Guinea pigs may be small and complicated to care for, but they aren't more trouble than they're worth.
Buying guinea pigs isn't particularly expensive -- they're small pets, and cute as can be. They're also less than $50 at a pet store. However, properly taking care of one is costly. (Of course, adopting one is ideal.)
Each time you take your guinea pig to the veterinarian, and please do, it's going to cost about $50. Guinea pigs are considered exotic pets, and taking one to the vet if they have health problems will cost more than taking a cat or dog to the vet. Not all veterinarians will take care of them.
Then you have the cage, the house, the water bottle and water bowls, food bowls, the timothy hay, the guinea pig food pellets, the bedding, nail clippers, the treats, lettuce, greens, and other fresh vegetables, fruits like apples, and cage accessories. (Remember, the bigger the cage, the better. Luckily, there are great resources online for making your own guinea pig cage.) You can even give them an out-of-cage playpen to still keep them contained but give them more space.
You can easily spend $400 getting set up with a new guinea pig.
But it's worth it.
They are cuddly, social creatures that will cuddle, snuggle and sit on your lap. Healthy guinea pigs generally live to about four years of age, with a good quality of life and good guinea pig diet. Some will live longer, but most veterinarians have only seen adult guinea pig patients that reached seven years old. Because they are prey animals, bringing them to the vet the second something seems wrong with the small animal is incredibly important.
Guinea pigs are technically rodents, and are vegetarians. Like humans, they cannot produce their own Vitamin C, and must eat foods high in Vitamin C or have access to Vitamin C supplements to be healthy.
Guinea piggies are also incredibly funny.
There is a great deal to learn about guinea pigs and guinea pig care. They are sweet, social, and adorable. But, no matter what, they are not starter pets. These little guys deserve to be taken care of, and taken to the veterinarian, just like any other animal.
Owning a pet is a commitment. Guinea pigs are completely dependent on their humans for proper care. It is up to you to take your guinea pig to the vet and give it the best care possible.
Have you ever owned a guinea pig? Are you thinking of getting a new pet? Share your care tips below.
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