Does a Guinea Pig Make a Good Pet?

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Picking a pet isn't the same as picking, say, a warm coat for the winter. It's more akin to choosing a new close pal. Whether you're interested in a guinea pig or a poodle, some knowledge about general temperament is very helpful.

Temperament

In terms of overall temperament, guinea pigs make excellent pets for many people. These fluffy rodents typically have temperaments that are calm, lighthearted, jovial, expressive, obedient, soft and friendly -- all pretty good components for pleasant pets. However, all of these things depend on a wide array of factors, including proper socialization, a regular and balanced diet, and a safe environment. A guineau pig who's placed in the wrong circumstances might never get the chance to show his pleasant temperament.

Safety Around Children

Temperament isn't the only thing that determines whether a pet would be "good" for a certain person or household. Very young children can have problems with guinea pigs. Because often they're still developing full control of their muscles, they might unintentionally do a lot of things that frighten guinea pigs. These include gripping them too tightly or accidentally dropping them. Although guinea pigs are usually mild-mannered, they occasionally bite when they're fearful and feeling threatened -- definitely not good if small kids are in the picture. Although biting by guinea pigs is very uncommon, it's always a possibility. And guinea pigs are easily shocked by abrupt motion or noise in general. Remember, little children aren't usually the quietest and most serene people.

Expenses and Time

Owning a pet isn't free, and it's crucial to always consider expenses before deciding what animal would make a good companion for you. A lot of costs are part of owning a guinea pig, including veterinary assistance, treats, toys, water bottle, dish, basic food, litter, cage housing and bedding. If you can't make this type of financial commitment to a guinea pig, maybe these rodents simply aren't your most suitable choice. Time commitments are also necessary, as cages generally need thorough daily cleanings.

Petting

Guinea pigs usually respond very well to affection. The little guys often just adore being petted by their "humans" -- as long as it is with a very soft touch. If a guinea pig is enjoying being petted or stroked, he'll make it very apparent to you, whether he grunts or squeaks with delight. Aww. Guinea pigs are often relaxed, and you might be able to enjoy regular petting sessions with your little one sitting contently in your lap.

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