Guinea Pigs make INCREDIBLE companions. They have so much personality many people don’t realize how similar they are to dogs in that aspect.
I’m just gonna say it… GUINEA PIGS ARE NOT STARTER PETS. GUINEA PIGS ARE NOT EASY PETS. GUINEA PIGS ARE NOT CHILDREN’S PETS. They require lots of attention and space to live happy, healthy lives.
PET STORE CAGES ARE ABSOLUTELY NOT ACCEPTABLE LIVING CONDITIONS! Sadly, pet stores have refused to get with the times. Guinea pigs require lots of space. They require UNLIMITED hay 24/7. They CANNOTuse balls or wheels (they can damage and break their spines). They CANNOT eat about 90% of what is sold in that single Small Animal section of the pet store (this was the core reason for starting The Natural Cavy back in 2018. I was disgusted when I learned what is being marketed towards pigs after I began my research. Since then, I have dedicated my life to improving and revolutionizing small pet care.
The best and most affordable cage is a C&C cage (Cubes & Coroplast). Often, you can make an enclosure more than 10x the size of the largest pet store cage for much less…seriously—pet store cages can go for like $100+! You can also buy easy, preassembled coroplast bases from GUINEAPIGCAGESSTORE.COM
Learn my tips and tricks for C&C cages and learn how you can make a 2×6 cage for $78 on our Cage Requirements post here
Guinea Pigs are social animals. They thrive in pairs or herds. Yes, there are cases where a pig just cannot get along with another pig. (Just like how not everyone gets along with every person we’ve met). But the majority of the time, guinea pigs can be introduced and bonded together. You can read about Bonding Guinea Pigs HERE. No matter how much human companionship you provide, nothing can replace the companionship of another guinea pig.
There have been many cases where a guinea pig that has had their cage mate pass gets depressed and actually passes themselves weeks later.
Guinea Pigs live between 5-10 years which is very important to keep in mind before getting them. The longest living pig was 14 years old! If you will not be able to keep them if something comes up, do not get them in the first place.
Guinea Pigs are prey animals. What does this mean? It means they are obnoxiously good at hiding illnesses. A sick guinea pig is an easier target for predators, so by nature, they are built to hide their illnesses. This means when symptoms do begin to show, they are at the point where they can no longer hide their illness, which means it has actually progressed very far. This is why it is so important to know what is normal for your guinea pig and to bring them to the vet at the very first sign that something may be off…this can save their life!
One thing guinea pigs can’t hide is their weight. Weekly weigh-ins are incredibly important because this is the best sign to tell when a pig is safe. Just like us, some weight fluctuation is normal. However, if a pig has lost 80g or more in a week, it’s time for a vet visit!
Because guinea pigs are specialty/exotic animals, vet bills tend to run higher. Chloe’s respiratory infection from October 2019 (I have it documented on my Instagram highlights) was very costly. It was over $1000. Having a vet fund is INCREDIBLY important! I use the app Digit for my vet fund, which I highly recommend! However, in my case for wellness checks, which you should get every 6 months, tend to be $75 for all my pigs which is affordable.
While Guinea Pigs require a lot and may not be right for everyone, they can be one of the best additions to your family. They are generally very sweet, tame animals with a ton of personality.