Guinea Pig Checklist: “Before You Buy”
Before you buy guinea pigs, you should answer the questions on this checklist.
Is a guinea pig the right pet for me? This article is not about whether guinea pigs suit you and your desires. It's about whether you can give them a safe and species-appropriate home.
With the help of this checklist you can check whether you can meet all the important requirements for keeping small rodents. Discuss the questions together with your family! Feel free to print this page so you can tick the boxes.
1. Life Expectancy
Can you look after your guinea pigs for 4-6 years?
Guinea pigs live from around four to six years. Remember that your little friend might die sooner than you’d like.
Do you have any animal allergies?
Then, unfortunately, a pet might not be such a good idea. The same goes if a member of your family is allergic to animals. When considering a rodent, it’s also important to rule out a hay allergy.
Can someone look after your guinea pigs if you go on vacation?
It’s best if relatives can look after your pets while you’re away. Or friends that have their own pets. If not, there are always pet sitting services. But these can be expensive.
Do you have enough money to look after your guinea pigs?
Guinea pigs don’t cost much to buy but they need food and toys as well as medicines from the veterinarian.
If you presume that your guinea pigs get to be 4-6 years old, they could easily cost between 1,800 and 2,400 euros - for just one animal. Guinea pigs can live to be 8 years old when looked after well. So you can expect to pay around 3,000 euros. This is something your parents should know.
Find out more about monthly costs for guinea pigs here.
5. Does Your Family Agree With the Decision?
After all, your parents will be responsible for your pet. They have to agree. Even your siblings should get a say in getting a new family member.
6. Did you know that guinea pigs aren’t really cuddly pets?
Even if a guinea pig lets you touch it, that doesn’t mean that it likes it. They can often go into shock, which people might think means they’re enjoying being stroked. Guinea pigs are just for looking at.
A pet can be a great experience for kids. Here are five reasons pets are good for children:
Children with pets:
- Learn about responsibility.
- Develop confidence and empathy.
- Are more active and get sick less often.
- Are less stressed and suffer from less anxiety.
- Feel less alone when their parents are at work.
Please don’t forget that parents are ultimately responsible for their children’s pets. Your child is allowed to help with feeding and cleaning but shouldn’t attempt these jobs alone until they’re at least 12 years old.