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Guinea Pigs for Kids and Caring for Guinea Pigs

May 18th 2008 00:30
Guinea pigs are one of the best pets for younger kids. Most parents opt for the much smaller hamster or gerbil, but guinea pigs are much friendlier and less likely to bite. The major turnoff to most parents is that they are much larger than hamsters, which means that they require a larger cage. But, in general guinea pigs are a much better pet than a hamster...

When caring for a guinea pig, you always want to oversee your child's care of the pet. Just because it is your child's new pet, it doesn't mean that you can leave all responsibility to the child. You want to make sure that the child really is caring for the pet.

For the most part, guinea pigs have a pretty simple care schedule. Make sure that you go over the care and maintenance with your child, so that he/she fully understands how to care for his/her new pet.

by d_leaper
Tri-Colored Guinea Pig

When caring for guinea pigs, they require a cage that is at least 18 inches wide, 14 inches high, and 25 inches deep. It's best to use cages with good ventilation; Most pet stores sell cages that have plastic bottoms that are usually about 3 to 4 inches tall with a full wire lid, usually with at least two doors: 1 in the front and 1 on the top. These cages tend to range from $50 to $100, depending on the size, design, and brand that you choose. Just remember that with larger cages, the guinea pig will be more than likely be more active.

Ware Manufacturing Patio Home for Guinea Pigs and Rabbits

Ware Manufacturing Deluxe XL Home Sweet Home Cage

Never use aquariums to house guinea pigs. They are a very poor source of ventilation and the urine can build up causing respiratory concerns.

Also, never use cages with mesh or wire floors because it will hurt the guinea pig's feet, possibly causing bumble foot.

by QuintanaRoo
Guinea pig cage made of cloropast and cubes

When picking out a bedding, use Carefresh or Aspen wood shavings. Avoid pine and cedar shavings, as they have oils that can cause respiratory problems with the guinea pig breathes in the oils and smells.

The main accessories that a guinea pig needs in his cage are:
* Food bowl
* Water bowl
* Shelter
* Chew sticks (necessary to keep a guinea pig's teeth from growing in excess)

Guinea pigs don't need a wheel. If you put a wheel in the cage, the guinea pig will more than likely sit on it or hide under it, but they will not run on it. (The same goes with the animal balls; guinea pigs just really don't use them.)

Guinea pigs do not need more than one level in their cage, either. They need more floor space versus height.

Remember that no matter what you put in the cage, make sure that it is non-toxic because guinea pigs constantly chew to wear down their teeth.

Try to avoid plastic houses because, again, guinea pigs will chew just about everything and you don't want your new guinea pig to chew his house and get plastic stuck in his digestive system.

by Howard Gees

When feeding guinea pigs, there are tons of commercial diets that are great for guinea pigs. You, also, want to make sure to provide hay. Guinea pigs love timothy hay, and it's great for them.

The one thing that you want to add to your guinea pig's diet, no matter what brand of guinea pig food that you choose, is Vitamin C. Guinea pigs require more Vitamin C than other herbivore species. You can supplement Vitamin C in your guinea pig's diet by putting Vitamin C drops in the water bottle. Also, make sure to provide the guinea pig with fresh fruits or vegetables such as oranges, melons, apples, kale, and cabbage. Make sure to remove the seeds in the oranges, apples, and melons, as they are toxic.

by maody

When handling guinea pigs, you want to be careful becuase they can be easily stressed. So you want to teach your children how to properly pick up and handle a guinea pig.

When handling guinea pigs, you want to pick them up by placing one hand under the guinea pig's chest just behind the front legs and gently cupping your other hand under his back legs. Once you have a firm, yet gentle, grip on the guinea pig, lift him out of the cage and immediately pull him close to your chest or lap so that he feels safe. Otherwise, he may thrash around and try to get away from you.

by sashasystem

You want to make sure to clean your guinea pig's cage at least once a week, to include changing the bedding as well as scrubbing and disinfecting the cage.

Because guinea pigs use their cage bedding as the bathroom and bed, you want to make sure that the guinea pig is kept with fresh bedding as best as posisble.

Clean the water bottle daily to prevent algea and bacteria from growing in the bottle or sipper.

As for the guinea pig, itself, they usually keep themselves clean, but occassionally the medium and long haired breeds require brushing and baths with a gentle small animal shampoo.

by Carol Green
Grooming Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs like company, so when you get one guinea pig,, get two. Guinea pigs do well in same sex pairs. You want to make sure that the guinea pigs will get along, as well. For example, two males may fight.

by Wes & Eli
Guinea pigs like company
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11 Comments. [ Add A Comment ]

Comment by moonglow

March 1st 2009 15:45
I have oodles of guinea pigs. They love honeydew and cantaloupe better than store-bought treats!

Great post! Fun pics!

Comment by SadFace

March 1st 2010 23:20
*sigh* I got my very first guinea pig three days ago, but today, he died. I am very sad about that. My dad said I'd get another one, but it will never replace my original one.

Frisky, you were a great pet! You never minded our rough rat terrier, although she tried to eat you. You loved everybody, and you especially loved to go for a romp outside. You tickled me, licked me, and once, even hugged me, and I know you're the best guinea pig I ever had. I'm sorry there'll be another guinea pig in your home, but he'll never top to be as good as you.
In loving memory of Mr. Frisky Whiskers, one heck of a pet, and a true friend.

Comment by Anonymous

August 19th 2010 18:58
Your text goes hereThanks so much. I may get a guinea pig, and this really helped me.

Comment by guinea pig info

August 27th 2010 07:08
Guinea pig health needs to be taken seriously. This is because these critters have more delicate constitutions than other pets. Here are some of the common illnesses that they may experience.

Comment by Anonymous

September 5th 2010 07:06
im getting a guinea pig in two weeks! 'grin'

Comment by Amy :)

March 7th 2011 13:59
theres a few things i must mention about this article. firstly, rarely any store braught cages are big enough for guinea pigs, including the two pictured in the article. guinea pigs actually do require ALOT more room then most cages purchased at pet shops etc can provide. Also, guinea pigs do not make very good pets for young children (definately not for anyone under 5 to 7 years of age) becuase they are delicate and shy creatures.

Also, it is not easy to care for guinea pigs. You must spend SO much time with them if you want to bond with them, and you must have all the patience in the world. It is a very long and slow process getting a guinea pig to really trust you! Also, the author forgot to mention that guinea pigs require floor time and lap time EVERY SINGLE DAY. Floor time is when they get let out into a large area/pen which is safe from predators (preferably inside) and they can run around and play for several hours. and also aproximately half an hour worth or more of 'lap time' per day (in lots of frequent, short sessions). if you correctly do this EVERY DAY, you will definately start to understand how much work they actually are.

Guinea pigs really are best suited for knowledgeable teenagers and adults, who can give them the time and attention they NEED every day.

But other then those things, the article was great: informative, factual and straight to the point. it is great reading material.

Comment by Anonymous

June 5th 2011 23:17
Pine and aspen bedding are good to use just cedar is bad and can kill the guinea pig in several ways

Comment by Anonymous

June 24th 2011 10:54
I would love one but having trouble convincing my partner! Do they smell?

Comment by Anonymous

July 9th 2011 05:31
Im getting a guinea pig tommarow *grin* im soooo excited

Comment by Anonymous

July 9th 2011 05:31
Im getting a guinea pig tommarow *grin* im soooo excited

Comment by Anonymous

January 23rd 2012 03:00
Got a Guinea Pig for my 7 yr old son for Xmas. He loves her and looks after her soooo much. He has even taken a photo of her on an ipod so when hes not home he can see her. i have become quite attatched to her too. she is such a cute little loveable thing. Would highly recommend as a first pet for young children. He knows to feed her, make sure she has fresh water and hay. She loves timothy Hay...He also knows he has to help me twice a week to clean her cage...We just cant cuddle her enough....4 weeks down and he still loves and adores her like the day he got her.

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