Guinea Pigs are great pets for children – we provide the details on buying and owning a guinea pig.

Guinea pigs are popular because of their availability, affordability, calm temperaments and cleanliness.

Although guinea pigs don’t tend to live long – it can be a special opportunity for a child to experience companionship, responsibility and be softly introduced to the concept of death.

If you are considering buying a guinea pig, here are the steps for properly looking after one:

Cage –

Build or buy a small, enclosed animal cage. As well as this, it’s important to have an outside run or enclosed area separate from the cage for the guinea pig to run around.

Bedding –

Aspen, straw, fleece or recycled paper are all suitable for lining the guinea pig cage. Make it comfortable for your new pet.

Food –

Plain pellets (without seed or colour) are best suited to your guinea pig. Alfalfa-based pellets are ideal for baby guinea pigs. Make sure they have added vitamin C, as guinea pigs are unable to produce it.

Daily hay is important, if possible. As well as this, guinea pigs should be given two portions of veggies per day. The occasional piece of fruit is also fine – but not citrus fruits because their acids are harmful to guinea pigs’ stomachs.

Buy a small pet water bottle from your local pet store. Rabbit bottles often have too large a nozzle, so try something smaller.

Optional items –

Toys, ramps and balls are all nice things to give to your guinea pig. They are simple but playful creatures – so spruce up their cage a little bit.

Make sure you have its enclosure and food ready before buying a guinea pig.

Guinea pigs get along very well when they are housed together, so it’s advised to also buy a companion for your new friend.

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