August 26, 2009
These Little Piggies Need Real-Life Care
This summer’s Disney blockbuster, G-Force, which features an army of heroic guinea pigs wielding high-tech gadgets, may have put these cuddly rodents atop the A-list of desirable pets. But a word of caution to parents whose kids are suddenly begging to bring a guinea pig home: these docile members of the rodent family can be fragile, need spacious cages, a good amount of exercise and are expensive to care for if they get sick.
Please consider the following facts from ASPCA experts before bringing a guinea pig home:
Guinea pigs can cost $635 per year$705 for the first year alone. Read more about guinea pig costs
They generally have a lifespan of 5 to 7 years.
Training a guinea pig to use a litter box is possible, but requires lots of time and patience.
Guinea pigs have delicate digestive systems. They require a special diet and must be fed twice daily.
A proper cage, which should be a minimum of four square feet, needs to be cleaned daily of droppings and soiled bedding.
Guinea pigs must gnaw to keep their ever-growing teeth from getting too long; they should constantly be provided with items to chew on, like fresh grass, hay, branches and twigs.
That said, guinea pigs make wonderful companions, rarely bite and are known for squeaking with delight when their favorite humans enter the room. If you are considering owning a guinea pig, don't buy onethere are plenty of rescues across the country who will gladly adopt their furry residents out to the right families.
Read our complete tips on guinea pig care.
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