If you’re wondering why guinea pigs make good pets, I’ve got you covered!
There’s a very good reason why these cute critters are so incredibly popular right now.
As a piggy parent myself, I know all about the joy they bring into a household!
Keep reading to find out why they just might be the perfect pet for you!
10 reasons Why Guinea Pigs Make Good Pets
I recently read an article on why guinea pigs make good pets that began with something along the lines of “if you can’t have a cat or dog, a guinea pig is the next best thing.”
Personally, I feel like that makes them sound like consolation prizes! All pets are equally wonderful in my eyes!
That said, each one has unique qualities that make them “the best” in different ways.
Read on to find out why guinea pigs (also called “cavies”) just might be your perfect pet!
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1. Guinea pigs are relatively easy to care for
While no pet is maintenance-free, I can tell you that my piggies are easier to care for than my cats and dog!
Now, don’t assume that you can just stick your piggy in a tiny cage, toss in some pellet food and call it a day. They do have special needs, just like any pet.
At the very least, your pig needs:
- A roomy habitat with fresh bedding (we use homemade fleece liners, more on that in a minute)
- Fresh water
- Guinea pig pellet food (must be made for them, not for other rodents)
- Fresh veggies every day
- Plenty of Timothy hay to chomp on
Some experts also recommend a daily vitamin C supplement, but we make sure our pigs get their required C through fresh fruits & veggies.
As for maintenance, a daily spot-clean and weekly major cleaning is all it takes to keep your piggy’s home comfortable & sanitary.
I spend a grand total of maybe 15 minutes a day on “maintenance.” That, of course, doesn’t count cuddling and play time!
2. They’re fairly budget-friendly pets
If you’re on a tight budget and worry that you won’t be able to afford a pet, you’ll be happy to know that cavies won’t cost a fortune to keep.
All of those piggy requirements above cost less per month than just one week of my dog’s food.
Here’s a basic run-down for you:
- Pellet food– about $8 a month
- Timothy hay– about $10 a month, give or take
- Fresh veggies– about $15 a month, depending on what we buy.
- Bedding– maybe $25 to get all the material to make our own fleece bedding, then $0 a month after that.
- Habitat– $100-ish, but we bought a large one from a store that specializes in Guinea Pig habitats.
- Treats, caves, and other fun stuff- varies, but I’d say an average of $5 a month.
The largest expense is the habitat, but it’s a one-time purchase.
I highly recommend getting something made for cavies. Most of the cages on Amazon and in pet stores are WAY too small.
I also strongly encourage you to make your own liners. Before we started doing that, I was spending upwards of $75 a month just on bedding alone!
Here’s a great tutorial that doesn’t require any sewing skills:
3. Guinea pigs are heartier than other rodent pets
As far as rodent pets go, guinea pigs are among the hardiest.
They’re fairly healthy overall, and most conditions are preventable through good nutrition and proper care.
4. They have long life spans
Guinea pigs live, on average, between 5-7 years
Some piggies have lasted well beyond that. The record is nearly 15 years. My guinea pig is almost 7 years old and still going strong!
Sadly, we lost her companion a few months ago, but she was well over 6 years old!
In comparison, hamsters, gerbils and smaller rodents live just a couple of years.
5. Guinea pigs help teach children responsibility
While I wouldn’t leave all of their care up to a child, since they’re so easy to care for, even young children can help out.
For example, your preschooler can help pick out veggies at the store, while your elementary-school child can fill the bowl with pellets.
Older kids and teens can prepare the salad, help spot-clean the habitat, and more.
6. They make the cutest sounds!
Do you know why they call them guinea pigs? Because they squeal like little piggies!
Okay, so I don’t know if that’s actually why, but it makes sense.
I just love all the squeals and squeaks of excitement when I come up with a fresh salad. There’s nothing quite like it!
7. Guinea pigs do the funniest things when excited
Noises aren’t the only way piggies show their excitement. They do this incredibly wonderful and unique thing called “popcorning.”
You have to see it to understand why it’s so awesome that it deserves a spot on the list of why guinea pigs make good pets.
Here’s a video for your viewing enjoyment!
8. Guinea pigs love you as much as you love them
I had a hamster once that I adored…but I don’t think he really liked me all that much.
Don’t get me wrong, he was always happy to see me when I had food! Sometimes he even let me cuddle him.
However, he never really bonded or interacted with me the way my piggies do.
See, guinea pigs are super social pets and they genuinely love their people!
9. Each piggy has a very unique personality
While this is true for all companion animals, it’s still one of the reasons guinea pigs make great pets!
Both of my piggies had completely different and totally unique personalities.
Krystal is more laid-back, while Charlotte was quite gregarious. In other words, she had a great big “look at me” personality.
10. Guinea pigs make you eat healthier!
Guinea pigs need fruits and veggies every day, so you’ll find yourself buying a good amount of fresh produce.
Here’s the thing, though: since they only need 1 cup per pig per day and they can’t eat certain things more than once or twice a week, you’ll have a lot left over.
No one wants to throw away food, so you’ll actually end up eating better to use up the rest!
Plus, if your kids are picky, you can encourage them to try new things by “taste testing” your cavies’ salad.
Bottom line, guinea pigs make great pets for many reasons!
Whether you want a small pet that is affordable and good for kids or another friend to add to your larger fur family, you can’t go wrong with a cavie!
Do you have any other reasons for why guinea pigs make good pets to add to our list? Share below!
Nicole Etolen is a freelance writer, blogger, and editor of PetsVills.com. She currently has two cats and a dog, both of which lived in harmony with her two guinea pigs for years.