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Thread: Finding friendly guinea pigs

  1. #1

    Finding friendly guinea pigs

    So, my kids (10) are asking for a guinea pig. I've always been interested in them, so I'm definitely considering it, however I don't want to end up with the same problem I've encountered in the past - ending up with animals that are afraid of humans.

    Obviously, I don't really want to support pet stores, but I'm afraid that it will be harder if we don't get babies, as the older/possibly neglected pigs will not be as friendly as young ones would be. There's a great rescue just 10 miles from here that I'm planning on contacting when we are ready (we're going on a 10 day trip in November and I'd rather wait until we come back so I don't have to worry about them not being taken care of probably when we leave).

    My plan for now - contact the rescue and check Craigslist to get 2 females, build/buy a 2x3.5 C&C covered cage that would end up on my daughter's desk in her room. We have two dogs and a cat, I can't say for sure if they will still all be alive in 6 months, but the 1yo husky mix just can't be trusted around small furry things.. so it needs to be covered just in case and not where the pets hang out all day (2x3.5 is the most that would fit in that room).

    Thoughts? I don't have personal experience with pigs, but all the small pets I've been around were always the type that runs away when you open the cage... and that's really not what we want, especially the kids (I'm perfectly aware that I'll have to take care of them 90% of the time). I read somewhere that pigs can get more nervous too when they've been rehomed too much, so I just don't know what to do...

  2. #2

    Re: Finding friendly guinea pigs

    If you get a guinea pig, it's going to be skittish. If you get guinea pups, they're going to be REALLY skittish. It takes a long time and a lot of patience to tame guinea pigs, and young ones are generally not as friendly as older ones.

    If you want a pet that comes when called and likes to be held and played with, a guinea pig probably isn't the pet for you and your kids. To me, the biggest enjoyment with guinea pigs comes with watching them interact with each other, and occasionally holding them to feed them a yummy treat.

  3. #3
    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner ThePigAlchemist's Avatar
    Mar 30, 2012

    Re: Finding friendly guinea pigs

    I have two rescued guinea pigs right now. One presumably lived with a family for three years and then was given up to the shelter, and the other was abandoned in an apartment and found by maintenance before going to rescue. Both were very friendly when I adopted them. They run away from my hands when I try to pick them up in the cage, but the vast majority of guinea pigs will always do that. They are friendly and personable when I sit near the cage or when I hold them. My pigs I had from babyhood were harder to tame. Other than cases of outright abuse, which I have no experience with, guinea pigs don't seem to be traumatized by rehoming beyond the getting-to-know-you phase that any animal will go through when you get them.

    But like @bpatters said, it's also important to have reasonable expectations. Not every guinea pig will be an absolute cuddlebug and most won't come when called or anything like that. I'd recommend contacting the rescue and asking if you can spend some time with their pigs to get an idea about how guinea pigs behave and see if you would like to have them. I love my guinea pigs a lot but they are very different from dogs or cats.

  4. #4
    Moderator CavyMama's Avatar
    Jun 19, 2009
    Somewhere Over the Rainbow

    Re: Finding friendly guinea pigs

    Yes, if it's a calm, cuddly pet that loves to be held you want, a guinea pig is not the pet for you. They are prey animals so their natural inclination is to hide. This is not to say they won't eventually relax with a human they know well but this is not their default.

    Also, a 2 x 3.5 is not a large enough cage for two pigs. Females can live peacefully in a smaller cage than males can but they still need enough room to not feel crowded.

  5. #5

    Re: Finding friendly guinea pigs

    If you are looking for something that can fit in a 2x3.5 space and is not skiddish, guinea pigs are not the pet you want. I have had hamsters, rats, ferrets, gerbils- all easier to tame than a guinea pig. With them I could easily pick them up, something I will will never be able to do with my guinea pigs.

    If you really want another pet, and don't think it will add to the stress of the current resident pets, then I would look into either a single hamster, or pair of rats. Both of them you could give an awesome cage in that same space. They also are a lot cuddlier than piggies too. I grew up with both and had no issues handling either of them, especially my rats.



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