Guinea pigs are one of the most popular pets and are an especially good choice for children. If your child is wanting a pet a guinea pig is a fantastic choice. They are a great way to teach children about the responsibilities of pet ownership and are not as full on as cats or dogs. Despite this they are still loving, interactive and engaging pets.
If you are new to the world of guinea pig ownership, there are a few things that you need to know before collecting your first guinea pigs. It is better to keep them in pairs or groups, as in the wild they would live in a social group. If you do not want them to breed it is important to ensure that they are all the same sex of course, as guinea pigs are prolific breeders!
Most people keep them outdoors, but some people keep them indoors. Whatever choice you make they will need a run of their own. You can buy one, or make your own using some wood from somewhere such as these timber merchants Southampton, and some wire mesh. Make sure the hutch is up off of the ground and secure from potential predators if they are outdoors, such as foxes and cats.
Provide plenty of toys as guinea pigs are quite active – they enjoy tunnels and tubes to run through. Also consider the weather if they are outdoors – make sure that they have plenty of fresh hay bedding in the winter and in the summer they have a shelter from the sun or that the hutch is in a shaded area as hot temperatures cause them distress.
If you are keeping them indoors, make sure that the area you are keeping them is safe from chemicals and not in a part of the home that is too busy. If you let them out of the hutch for a run around, keep an eye on electric cables and any small holes where they may be able to run into and get stuck, such as behind cupboards and appliances.