs a lot of space to power out. Most of the cages available in pet shops are much too small. The default cage of 140x70cm is the absolute minimum for only two cavies and only if you can provide them a bigger field outside to let them power out daily.»Did I have enough space to keep them species-appropriate?«
- Guinea Pigs need your attention!
Feeding, cleaning, caring, get to the vet, observe, weekly health check… Cavys needs your time every day in every week.»Am I willed to spend a lot of time with my cavies?«
- Guinea Pigs produces huge amount of dirt and might smell a bit!
Well, you’ll need a big trash can for the litter. Bucks may smell from time to time and the litter finds any way out of the cage.»Am I ready to clean up my home more frequently and can I dispose the litter?«
- Guinea Pigs needs care and activity!
Especially if you keep them in pairs they don’t get the activity they need to train their body, social and intellectual skills and become lazy.»Am I able to stimulate them frequently with food games and something like alleys?«
- Guinea Pigs are group-living animals and need company!
Keeping only one cavy is cruelty. They are very social animals who life’s naturally in big groups and need fellows.»Am I prepared to keep a group of min 2 Guinea Pigs?«
- Guinea Pigs are no stuffed animals!
Oh yes they look so cute! But they really don’t like the hand. They don’t like to be cuddled. This is only a human need.»Am I willed to suppress my will and the will of my kids to cuddle cavies ?«
You can answer all questions with “Yes”? Great! Here are some more important:
- Is someone in my household allergic against grass, hay or animal hair?
Buying cavies if someone is allergic against them is always a bad idea but anyway one of the most reasons they were given to animal shelter.
- Is there anyone who cares about my cavies if I am at holiday / away for some time?
Before you buy cavies please be clear that they need attention every day. So you need someone how cares about them if you are away for some reason.
- Does everybody in my household accept keeping Guinea Pigs?
Only buy Guinea Pigs if anybody in your household accept that! Prevent conflicts before the come along.
- Are there already animals in my household who might endanger Guinea Pigs? (cats / dogs)
Dogs and cats are carnivores and rodents like cavies are typical prey animal. Also dogs and cats might stress cavies continuous if they life in one household.
May be you’ll take a look at our pros and cons list about keeping Guinea Pigs.