Guinea pigs at home, pros and cons.

Or advice from experienced pig-breeders

So, on first superficial acquaintance with guinea pigs, you have the most favorable impression of these animals, you found them charming and decided that such a pet is quite suitable for you.

Before the long-awaited purchase is made, we suggest weighing up the pros and cons once again. The moment you get a new tenant in your house, you have a number of obligations to it.

IMPORTANT: A big part of your time and money is devoted to one more member of your family. According to a survey of participants in the community “World of Guinea Pigs” for the content of two guinea pigs spent between 300 and 3000 dollars per month. Such a difference in costs is due to the place of residence of owners, their adherence to more expensive / cheaper brands of products, as well as the fact that some owners of guinea pigs when calculating the cost did not include the cost of succulent food (vegetables, fruits, greens).

Getting a guinea pig: the pros and cons

Is it worth getting a guinea pig?
Keeping a guinea pig as a pet has a number of advantages, but you may also encounter a number of difficulties, including illness of the animal.

Small “buts”:

  • Guinea pigs are non-aggressive (rarely, however, there are occasional biting specimens among guinea pigs), but that doesn’t mean the animal will be immediately friendly and trusting. By nature, they are very shy, and for a long time the animal may be wary of you.
  • Guinea pig quickly learns to recognize its owner, many animals quickly become accustomed to and respond to further his name, but do not expect from the guinea pig obedience and comprehension, active “play” with the child, the more so the implementation of any commands. Guinea pigs are not endowed with the intelligence of dogs or cats, and in many ways their behavior is rather primitive.
  • Guinea pigs are not trainable and they get used to go to the toilet all over the cage, not in a place strictly designated by the owner. Therefore, change the bedding in the cage regularly (at least once a week, but better twice) to avoid illness in the cage and strong odor in the room.
  • Many guinea pigs are very mobile, especially in childhood. Because of this, be prepared to have sawdust, hay, and droppings constantly scattered around your pets’ cage. (The exception is the so-called “terrarium” cages with plastic walls instead of bars, which, by the way, are not suitable for guinea pigs.)
  • Guinea pig day mode, as a rule, coincides with a human, that is, it sleeps at night and is awake during the day. But it is possible that some animals will want to be awake at night. In addition, early in the morning the piggy may drink noisily from the hanging drinker. Therefore, if you are very sensitive to all kinds of noise, you should consider locating the cage away from family resting places.
  • Guinea pigs are very “talkative”. They can be noisy and obtrusive at times, demanding your attention or asking for treats.
  • Guinea pigs also develop better and feel better if they can run free at least once a day around the room. Keep in mind, however:
  • That guinea pigs are rodents, and may chew on furniture and wires a bit near where they walk;
    – Can get into places that are difficult for humans to reach;
    – Can dirty carpets or floors with their “waste products
    – Can get sick if there’s a source of cold air or drafts nearby.


Some of your pets’ behaviors may disappoint you.

Is it worth getting a guinea pig?


Before you bring a new resident into your home, make sure he or she is provided with everything he or she needs to live. Prepare for him:

A spacious cage or terrarium for rodents (for the normal life of one or two pigs, it is advisable to buy a cage of at least 50x70cm).

  • Watering trough;
  • Bowl;
  • Grain specialized food;
  • Hay;
  • Sawdust and/or hygienic wood filler.


Before you buy a guinea pig, prepare your cage, food and accessories.

Where to Buy a Guinea Pig?

You can buy a guinea pig from breeders or in a pet store.

To date, the preferred practice is to purchase animals directly from breeders. When buying guinea pigs in a pet store, especially in “generalist” pet store, the high probability of buying a sick, weakened animal, pregnant females is high. As a rule, the pet store has no information about the origin and pedigree of the animal.

As for breeders, they, in most cases, guinea pigs are provided with optimal care, which reduces the risk of disease and unwanted mating of young animals. If necessary, you can always get information about the parents of a young guinea pig.

In addition, most breeders are happy to keep in touch with people who have bought “piglets” from them.

Is it worth getting a guinea pig?

Which to choose – a boy or a girl?

It is not recommended to get a single pet. Guinea pigs are very sensitive to lack of companionship, and don’t feel well alone. If you can care for one at a time, buying two won’t embarrass you, but it will give you the minimum living standard and unexpectedly great fun to watch them live together.

Buy animals of the same sex and age. This way you will ensure that your pets have good company and exclude the possibility of unexpected offspring.

According to many guinea pig lovers, females get along better with each other. You can keep several animals in one cage. We must take into account that the guinea pig cage should be spacious enough.

With regard to keeping males together there is no consensus among guinea pig lovers so far. Most breeders and hobbyists note that two adult males find it difficult to get along together, competing with each other. Competition often leads to fights between males with some wounds and scratches to each other (up to the ears bursting). However, it is worth mentioning that intolerance and outbursts of aggression can often occur even in an exclusively female collective. Especially if the females have piglets. At the same time in practice it is not uncommon for male guinea pigs to peacefully neighbor.

The characters of guinea pigs are very diverse, so each situation is very individual. The only advice that can be given: Try to introduce the animals from a very young age. In this case, they have a better chance of getting along with each other.


Guinea pigs do not tolerate loneliness. Keep a pair of same-sex animals, preferably females.

Cages are now available with a partition in the middle, allowing both sexes to mate actively and without conflicts or unwanted offspring.

Keeping mixed-sex animals

If you keep a female and a male and are not planning to mate, put them in separate cages or get a large cage with a partition in the middle.

Breeding guinea pigs

If you do decide to breed your animals:

IMPORTANT: When planning mating, think about whether or not you will be able to “place” the cubs.

If the fate of future cubs is determined, the following must be taken into consideration:

  • No females should be mated if they are more than one year old and have had no offspring before that;
  • Females that are less than 5 months old must not be mated;
  • Guinea pig litters, as well as mongrels, are in less demand than purebreds. For this reason it is strongly recommended not to breed mongrels and mongrels with each other.
  • females should not be knit more than two or three times a year;
  • females should not be knit if they are more than three years old;
  • During or immediately after pregnancy, a female may die of toxaemia.

Is it worth getting a guinea pig?
IMPORTANT: Never breed animals “just for fun”. You risk the health of the female and encourage “substandard” offspring.

It is not uncommon for guinea pig lovers (especially beginners) to have a breeding frenzy: one offspring after another, often without a break. You must remember that you endanger the health of the breeding pig by doing so. No matter how beautiful the little piglets are, it is necessary to stop in time and think about the health of the mother pig and the fate of the animals she gives birth to.

In addition, the current trend among guinea pig lovers is to constantly change their pigs, associated with a change of interests and preferences (from one breed to another, etc.) Often the picture is that the novice amateur pig breeder gets a pig, then, after talking on a forum or visiting a guinea pig show, realizes that his pig is far from ideal. Then he gets another pig, then another, then another…

Then pig farmer comes to the conclusion that so many pigs he can not keep, and makes an attempt to get rid of half of his flock. However, at this stage, he is inevitably faced with the fact that wishing to buy his adult pigs are not so much … Therefore, any pig farmer is very important to stop in time to think about the fate of his animals.


Pig farmer should always remember that the pig is a small defenseless living creature, for the life and fate of which the owner is directly responsible!

If you have realized this, then you are the long-awaited owner – the dream of any guinea pig.

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