Your young child wants a pet but isn’t quite ready for a dog or cat. Smaller, contained animals can be a smart choice if the child is responsible and takes instruction well. If you’ve stayed away from critters in the past, you might want to consider a guinea pig as an option. Guinea pigs have some strong positive points that could win you over. Here are 4 reasons to consider a pet guinea pig for your child.
Consider A Pet Guinea Pig For Your Child #1: They Live Longer than Most Small Pets
One of the best things about guinea pigs is that they live relatively long lives at 4 to 8 years. This is compared to hamsters, gerbils and other rodents that usually only live about 2 years. They are hardy animals, that when cared for adequately, can be quite healthy and active. However, they can be prone to bladder stones, parasites, and dental disease. Therefore, it’s still a good idea to take them to the vet for checkups to help them avoid any diseases.
Consider A Pet Guinea Pig For Your Child #2: Easy to Care For
A small, caged pet is something that normally doesn’t take as much care as other types of larger animals. Guinea pigs are fairly low maintenance even compared to some other rodent type pets. That said, if your child is younger, make sure to supervise handling and care until they get the hang of it.
Teach your child to respect their pets by being kind and gentle. Most kids enjoy caring for small pets, so don’t be afraid to let them do it. These guys need greens, hay, pellets, water, and a daily dose of vitamin C.
Additionally, make sure their cage is roomy and safe from other pets like dogs and cats. Your guinea pig’s home does have to be cleaned every week. If you opt for two guinea pigs, plan to clean it twice a week. Here are some models reviewed by DrFoxMag for price, quality, and safety.
Consider A Pet Guinea Pig For Your Child #3: They Are Adorable and Entertaining
If you love watching pets play and make cute noises, the guinea pig is definitely for you! They are one of the most adorable and entertaining small pets you can have. With squeals of joy and dance-like motions, they will win over you and your child in no time. Among many playful gestures, you’ll notice them jumping about like popcorn popping. Popcorning is a behavior that young guineas show when they’re happy. (Do check out the video!)
Consider A Pet Guinea Pig For Your Child #4: They’re Friendly and Less Likely to Bite
By contrast to the hamster or gerbil, guinea pigs are less likely to bite. In fact, they normally don’t engage in aggressive behavior unless something is really wrong. However, some people mistake “nipping” for biting. This can happen when the animal is actually trying to groom himself or, perhaps, nip at a flea or mite. If this behavior happens frequently, the animal may need to see a vet or get treatment for parasites.
Guinea pigs are quite enjoyable as pets for anyone but can also be a good first pet for a child. Do, of course, consider the time you and your child have to care for any pet. These creatures are loving and will appreciate your attention and quality care. For more information, I recommend asking your vet or a pet specialist. There are also a number of books about guinea pigs online.
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