As a child, getting a pet is brilliant! One of the most popular animals given as a childs pet is a guinea pig. They are lovely little things with bundles of personality and can bring a lot of happiness to your child whilst introducing them to the responsibilities of caring for a pet. If you are thinking of getting your children a guinea pig we hope the information in our 2 part blog is helpful.
According to Wikipedia, the common guinea pig was first domesticated as early as 5000 BC by tribes in the Andean region of South America. Spanish, Dutch, and English traders brought guinea pigs to Europe, where they quickly became popular as exotic pets among the upper classes and royalty, including Queen Elizabeth I.
It’s a long shot, but should you get the question “Where do guinea pigs originate from” in a pub quiz, you will now have the answer. 10 points to you!
Before getting a guinea pig there are a few things to consider:
- Will you be able to give them some of your time?
- Will you be getting more than one guinea pig?
- Will you get short haired or long haired guinea pigs?
- Do you have any other pets that may harm the guinea pigs?
- Can you afford it?
If you have decided to get a guinea pig for your children you must make sure that as the adult, you take over all responsibility of the pet. Guinea pigs are not toys and you will need to supervise the child and help them learn how to care for it. Sadly a lot of guinea pigs get dumped because the children lose interest or do not have the time to look after them. This is a shame so ensure you and your children can give it the time, care and attention it needs. They are playful creatures that enjoy love attention and affection.
Another thing to consider is that you may need to buy two guinea pigs. They are social creatures and love company. If they were in the wild they would be surrounded by other guinea pigs and probably having a good chinwag. Guinea pigs can get lonely so if they are not interacting with you it would be nice for them to have a companion to play with. Be aware that male guinea pigs may fight so it’s not always a good idea to get two males. The perfect living arrangement would be to have a castrated male living with one or more females. In the wild you would generally find one male surrounded by many females so it would be a good choice. If in doubt please speak to one of our vets who will be able to off you advice.
So……………..you have decided to go ahead and buy a guinea pig, what next? Before you buy one you need to think about the things you need so it has somewhere to live and has food to eat as soon as it is brought home.
In our next blog we go through some of the things you will need to buy before bringing it home and offer tips on how to care for your new furry friend.
As always, if you have any questions regarding this subject you can call the clinic and speak to one our members of staff or you can leave a message on our Facebook page.