Guinea Pigs

People considering guinea pigs as pets should know that they require regular grooming.

Impulsive decisions with regard to family pets can be disastrous. Prospective pet parents who do not take the time to decide if pets fit their lifestyles before taking one home may end up regretting their decisions or returning the animal, which can be hard on pets and families alike.

Time commitment

Just because guinea pigs don’t need daily walks around the neighborhood does not mean they don’t require a substantial commitment of time on the part of their owners. People considering guinea pigs as pets also should know that guinea pigs require regular grooming, including daily grooming for long-haired breeds.

Guinea pigs’ cages also must be meticulously maintained.

Children

Many parents presume guinea pigs will make great first pets for their children.

While that may be true, young children often lack self-restraint and fine motor control. That can make kids more likely to mishandle guinea pigs, increasing their risk of dropping or squeezing the animals. When considering guinea pigs as pets, parents should keep in mind that guinea pigs respond most favorably to being gently held.

Allergies

Before adopting guinea pigs, prospective owners should confirm that they and members of their household are not allergic to the animals.

Visit an animal shelter or the home of a friend with guinea pigs and spend some time with the animal in the room where it spends most of its time. Handle the animals and take note of any potential indicators that you might be allergic.

If you suspect you or a member of your household is allergic, contact an allergist for further testing or discussion.

Guinea pigs make great pets, but prospective guinea pig owners should do their homework before bringing these lovable creatures home.

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