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General Thinking of getting a Guinea Pig for my son

sjeffr

New Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Dec 7, 2011
Messages
2
My son is 7 years old and really wants a pet. We are considering buying him a guinea pig. I have no knolwedge about buying or caring for these little guys so Ive been doing some internet research and was directed to this website.

I'd love some advice/details/pros-cons when it comes to owning a guinea pig.

From the little research I have done I have some questions.

Where would I go to find one? Ive read pet stores are a no-no

Are their diets as complicated as they seem?

Is it really necessary to have two in order to have a happy/healthy guinea pig?

It was suggested to me to buy a young one if possible and hold it and interact with it a lot to ensure he is friendly. How often should we handle it in the beginning and how long? Do most people take them out of the cages daily after they have had them for a while?

I'm also concerned with space. If I have one how big should the cage be? If I have two how big?

I feel as confused as I did when I cloth diapered my son. LOL So much to learn and so many different opinions options about bedding/food/etc.

Thanks in advance for any info you can provide. :)
 
Your son will not have the ability to care for an animal as a child's brain is not nearly developed enough for that responsibility, it will be your responsibility to care for the cavies with all their needs. Your son may help out to the best of his ability with smaller tasks, but unless they are considered a family pet, I can guarantee you that you'll have to give them up as soon as your son stops caring for them when has more schoolwork or other activities. Children get bored quickly. 95% of the pigs in my local shelter are from families who gets animals for their kids, not the whole family that would be the safety net for the animal.

Guinea pigs can live for over 7 years, during that time your son will have other priorities where you again will be the primary caregiver. Is your family prepared to care for animals for that period of time?

Their diet requires a good quality grass hay 24/7, a cup of daily veggies & a good quality pellet. Cavies are very fragile, and when they get sick they require vet care, it could get really expensive over a pig's lifetime.

Guinea pigs are herd animals, and should always be kept in pairs unless it's a danger for their health (an aggressive loner pig.) When you adopt pigs, the shelter should know which pigs get along well.

Young pigs are not recommended at all to children, as they are much less social, scared, harder to handle & jumpy. Not just cute & cuddly, and although they appeal to kids more, the baby pig will be an adult within 6-7 months. I suggest getting adult pigs where you both know their behavior, and are much easier to handle.

Again as pig's are fragile, never let your son lift them at this age, and always supervise him during lap time. Keep the pigs away from where he plays & especially his friends. Keeping them in a bedroom could cause allergies & should really be avoided.

For optimum health & happiness, you need to at least meet the cage size minimum listed on this site, larger is always better though. The awesome thing with C&C cages is that you can build it to fit whatever space you have.

It's so much information to take in at first, it's quite daunting. :) I applaud you for researching before bringing animals into your home.
 
Thanks for the info.!

Oh I would never expect my kid to take care of it on his own. My 12 year old still doesent take care of his gecko on his own. lol

When you say keeping the cage in the bedroom can cause allergies do you mean to the pig or the person?

Is grass/hay sold at the pet store?
 
For the person sleeping in the bedroom, the humidity will go up. It could cause both hay allergies, dust & dust mite allergies as well as allergies to the pigs themselves. This happens gradually, and the risk is even higher for children unfortunately.

You can purchase hay in many pet stores, but the quality differ greatly & it is more expensive for such small bags. Depending on where you live, you coud contact a local farm or stable & take a look at their hay, or order from Kleenmamas online whom always has awesome quality hay & pellets. You can then store a bale of hay in a regular cardboard box. :)
(broken link removed)
 
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