Guinea pigs are intensely social creatures. In the wild they used to live in groups called herds. If you are planning on getting a guinea pig, you must realize that, in addition to obtaining a new family member, you are also making a binding social commitment. As descendents of herd animals, guinea pigs do not do well in solitary situations. As such, you must be prepared to set aside significant time each and every day as a guinea pig owner to interact with your pet – an easy and enjoyable task for animal lovers. If you are more of a hands-off admirer of animals – or if your busy schedule prohibits rich daily interaction with your cavy, then it is highly recommended that you get a second or third pig to satisfy your pet’s social requirements.

As I wrote earlier, owning a cavy should be viewed as a commitment. Either you must commit to spending extensive time with your pet each day or you must commit to being a multiple pig owner. Anything less would be a disservice to the animal.

In addition, to maintain good health (like humans) guinea pigs need regular daily exercise. Guinea pigs generally do not tend to use exercise wheels like hamsters. Instead you must either provide a cage large enough for your pig(s) to run around in – or you must give them daily exercise time. They will need to run freely but supervised in a protected room or other large area.

If your guinea pig is sharing the house with a dog or cat, you must take special care to protect your cavy. Dogs and cats are instinctively both predators and may very well view your precious cavy as prey. You will need to insure that your guinea pig is adequately protected from these types of inherent predator animals as well as young children. Very small children, while not technically predators, can still cause great harm to your guinea pig simply by exercising their sense of curiosity and playfulness.

One of the greatest pleasures in life is the joy of pet ownership. Guinea pigs can provide both entertainment and companionship. They can be very playful – especially in groups – racing around the cage, popcorning in the air like tiny Thomson’s Gazelles or nudging one another with their snouts. They can bring a smile to your face as they stand up against the cage wall in the morning and call to you with their squeaky “weeking” noises as they beg for their breakfast. Best of all, they can bring a warm glow to your heart as they relax and purr softly in your lap while you scratch them gently behind their tiny little ears.

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Categories: Guinea Pig Care and Feeding ,Guinea Pigs

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